“Networking” isn’t yet on the full list of Stuff White People Like, but it should be. After all, what could be more status-quo-dominant than assuming a stranger will help your career simply because they are in the same room as you and agreed to receive your business card? Well, today The Wall Street Journal made a shocking discovery: Black people network, too. And the ascendance of Barack Obama has revealed an entire fleet of interconnected African Americans whose ships will rise with the presidential tide. This is exactly what your maybe-a-little-racist conservative uncle who sends out all of those conspiracy theorist e-mails asking about who paid for Barack Obama’s Columbia education was afraid of!
This group comes from Chicago (close adviser Valerie Jarrett, investor Martin Nesbitt, and Ariel Capital Management founder John Rogers are insiders), Harvard Law School (Congressman Artur Davis, Professor Charles Ogletree, professor David Wilkins), and Washington (adviser Cassandra Butts, Clinton Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, African Affairs guru Susan Rice). And they’re just like white people! But secretly not:
In many ways, their careers mirror that of the candidate himself. They are graduates of Ivy League and other prestigious colleges and law schools. They ascended the ranks of mainstream corporate America, often accumulating great wealth in the process. They’ve been adept at navigating elite white precincts while retaining ties to the black community. They are also bound by an intricate social web that operates largely out of sight from whites: family connections, black law-school alumni organizations, black fraternities and sororities, as well as popular vacation spots for affluent African-Americans like Martha’s Vineyard.
In other words, they’re going to take over the world as you smug white people know it.
Some black activists object to this overclass mentality. “There is no one who represents the black inner city, who is rooted in the black community,” says the Rev. Eugene Rivers, a Boston preacher. “It’s the whole black Brahmin thing: Vote for us because we’re better than you.” Still, others see big changes in Washington coming, envisioning more blacks in charge of news bureaus and lobbying shops. And, according to Wilkins, if they go to upscale restaurants or vacation spots with lots of white people, suddenly everything is different! “No one is quite sure who you are,” he explains. “Now the assumption is you might know the next president of the United States.”
Oh, white people, this was always your downfall. Assuming everybody else is on some secret team, like gays and celebrities and taxi drivers. For the record, Barack Obama is not friends with Samuel L. Jackson, O.J. Simpson, Deidra “Spinderella” Roper, Tyler Perry, or even Scottie Pippin.