Marc Lamont Hill’s Overrated Black People List: Michael Eric Dyson – by David Horowitz

David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.” His latest book is Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left (Regnery Publishing).

Twitter: @horowitz39
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In a recent twitter the eminent Fox commentator Marc Lamont Hill asked his followers in exasperation,

“Am I the only one who thinks that awarding Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is ABSURD?!?!?!”

Hill coupled that with this:

“Ok, now I HAVE to to start my ‘overrated Black people’ list. A NOBEL PRIZE? REALLY?”

We at NewsReal are going to take Hill up on this insightful suggestion (and we will also invite Mr. Hill to post his own candidates). For what Marc Lamont Hill has stumbled onto here is one of the tragedies of our time, inflicted on black people by  progressives pretending to be their defenders.

Shelby Steele has written an insightful book called White Guilt which examines how whites have rewarded behaviors by individual blacks with levels of incompetence that they wouldn’t tolerate for a second in themselves. They have done it in the name of enlightenment and “social justice.”  But the effect is just the opposite. It deprives blacks of the tests of self that make achievement possible. In Steele’s formulation “no one ever learned to jump higher by lowering the bar.” (There are no affirmative action athletes and consequently no black superstar’s credentials are questioned. ) Preferential treatment for blacks in intellectual fields undermines the real achievements of African Americans by casting doubt on any credential that they receive. This is an injury that cannot be repaired by more quotas, or by any quotas.

Barack Obama is a man of several obvious talents but a Nobel Prize is not one of them (and being president probably isn’t either). Of course there are plenty of over-rated whites — Al Gore, an empty-headed, truth-challenged blowhard whose  politically correct prejudices got him a Nobel, an Oscar and an opera at La Scala is obviously one.  But it is blacks who have suffered the most from affirmative action prizes and unearned promotions. We are launching this list as a service both to the African American community and the country at large, since this ongoing hypocrisy and the double-standards it supports hurt us all.

I will begin the list with my favorite black phony, Michael Eric Dyson, an overpaid professor of sociology at Georgetown University (previously DePaul and UPenn) who once gave an Ivy League seminar in Great Religious Thinkers (at the time he was a professor of “religious studies”) which was solely devoted to the religious works of the rapper, gangster and convicted rapist Tupac Shakur. The Boston Phoenix describes the perpetrator of this hoax as America’s “preminent black intellectual” thus implicating all black intellectuals in his ongoing farce.

Since the leftwing Yahoos rather than providing evidence that we have misjudged these cases will undoubtedly attack and defame the list as “racist,” I should point out that there are many obviously intelligent and worthy black intellectuals, just as intelligent and worthy — and in some cases more intelligent and worthy — than many of their white peers. These would include Thomas Sowell, Orlando Patterson, William Julius Wilson, Juan Williams, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, and even Henry Louis Gates. Just for the record.

Our subject for today, Michael Eric Dyson, has just published a collection of his wisdom. It is titled Can You Hear Me Now? The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson. It is designed to celebrate him as a modern day prophet.  It comes with a blurb from President Barack Obama, as inflated as its subject:

“Everybody who speaks after Michael Eric Dyson pales in comparison.”

It comes with a blurb from the W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois institute comparing Dyson to….W.E.B. Dubois. It comes with an imprimatur vouching for Dyson’s scholarly credentials from (drumroll….) rapper Jay Z: “Michael Eric Dyson…is a world class scholar…”  but with no indication of how Mr. Z would know. Finally, Dyson’s book comes with a gag-inducing introduction by the prominent writer Dave Eggers titled “Telling the Truth Gently” (and killing me softly too). Eggers describes the book as “wall-to-wall aphoristic wisdom,”

In fact, Dyson is a virtuouso of the meaningless sentence and the banal (often illiterately expressed) cliche. I can only provide a small sample, which I will simply quote leaving it to readers to see if they can make any sense of them.


“In the adjectival sense in which we measure racial progress, Obama is not a black president, but a black president.” (p. 3)

Faith and Spirit

“Spirituality makes religion behave.” (p. 19)


“Barry White’s heterosexual boudoir bravado and elaborate orchestrations are of a piece with the bohemian rhapsodies spawned in homeoerotic fields of play.” (p. 68) I think he means that lesbians are big fans of the late R&B singer Barry White.

Literature, Language and Learning

“The writer’s gift can make us see ourselves and our moral possibilities different than what our reality suggests.” (p. 73)

“I was born in language; I was nurtured in a rhetorical womb.” (ibid)

“Writing is ultimately about rewriting.” (p. 84)

“Try as we might to quarantine knowledge, it invariably sneezes on us far beyond its imposed limits.” (p. 85)

Justice and Suffering

Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public.” (p. 125)


“Femiphobia — the fear and disdain of the female.” (p. 157)

“Real men aren’t afraid of real women.” (p. 164)

Preachers and Preaching

“In the best black oratory, style is not juxtaposed to argument; in fact, style becomes a vehicle of substance.” (p. 170)

“Paying attention to how you say what you say doesn’t mean you have nothing to say.” (p. 174)

“Martin Luther King’s speech was a clinic in the use of the vocal instrument to vibrate in swooping glissandos and poignant crescendos. King showed that there didn’t have to be strife between lexis (style, such as metaphor) pisteis (argumentation and proof) as there is in Aristotle’s view of rhetoric.” (p. 178)

Race and Identity

“Race is not a card. It is a condition.” (p. 185)

“When O.J. Simpson took that long, slow ride down the L.A. freeway in A.J. Cowlings’s Bronco, it wasn’t the first time he used a white vehicle to escape a black reality.” (p. 188)


“It is not hypocritical to fail to achieve the moral standards that one believes are correct. Hypocrisy comes when leaders conjure moral standards that they refuse to apply to themselves….” (p. 210)

Poverty and Class

“We’re still in the closet about class in America.” (p.260)


“Bill Maher is one of the bravest and most brilliant social critics we have in the aftermath of 9/11.” (p.292)

“Tell the truth gently.” (p.294)

  • FBastiat

    From here:

    If bigotry is the natural reflex of the social masses, why have racists always had to turn to the State to keep people of different races from teaching each other, hiring each other, marrying each other, and basically living together as members of the same society? Indeed, if there is an organic relationship between racism and capitalism, then history's greatest racist should also have been its greatest capitalist. Our text books would record how Adolf Hitler and his National Capitalist Party created the ultimate racist regime by implementing completely the libertarian free-market agenda: an unregulated economy, freedom of expression, freedom of sexuality, private education, open borders, equality before the law, anti-militarism, etc. Of course, actual National Socialist policy was the polar opposite on every point. Hitler chose totalitarian socialism (that is, total socialism) as the means to his racist end because he understood what every other racist has always understood: that mass bigotry is “socialist,” not capitalist — statist, not societal — in nature. Our anti-discrimination laws were not a response to a history of market bias, but a deduction from the tenets of Leftist dogma, which now seeks to redeem the ideology of statism by placing the blame for bigotry on the American people. Thus, when a Michael Eric Dyson preaches that racism is “America's original sin,” we must remember that the vision of a virtuous elite taking control of a villainous society that the Left brings to this issue, is the vision that the Left brings (and has always brought) to every issue.

  • anthonyg2009

    I couldn't understand one thing Dyson said, and I have an MBA form UMASS.

  • USMCSniper

    Facts that these tribalist race baiters refuse to acknowledge:

    Every single Black person living in the Western Hemisphere today would not even exist numerically today anywhere had there ancestors not come over from Africa in the 1700's to early 1800's. It does not matter how for these blacks got here or that were brought as slaves. By the way, that was the only method of emmigration of blacks from Africa. The average life expectancy of Blacks in Africa from earliest times to about the early 1900's was in the mid twenties to very early thirties at most,with 75%+ infant mortality death rate at birth. This does not even take into account the massive famines, massive outbreaks of deceases likeebola, and massive black on black tribal wars that wiped out large segments of regional populations. The average life expectancy of blacks in America even during the periods of slavery was thrice that of any black in Africa and the infant mortality rate a tenth or less, no massive famines and no ebola type plagues, and no tribal warefare with mass slaughters like in Africa.

    Bottom line is that it would not be possible (statiscally) for a single Black person in the Western Hemisphere to be alive today that is to exist at all anywhere in the world unless their ancestors migrated to America. By the way since there was no emigration other than slavery for Blacks. So if you are black, the fact you are alive at all, have every opportunity in the world to achieve any goal you set is something that you should be grateful to history for. As for reparations, there are no slaves alive today, and over 98% of Americans came to America long after slavery was abolished. Blacks living today are not owed anything by their fellow Americans, not even the time of day. However, the Black Community owes the rest of America alot, as American Blacks, even the poorest, are infinitely better off than any Black living in squalor in Africa. By the way, the average life expectancy in all African Countries for Blacks even today is still only between 32 years and 39 years of age. Look it up.

    • Peyso

      Let it be known that the life expectancy of the New England States in the mid to late 1800s was 35 years old. It was much lower in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern States where malaria, small pox and yellow fever often broke out. Most contemporary historians argue that between 10 and 12million Africans were enslaved and shipped out of Africa. It is commonly accepted that 1 in 8 people who were shipped across the Atlantic died in transit. So if I am interpreting correctly, you are arguing that an increase in life expectancy of 5 years is worth 1 million lives?

      Also, you write "This does not even take into account the massive famines, massive outbreaks of deceases likeebola, and massive black on black tribal wars that wiped out large segments of regional populations." If these events took place as frequently as you make it seem, then they are considered when calculating a life expectancy.

      Also, you misunderstand the nature of African warfare which was much less brutal than American/European wars.

      You wrote "Bottom line is that it would not be possible (statiscally) for a single Black person in the Western Hemisphere to be alive today that is to exist at all anywhere in the world unless their ancestors migrated to America. By the way since there was no emigration other than slavery for Blacks." Did you forget about immigration from African countries in contemporary times?

      "So if you are black, the fact you are alive at all, have every opportunity in the world to achieve any goal you set is something that you should be grateful to history for." – So we're also going to forget Jim Crow laws, the unlawful persecution of blacks in the American south and the more subtle forms that plagued our society throughout the 1900s and even today?

      You act like you have facts when in fact you made no real analysis of what you read. You really should be ashamed of yourself

  • damianmcglynn

    how can you not lead the list with Cornell West!

  • cjkcjk

    Well here's the sad reality; If I were deathly sick or in need of a good lawyer, there's no way I would trust a black person for his services in such serious circumstances. Am I a racist? I sure don't feel like I am, but such are the after effects of affirmative action, so am I to blame? This is real sad because I know that there are indeed many excellent black people working in all fields, but their excellence is under a cloud. Before you write me off as a racist, think deeply how you would react if you were being wheeled into the emergency room with a choice between a white doctor or a black doctor. The evil thing is that the black doctor may be the right choice, but I'm betting most people wouldn't want to find out.

    • Peyso

      This is racist by definition. Racism doesnt mean that you walk around calling black people foul names. Racism is often so deeply engraved into our communities that it shows itself only in our subconscious and makes you choose a white doctor over a doctor over another race for no real reason.`

  • lynn1961

    It is so very sad to read the racist rhetoric of individuals that seemingly live in the mountains of anywhere U.S. You all make me sad to call myself an American.

  • cjkcjk

    It's sad to see people like you who bury their heads in the sand because they call anything that does'nt fit their politically correct freak world racist. I would bet that in reality you're probably far more racist than the people you call racist.

  • cjkcjk

    How about addressing the valid point I just made instead? That would be far too much to expect from a knee-jerk idiot though.

  • ConservativeFire

    Michael Eric Dyson is, well, a pseudo-intellectual idiot. He simply spouts the same undocumented, hackneyed, and illiterate talking points of the black Left with lightening speed and with esoteric vocabulary to give the appearance of intelligence.

    I have listened to Dyson for a while — mostly for the purpose of having a good laugh — and there is absolutely nothing that the man says that causes one to say, "Hmm, that's a pretty insightful analysis," like one can when reading other leading intellectuals on the Left. I have never heard him make a point that requires a superior intellect to formulate.

    Thomas Sowell in his comments on writing in general said something profound that pretty much sums up pseudo-intellectuals like Dyson:

    "If academic writings were difficult because of the deep thoughts involved, that might be understandable, even if frustrating. Seldom is that the case, however. Jaw-breaking words often cover up very sloppy thinking."

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  • Bowman

    I've listened closely to Dyson, his skill is in talking around issues and never actually taking any positions. He markets himself to the young hip hop crowd and is more concerned with being popular than in any true academic pursuit. BTW He's a PhD in religion and should not be teaching or representing himself as a Sociologist. That is a hoax.

  • cactuswolf

    In the words of Dennis Prager, who, at the time was admittedly quoting someone else, “Do not confuse celebrity with significance.” This is one of my favorite quotes; and even though I don’t know its author (anybody know?) it fits this situation and many others.