Wed, 9 December 2015
Dyson's “Yes She Can” Is A Lazy, Shameless Official Spokesnegro Audition Tape
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon
Michael Eric Dyson's shamelessly lazy and hazy 6600 word pro-Hillary Clinton screed titled “Yes She Can” passed without much notice in black America last week. That's chiefly because everybody knows Michael isn't even talking to us. He has to talk about us at some length of course, but he's mainly talking to his prospective employers, the folks he wants to be his new bosses.
If Dyson were actually speaking to black America, a “Yes She Can” piece would bear the insupportable burden of explaining to black folks just what good Hillary can or is likely to do, and why she deserves black support. Dyson knows better than to tackle that kind of heavy lifting this early in the game, before his own status is secured, and before the choice is narrowed down to Hillary and some Republican.
“Yes She Can” is the latest in the long running series of Michael Eric Dyson audition tapes for one of the Official Spokesnegro spots that open up on MSNBC and similar places with every Democratic administration. Michael didn't make the final cut for the Obama era, but is making a strong bid in what he hopes will be the administration of Hillary Clinton.
In the tradition of lazy employees with lazy bosses, Dyson demonstrates his loyalty by not contradicting or criticizing his prospective boss in any way, and telling the new bosses exactly what Dyson imagines they want to hear.
Thus he begins by pronouncing the Obama presidency one of the most consequential of all time, but again, without the bother of explaini
ng how or why. Next Dyson absolves Hillary from any racial sin, deeming her problems all in the eyes of beholders, mere perception. After that he affirms the new boss's outdated wisdom that preachers are after all, the real leaders of black America, and plays his own preacher card to affirm insider status in that charmed circle. According to Dyson, black preachers up to and including Rev. Jesse L. Jackson himself have forgiven Hillary's offenses, real and imagined, and with her ghetto pass thus properly stamped, she's good to go.
Finally he has a few noncommittal words to say about #BlackLivesMatter, nothing hostile or dismissive, and praises Hillary's own rapproachment with its leaders and spokespeople.
All in all “Yes She Can” is a classic performance. It insults nobody, it tells no new truths, it pretends to be reportage and bigs up the narrator and most importantly of all, it butters up the prospective bosses by telling them what they think they know already as if it's newly discovered truth.
Bill Clinton, Dyson says, gave black America “bad policy” and Barack Obama “no policy”. So it stands to reason, or whatever rules Dyson's world that Hillary will give black people “good policy”.
No wonder “Yes She Can” was barely noticed by black people. He wouldn't dare tell us nonsense like that. Everybody knows Michael is talking to his next set of bosses. We wish him good luck on his job interview.
For Black Agenda Radio I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a Chicagoan now living in exile near Marietta GA. He's a member of the state committee of the GA Green Party and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.