On "Fox and Friends" last week, the mustachioed infotainer gave his take on Barack Obama's borrowing of his campaign chairman's words: "When I saw that they were the same words that Deval Patrick, the black guy who won as Massachusetts mayor -- as Massachusetts governor -- had used, I said to myself, it seems so premeditated. It's almost as if they went to a camp where these black geniuses got together and figured out how to beat the political system. . . . What's the other formula that they're going to use?"
Wait, are black people the new Jews? That's cool; I'm sick of running the world anyway. Damned Azeris. You know what you did.
Robinson goes on to say that this crazy stereotype, while still irksome, is better than the current stereotypes about black men. He has a point, but I'm not sure a new view of black America is what is underlying Rivera's comments. Rather, it's apparent that Rivera views capable black leaders as some sort of anomaly - "black geniuses," like there's something innate that makes them better than the rest of black America. He makes this comment because it's so unbelievable to him that black men could succeed in politics. My thought is that Rivera's really saying that Obama and Patrick didn't get to where they are by hard work, education, and ambition, but by being freaks. So it's not a new stereotype, per se - it's simply an outgrowth of the old one that puts black abilities below white abilities. Able black people must be freaks, right? Perhaps the idea that all black people have it in them to succeed if given the opportunity is one that Rivera just doesn't want to face.