Can you see my nose job? Isnt it awesome?

Can you see my nose job? Isn't it awesome?

So last week, I ripped the lower class a new asshole for their multitude of failings. This week, it’s your turn, “Our Kind of People.” And it’s long since past time someone took you all to task. Let’s face it, you people are insufferable. I say this with love, because while I may not be a “de facto” part of you all’s little thing, to some degree, our fates are intertwined, so if this makes you upset, think about it as me looking out for our own interests. Tough love if you will. Now, I was never a member of J&J, never pledged a frat, have never received an invite from the Boule. So I can maybe look at some of you all’s behavior from an outsider’s perspective. But I have lived in your cities, gone to your schools, and maybe diddled your women a little bit, so I’m close enough that this isn’t just someone throwing rocks from afar. Here’s why you suck:

1. You’re really not that elite. Many of you spend far too much of your time trying to one-up people that look like you but aren’t you. You pull out your fancy awards, memberships, and degrees, and somehow believe this makes you better than everyone else. Worse than that, many of you have nothing to recommend you other than lineage. Seriously, I’m supposed to give you props because your great grandfather was the first black dentist in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina? In the same breath, you people try to use these pitiful self-aggrandizing odes to look down on blacks who made it via hard work. I remember when Lawrence Otis Graham, your doucebag king, was putting together his list of the “Black families that matter”, he was so proud to exclude Jay-Z.

“People like Oprah and Bill Cosby shouldn’t be compared to Jay-Z and Beyonce,” Graham said. “While all the people on the list will be millionaires and billionaires, it is also about where did you go to school? Who are you married to? What med school did your granddaddy go to?”

Hmm. Jay’s worth $400 Million. How much are you worth, nose job? When Forest City Ratner wanted to redevelop Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, who did he go to as the public face to appease the black community in Brooklyn? Who owns an ownership stake in the Nets (albeit less than 1%). Here’s a hint: It ain’t Lawrence Otis Graham. But if it makes you feel better to try and socially stratify yourself as better than someone more powerful than you because your great granddaddy was lucky enough to go to college, knock yourself out. And this isn’t just limited to LOG. Many of you people really aren’t elite period. It’s not just that you’re not better than Jay-Z, you’re not any better than some fresh off the boat Ghanaian going to school here. That dude probably speaks three languages and his been all around the world. The best you’ve done is go to N’awlins for Essence Fest. Check out this article in the Root to get a sense of how much better people with far meaner backgrounds are doing than you all. And your English isn’t all that good. One of my friends was the one of the first black partners at Goldman. His family’s African, and he would have nothing to do with the lot of you just as you probably would have nothing to do with him.

Jide > You all

2. You’re worthless to anyone other than yourselves. While many of you bask in the gory of being the “only ones”, meaning the only black at your firm, school, country club, etc., you really do next to nothing to open up these opportunities for other. You’re fine being the taken as long as it benefits you and keeps you getting glorified at the next Bougie Black chapter meeting. When’s the last time you actively mentored a promising inner-city kid? Or made a donation to buy books for an underfunded black school. Or took some time to teach single-mother raised boys how to tie a tie and dress for an interview? I’ll wait. But you’re the same people who scoff and guffaw at T-Pain buying the “big ass chain” while lamenting what he could do for the community.

Have we sent them n****s back into slavery yet? No but were close. Awards show is coming up Excellent!

"Have we sent them n****s back into slavery yet?" "No but we're close. Awards show is coming up" "Excellent!"

3. You take yourselves way too seriously. Unfortunately, no one else does. It’s great that you have your facebook group claiming tobe the HBCU Ivy League. But outside of a couple schools on that list, ask anyone from the real Ivy League and see what they have to say about that. Ask the Indians and Chinese who are mollywhomping you in terms of wealth creation and career achievement. I mean it may feel good to look down on someone cause they went to Morgan State, but in the places where decisions are actually being made, no one really takes it that seriously.

Femi Otadola, who knocked Bob Johnson off the Billionaires list

Femi Otedola, who knocked Bob Johnson off the Billionaires list

4. The rest of the world has passed you by. Sorry, guys, you’re the fax machine in an email world. There was a time in which, yes, you did need to get on board with you all’s agenda to get anywhere in life as a black person. But praise Oliver, that time is gone. Two words: Barack Obama. Who is the poster child for the tupe of guy you don’t consider one of your own until they get somewhere. Now you’re mad cause Michelle hasn’t reached out to the upper crust black community in DC. That’s cause y’all wouldn’t have been reaching out to her had she not made FLOTUS. I picked up the example of Jide and Jay-Z earlier. The fact is, what you all offer is growing remarkably irrelevant. I don’t need an introduction or a cosign from any of you to talk to top level bankers, developers, and financiers. I’ve made those connections completely without your help. Matter of fact, those guys? They don’t even know you. They’ve never heard of you. And in the few instances where I’ve tried to go to you for support, for the most part, I’ve had to put up with your self-importance and you thinking I owe you something. And you usually don’t know anyone above VP level anyway. Because that’s your lane. Middle of the road, not Master of the Universe. In all seriousness, hanging around with you all for too long would only make a promising person more risk-averse and less able to get out and get it.

Now this isn’t a characterization of all of your kind of people. Just some If this one stung, well, you know, A Hit Dog Hollers. What do y’all think? Bougies and non-bougies alike.

  1. TheSweetestThing says:

    “While many of you bask in the gory of being the “only ones”, meaning the only black at your firm, school, country club, etc., you really do next to nothing to open up these opportunities for other”

    So very true, & my pet peeve. Why can’t we stick together, ever?

  2. Tara says:

    * Clap clap* Well said, Brandon. Have a great 4th of July weekend!

  3. J Pierpont says:


  4. R.A. says:

    “you’re the fax machine in an email world.”

    That says it all.

  5. Cori says:

    It’s not a matter of the black elite waking up – they know what they are, and what they are about, and their judgment of people is theirs – doesn’t impact the people they judge, or their success, one iota.

    I’m not saying I agree with it, I’m just giving you the other side. Back in the day W.E.B Dubois heralded this same mentality, it was the “better” negroes vs. the “regular” ones. AA’s have long sought to distinguish themselves within in their own race because of this mentality and I daresay we’ve ever really let it go. That thinking goes far beyond new vs old or elite, I see it with everyday folks unconciously putting themselves in other classes.

    At what point someone got their money is of little concern to me when choosing how to treat people or who is of value. I find that behavior esp. ironic coming from AA who in most cases can trace their wealth (lived lifestyle, not simply genetics) back no more than a dozen generations AT BEST, while their white and in many cases Asian counterparts can go much farther. I’m also being exceedingly generous when I say a dozen generations with some families.

    Also, with the decline of US capitalism and the increasing rise of other global players, american sub-groups like the black elite will become more and more irrelevant for those really trying to make moves. Some people will always need constant social validation of status though..

    I’ve witnessed this since I was a child and can honestly say the black elites are not TRUE movers and shakers. Do they mix and mingle with wealthy investors that are high level in hedge funds or powerful elites like the Rockerfellers, Vanderbilts, Presidents, Prime ministers or high powered officials from other powerful countries etc? Not really! I’d prefer to expand my horizon than limit myself to a group of people that aren’t even all that powerful.

    Frankly, I’d rather have the money and power that Oprah has. People all over the world listen to her and she is also highly respected, she knows presidents from other countries and moves with the real movers and shakers. Policies get changed because she airs it on her show etc. In my opinion she’s what I’d consider a real elite, she’s someone greater than just a small social group. I think people should aspire to be more like her (in terms of success) than trying to get into a club where they’re not wanted.

    • miss kate says:

      late to the party, (ok, real HELLA late) but this is a peeve:

      @cori: Back in the day W.E.B Dubois heralded this same mentality, it was the “better” negroes vs. the “regular” ones.

      No and no. Du Bois’s “Talented Tenth” ideology was not about “better” vs. “regular”. It was about “better” HELPING “regular”, leading by example to both black and white, and paving the way for “regular” to get ahead.

      Also, please note this was an idea that he pretty much rejected, not long after espousing it, as unrealistic and woefully elitist. While it didn’t have the intent of being separatist, he realized separatism would be inevitable with such a characterization.

      Carry on!

      *back to lurkerdom*

  6. ebwriter says:

    Wow! Great Post! I agree with a lot of your points. You speak the truth!

  7. lola gets says:

    I know Im really late with this comment, but I just had to say something. As a third-generation J&Jer (and other orgs too, but Im not putting all that business out there, lol), I think that pre-FLOTUS Michelle Obama would have been accepted by the Black elite. Not based on her upbringing (but seriously, given all of her accomplishments, it seems that someone in her family had some sense, no matter what economic scale they were on), but due to her education and accomplishments. Now, would she have wanted to belong, I cant say. But even though Michelle is younger than my mother, she reminds me of my mother and other women of her generation, and if they can belong, so could she.


    • You said “Not based on her upbringing.” But I mean, isn’t that how J & J chooses who they associate with? Sh wouldn’t have gotten to the ivy league by the time Jack & Jill was choosing, soooooooo….I’m gonna call bullshit. The even more relevant part, of course, is that the “black elite” thinks it’s in a position to “accept” or “deny” people. What B & O have really blown the lid off, is the fact that their acceptance is totally unnecessary to one’s future success. She got into Princeton without them got into HLS without them, and rolled on to the White House without them. They certainly wouldn’t have accepted Barack with his white mama and African father.

  8. […] a piece a while back about Class warfare. Two pieces actually. Our Kind of people vs. You all and Why everyone hates the black elite The first is probably more germane to the topic of hand as I explained why uppity blacks hate it […]

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