“What Black People Really Want Is An Apology from Jonathan Capehart” by Kofi Changamire
When Native Black Americans talk about a lack of representation in media, we are not talking about a lack of Jonathan Capehart’s. We are referencing the lack of focus on black issues and a black agenda. Hiring black pundits does no good unless they advocate for reflect and voice concerns of the greater black society. The problem with making complexion and not lineage and party affiliation and not perspective part of the criterion for hiring Black reporters is that often you get black faces regurgitating white talking points. Such is the case of Jonathan Capehart, whose opinions and the sentiments of white racist are too often aligned.
In Jonathan’s most recent fluff piece “No reparations check of any amount could substitute for an apology” He said that a check and other forms of redress can be debated but an apology cannot. He offered the depraved suggestion that “At bottom, I bet you an apology is what African Americans want most. An acknowledgment of the pain and suffering, an expression of sorrow for the mistreatment and degradation, and an “I’m sorry” for the abasement of our ancestors and the disrespect (still) endured by their descendants. No check of any amount could substitute the priceless psychological benefit of a simple and sincere apology[i]”. No Jonathan, we want reparations and that includes cash payments. If our representatives want to show that they are sorry about what happened to our people then they would work on getting those checks. And for the record Jonathan, you do not speak for us, specifically those of us who’s lineage precedes the founding of this country, those of us who descended from victims of chattel slavery, we reject not only what you have written, but also what you write in the future as you have proven yourself incapable of speaking for us or speaking to our interest.
“support the continued oppression of Black Americans #ADOS? That appears to be the sole purpose of this opinion piece. We demand an explanation.” 15 Aug 2019 @princss6
Jonathan has a history of highlighting the issues of other groups while minimizing issues affecting black people. When it came to victims of mass killings, he didn’t suggest Congress give an apology, he advocated for stronger gun laws even suggesting that states fly their flags half staff until congress acted[ii]. When it came to discussing the “income inequality” of LGBT couples, Jonathan did not mention an apology, he talked about changing laws and brought up statistics from different studies to prove his point[iii]. So why minimize the effects of 400 years of chattel slavery sharecropping, convict leasing, by saying all we want is an apology. The assumption is that Jonathan is the latest in a long line of boot-licks auditioning for a spot in someone’s presidential campaign. Some also suggest that his true goal is endearment to white society.
“No, we want to close the lineage wealth gap. How many black people do you speak to and are they #ADOS because I think you have bad information…run a poll then run us our reparations! #ADOSReparations #ADOSPolitics” 15 Aug 2019 @princss6
It is important to note that Capehart has a history of saying things that are harmful to black politics and black society. In 2015 during the height of the Nationwide protest over unarmed black people getting killed by police, Jonathan wrote a story that defended Darren Wilson the officer who killed Mike Brown. In his article “Hands Up Don’t Shoot was a lie”, he writes “Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown[iv]”. He wrote this article while the family of Mike Brown was still mourning but he did not care. He wanted Black folks to stop protesting for Mike Brown, a young man that he felt was undeserving. Despite the evidence Capehart came to his own conclusions on the shooting and on the character of Mike Brown. He argued “we must never allow ourselves to march under the banner of a false narrative on behalf of someone who would otherwise offend our sense of right and wrong.” I personally find judging a teenager, that you have never met, based on one incident as a person with bad character, undeserving of protest, repulsive, but there is nothing that Jonathan won’t say to protect the system of white supremacy including disparaging the victims for which he should apologize.
Jonathan will do just about anything to further the agenda of the Democratic Party; he even uses his family as political props. As he writes in his piece “What I learned about the Democrats at a family barbecue in North Carolina” He conducts a sort of survey asking close family and friends who they would vote for. Not surprisingly his relatives share his view “I’m not concerned about color. I’m not worried about [the nominee being a woman,” she said. “My concern is for the country.” She and others want a fighter, someone to take on Trump, who they all think is ruining the nation.” This article espouses Jonathan’s overall perspective and the agenda of white liberals, which is to get black voters to support the democratic nominee no matter what they refuse to do for black people or how much damage they have caused to black society. At the end of the article he promises “My 26 relatives want to win. While they love Biden (or whoever their first choice is), they will vote for the Democratic presidential nominee next November, thus making them part of the growing “vote blue no matter who” chorus among the Democratic Party faithful[v].” A poll of your family members does not represent the sentiments of black society, we are voting for an agenda this time around just so you know.
Joe Biden or Jim Crow Joe as some call him, seems to be the favorite candidate of Jonathan Capehart. When he writes about Biden he doesn’t minimize his racism, he outright ignores it. In an article titled “There are more important things to worry about than Biden’s gaffes” he writes “So, you focus on Biden’s mouth marbles, and I’ll keep my eyes on the prize[vi]. The prize being the eviction of Trump from the White House”. He attributes Biden’s history of saying racist things and then putting action behind it as slip ups. He writes “Former vice president Joe Biden delivered a powerhouse speech on Wednesday that rebuked President Trump in no uncertain terms and rhetorically fought for “the soul of America.” By doing so, the 2020 Democratic front-runner reminded us of who we are as a nation.[vii]” No Jonathan, that speech didn’t remind us of who we are as a nation, but when he called Cory Booker “Boy”, that did.
Joe Biden isn’t the only racist person that Jonathan has an affinity for, in his podcast “How segregationist George Wallace became a model for racial reconciliation: ‘Voices of the Movement’ Episode 6” He suggest George Wallace grew out of being a racist because he “publicly renouncing racism, personally asking black leaders for forgiveness. As governor, he appointed a record number of African Americans to state positions. Wallace even crowned the first black homecoming queen at the University of Alabama.[viii]” All of this ignored the brutal history of Jim Crow of which George Wallace was an enforcer of and said its ok because you asked for forgiveness and crowned a homecoming queen? This at the core is who Jonathan Capehart is, an apologist for the most vile Jim Crow era racist.
As to whether Jonathan thinks black people should prioritize a black agenda when deciding who to vote for in 2020 he states “ President Trump is such a threat to the rule of law, American democracy and the liberal world order that the United States spent more than 70 years building and helping to maintain that nothing matters more than making him a one-term occupant. Thus, who cares if the eventual nominee isn’t your `one.[ix]” The fact that he encourages black people to vote against our own interest, his lifelong career as an apologist for unapologetic racist and his suggestion that we accept an apology as payment for 400 years of systematic oppression, deems Capehart a pariah of black society, one who must be relegated to the realm of irrelevance.
[viii] “How segregationist George Wallace became a model for racial reconciliation: ‘Voices of the Movement’ Episode 6” Jonathan Capehart Podcast May 16, 2019