January 16, 2010
By Lloyd Marcus
This topic may infuriate many of my fellow blacks. I am talking about black monolithic thinking and black racism.
Black actor Michael Clarke Duncan is probably best known for his brilliant performance in the movie The Green Mile. I watched a Steve Harvey special on BET (Black Entertainment Television). Harvey was on stage in a hall filled with a mostly black audience. He criticized Duncan for playing an ape in the 2001 Planet of the Apes movie. Harvey said that Duncan playing an ape would set blacks back many years. He said he asked Duncan, "How much are they paying you to play an ape?" The black audience enthusiastically agreed with Harvey. Harvey even said that when Duncan appeared on his radio show, several black callers pressured him to chastise Duncan for accepting the role.
Am I crazy, or is Harvey's and his audience's problem with Duncan playing an ape absurd? White and black actors played apes in the movie. Once in full ape makeup, it is impossible to distinguish who is black or white. How is Duncan harming or betraying his race?
In typical "groupthink" fashion instilled in the black community by their black liberal plantation overseers and Democrats over the years, the independent-minded black actor was expected to turn down a role in a major motion picture to appease an erroneous perception.