A Nash'nul Conversashun 'Bout Race? O-Tay

Buckwheat and Kingfish weigh in on all the craziness.


Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Editor's Note : This little ditty that appeared on Pat Buchanan's blog on March 21, inspired The Root writer Jack White to revisit one of his favorite satirical platforms, the Home for Retired Racial Stereotypes, from which famous fictional characters of yesteryear sally forth to do battle with racial absurdity.

March 26, 2008 -- Buckwheat and I were watching the NCAA basketball tournament on the big-screen plasma TV at the Home for Retired Racial Stereotypes in Hollywood when the Kingfish rushed in, excitedly waving a newspaper.

"Holy mak'rul, Brotha Buckwheat," the famous Amos 'n' Andy character exclaimed. "I think Brotha Barack done made a mistake by callin' fer a nash'nul conversashun 'bout race. He don't know what he gettin' into!"

"Here I is!" Buckwheat squeaked in reply. Then he dropped into the deep baritone and standard English he uses when he's not playing his Our Gang character.

"Drop the Ebonics, Kingfish," he demanded. " This is such an important subject. Please explain what you mean."

"Fine with me," said the Kingfish, slipping into a basso profundo version of his voice and taking on the demeanor of a wise old college professor. "I know you admired that magnificent speech Obama made last week about the need for all Americans to examine, honestly, the racial issues that continue to divide us. Well, he urged us to start a national dialogue about race."

"What in the world could possibly be wrong with such a high-minded proposal?" Buckwheat interjected.