Date: Friday, August 16, 2002 8:43 AM
From: A.D. Powell
Subject: “The Human Stain” promotes “One Drop”
Another “one drop” assault is about to descend upon us with the 2003 release of the film version of Philip Roth’s racist novel, The Human Stain. Despite what liberals and “black” elites tell us about “race” only being a social construct as far as they are concerned, the following reviews make it clear that the mixed-white protagonist of Roth’s novel is not the victim of a social construct. The reader is told to believe that he is BLACK despite his “white, Caucasian, European” phenotype. The reader is told he is AFRICAN-AMERICAN in ethnicity and his 50 years of white identity were only a “racial subterfuge.” Despite the claims by black-identified apologists for the “one drop” myth that calling a predominately European person “black” is no stigma, the reviews are very open in calling the protagonist’s unadvertised mixed ancestry “a terrible secret.” If the small amount of “black” ancestry isn’t “inferior,” how can the “secret” be “terrible”? If it isn’t “inferior,” how can a man who’s “white” in both phenotype and culture be “black”? Note that Philip Roth, who gained fame as a self-hating Jew because of other novels he’s written, such as Portnoy’s Complaint, accuses his protagonist, “Coleman Silk,” of “passing himself off” as Jewish. Since Silk’s wife and children are Jewish, what’s so strange about that? Assimilation has made the definition of “Jew” questionable, anyway. Even Israel has trouble defining a “Jew.” If Silk were a pure “Aryan,” would Roth consider it an honor or an improvement of “inferior” stock (as “black” advocates of “one drop” do when they claim non-blacks, especially those with the prized abundance of “white” ancestry)? If Silk were “Aryan,” his identification with Jews would be considered an honor and a sign of family unity. Roth is trying to blacken whites of multiracial ancestry, play the “white man” himself and hope that the audience forgets that HE belongs to the group that was victimized by the most murderous campaign of racism in the 20th century if not the history of the world. Can the Holocaust happen to true “white” people? Is Philip Roth passing as white?
This film is still in production. We must do everything we can to reveal the racist nature of this novel and film. We must hold Anthony Hopkins, who plays “Coleman Silk,” responsible for his participation in this film that advocates “white purity” and the “one drop” myth as the NON-RACIST, right way to think.
What could be more insulting than this? “Black Like Me” and “Soul Man” had plots in which so-called “pure whites” darkened their skin and hid their hair in order to pass as “black.” The Coleman Silk character, like the real life Anatole Broyard (on whom Roth claims to have based the character), is deemed by Roth to be so unworthy of his European ancestry that the phenotype those genes gave him are labeled a “racial subterfuge.” Your true skin color is, acccording to Roth’s “one drop” myth, a masquerade or subterfuge. Your “white” face is, according to him, a Halloween mask hiding some true “black” face beneath it.
Black Like Me Note: (10/22/01) As I pondered this film, it occurred to me that Hopkins bears a bit of a resemblance to John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me, as he appeared during his time disguised as an African-American (he’s white) (Black Like Me was made into a film in 1964 starring James Whitmore). There’s no direct connection between the two books, other than the racial subterfuge. Of course, if you’re going to go down that path, you could make an even stronger case for Soul Man, starring C. Thomas Howell, set at Harvard.
Based on the Philip Roth novel, the film follows Anthony Hopkins’ character, Coleman Silk, a light-skinned African-American professor who has lived his professional life under the pretense of being Jewish. When he calls some of his absent students “spooks,” he gets caught up in a racial controversy that leads to the revelation of his affair with a woman half his age, Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman). Even as he’s getting professionally and personally discredited, Silk hangs on to the secret of his race.
Variety says The Human Stain is “set against the backdrop of the 1998 Clinton impeachment scandal … (and) takes place in a small New England town. An aging classics professor is forced to retire when his colleagues label him a racist. But the charge is untrue, and it leads to dramatic revelations about the professor, kept hidden for 50 years.” The Hollywood Reporter is more explicit about the film’s sure to be controversial plot, revealing that the tale “revolves around a light-skinned black college professor (Hopkins) who spends his life passing himself off as Jewish and then becomes a victim of political correctness when he refers to absentee students as ‘spooks’ and gets labeled as a racist. Kidman will play Faunia Farley, a troubled yet fiercely independent young woman with whom the professor falls in love.”