Nietzsche warns us that it’s painful to discover you’ve become the monster you thought you were battling. But what certainly hurts worse is when, having become a monster, the other monsters won’t even let you into their dark and secret hideouts. As wealthy and powerful as Simmons has become while playing by America’s rules, there are still golf clubs where he can’t be a member, and still prominent white politicians who wouldn’t think twice about calling him “brotha” or telling him “you be da man.” There are even still many people who would be upset if their daughter brought him home. There’s a notorious and easily modified black joke that goes, “What do you call a black billionaire (or lawyer or doctor)?” The answer: “A nigger.” That one’s always been particularly ugly to me for its honesty.
Oh, I enjoyed this stream of consciousness. What does society say to a black (or minority) millionaire? Can this revolution start with a wealthy individual, let alone a minority millionaire? I bet these questions don’t keep #OccupyWallStreet up at night, and that’s kind of a shame.