Black Intellectuals Are Black America's Conspiracy Theorists

Our black intellectual elite has embraced a white supremacy conspiracy theory

Opinion

BLACK INTELLECTUALS ARE BLACK AMERICA’S CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Our black intellectual elite has embraced a white supremacy conspiracy theory

Adam B. Coleman

Why are people attracted to conspiracy theories? What makes them so intriguing that usually rational-minded individuals will suspend all disbelief to embrace an embellishment? For myself, it was the absence of information that made the conspiracy plausible. For a brief period of time in my 20s, I embraced 9/11 conspiracy theories. I felt that there were too many coincidences about odd events and that there were too many unanswered questions. I was certain that it was an inside job in order to kick off endless wars in the Middle East to forcibly seize oil for profit.

Today, I don’t believe in these conspiracy theories for multiple reasons. For one, I believe that most negative actions on a grand scale are not necessarily done out of malice but out of incompetence or carelessness. Just because there is a pattern does not mean that it is intentional. Even if I have unresolved questions about the pattern, this does not mean that there aren’t legitimate answers to explain it. 

The pattern aspect of this is extremely important to home in on because the human brain is designed to notice patterns and these patterns are highly salient to the mind in its information processing. However, what happens if someone presents information that is flawed in a pattern format? I believe that most people will choose to believe the pattern instead of questioning the information. This is how conspiracy theories flourish throughout our society, because once you see the pattern, it’s hard to unsee it.

The image of the conspiracy theorist staring at their bedroom wall with strings connecting one document to another is supposed to illustrate that they are using their logical brain, problem-solving by moving from facts to a pattern, but it is just as likely that they are working their way backwards, because they already have their conclusion—they’re just looking for any available links to the conclusion.

Much the same can be said for the people we hail as our intellectual black elite in academia. The people who show up on television shows and podcasts, giving the impression that they are intellectually sound by flaunting the institution they teach at or graduated from. Why would I, the average simpleton, dare to question their credentials when they’re using theoretical academic jargon? At times, it feels as though they’re intellectually bullying us, but it’s more likely that our own academic insecurity causes us to accept uncritically or to let slide whatever these people say.

Because we tend to feel insecure when someone shows up with an erudite vocabulary, we let them command the room. We stay silent as they speak for everyone else, or worse, we believe them regardless of what theories they’re pushing. Even if, instinctually, we feel that their reasoning sounds wrong, we still give them the benefit of the doubt because of their credentials.

Over the past few years, I’ve soured on being impressed simply by someone’s academic status, and now I care more about the content of their rhetoric. I’ve personally pushed back on black intellectuals’ narratives, ideas, and theoretical presumptions about reality. I’ve realized that there is a possibility of overthinking something to the point of having your theory escape reality. Many of these people have an Empire State Building-sized hubris, so once they adopt a theory, they ignore any challenging counterargument, much like the conspiracy theorists that I mentioned earlier.

The majority of our black intellectual elite has embraced the white supremacy conspiracy theory without challenge and without nuance. They’re sure there is no other explanation and they take any challenge to their conspiracy theories as evidence that you are working on behalf of the conspiracy. If you’re attempting to disprove the 9/11 conspiracy, you’re assumed to be an agent of the state. If you attempt to disprove the white supremacy conspiracy, you’re assumed to be an agent of ‘whiteness.’

The white supremacy conspiracy theory claims that everything in American society was created for the benefit of white people, and as such, any disparity between white people and minorities is due to that racist system. This conspiracy is a catch-all for any social issue, any historical event, and any negative outcome for black Americans.

The black intellectual elite are now officially the conspiracy theorists of the black community. They have the intellect to understand the complexities of social conditioning and human behavior, but they lack the willingness to accept that they might be wrong. When you spend your entire academic career believing in one particular concept, you will fight tooth and nail to ward off common-sense arguments against it. 

The black intellectual elite of the past used to be secluded in lecture halls across the country, but now the American public are their new students to indoctrinate. We are now unwilling auditors of their conspiracy theorizing, and we are aware of the elephant in the room that prevents us from pushing back—their race. If you are white and point out their flawed logic, you will be cast as a racist for challenging a black intellectual. If you are black and point out missteps in their thought process, you are accused of simping for the white man. For these black intellectuals, their race is used as a defense mechanism to protect their ego, fame, and profits.

These black elites don’t like to explain how they were able to make it to such great heights in this allegedly unfair white supremacist society. They never disclose their net worth while preaching about how they are victims. I’ve become very aware of the irony of these buttoned-up, wealthy black intellectuals telling lower class black people that because of white supremacy, they can’t do what they, the intellectuals themselves, did. Many of them wag their finger at white people as a whole as they are literally going to bed with a white person every night. They are walking contradictions because their conspiracy has no teeth—certainly white supremacy isn’t biting them. 

They are able to get away with espousing their conspiracy theory because there is a kernel of truth in it. No one could ever say that racism never existed or that the American government during part of our history didn’t have racist laws. But the trick of any conspiracy is that it is based on a truth, but one that is exaggerated to the point where it becomes untruth. Conspiracy theories overlook all the nuances of a particular situation in favor of apparent patterns. When such patterns rule, facts and nuance die.


Adam B. Coleman is the founder of Wrong Speak Publishing. He was born in Detroit and raised in a variety of states throughout America. He writes openly about his personal struggles with fatherlessness, homelessness and masculinity. He advocates for the right of all to speak freely and is attempting to change the narrative and the way we discuss narratives by being honest, humble, and resolute. His book, Black Victim To Black Victor: Identifying the ideologies, behavioral patterns and cultural norms that encourage a victimhood complex, appeared earlier this year.