The issue here is not so much whether Powell and other black people, or other non-white people, or white people for that matter, do stick together and watch each other’s backs.
Macon D has heard one of our criticisms, knows that Stuff White People Do should be about stuff white people do and not stuff black/non-white people do, but he couldn’t resist talking about what black/non-white people really do later on in the same post:
On the other hand, as Chris Matthews pointed out above, the general issue of racial solidarity is “tricky.” For a variety of reasons, various groups of non-white people sometimes do stick together, and they sometimes do watch each other’s backs. But when they do so, there are good reasons, and they usually do so in very different ways from the unacknowledged forms of white solidarity.
“American” culture and society–which are actually “white” or “white-framed,” instead of just “American”–have encouraged a bleaching away of non-white traditions and ways of being that a lot of people would just as soon hang onto. So, non-white people often get together or stay together so they can do just that. At the same time, whitened American society has also pushed non-white people together in many ways, and it continues to oppress and exploit them, making it a good, realistic idea for them to watch each other’s backs.
All of which is not to say, however, that all African Americans, for instance, naturally or irrationally stick together. And it’s especially not to say that if a lot of them support a black politician, they’re doing so thoughtlessly and impulsively, merely because they’re black too.
White people like engaging in armchair anthropology.