|"His coming is resented as impudence"|
In some shape and form, America has always been very comfortable with this caricatured image of Black America. These characters never pose a threat to the status quo in our society -- on the contrary, they are reassuring to popular and dearly held stereotype beliefs.
As such, clowning can be a well paid occupation: Toms spewing black-on-black hatred can get radio talk shows ( or Supreme Court position); bling-blingers can get reality shows; booty shakers can get record deals; court jesters can get sitcoms; buffoons can get sports apparel endorsement deals and the list goes on...
The Archie Bunkers of America need these characters to confirm their mythical sense of superiority. An exercise of watching the local evening news is an act of reaffirmation:
"Look Edith, those monkeys are at it again. Look at them robbing, stealing, killing and just acting a fool. I told you that is their nature."
Those comments aren't stating with scorn. Those comments are uttered to justify their calcified racist views. They are comforting observations that signal: "My tribe is the superior tribe."
So, who gets the unfettered wrath of America...I let my brother Frederick Douglass tell ya:
“Though the 'colored man' is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. ..In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress.
If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence.
In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”
—Federick Douglass, Sept. 25, 1883