So, as much as I love Dr. King (and as much as I dislike the Changeling), I have to concede that Russell made, at least a quarter of a point.  But if you know anything about me at all from my writing here, you'll know that I simply must nit-pick - just a little:
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama stunned many by attacking African Americans in ways that would have jeopardized the career of any white politician. He mocked blacks named “ Pookie,” “Ray-Ray,” and “Uncle Jethro” who feed their children cold Popeye’s fried chicken for breakfast, sit on the couch watching ESPN, don’t read books, let their children roam the streets, and are “ acting like boys instead of men.” 
In A Renegade History of the United States, I argue that this bashing of blacks has its roots in the assimilationist politics of the Civil Rights Movement, which required that African Americans embrace the Protestant work ethic, sexual repression, and the nuclear family—norms that had been created by white Europeans and Americans and which were alien to Africans before they were brought to America as slaves. (emphasis mine)
Now we know the first paragraph is definitely on point.  And we know that even since then, the Changeling has continued his affronts.   I even agree with his observation about the "assimilationist politics of the Civil Rights Movement" (Hell, I lived through it!).  But it is the emphasized portion of the second paragraph with which I take issue.  While those norms were in fact, created by whites, who is Russell to say that they were "alien" to Africans before they were brought to America as slaves?  How the hell does he know (sounds like more of that spoon-fed shit to me)?!  I tell you, James Baldwin was on the money when he noted:
"I have said that the Civilized have never been able to honor, recognize, or describe the Savage. Once they had decided that he was savage, there was nothing to honor, recognize or describe."
First of all, that whole "Protestant work ethic" thing is such an illusion!  Considering it wasn't whites out there doing the damned "work" that made them rich, I consider it quite a  joke.  And secondly, as for sexual repression,  well - whites always pretended like they were repressing shit, but those trips to the slave cabins in the midnight hour, or white women sneaking Black men into their beds, sure enough gave the truth to that lie.  And thirdly, as for the whole "nuclear family" thing - puleeze!  Talk about people trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse!  White folk were then, as they are now, living in big-fat-lie situations, sharing two-parent households full of abusive men, and in more cases than they care to admit - in families, with more than 2.5 children (from one father) and a damned dog!
In the summer of 1957, a Baptist preacher in the segregated South issued a series of fiery sermons denouncing the laziness, promiscuity, criminality, drunkenness, slovenliness, and ignorance of negroes. He shouted from pulpits about the difference between doing a “real job” and doing “a Negro job.” Instead of practicing the intelligent saving habits of white men, “Negroes too often buy what they want and beg for what they need.” He said that blacks were “thinking about sex” every time they walked down the street. They were too violent. They didn’t bathe properly. And their music, which was invading homes all over America, “plunges men’s minds into degrading and immoral depths." 
King recognized that black sexuality posed a special threat to his assimilationist project. “We must walk the street every day, and let people know that as we walk the street, we aren’t thinking about sex every time we turn around,” he told one audience. 
The preacher’s name was Martin Luther King, Jr.
While the snippets above may have been excerpted from a series of four "fiery sermons" Dr. King delivered at Dexter Baptist Church in 1957 ("Overcoming an Inferiority Complex"; "The Mastery of Fear"; "Factors That Determine Character"  and "Conquering Self-Centeredness") - I'm not 100% sure, because I could only find links to three of them. 

Some of the other snippets further down in Russell's piece were definitely taken out of context (for example, his, “those who are giving their lives to a tragic life of pleasure and throwing away everything they have in riotous living”).  What Dr. King said in "Conquering Self-Centeredness," was in reference to a visit he made to men on death row in Kilby prison:  "As I look at those who have lost balance of themselves and those who are giving their lives to a tragic life of pleasure and throwing away everything they have in riotous living, I find myself saying, "But by the grace of God, I too would be here."

Now I don't know, but unless Kilby was an all-Black prison, with only Black men on deathrow - I don't see what Russell's talking about.  But let's just say he did get the snippets from Dr. King's sermons - I submit that, if the blueprint upon which those snippets, and being a "good citizen," and integration itself were based  (white folks' lives!) was flawed in the first place, so then were King's observations.  And make no mistake, the blueprint was, and remains, definitely flawed as far as I can see - just like e'erybody else's.  So can we stop already with that mega-lie of "American exceptionalism?"

Oh, and I'd venture a guess (much like Russell did, but with way more context) that, rather than Dr. King recognizing "that black sexuality posed a special threat to his assimilationist project" - what he actually recognized, was how white folk's IDEAS about our sexuality posed a special threat.

Parallel:  a: extending in the same direction, everywhere equidistant, and not meeting

I moderated a conversation on race on the occasion of the Freedom Schooner Amistad's visit to Key West for Black History Month nine years ago.    During the discussion, Corey Malcolm (who'd extended the invitation to me as a result of the bi-weekly dialogues on race relations I'd been having) said quite candidly, "Despite our saying this is One Human Family here, whites and Blacks in this country still live parallel lives."  This clip (full video in sidebar) instantly reminded me of that sentiment, shared so long ago.

Seems Corey's succinct observation has been tucked away in some nether recess of my brain,  just so it could surface this Black History Month as I ruminated on things - things like that nerve of Tavis Smiley's that Viola Davis tap-danced on when she said this:
"I understand the argument with the film, to a certain extent.  And then after a certain extent, I just kinda lose it, because my whole thing is  - Do I always have to be noble?  If I always have to be noble in order for, for, the African-American community to celebrate my work, that's when I say, that you're destroying me as an artist.  That's what I'm saying. I'm saying that as an artist - you've gotta see the mess!"
Viola is, of course, right.  We have to see and face the "mess" - without having to make believe we are better than what we've been - as human beings; without having to feel that we should always be ashamed, or are less than; without always having to be perfect; and equally important - without somehow feeling that THEY don't have any mess!

Whites and Blacks do live lives that are extending in the same direction, though not everywhere equidistant, but certainly not meeting.   Yet, when you get right down to it, neither's "mess" is any better, or worse than the other.  It's ALL "mess" people!  But as long as racism remains that big ole elephant in the center of the room, guiding our every thought and action, and we keep on being bound by all that bullshit instead of being free - "never the twain shall meet."

Seems, as much as Tavis dogs the Changeling out, he is more like him than different regarding our "mess" as well.  He ended the interview replying to Viola:
"...and then, let's move on, let's tell some other stories about the character, and the complexity, and the humanity of Black people."
That's just sad to me.  Even though he gave a nod to the "domestics" in his family who made a way for him to be where he is today - it appears he missed out on their character, complexity and humanity (seeing as he'd rather "move on" from the stories of those kinds of Black people). {smdh}  As Aibileen explained to Minny in the movie, "We not doing civil rights - we just tellin' stories the way that they happened."  Tavis would do well to keep that in mind, because sanitizing our stories - just so they fit into that warped portrayal of "American exceptionalism" - is a surefire recipe for the erasure, not only of a culture, but a people.

What I do realize now though, is that Stockett wasn't really telling the story of "The Help."  She was telling the sordid stories of white folk - particularly white women - who, for all their preening, primping and bridge games, were living in their own "mess" - and taking it out on Black women who they never dreamed could, or would fight back.

While Mesdames Davis and Spencer didn't write the story, they certainly played the "stories the way that they happened" - uapologetically and without shame - and for that, I applaud them both.