Apparently, there is a 'superstar' cardinal in the running to become the next Pope. His name is Cardinal Peter Turkson. And since there is a sizeable Progressive black American contingent here still doing some thinking about such things, he represents the next Head Negro In Charge. But like many other black heroes, he is a hero not because he has done anything in particular, but that generally speaking, he's the boss over white people. There has been a running joke and brag that is somewhere between 30 and 500 years old about who white people's 'worst nightmare' is. You may recognize "He's *your* President" as another variation of this joke.
In order to pin an intellectual handle on this concept, I'm going to overload the previous handle of 'The Tibbs Threshold'. You see, there is this famous American movie set in the Jim Crow South, or perhaps just after the beginning of its decline, starring Sidney Poitier - a gentleman of distinction of the sort you only seem to get in James Bond movies today. And Poitier represents Authority and in the process of solving a homicide becomes all sorts of white people's worst nightmare.. etc. Once I invented a concept called the Tibbs Threshold - which was necessary for me while I engaged the dubious occupation of amateur race man. The idea of the Tibbs Threshold is that some white people will insult black men without recognizing that he might have sensibilities developed enough to be insulted. This is essentially how I feel any time someone tries to give me a pound. I don't do dap, and I don't like being called by my first name. "But I thought you were a revolutionary brother, down with the post-colonial struggle." No.
At any rate, the significance of any Tibbs figure, be he Barack Obama, Derrick Bell, Thabo Mbeki or Reginald Lewis is that he is a sort of unimpeachable source of black power and is a real authority over matters for which black Americans have been underrepresented, ignored or barred. And of course there are always efforts to associate this man with the people. Now of course this doesn't always work. Lots of these would-be role models, heroes and power proxies aren't actually capable or even interested in becoming a champion of the common man. But by definition, that is what a clergyman is supposed to be all about. The leader of the Catholic Church must certainly be about that - so the probability that Turkson would be for the people is relatively high.
But who are Turkson's people? There is where the racial expectations of black Americans are likely to be dashed, raising all kinds of interesting questions back and forth. And that's about all I'm ready to speculate about at this point.