House Negro (also House Nigger) is a pejorative term for a black person, used to compare someone to a house slave of a slave owner from the historic period of legal slavery in the US. The term comes from a 1963 speech, "Message to the Grass Roots", given by African American activist Malcolm X, wherein he explains that during slavery, there were two kinds of slaves: "house Negroes", who worked in the master's house, and "field Negroes", who performed manual labor outside.
He characterizes the house Negro as having an easier lifestyle than the field Negro, and thus as unwilling to leave the plantation and more likely to support existing power structures that favor whites over blacks. Malcolm X identified with the field Negro, who worked outside and faced harsher conditions and . The field Negro, he said, was more likely to revolt against repressive conditions and owners.
The terms have been borrowed to critique individuals and attitudes within the African American community as well as parallel situations unrelated to race. (Wikipedia)
A "rogues gallery" of some of the current high profile "House Negros":
Are they politically shrewd, self serving opportunists, window dressing hacks, a bunch of "Uncle Tom" sell-outs, or are they hopelessly and irrevocably confused?