Archive for the ‘tiger woods’ tag
If you don’t know by now, ESPN analysis Rob Parker was suspended this past week — and rightly so — because of the comments he made about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. Here is a video of Parker’s odious remarks:
Now, watching this, several questions immediately surface. First, as one of the other announcers wondered: Why was Parker even asking the question about whether RG3 was a “brother” or a “cornball brother.” What difference does it make? Would Parker be less of a fan if it was, in fact, the case that Griffin was a “cornball brother” — I understand that to mean a black guy who is not authentically black, whatever that means.
Examples here would be Tiger Woods or TV‘s Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Parker raised this particular concern based only on these two assumptions: that Griffin might be a Republican and that he has a white girlfriend. Parker also said that the braids in Griffin’s hair were a plus in his book toward authenticating his blackness. Braids. Really? Parker does realize that white guys are perfectly able to don braids themselves. Does this make white people who have braids black poseurs? What about Adam Duritz (pictured at right)? I’m pretty sure Duritz would scoff at being called a black poseur.
Second, what the hell is “the cause? And is it asking too much of a 22-year-old freshman quarterback to even have a “cause?” In any case, I agree with Stephen A. Smith, another black analyst on the show who, after Parker’s nonsensical and borderline racist comments, said he was uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation:
First of all, let me say this: I’m uncomfortable with where we just went. RG3, the ethnicity or the color of his fiancee is none of our business, it’s irrelevant, he can live his life in whatever way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that’s his business, that’s his life, he can live his life. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kinds of things. I just don’t do that. I’m not that kind of guy.
In fact, Griffin’s actual comments on race, to which Parker was referring, actually sound more intelligent and grown up than Parker’s. Here is Griffin:
For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I strive to go out and do. I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.
James McPherson had a good article on his blog about President Barack Obama’s move to boost Mexican border security and to spend $700 million to assist Mexican officials in buying surveillance aircraft and equipment, noting:
Mexico is the third-leading provider of imported oil for the United States, but the leading provider of illegal drugs. Oil companies tend to be much more refined than drug cartels in their use of violence, and to have bigger U.S.-backed armies, so in Mexico it’s the drugs, not the oil, fueling the war.
In return, Americans provide the money and the guns to keep the war going–pretty much as we do in the rest of the world, though in this case it’s not through major corporations with the endorsement of the U.S. government. Of course at the government level we are still continuing a failed decades-long “war on drugs” policy instead of taking the simpler, cheaper route of drug legalization.
As I noted in a comment on his site, for some reason, I have an intense interest in the debate about illegal immigration. As I said on McPherson’s site, I don’t think these people are getting a fair shake, and here’s why.
If one traces history through the generations (at least in America), one finds instance upon instance of a new segment of population being introduced into the ”host” country, and then, out of fear or racism by the current inhabitants, the new group is mistreated, disenfranchised, enslaved, uprooted from their homes or sold as chattel, along with other numerous other dehumanizing actions. Then, perhaps after years or generations of struggle and oppression, on one fine, sunny day, the pervailing populous allows the oppressed to stand beside them as equals.
I’m a white guy, obviously, with mostly white family and friends, but for some reason, this is an issue about which I’m quite passionate. Perhaps it partly stems from my time living in a county highly populated by Hispanics, one in which there seems to be clear racial profiling going on among the backward-thinking law enforcement. If folks in America had any clue (and I admit I don’t) what it might be like to be a 5-year-old kid in Mexico to get one toy, just one, not $300 worth of toys, under the tree for Christmas or to grow up your entire life in abject poverty under a government that has proven to be impotent at sustaining its own people, they would speak a different tune. I obviously had no such experience as a child. Though raised of modest means, my level of privilege lapsed many kids living in Mexico many times over. Yet, the ability to emphathize, even among people who grew up with less than I did, seems to be lost on many Americans today.
The argument, and quite passionately, will surely come that these folks are draining the system or illegals that do make it to this country are taking jobs away from legal Americans. But of what consequence is this argument? Either the legal Americans aren’t applying for the same jobs, or they are less qualified. If the best people get the jobs, for we can only assume they do, (Why would employers want incompetent people working for them?) and the best person in some job vacancy happens to be of brown skin, so be it. This argument falls flat.
Crime is another argument that frequently comes from those who are fed up with the illegal immigration (or even legal immigration) problem. One, all people, no matter race, commit violent crimes. Illegals commit violent crimes and so do white and black folks. Here’s one link, and here’s another. Gleam from them what you will. I, personally, believe those who commit crimes don’t just belong to a particular race. To think otherwise would be racism. I need only to name Charles Manson, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Stalin and Robert Mugabe to give a smorgasbord of people who have, in their own way, wreaked havoc on humanity (and this is a very short list).
The fear of how immigrants might alter America as we know it is irrational and has been proven time and time again to be a moot point. From what I can tell, immigrants have altered this country for the better, for without them, in America there would ultimately be no Michael Jordan, no Michael Jackson, no Tiger Woods, no Frederick Douglas, no W.E.B. DuBois, no Jesse Jack, no Kobe Bryant, no Harriet Tubman, no Abraham Lincoln, no John Lennon, no Barack Obama. Thus, in the 21st century, where we have an international space station, where we can scope out many parts of the universe and spot galaxies light years away, where we can intelligently talk about gamma ray bursts and black holes and the beginning of life itself, racism has no place, and it must be crushed.
We have huge problems to tackle with regard to the national and world economy, and racism should have been dealt the death blow years ago, but by the will of ignorance and fear, it persists. If this doesn’t sadden you, something warm has hardened.
I was listening to the Arnie Spanier show some tonight, and as he must have 75 percent of the three-hour show talking about it, he was seemingly fixated on the 10-year anniversary marking Michael Jordan’s retirement from basketball. He enumerated some sports figures, with Jordan topping the list, who had transcended their sports and who have become worldwide figures. From what I could gather, his list ran thusly:
- Michael Jordan
- Muhammad Ali
- Jack Nicholson
- (Honorable mentions: Jim Brown and Tiger Woods)
He also mentioned Wayne Gretsky, O.J. Simpson and a few others as possible candidates (some at the suggestion of call-ins).
I think Jordan is unquestionably the leader, but when talking about names who would be recognized all over the world and who transcend their sports, I think guys Hulk Hogan, O.J. Simpson, Pete Rose, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Dale Earnhardt and Hank Aaron should probably be in the discussion as well, though no name one could mention would approach Jordan’s influence, perhaps with the exception of Robinson. Of course, when placing Jordan in this position, one must limit oneself to modern times, say, the past 50 years or so. Going back any further, of course, we can name those pioneers in the negro leagues, Pele and others.
In the modern era, I can think of none other than the aforementioned. If anyone has ideas for more candidates who would fall into this category, feel free to comment and let us know …