Columnist Rick Telander has weighed in on the goings on at All Star Weekend, after hearing about what happened (we aren't sure if he was there or not, but are sure that if he was, he didn't witness anything first hand, anyway...but, he is gonna proceed to espouse on the issues and problems in Negro America...preach on, Brother Telander, show us the light!) and reading Jason Whitlock's account of the weekend (apparantly he read the AOL account, not the KC Star offering...) he just had to let us know where he stands.
And who'd have guessed: He stands right next to Jason Whitlock...probably in an all you can eat buffet dessert line.
We already addressed our issues with Whitlock's dual points of view and pandering literary knob slobbing, so we won't bother with him. But, let's take a good look at what this man-hug from Telander to Whitlock is smothering between them.
"For the first time in my writing career, I see learned, thoughtful, civicly aware African-American sportswriters saying that this behavior -- even if it stems from the historic seeds of poverty and injustice and racism -- is appalling and enough."
And then he cuts to a Whitlock quote (yes, of course, from the AOL, not KC Star column).
"'We have a problem in the black community, and it didn't make its debut at All-Star Weekend in Vegas,'' writes AOL.com sports columnist Jason Whitlock, a black man whom I admire and consider a friend. ''What was impossible to ignore in Vegas was on display in Houston, Atlanta and previous All-Star locations.''
Where to start?!
Firstly, Telander is a long time journalist, so his insinuating that Whitlock is one of the FIRST civicly aware, learned, and thoughtful Negro sportswriters is an insult to every intelligent Negro that has submitted a sports column in the past 20 years. We aren't going to bother to do a search, you can feel free, but we will never type another word if someone can show that up until this past All Star Weekend (or just recently) NO Negro sports writers have said a word about a need for the Negro community to do some soul searching in regards to athletes and hip hoppers and the like.
We will admit that we are impressed that Telander has a black friend (even if it is Whitlock), that gives him some real currency in addressing Negro issues and pointing his finger at Negroes.
"Hey, Niggah, my boy is J-Whit, the ovahweightlovah...you need to knock that hip hop behavior off!"
Cause, we all know, that when a white guy tells us everything that is wrong with the Negro community and tells us that it is the Negro's fault; it really holds water if he can back it up by referencing a Negro friend or two. And if said white cat thinks their friend is civicly aware, learned and thoughtful; well, how can one disagree? If whitey comes along and tells me that Negroes are awful and horrible and all their problems are brought on by their own horrible behavior and lack of brainwave activity AND he holds up a note from his Negro friend saying the same thing, then I guess we can't argue with that, right?
"Whitlock, a large, intimidating-looking fellow who played Division I football and was nauseated by the thug posturing in Vegas, goes on to say that with the exception of Louis Farrakhan's 1995 Million Man March, black thuggishness ''has been on display nearly every time we've gathered in large groups to socialize in the past 15 years or so.''
Why does Whitlock having played D-1 ball (although, Ball St. is clearly on the fringe) have anything to do with this? One of the points Telander seems to be making is that the Negro community holds athletes in too high a regard. That everyone gives athletes a pass on how they behave and live; because they are athletes. Yet he goes out of his way to point out that Whitlock was an athlete. Does he point that out because he believes we should value the opinion of an athlete more than an average joe? Umm...isn't that part of the whole problem he and Whitlock have with the Negro community, that athletes get carte blanche? Yet when it is convenient for HIM, it's important for US to remember that the opinions about thuggery and Negro nonsense are coming from an ATHLETE, so they mean more.
And Whitlock ain't intimidating looking...he's fat. That's different. But it is an important psychological tell from Mr. Telander. He characterizes his friend as being intimidating looking. His large, Negro friend. If someone who is a friend intimidates Mr. Telander, imagine how he must feel around large, unfamiliar Negroes. Think that might play a role in Rick's perception of Negroes? If your friends scare you, larger groups of them out partying must cause you to have a coronary.
"In one of the strongest, most fearless statements of post-Civil Rights disgust you will read anywhere, Whitlock writes, ''instead of wearing white robes and white hoods, the new KKK has now taken to wearing white T's and calling themselves gangsta rappers, gangbangers and posse members."
Or, one might characterize it as one of the most grandstanding, pandering pleas for attention you will read anywhere. The profound ignorance in calling young Negroes "the new KKK" is mind boggling. The KKK was an organized effort, rooted in hate, to destroy. Like it or not, the KKK was begotten by mainstream society. Only later was it pushed to the fringe. Young Negro males, feeling disenfranchised or caste off by white society (whether they are correct in that feeling or not) is not in anyway, shape or form comparable to the KKK. It makes wonderful print and obviously excites a middle aged white columnist (with a handful of black friends) to the point of providing literary felacio, but it is purely stupid.
"Newsday sports columnist Shaun Powell, an elegant African-American writer whose column on the death of his brother at the Pentagon on 9/11 is one of the most beautiful eulogies I've ever read, is fed up, too."
Sweet. Telander has another Negro friend (see quote below). And he, too, is one of the most brilliant writers in America today. Lucky, Telander. Only a handful of brilliant and elegant Negro writers and they are all his friends. Wow. It's easy to be completely right on any issue involving race when you have brilliant, elegant writing, civicly minded, thoughtful and learned Negro friends. How could anyone, Negro or not, disagree with someone cashing in that sort of currency?
"Powell, a longtime friend, has a book coming out next fall dissecting the modern American sports world through the lens of black America, and I have read the manuscript and it's stunning. Powell makes no apologies to black society or white society for his conclusions. In the still-untitled book, he takes everything and everyone to task for the dilemma he sees in the increasingly diverse and wealthy and yet impoverished and violent black world, from pseudo-science to rappers to adoring sports fans to technology to the loss of interest in the goals of late civil-rights heroes Rosa Parks and Arthur Ashe. "
Friend's book coming out; ok, plug dually noted. Next item?
Oh, and we really enjoy the way that Telander described the book as being through the lens of "black America". We'd hazzard a guess that a LOT of Negro folk see things through a different lens than Powell. Just a guess, though.
''I don't know if [certain other black writers] could have written the book,'' he told me the other day. ''They have too many people to protect.''
Or, maybe they couldn't have written the book because they see things differently? Because they have had a completely different experience in life? Just a thought...
"Whitlock makes the same point, somewhat crudely, writing that ESPN's reporters, black or white, wouldn't tell us about the ''carnage'' at All-Star Weekend because they ''were embedded in the rear ends of the troops -- Shaq, Kobe, King James, D-Wade, Al and Melo.''
(Gee, harsh words for ESPN?...from a guy they fired? Imagine! Nope, no hard feelings there, purely objective.)
Or, could it be that some of these cowardly writers didn't think what went on was all that unexpected? Or really out of the ordinary or eventful? That maybe, they didn't get their panties in a twist and get all indignant over the fact that not all people are of means and not all people say excuse me when they bump into you? Hell, we are no fans of Bill Simmons writing, but even he wasn't overly bent out of shape about the weekend in his account. And he seemed to be able to write about whatever he wanted. He pointed out that there was certainly a seedy element in town. But it didn't seem to cause him to suggest that every Negro in America needs to go do some soul searching. Rick Telander wasn't even there (we don't think), but based on what Whitlock had to pander, he is now thoroughly mortified.
"Hating anarchy should have nothing to do with profession or status. And certainly not with color."
Sorry, did we miss something? The entire column seemed to be about color. Our bad.
But, Telander is right. It's just a lot easier to get indignant over it when the anarchy is perpetuated by Negroes.
One of our posters, for some unexplainable reason, is a fan of Nascar. He went to Martinsville, VA to watch a race. He is a Negro. He had chicken bones thrown at him and was the target of many evil stares and words. A very nice white guy walked up to him half way through the race and said, "Some of the boys up there are starting to get a little too drunk and are talking about coming down to mess with you. I just wanted to let you know. And really, this probably isn't a good place for you to be anyway."
So, Rick Telander and Jason Whitlock, next time you walk into the Minxx or anywhere there is a gathering of young Negro males, instead of getting your panties in a twist; remember the words NASCAR fans had for the Negro, the words that don't seem to bother anyone in the least when they are directed at a Negro from a white man: "This probably isn't a good place for you to be anyway."
I mean...we're just sayin'.....But then again, only one of our posters was an athlete. And it was just 1-AA ball, so Whitlock's opinion means more, right?