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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Michael Ray Richardson: Anti-Semitic Remarks?

Clearly, we have reached a point in our society that mandates a reevaluation of how we communicate.

Either we abandon the right for individuals to have opinions, or we understand the meanings of the prefix anti- and the suffix -phobia. Having an opinion or stating relative facts that might not be what members of certain groups want to hear is not anti-, and not supporting the lifestyle choices of other individuals is not -phobia. Can we be clear in this?

The latest victim of his own words is former NBAer and current CBA coach Michael Ray Richardson.

Richardson mentioned that he had big time Jew lawyers, that Jews were crafty because of their geopolitical situation and that Jews played a large role in sports management. He also said he thought it was great and there is not a thing wrong with it.

Of course, now he is labelled as anti-Semitic and is the recipient of a suspension by his team.

"Former NBA All-Star Micheal Ray Richardson appeared to be getting his life back on track after his league suspension in 1986 for drug use. "

What a wonderful implication! That, somehow, Richardson's statements are an indication that his life is now back untracked. Richardson seemed to be walking the straight and narrow, but now, after his remarks (and, what IS untrue about what he said???) he has reverted to being a crackhead again.

The double standard of the anti- and -phobia perpetuators is unmistakable. These are the same people that applaud loudly when columnists relate to us the horrible goings on at All Star weekend. The Black KKK. The misguided Negroes that value hip hop or lead their lives in a way that their detractors disapprove.

It's ok to attack facets of Negro culture. To demand change. To stereotype Negroes. Do that and you are labelled as starting a "new" civil rights movement. Do that and you are given even more media platforms to reach larger audiences. Make jokes about all the young Negroes in the NFL that have run into unfortunate misunderstandings with the law, and you are funny. Enact a dress code designed to change the image of Negro players in the NBA, and you are conscientious.

Tell the world that you feel like your crafty Jewish lawyer is going to do a good job representing you in your contract negotiations; get suspended and be labelled as anti-Semitic.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Having an opinion, whether negative or indifferent, about certain groups is hate. Simply because you say something that those groups would prefer not to hear, or doesn't cast them in the shining, perfectly illuminating positive light they see themselves.

Have a negative opinion about Negro issues, and you are working to get the poor ignorant Negroes to understand their flawed lives. You are helping them.

Somewhere along the way, these folks that have wrapped themselves in the anti- and -phobia banners have forgotten something.

The roots of their "movements" are directly traceable to the efforts of Negroes fighting for personal dignity and civil equality. Remember, Negroes were brought to this country against their will. They were owned by other people. They were denied basic human rights. They were "freed" and still denied basic rights. They wear their identity in their skin.

With all the anti- and -phobia perpetuators in our society mandating which opinions are acceptable and which are offensive or "hurtful", we have turned our back on the original instigators of the basis for these movements. The original human.

Someone mentions racism and people roll their eyes and say, "yea, right, the black guy is just mad he isn't getting his way."

And society and the anti's and the -phobias accept it.

Mention that you disapprove of a lifestyle choice or that you have a Jewish lawyer? Well, kiss your career and reputation good bye.

And use Negro lips to bring that opinion to an audible level? Well, you are done completely then.

If you can't see now that this country is against and hates Negroes, well there is no hope for you.

Besides, you are probably too busy castigating Richardson for being anti-Semitic to understand what racism is, anyway.

So, Michael Ray, head to the temple and shake hands with a rabbi. That will show that you love Jews and want to be rehabilitated. But don't mention that you might be the victim of racism.

Racism doesn't exist. It can't. It isn't prefixed with anti- or suffixed with -phobia.

14 comments:

the butler said...

Well played, sir.

I remember in college, when I was getting my PSYCHO-logy degree, one idiot tried to make the shift from "homophobic" to "homoprejudice" while presenting his thesis - as if the former is not irrationally demonizing enough in connotation.

This is one of the few situations in which ignorance is NOT bliss.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"This is one of the few situations in which ignorance is NOT bliss"

Sir, ignorance is always bliss. Ignorance frees one from most burdens.

Josh said...

hey man, 5,000 years of persecution has a tendency to make a group a little sensitive to any comment with even the whiff of negative stereotype. I would never say anything to play down the horror of the slave trade and the ensuing situation in the US, but the Holocaust was just two generations ago. Germany was supposed to be a haven for us, it was a relatively enlightened place until the aftermath of World War I.

Is there a hypersensitivity on our part? Sure. Does the word "crafty" have negative implications that the word "smart" doesn't? You tell me.

You may want to glaze over this, but a lot of Jews were very involved in the Civil Rights movement, whether as students coming down from the North to protest, or lawyers representing people arrested for trying to assert their rights, or whatever. I guess you resent us because we're held up by some as being a model minority or something. Well, there is one thing the black community could learn by looking at us, and that's to try to concentrate its resources inwards and stop tearing each other down. Take pride, etc. I know the Nation of Islam preaches the same thing to the black community, and for that, I respect it. I also know that Louis Farrakhan preaches hate against my community, and for that, I am saddened.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"I guess you resent us because we're held up by some as being a model minority or something."

Sir, you prove my point completely.

We said nothing NEGATIVE in our post about JEWS. Nothing.

Yet, since the post did not resoundingly call Richardson anti-Semitic and renounce anything that did not portray Jews in a completely perfect light, you take the post as resentment.

Additionally, references to the holocaust as a reason to overreact to anyone that doesn't agree with Jewish politics or points out that a lot of Jews are lawyers is unsatisfactory.

The holocaust took place in Germany. The only folks in this country with the right to be oversensitive are the ones that were sold to owners here and the ones that were rounded up and forced to live on reservations.

We agree with Michael Ray. There are many crafty Jewish lawyers in the world of sports. And we, too, think it's great.

If you find that to be resentment or anti-Jewish. Well, then you are blinded by your own negative self image of your group.

Try and be positive about yourself, and maybe you won't think everyone else is an anti- or a -phobic.

Brad S said...

It’s too bad I’m not an athlete, for I would LOVE to hear what folks think about the following paragraph of fact:

“The Bible is a book of violence being done under the auspices of a self-righteous, overly sensitive prick who commits genocide if a woman so much as looks in a ‘forbidden’ direction. It is a book that clearly equates homosexuals with child diddlers and considers them to be an “abomination.” It commands that children love a “father,” and thus is against single mothers who clearly do a better, more efficient, job of parenting. It has certain weird fetishes against shellfish and menustration, and are thus clearly out of touch with today’s diets and psychoanalysis. And the passages that justify slavery need no explanation.”

These statements are proven FACT, no matter how you interpret them. So, when should I expect to lose my job? For there is no way I’m offering any lame “apology”J

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"These statements are proven FACT, no matter how you interpret them."

Sir, if the statements are open to innumerable interpretations, it is difficult to categorize them as fact.

Thank you for you input. However, we request in the future, if you post excerpts; please use a semi-literate source.

"The Bible is a book of violence being done under the auspices "

A book being done? What the hell does that even mean?

For future reference, it is difficult to get people to take your points seriously or consider them as legitimate if you communicate them in poor language. As soon as I saw "book being done"....I quit reading the excerpt. I knew the author was an idiot.

And when you use the work of an idiot to support your own points of view....well, you do the math.

Let me know if you need help.

Josh said...

Main Entry: crafty
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: clever
Synonyms: adroit, artful, astute, cagey, calculating, canny, cunning, deceitful, deep, designing, devious, disingenuous, duplicitous, foxy*, fraudulent, guileful, insidious, intelligent, keen, knowing, scheming, sharp, shrewd, slick, slippery*, sly, smart, smooth, street-smart, streetwise*, subtle, tricky, vulpine, wily
Antonyms: artless, guileless, honest, naive
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
* = informal or slang

compare with:

Main Entry: smart
Part of Speech: adjective 1
Definition: intelligent
Synonyms: acute, adept, agile, alert, apt, astute, bold, brain, brainy*, bright, brilliant, brisk, canny, clever, crafty, effective, egghead, fresh, genius, good, hep, impertinent, ingenious, keen, knowing, long-haired*, nervy, nimble, pert, pointed, quick, quick-witted, ready, resourceful, sassy, sharp, shrewd, skull, slick*, whiz*, wise
Antonyms: stupid
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
* = informal or slang

When I take exception to that word being used to describe Jews, think of it as being like if someone described a black athlete as a "buck" or a "specimen" as opposed to a "tremendous athlete," or an "impessive man." Try putting yourself in my shoes. There's a lot of anti-semitism out there, and I wasn't aware of it growing up; I learned about it from poking around online.

I'm sure you're well aware of the bigotry welling up from the ignorance and fear of so many in America. I've seen a few comments from some readers of your blog that are blatant examples, themselves. Just try to recognize it when it isn't your group that's being targeted.

I'm not asking you to agree with us. I know that you, and many others, feel that the Palestinians are getting a raw deal. To some degree, they're right; to some degree, it's leftover guilt from the imperialism of Manifest Destiny and all of the crap that Europe pulled throughout the last few centuries. Israel gets to be the focus, the whipping boy. It's not without sin, by any means, but unless someone makes a damn fine spaceship, and soon, we can't just go off on our own and not be bothered.

Every generation, someone's tried to kill us. Think about that. That's what we're taught. Most of our holidays are about escaping genocide, or slavery. America is the best we've had it, but we're still a very unpopular minority in certain parts of this country. Are we sensitive? Definitely. Are we too sensitive? After the tenth time of being kicked out of a country, the thousandth time having your windows shattered, your women raped...I should not have blue eyes, but I do. Sometime back in the line, there was a Cossack, or two, or a dozen. There's a lot of history to back up our paranoia.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"When I take exception to that word being used to describe Jews"

Sir, Phil Niekro was often described as a "crafty" pitcher.

Earl Morrell was described as a veteran and "crafty" QB.

They and numerous others never felt the need to invoke the Niekro Anti-Defamation League or the Morrell Anti-defamation League to protest their being called "crafty". They took it as the compliment it was meant as, and carried on. If Michael Ray meant it as a compliment. Take it as such.

Additionally, your points about Jewish persecution....no one can argue them.

However, none of that is AMERICAN history. Jews have had more opportunity and success in this country than any country in the world, including Israel.

This is America. If we are going to talk about persecution, prejudice and bigotry...let's talk about it in the AMERICAN context.

It is completely inappropriate to try to tie a history that includes 5000 years of displacement, slavery and holocaust to AMERICA, when none of it took place in this country.

Negroes are told that slavery has been over for 150 years. Get over it.

Well, my suggestion to the anti- and the -phobia crowd is the same.

Get over it.

If a race that was traded as property and uprooted to this country and was institutionally deprived of basic human freedoms and rights is told to get over it and move on....

Then ethnicities that came here by CHOICE, were never enslaved HERE and have had all the educational and civil opportunities HERE that any other citizen of this country has had should get over it, too.

Now, we are well aware that the fact that we make statements in this comment that are not pro-Jewish (although we have not made one negative or "anti"-Jewis comment) will certainly result in us being called anti-semitic. And we encourage that.

It only solidifies our argument.

Josh said...

Not once have I accused you of anti-semitism. I did make a joke, in another thread, about how you probably would hate me about half as much as coach KKK simply due to my ethnic roots...but as I said, that was a joke.

The leader of the Nation is an anti-semite, however, and I could back that assertion with about twenty quotes from online within the course of the next thirty seconds. I'll only post one, but they're easy to find:

"You say I hate Jews. I don't hate the Jewish people, I never have. But there [are] some things I don't like. 'What is it you don't like, Farrakhan?' I don't like the way you leech on us. See a leech is somebody that sucks your blood, takes from you and don't give you a damn thing. See, I don't like that kind of arrangement. You become our manager, you become our agent. Every one of us that got talent, we can't make it because you opened the door, and when you opened the door you get and we end up dead with nothing, owing the IRS."

8th Anniversary The Holy Day of Atonement speech at Mosque Maryam, Chicago, 10/16/03

Do you not see the difference between calling an ethnic group "crafty" and calling an athlete that? A "crafty veteran" is a sports cliche. A "crafty Jew" is a slur.

I wouldn't tell you or anyone to get over slavery. I would say be realistic about things like reparations, how they're not going to be paid. I would say that the black community needs to focus less on the spectacular success of star athletes and entertainers, who lucked into tremendous natural talent (yes, they work hard, too, that's not the point); and emphasize the importance of moderate role models that can be emulated by those children who haven't been so fortunate, such as dentists or small business owners. I would say that taking education seriously should never be considered "acting white," that the community at large should fight for equal educational opportunities and laud those, like yourself, who are able to express themselves well while retaining a strong black identity.

I would say that what really needs to be gotten over is the self hatred I see in much of your community. Yes, I know that that, too, has its roots in slavery and segregation, but it's not something that can be solved by anyone else.

You are right, I'll admit, about how the media zealously guards our worries while freely skewering modern African-American culture. A lot of that has to do with our absolute refusal to let a stereotypical comment about us slide. I understand that this outrages you, and that you're providing a small-scale counterbalance that is partially tongue-in-cheek and partially sincere, depending on the particular subject. But you should know, in your heart, regardless of what you say in public, that to call Jews "crafty" or "sly" is no different than to resort to equally pejorative adjectives for blacks. I won't enumerate what those might be, as I'm sure you're well aware of what bigots claim are natural traits of your people.

Should racism be tolerated when it is targeting one group, but not another? Of course not! It should be fought vigorously and constantly, if we are to progress as a nation of equals.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

Sir, Minister Farakhan clearly asserts that he does not hate Jews. He does not like some things that people who happen to Jewish do. That is not anti-semitic.

Our whole point in this issue is simple:

The antis- and the -phobias have infected too many in our society and by overly using their manufactured words of contrived "self defense" they have denigrated REAL issues in THIS country.

We are at the point that if I say, "the St. Patrick's day parade is a nuisance"...I am labelled anti-Irish.

There is a clear cut difference between slavery (and governmentally instutionalized racism) and the inherited problems it has left on this country AND people having a simple opinion or view of other groups.

Their is no congruence in the plight of the Negro and that of the perpetuator of the anti- or
-phobia. None.

Josh said...

I could assert that I am 6'2", but it wouldn't make it true.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"I could assert that I am 6'2", but it wouldn't make it true."

Sir, agreed.

Glad you finally see things our way.

Anonymous said...

Richardson remarks do not mean he is necessarily anti-semitic, but they surely reveal he is ignorant.
Calling a Jewish lawyer crafty implies sly,almost sleazy. It is an ignorance-based stereotype..and his comment that his second wife was Jewish...well, some of my best friends are Negroes.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Calling a Jewish lawyer crafty implies sly,almost sleazy. It is an ignorance-based stereotype..and his comment that his second wife was Jewish...well, some of my best friends are Negroes."

Sir, could it be you are attributing a negative connotation to "crafty", because YOU attribute the sleazy and sly adjectives to Jews. Richardson said he thought it was all good. Get over yourself and get over trying to redefine what Richardson meant by crafty.

Additionally, I assure you. Your "best" friends that are Negroes...they talk shit about you when you aren't around. Trust me.