There is a lot of talk about Jason Whitlock's recent columns dealing with the events of All Star Weekend. A lot of folks are questioning whether he overstated things in an effort to get his point across. But most of all, people are talking about Whitlock; which is probably his real goal in all this anway. He sure seems to be writing more frequently over at AOL since All Star weekend.
Really, though, we should have seen this coming. Let's take a look back for a second at Whitlock's famous interview in September of 2006 with thebiglead.com. He lays everything out for his future plans in that interview. Guess All Star Weekend was just the time for the man "without an agenda" to unleash his agenda.
From the interview:
"I don’t have an agenda when it comes to racial issues. "
Remember that quote as we move forward.
"I guess I’ll go Bill Cosby on you, but it’s about time we as black people quit letting Flavor Flav and the rest of these clowns bojangle for dollars. There’s going to be a new civil-rights movement among black people and the people bojangling for dollars are going to be put in check."
Whitlock let us know back then, he sees what he is doing as being a "new civil-rights movement". Makes sense, I mean, if Flavor Flav wants to act like a fool for a paycheck, then I guess creating a new civil rights movement to stop him is in order. We shouldn't be surprised that once Whitlock built up the confidence to unleash his expose of what really went down in Vegas (well, at least in his AOL column...not so much in the KC Star), he ended up comparing himself to Rosa Parks.
"Black people are tired of letting idiots define who we are. It’s dangerous. I grew up loving hip hop music. But the [bleep] is way out of hand now. Flavor Flav went from fighting the power with Chuck D to a minstrel show on VH1. You have all of these young rap idiots putting out negative images about black men and black women, and it’s on us to stop it and say enough is a enough. It’s not on white people. And it’s not on old black people like Cosby and Oprah. We have to police our own. "
We may be wrong, but wasn't Flav always a minstrel show? Wasn't his role that of the hype man? Didn't he always dress like a nut and have a screwed up personal life, but it all was OK as long as he was standing next to Chuck D? What's changed? Other than the fact he is making himself some loot on VH1 with his show, what has changed? But now, for some reason, it is upsetting and degrading?
If you, as a black person allow idiots to define who you are, then yes, I guess it would be tiring, Jason. But that's on you. Don't blame the young rappers. They are just doing what it takes to get a record deal. The question here is, are they creating the market or answering the market's needs?
As for it not being on white people. That is true. But let me ask you this: Who owns and runs the parent companies of all the record labels and distribution companies? Seems like Negroes aren't the only ones that make money off the hip hop image.
"We’re letting the Ignorant 5 lead us straight to hell. The Ignorant 5 are telling white folks, “Yeah, this is how we really is. Let me bojangle for ya, boss. You say step and I’ll show ya I can fetch.” And what’s even more dangerous, the Ignorant 5 are telling black kids, “It’s cool to be locked up. It makes a man out of you. And don’t embrace education. Dealing dope and playing basketball are better career choices.” The Ignorant 5 is the new KKK and twice as deadly. That’s why you don’t hear ‘bout the KKK anymore. The Klan is just sitting back letting 50 Cent and all the other bojanglers do all the heavy lifting."
We see (we believe) Whitlock's first use of the KKK reference here, that caused such shock and awe after the All Star game. But, this is a confusing statement. We sort it out as such:
i) The ignorant 5% (or black KKK) are telling Negroes that education is bad, prison is good, dealing dope and hoops are the careers of choice.
ii) The ignorant 5% is a new KKK that is effectively doing the KKK's work for them by destroying Negro society.
iii) The ignorant 5% will do a tap dance for a nickel for a white man.
And, there are truths there.
"Plus, the sports world and the entertainment world are where much of the bojangling is taking place."
And let's face it, All Star Weekend is venue at which the entertainment world (especially hip hop) and sports (basketball) completely intersect. So, really, for this to be the timing that Whitlock chooses to truly throwdown his "new civil-rights movement" is no surprise.
"Jeff Chadiha of Sports Illustrated is my boy. We go back to my days in Ann Arbor. Jeff and his wife just moved to Kansas City, and we’ve been working on a TV pilot for the past two years."
We've never written a TV pilot, but would have to imagine that it would be a lot easier to catch a network's ear if you had a high(er) profile. (But remember, Whitlock has no agenda)
"Who do I read? Simmons, TJ Simers, Wilbon, Deadspin, John Feinstein’s books, message boards and Scoop Jackson whenever I’ve overeaten and want to purge."
Jason must not read Scoop to often, then. (Sorry, couldn't resist)
"Black people think I’m too hard on black people. They write me and tell me I’m a sellout."
Nothing wrong with being hard on your own people, IF you are doing it from the heart because you HONESTLY see a problem. And that is why we call Whitlock's recent columns into question. Despite his statements that he doesn't have an agenda, he DOES. He made it clear he has bigger plans and wants a higher profile (and bigger payday) :
"The column was already game tight, but the frequency, consistency and content all improved. The compensation didn’t, the place in the batting order didn’t and the team started shopping for talent in remote locations."
"And I don’t choose sides in my column based on the color of anyone’s skin."
But what about the new civil-rights movement and the "black" KKK? Your platform on those issues is entirely based on skin color.
Anyway, this recent literary barrage has been in the works for awhile and the All Star Game was just the venue that Whitlock was waiting to fully assault us with his hyperbole.
It doesn't take a genius to recognize that of course there are issues to address. It would just be nice if they were addressed in an intelligent, and grown up manner without all the overstatement and chicken little (spit). Maybe if someone who came along that truly didn't have an agenda did it, it would be more palatable.