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Monday, August 6, 2007

Scoop Jackson: Defiance Personified

We take a lot of heat for our exuberant defense of individual rights. For our never ending struggle to try to persuade the rest of America to see past skin color. For making the clear, undeniable case that the struggle for civil rights has only just begun. That it isn't over. That it is everywhere. That if it isn't in plain site, we will find a way to expose it.

Blogfrica is a hot continent. Heat does not bother us.

We are told that we are biased. That we always stick up for the Negro, no matter the circumstances.

But, for the non-racists, it is clear that we stand up for wronged individuals. Misrepresented individuals.

Some of whom happen to be Negroes.

While the voice of NOIS resonates throughout Blogfrica, perhaps the most influential and admired voice that stands for the rights of wronged individuals in sports is that of Scoop Jackson.

Long renowned for his poetic outlook on the world of sports, Mr. Jackson is often at the forefront of any defense of young athletes that are mistakenly (whether purposely or not) portrayed by the media in a negative light. Jackson was the first to point out that the caustic outrage and fear relayed by the media in its reporting of this year past's NBA all star festivities was sensationalized and opportunistic. That it was conveyed in a manner meant to degrade the cultural relevance of 'hip hop' and purposely fabricated to ensure that white America retain a healthy fear of young Negro males.

Mr. Jackson has also eloquently pleaded his case of why it is important to root for the Williams sisters when they take the court. He makes the case that, in reality, it is an obligation. That it is a matter of self preservation.

Well, Mr. Jackson has now eloquently and inarguably educated us on the Bonds saga.

Bonds hit 754. I finally bought a jersey; had to -- an official Russell Authentic game jersey, size 44. The hate he was receiving had reached a point of insanity. The business of baseball had made this personal. "Behind every great fortune there is a crime." "Godfather" speak. Balzac. In a culture of wrongdoing in the game, Bonds was being singled out. So I dropped $250 in the name of defiance. The same defiance made us support O.J. even if we thought he was guilty and not abandon Al Sharpton when we knew he was wrong about Tawana.

Can you see? It isn't about right or wrong. Those that would pretend that Bonds has done something wrong miss the complete picture. He was a part of something wrong to begin with! Just as O.J. and Al Sharpton were.

Al Sharpton was fighting racism. He was fighting the imagined mistreatment of a young Negro woman. Reality isn't even something that should have been brought into the picture. To suggest or accept that Sharpton should be held accountable for championing a fallacious tale would be to suggest that it would be wrong to fight racism.

The only appropriate response is defiance. "The story is not true? So what. Racism exists in this country. That's the truth."

O.J. was tried by a system which was not perfect. Material evidence? DNA evidence? What does it matter? If the system had inconsistencies or corruptions within it, then the only appropriate response was to support him. And, in the end, the system proved that the defiance was a fair and reasonable reaction. Despite the evidence, he was acquitted! What more proof of a faulty and questionable system was necessary to validate the supportive defiance?

So, Mr. Jackson's purchase and wearing of a Bonds' jersey is an act of the type of social defiance that has made any gains for Negroes in America possible.

Racist? No. Protective? No doubt. Overprotective? Probably. Wrong? Please. Defiance is part of the existence of who we are. It becomes part of our DNA in times like this, when one of our own seems to be rightfully accused but wrongly treated. It's a convoluted, twisted sense of purpose fueled by a sanctimonious and overtly self-righteous coverage of someone who may have committed a sin in the hell baseball had become. We are defiant in times like these because others are being made saints and bigger heroes at the expense of Bonds. Aaron has entered some sort of mythical sainthood. A-Rod all of a sudden is as pure as Rahsaan Patterson's voice or Don Cheadle's acting. We are defiant in times like these because even when we have advantages, the playing field is not level, not for us.

Mr. Jackson makes the case that being defiant in the support of a fellow Negro, who may well be completely wrong, is not a racist act. It can't be. And understand why.

It can't be a racist act because, regardless of the right or wrong, odds are that the Negro is not being treated fairly. And that is the racist act! Supporting the wrongly treated Negro by defiantly standing up for him despite his guilt or own wrong actions is fighting racism.

Supporting Bonds. Supporting Michael Vick. Neither is a commentary on whether what they did is wrong or right. Because it doesn't matter. The defiance is about creating equality.

So, when you read about someone supporting Vick or praising Bonds, realize that dog fighting or steroids aren't a part of the equation. Understand, that the defiant support in the face of the accusations is about fairness. It is about achieving equal treatment. Accept that the suggestion that one is supporting either man simply because he is a Negro is the racist act.

The defiant support with complete disregard for accountability of action or wrong doing is an attempt to bring America together. It is an effort to demonstrate that skin color does not matter. That we all should be treated equally.

A young black man at a public library had on a Michael Vick jersey one day last week. I walked up to him, thinking about my Bonds jersey. Said, "You big for wearing that." He simply said, "Thanks." Then, almost as an afterthought, he said, "I think he's guilty as hell, but I still got his back."
We too had something in common. As we should.


As we all should.

Have his back.

Regardless of his skin color.

Regardless of right or wrong.


It's not what you do, it's how you are treated after you do it.

We defy you to suggest otherwise.

41 comments:

Dave the Wave said...

"A young black man at a public library "

i'm calling bullshit on scoop's story.

a black man at a library?!

yea, sure, scoop!

JB said...

Looks like the local townsfolk have gathered their torches and pitchforks, and gathered in the comments section of Scoop's Article.

Oops Pow Surprise said...

Bravery, thy name is Scoop.

Clearly, sirs, it is time to stand up to the oppression facing Brother Barry. It is time to enact actual social change! It is time to put an end to the hatred! And there is but one place to start:

shop.mlb.com.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

Sir....oops pow,

Your depth of reason is unmatched.

We are proud to call you our student.

Burnsy said...

This is like the time I bought a Rae Carruth jersey to show my support for the embattled Panthers player.

I now sleep in my trunk, sir.

NOI rules!!1 said...

"Reality isn't even something that should have been brought into the picture."

Clearly sir, on your part, it rarely ever is

ZEKE said...

"a black man at a library?!"

sure, you see a black man at a library now and then...

ever see shawshank redemption?

black dude WORKED in the library...a PRISON library.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Clearly sir, on your part, it rarely ever is "

Sir, that really is something to consider.

Coming from an ill informed,illogical and relentlessly ignorant sort like you.

NOI rules!!1 said...

I want to be clear about this. I think this is a very important issue. I enjoyed both Scoop's and Wright Thompson's Michael Vick article as they shed important light on supporting those that have been treated unfairly (as both Bonds and Vick undoubtedly have).

However, your discussion of OJ Simpson troubles me when you say that despite the overwhelming evidence, "the system proved that the defiance was a fair and reasonable reaction. Despite the evidence, he was acquitted! What more proof of a faulty and questionable system was necessary to validate the supportive defiance?"

Are you trying to support this defiance by giving an example of how it let a guilty man get away with murder? Because, if so, that is very troubling to me.

"Al Sharpton was fighting racism. He was fighting the imagined mistreatment of a young Negro woman."

That right there shows me why racism will never go away in America. It is because some of us feel the need to perpetuate it, whether it exists or not.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Are you trying to support this defiance by giving an example of how it let a guilty man get away with murder? Because, if so, that is very troubling to me."

Sir, troubled is an adequate descriptive for you.

Quoting Scoop led to the reference of OJ.

Our point was that despite the overwhelming evidence; OJ got off.

That is PROOF of a faulty system.

And, as citizens, we owe it to each other to support each other. To stand in defiance of these faulty and corrupt systems.

OJ's guilt or innocense doesn't matter.

It can't.

If it did, the system wouldn't have let him off.

We stand in defiance of the system that OJ exposes as faulty and possibly corrupt.

As a people, we owe OJ our support for his personal sacrifice in proving the unjust-ness of said system.

"It is because some of us feel the need to perpetuate it, whether it exists or not. "

Let logic be your guide.

If it didn't exist, there would be NOTHING to perpetuate.

Until then, we must leave no stone unturned.

It's 'brothers' like you that refuse to fight that make it difficult for the rest of us.

Monday Morning Punter said...

Sir,

You speak with great eloquence. I wish to be subject to your further teachings.

Preach on, my good brother.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"You speak with great eloquence."

Sir, we are but vessels used by the greater power.

The eloquence is not our own.

Humble yourself, and righteousness shall be yours.

Dave the Wave said...

"Humble yourself,"

i will break your back with camel clutch...then fook you in z azz...and hoombul you!


ahh, the iron sheik. the greatest muslim of all time.

ben said...

"Are you trying to support this defiance by giving an example of how it let a guilty man get away with murder? Because, if so, that is very troubling to me."

Why does this disturb you? To my mind, the reasons for this defiance breaks both ways:

The O.J. example reinforces the point that our justice system is not the divine arbitur of guilt and innoncence, just the best method we have for keeping social order. Thusly, whether he was innocent or guilty isn't the bone being picked, it's the mass utterances of double standards and vile overtones that are being called out.

To be an honorable man, you have to realize there's a difference between pointing out true injustice and piling-on with hurtful scorn just because you have to get that hate out and here's the chance. A lot of times they feel the same once you get worked up, but you've got to be self-aware enough to know that difference

The injustice here is rampant steroid use in baseball, but bonds gets unfairly singled out for extra scorn like he was the only one in the game doing it... other obvious users get lip service, while Bonds get skewered.

When that unfairness creeps up, defiance is in order.

ben said...

"As a people, we owe OJ our support for his personal sacrifice in proving the unjust-ness of said system."

For this point, OJ was just the murderous impetus; Johnnie Cochran, Alan Dershowitz and F. Lee Bailey (with an assist from der Fhurman) proved the system is more theater than justice...

Though, one must note, the fact that noone from a lynch mob ever went on trial should have proven that centuries ago.

Dave the Wave said...

"Though, one must note, the fact that noone from a lynch mob ever went on trial"

maybe cause they did nothing wrong?

just saying...

NOI rules!!1 said...

"Why does this disturb you?"

I was disturbed because while nois was championing our natural tendency to become defensive on these issues (which there is nothing wrong with, as long as you don't become close-minded), he seemed to be celebrating the fact that this very defiance led to OJ getting off.

I don't believe the idea of fighting racism should supersede reality. Waiting for due process and supporting someone during that process is one thing, but to say that someone should not be held accountable for personal wrongdoings because it would go against a political agenda? That is what disturbs me.

All in all, I truly appreciated your posts Ben. One of the most insightful and grounded contributions i've seen on this blog.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"he seemed to be celebrating the fact that this very defiance led to OJ getting off."

Sir, in your quest to ever disagree with this blog...YOU were wrong.

Again.

We never insinuated that DEFIANCE led to OJ getting off.

We CLEARLY stated that the flawed system allowed it.

You have this overwhelming tendency to "think" with emotion, because you so desperately want to disagree with the blog.

Think with logic for once.

We find it entirely amusing that Ben basically agreed with what we said. And simply restated many of our points.

Yet you find HIS input to be intelligent.

LOL.

More proof that.....

YOU JUST A HATER, BOI!!!!

Tripod said...

"YOU JUST A HATER, BOI!!!! "


too bad hater boi nois!!!11!! wasn't around when scoop wore the bonds jersey.

i'm sure he'd have had some complaints to give scoop.

how he's gonna agree with ben and comment on how insightful it was (and it was, btw) and disagree with YOU...LOL....ya'll basically said the same thing.

nois rules1!!!, get ya mind right! you look stupid one more time on here.

Malcom Hex said...

I was disturbed because while nois was championing our natural tendency to become defensive on these issues (which there is nothing wrong with, as long as you don't become close-minded), he seemed to be celebrating the fact that this very defiance led to OJ getting off."

Umm...what???

Look, OJ was found NOT GUILTY by a jury after his trial.

You got this backwards.

Supporting OJ was NOT an act of defiance.

The court decided he was INNOCENT of criminal charges.

OJ didn't "get off". He was proven innocent in criminal court.

There is no pleasing people like you.

Bonds and Vick ain't been to court yet...and they are guilty in your mind.

OJ HAS been to court. And was found NOT GUILTY. But supporting him is an act of defiance?

An reasonable person would say that supporting an INNOCENT man is not a defiant act at all.

NOI rules!!1 said...

"We find it entirely amusing that Ben basically agreed with what we said. And simply restated many of our points.

Yet you find HIS input to be intelligent."

nois- I agreed with many of your points as well, the only thing I didn't agree with was the idea that you would put the idea of fighting racism over reality.

As for OJ... it is widely known that the defiance you describe affected many of the jury members in their decision making, which LED to the verdict being non-guilty despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

"You have this overwhelming tendency to "think" with emotion, because you so desperately want to disagree with the blog."

This is where you are fundamentally wrong about me. I want to agree with this blog. I have no desire to prove you wrong on a personal level, and would like nothing more than to see an eloquently-stated defense of civil rights. However, all too often your posts become marginalized by absurdities (referring to Pacman as "Officer Jones", wishing for the death of Coach K) and hypocrisies (slamming the lifestyles of Steve Nash and Tom Brady, questioning Brady Quinn's sexuality), that it is hard for me to not become frustrated.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"fighting racism over reality."

Sir, and that is the problem.

It is reality.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"slamming the lifestyles of Steve Nash"

Sir, we don't believe we slammed the lifestyle of Steve Nash.

We saw what we saw.

Mr Telefone Man said...

"questioning Brady Quinn's sexuality"

what exactly is the question???

the dude is froooooooot-eeeeeee!

Brother T said...

"However, all too often your posts become marginalized by absurdities "

gee, I wonder why that is???

Nathan said...

Sweet piece.

NOI rules!!1 said...

"Sir, and that is the problem.

It is reality."

I'm not saying racism isn't a reality, because it obviously is... i'm saying that I have a problem with things such as this:

"Al Sharpton was fighting racism. He was fighting the imagined mistreatment of a young Negro woman. Reality isn't even something that should have been brought into the picture. "

Now I am all for fighting racism when there is racism to be fought, but no need to create imaginary racism.

madd hatter said...

"Sweet piece."

damn, you sound like a 'mo.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"I'm not saying racism isn't a reality, because it obviously is..."

ok...and then:

" but no need to create imaginary racism."

Sir, make up your mind.

Either stand united against it.

Or succumb to those that would trample upon your existance.

But, make up your mind.

Either it is reality. Or it's imaginary.

hint: it's reality

NOI rules!!1 said...

Forgive me, I wasn't clear.

I meant to say imaginary INSTANCES of racism. It is important to attack racism, when it is an issue (as it often is).

However in instances or situations where race is not a factor, then I believe it is wrong to discard reality and try to create something that isn't there only for political reasons.

Hope this clears that up

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

" it is wrong to discard reality and try to create something that isn't there "


"when it is an issue (as it often is)."

Sir, HUH???

Is it reality, or is it not?

We think it is.

ZEKE said...

look, boys, racism is not a reality.

it is a manifestation of your own self loathing.

so, stop hating yourselves, and you won't have to debate with each other about whether racism exists, or not.

Glad I could help.

ben said...

wow zeke.... that's deep

good luck curing the world with cereal box psychology!

ZEKE said...

"good luck curing the world with cereal box psychology! "

my world doesn't need cured.

it's "your" world that does.

quit bitching and pretending racism is the source of all the problems in this country.

ben said...

"quit bitching and pretending racism is the source of all the problems in this country."

I'm not saying it's the source of 'all problems in this country', but it exists. To say otherwise is absurd and juvenile.

Once that is agreed, it's only though acknowledgment, dialogue and meditation/introspection that we move forward to a higher ground.

You make a profound mistake by writing off everyone here because of a few comments you don't like.

ZEKE said...

"You make a profound mistake by writing off everyone here because of a few comments you don't like"

and you make the profound mistake of believing your opinion has value.

Mr.Poindexter said...

The way you write 'fruity'-kind of gay,mr.telefone man.
Is it hard typing with your limp wrists flopping around?

Mr.Blackman said...

THAT WAS PERFECT!

and that's what it is. White folks expect us to forget 400 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crowe and current modern day 2nd class citizenship.

They crazy. They still HUNTING black men - RICH AND POOR for sport.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

Sir...Mr. Blackman,

Bruh, been a while.

Hope all is well.

Jarrett Carter said...

I really wish Scoop would use his talent to be more than ESPN's race weatherman.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"I really wish Scoop would use his talent to be more than ESPN's race weatherman. "


Sir, check here on Monday or Tuesday.

We are expecting to have something VERY special involving Scoop.