observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Friday, January 18, 2008

No respect for Black people

who's willie lynch?

In this country we are taught to have little or no respect for Black people.
Big statement. Let me get specific.

Last week there was big hub bub in the golf world because a reporter said something to the effect that the only way to stop Tiger Woods was, well here is the quote:

Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman during coverage of Hawaii's Mercedes-Benz championship on January 4. She and host Nick Faldo were bantering about how young golfers might challenge the ever-dominant Woods.
Faldo said, "To take Tiger on, well, yeah, they should just gang up for a while until ..."
"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman interrupted with a chuckle.

As if that is not stupid in and of itself. Golfweek Magazine covered the story and put a noose on its cover. This decision by Golfweek was all the rage on PTI and Around The Horn yesterday. Incidentally the editor got canned for it today.

What I found even more infuriating was Tony Kornheiser’s comments during yesterday’s PTI. Now let me say I love PTI and Tony so I am not attacking him but the sad state of sensitivity in this country. Tony’s position was that the image was meant to be provocative and thought provoking, so in essence as a journalist he was cool with it. Michael Wilbon, Tony’s black co-host, and one of the best Black journalists on TV took the intelligent and enlightened position that there is simply no place for that image given its history and even more recent events all around the country stemming from the Jena 6.

I am not sure if Tony is Jewish or if Kornheiser is a Jewish name but I wondered if they were talking about a Jewish golfer and Nick Faldo had said. ‘In order to stop him they should round him up and throw him in an oven,’ would there would be the same level of journalistic tolerance from respected journalists like Tony. And then to follow up there was a picture of a man’s wrist with numbers tattooed into the wrist, or a railroad car packed with emaciated men, women, and children on the cover of Golfweek Magazine. That image would have never made it out of the art department.

But an image of a f&&&ing noose goes to print! Then a day after the coverage the editor gets canned. Insulting.
But it gets worse. In PTI’s analysis Tony referenced the Jena 6 and asked Wilbon for clarification on the pronunciation of ‘Jena.’ Back to my analogy, everyone knows how to pronounce Auschwitz, right? Of course you do. Because the Jewish holocaust is a real tragedy. A crime against humanity. Perhaps the worst.

The Trans Atlantic Slave trade? The African Holocaust? Jim Crow inspired terror and lynching? Something we should all just ‘get over.’ An embarrassing moment in US History. No need to rub our nose in it. That is how it is spun. Spun so well that an intelligent man like Kornheiser can’t see it.

It comes down to the essential problem. There is far too little value placed on Black life. Especially as compared to other ethnic groups whose back was broken to build this company. Jena 6 is just some news item that gets a cursory glance. A noose is a provocative image. Many (including Wilbon) were even saying the commentator didn’t deserve to be suspended. And I am sure there was much hand wringing about the decision to fire the editor today.

Shame on you if you are not outraged by the comment and subsequent publication.
Shame on you if you attempted to defend their position.
You know what that noose means? It means men being hunted like animals. Hung. Burned alive. Castrated. Paraded through the streets. There is no place in a civilized society for a casual reference to that period.


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