Monday, January 14, 2008

Untitled

Warning: There is going to be some language in here that you might not like. I don't like it, but it's here to help discuss an issue.

I'm getting older and I was hoping that by the time I reached this age, some things would have changed in the world and we would have sorted a few things out by now. But we haven't and I don't think we ever will. That makes me sad.

Kelly Tilghman, an on-air analyst for The Golf Channel, used the word "lynch" in reference to how the rest of the PGA should try to defeat the dominance that is Tiger Woods.

Ms. Tilghman couldn't have picked a worse word. She made an apology, was suspended for two weeks and the person whom the comment was directed towards, Tiger Woods, has said it's a non-issue. This, to me, means we're done here. Of course, we're not and here is where I will get my self into trouble.

We're not done because some people don't want to see beyond it. Some people refuse to let a horribly inappropriate word uttered on live television not just be a horrible inappropriate word uttered on live television. It's gotta be more than that.

I love Scoop Jackson. He's one of the people who inspired me over the years to make a move into this writing thing. Loved him at SLAM, still love him over at ESPN. Except this morning. This morning I'm annoyed with Scoop Jackson.

You see, Scoop's piece is all about Kelly Tilghman, Tiger Woods and us as a society understanding that thoughtless statements that are racially insensitive do not have a place in the world today. He calls for Tiger Woods to be the person that shows us all this. He also likens Ms. Tilghman to Howard Cosell, Marge Schott, John Rocker and Don Imus.

This isn't Imus calling the Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team a bunch of "nappy headed hos." This isn't Howard Cosell's infamous "Look at that little monkey go" or Marge Schott calling Eric Davis and Dave Parker her "Million-Dollar Niggers." This is nowhere near John Rocker territory either. This is an on-air personality making a horrible choice of words.

Unfortunately, because of the word Ms. Tilghman used, this has become a bigger issue. Sadly, had she said the rest of the players on the PGA Tour need to take him into a back alley somewhere and beat the fuck outta him, not a lot would have been made of the story I don't think. In essence, that is exactly what needs to happen if anyone else wants to win something of significance on the PGA Tour in the next twenty years. Not because Tiger Woods is black, but because he is that damn good.

Of course, this is about more than just Tiger Woods, Kelly Tilghman and the word lynch. This is about racism, perceived or real, intended or unintentional.

I don't think I will ever see a time where racism isn't a part of society. I don't like that I feel this way, but it is how I feel. Sadly, one of the reasons I think this way is situations such as this one.

To me - and I understand that I come from a much different place than those who take great offense to Ms. Tilghman's choice of words - the fact that this became as much of a story as it did is a sad declaration of the world we live in. Not that Ms. Tilghman should have gone unpunished or there should be no barometer of what you can and can't say, but aren't there much more important issues in the world than one woman not being smart enough to think before she spoke?

Kelly Tilghman used the word lynch on The Golf Channel. How many rappers use the N word throughout their rhymes, reaching a much larger audience than The Golf Channel could ever hope to reach? And don't feed me this, "It's okay because they're black and it's nigg-a, not nigg-er," bullshit either. If lynch is a word that strikes a chord, how the fuck is the N word acceptable? How come Rev. Al Sharpton isn't calling for a stop to the recording of hip hop tracks using that word? Or what if a black commentator said it or something of similar nature in reference to a white athlete? Then what?

I guess, my basic question is this: why is one thing seen as horribly wrong and the other is acceptable?

Black comedians get on stage and do "The White Guy Voice" without anyone batting an eye. Russell Peters' entire routine is predicated on racial stereotypes, but because he's a minority himself it's okay? Or are both of these acceptable because they are done in good spirits and jokingly?

I dunno.

What I do know is that I will continue to live my life the way I always have, seeing people not colour and with my fingers crossed that maybe my children will be able to live a world that truly embraces that belief.

5 comments:

Mizzo said...

Check this link shoot me another email after you get your insight.

Rent the movie Rosewood, Roots or damn near any movie based on slavery and you'll get your answer from me.

Lynching means death and is something so shockingly different than nigger.

Don't come with the superficial hip hop did this argument. Sharpton doesn't speak for me, but he has spoken out against hip hop's lyrics.

Think before you speak. If you need me to I'll go into this deeper after you comment. But don't use my insight to elicit a bunch of hits when you know damn well how we feel about this on TSF. Just check the Don't believe the hype thread.
http://images.google.com/images?q=lynchings&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

E. Spencer Kyte said...

Mizzo,

I sent you the email I did so you knew that I wasn't trying to use your name and rep at TSF to get empty hits. That's not me. I wanted your insights and thoughts and I guess now I got them.

I didn't come with any hip hop did this argument. What I came with is a question and an open channel to communicate, if you would like to.

Instead of sending me links to Google images of lynchings, talk with me, help me bring this issue to the people who come to this sight and have no idea what the hell we're talking about. This is an opportunity to EDUCATE and open the minds and eyes of people who are unaffected by these issues to learn and that is the first step in changing the world we live in.

I hope to hear more from you on this...

Mizzo said...

I'll apologize in advance for my anger, but now you have me really heated.

It's not my job or any other Black person to educate Whites on what is right and wrong to say.

Get a fucking book and educate yourselves instead of focusing on yourselves and yourselves only.

No one else in this country does this. We know more about Whites than they know about themselves because we are forced to know.

Hypothetically, if what Kelly Tilghman said had anything to do with the Holocaust, she would have been fired on the spot. You would have seen the hook grab her dumb ass off stage live on air.

She ain't that dumb though is she?

You did reference Hip Hop and comedy and gave yourself a disclaimer to your readers in the process.

That's what fired me up.

When I see a report of Whites dying, I don't make excuses for their death by saying oh it was (hypothetical) the trailer park they lived in or Daddy didn't love them enough or any other bullshit. Each case should be handled individually. I don't know these people so why should I defend their integrity when they mess up?

Again, it's the tired story of Whites coming to the aid of someone they know not.

What the hell is that? Guilt? Please explain.

Blacks are sick and tired of this. If you've had thousands of your people killed and burned while White offspring laugh and smile at the feet of their murderous fathers, then you would totally understand. Slave ships traveled to and fro for 200 years. Two thirds of Africans died on each trip. Do the math.These are the images burned in our memories from birth and where the majority of our distrust for Whites is grounded.

That shit is sick! It's fucking disgusting and an entire race should be ashamed that their grandfathers, brothers, uncles, neighbors, priests and presidents basically authenticated DEATH with no action!

Because Tiger Woods didn't speak up and defend himself, he gave away a chance yet again for America to have productive racial discourse.

Instead he did what so many Whites want him to do and swept it under the rug, thusly reinforcing his non threatening persona for white children while black kids: ?

E. Spencer Kyte said...

I can't respond now. I'm too emotional to say anything... not angry emotional, ready to cry emotional,so I'll be back later.

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