Saturday, February 17, 2007

The infamous Tim Hardaway post

It bothers me that people have misinterpreted my Tim Hardaway rant as racist. People, come on! That was not my intent. So to avoid any further misunderstanding I've decided to just junk the post.

Moving on to new less controversial topics....

66 comments:

hollywood blond said...

I just missed reading the responses.

All people / groups get teased and heckled to some degree, the post was mild - and comedy writers do the best teasing. The post was not offensive. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

I'm offended that anybody was offended.

la guy said...

I didn't see many of the responses but it doesn't surprise me someone would make the accusation.

Granted your post wouldn't have passed Sharpton's 'PC' sensitivity filter, but basically you were stating a fact; black NBA players seem to revel in the values of rap; excess, thuggery and self-centered exhibitionism.

It would be nice if people who are so quick to scream racist anytime they don't like what they infer from something they read or hear would turn their attention to the real crisis; the total breakdown of family, education and opportunity for huge groups of future generations.

This is part of the larger cultural decay where people idolize the Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogs of the world and are consumed with the idea of being famous, as if that were some sort of accomplishment in and of itself. Meanwhile China, India and other countries are at the dawn of their economic revolutions and bulging with an educated populace grateful to work for wages that McDonald's couldn't hire an unskilled teen to work for in this country.

But yeah Ken, you're the problem.

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m! said...

That's right, everyone revel in your sanctimony . . . don't take a moment to examine why anyone would be upset. Make sweeping statements like "the average American" and accuse the entire NBA of stupidity and then feign shock, shock that anyone would have the temerity to suggest that the post was as intolerant as the Hardaway comments that it was meant to address.

Don't actually address the substance of some very cogent complaints and observations. Hide behind the fact that your passions were incited.

Never address the notion that you are judging books by covers and not by behaviors . . . the comments about the "looks" of the players, not even actions, just looks that would scare the "average" person. Who of course is entitled to set the standards of what is "scary" and what isn't scary.

And, of course, then people are offended that anyone was offended by your intolerance.

I spend my entire life attending to the "real crisis" . . . and know from personal experience that one of the most crippling is the inability to examine exactly how we actually value excellence and what we reward as a community.

Even if every "thug" were to get a great education, speak in a way that was acceptable to you the arbiter of what is and isn't "average" or "criminal" behavior and still there would be public policy that created an incredible system of haves and have nots.

We, as a community, have sent a loud message about how we value blacks and black men in particular.

Feel smug out there with your "Sharpton's PC sensitivity filters," because someone of color who might live in your upper middle class neighborhood, works hard, raises their children well and would appear to be just like you in almost every affluent way, except for melanin enhancement, reads your comments as repugnant and completely insensitive.

My guess is that many blacks whom you'd think would recognize that your comments were just honest, are reading both the defense of them and the wide-eyed innocence declaiming . . . we never meant to offend and of course to be offended you'd have to be Al Sharpton . . . as code words for overly sensitive and always looking for a racial slight.

That's why it's called white entitlement, having the luxury to hurl invective and then to hide behind blaming the individuals you offended because clearly, you'd never intend to do that and anyone who couldn't see that must be intentionally over reacting and over sensitive.

If you feel free to speak truth, then you must feel free to hear it too . . .

The comments were totally bigoted in that they damned an entire class of individuals=the sum of the players of the NBA.

Moreover by attributing the notion that anyone who was an "average American" would recognize what you posited as “the truth” is likewise offensive. If you’d just said it was “your truth,” but you didn’t. You said it was the truth of “average” Americans. Again, including or excluding as an entire class those who would see things as you do or fall outside the group of “average Americans.”

It might be nice to learn how the communication was offensive, but again that would require self-examination and growth in your ability to live and communicate with individuals different from you.

m! said...

and la guy . . .

I'm not quick to cry "racist," that's the point! And, I never said it was a "crisis," but merely, "excuse me do you realize when you say that it is rude and indicates that you may be a racist."

Last year, I had 1,100 people from around the world and around the way in my home to find common ground over dinner.

My speciality is building bridging social capital for under resourced individuals, my husband speaks fluent Mandarin and is a fairly well known expert in Asian affairs so many of our guests are from China, India and those other countries at their "dawn."

We are getting ready to convene a series of dinners on why there is such a rise in the numbers of HIV/AIDS cases in young girls of color in deep poverty in this country (hint: it is linked to the hate speech of the religious right and the nominal inroads they've made in the black community).

So yeah . . . I'm pretty darn engaged (not to mention highly credentialed and upper middle class) and your comments likewise demonstrate incredible entitlement as well . . .

The truth is Ken's post offended more than just people with "Al Sharpton's PC sensitivity filter"--because of course it's just silly to actually be thoughtful about how your language will impact others.

"Self-centered exhibitionism" is that what Donald Trump does?

"Excess" How many cars does Jay Leno have?

"Thuggery" can you say the Bush administration?

"revel in the values of rap," have you seen all the rich white kids blasting rap out of the cars mommy and daddy bought them . . . almost everyone under 24 seems to revel in it . . . just like another generation reveled in punk (but that's right, those people weren't melanin enhanced!)

Also, completely mischaracterize and misattribute, no one ever said "Ken was the problem," but did point out that his comments showed, as yours do, an incredible sense of white entitlement.

Anonymous said...

You know when people will stop mocking cries of racism? When minorities stop using it as the rationalization of every failure in their life. Sometimes you fail because you failed... you just weren't good enough. And it had nothing to do with race. But of course, they will never accept that reasoning. Not the way they clutch the word "racism" as a universal "get out of jail free" card.

E. Black said...

Some people felt the post was offensive. Some did not. To completely dismiss either side as incorrect based on your own personal opinion seems rather self-centered to me.

Not to beat a dead horse, but LA guy, the type of statement that you claim as "fact" (black NBA players seem to revel in the values of rap) is primary reason people were offended in the first place. If Bill Cosby wrote a blog saying that it was a "fact" that all white NASCAR drivers reveled in the worst values of the of country music (racism, sexism, good ol' boyism) I would expect not only white people but NASCAR fans to be upset.

Not because it wasn't "PC", but because it was a generalization, and clearly not a "fact". If you don't get that, I don't know what else to say.

I come to this blog daily because I enjoy Ken's writing and I enjoy reading his stories about Cheers, Frasier, etc. And for whatever it's worth, I enjoy reading and hearing other people's thoughts (even those that I don't agree with) because as the saying goes, I've never learned anything from someone who always agreed with me.

But, Ken, if the next post is about the time Allen Iverson tried to fondle Jane Leeves' butt at the Emmy's, I'm going to know something's up.

m! said...

No . . . I think we clutch "racism" as our "get into jail free" card not the other way around.

I don't see anyone here using race to excuse our "failings," or to excuse anything. I do see people here who believe they are entitled to lay claim to what an "Average American" experiences. I actually had to check in with my husband on Alan Iverson . . .it seems his biggest crimes to the sensibilities of "Average Americans" is crown rows and tattoes.

In fact, no one here has even been discussing failings . . . except for those with white entitlement to see exactly how their words weren't taken the wrong way, but were in fact somewhat slanderous and damning to a whole category of people. I happen to live in the same city as Kevin Garnett . . . he alone put a lie to the entire rant on the part of Ken . . .

Who was no less offensive than Hardaway in his condemnation of "stupid NBA players" . . . and the emtitlement to suggest that the somehow in a capitalist society that indivduals need to get an education to play basketball, but that isn't even whispered about baseball with all those nice white boys going straight from high school to the farm system . . .

I was not crying racism, I was asking that the Ken check his reasoning and maybe reflect on our points.

Instead of any reflection . . . on any of your parts . . . I have been accused of being overly sensitive and now worthy of mockery.

Again, you may want to check your own sense of entitlement instead of making fun of me.

hollywood blond said...

m!, it sounds like you're passionate about making a difference. You put actions next to words and believe me, you're the exception. You made a good point with these examples:

"Self-centered exhibitionism" is that what Donald Trump does?

"Excess" How many cars does Jay Leno have?

"Thuggery" can you say the Bush administration?


These are all good examples because each is used as a source of humor. Just like sports stars, rednecks, NBA celebrities, etc.

Also, people of quality and accomplishment living in the worst parts of South-Central do not agree with your assessment (below). I know because I've talked with them, and they judge choice and integrity - not color. They're disgusted by rappers who promote drug talk and cop killing. What distinguishes these people is the fact that they're 45-50/60, and they worked hard to make something of their lives. They choose to live in predominantly black neighborhoods, as opposed to many who rely on government assistance. (A side tangent would be that LA County/2007 is seeing record amounts of welfare fraud. $600 million or more. No taxpayer of any color needs this. In turn, this creates another group ripe for humor. It's not unlike the dumb cheerleader, the stoned surfer, the brain-dead politician. Remember Roseanne's trailer park jokes?)

You would have to agree, there's much EOE today with tremendous benefits and inclusions across the board -- for education, lending, hiring quotas. The list goes on. Really, you deserve praise because you're making a difference with your life and livelihood. But the idea of white entitlement is seriously an antiquated notion. Robert Johnson, Oprah. The coaches who led the Superbowl teams this year. Jamie, Hallie, Eddie, Cuba, Denzel, the beautiful Jennifer Hudson. Beyonce could hire me as a maid and look, life isn't fair. Scorsese has never won an Oscar.

Whoever posted about excuses taking the place of hard work made a good point, and one that applies to all of us.

>> "[S]omeone of color who might live in your upper middle class neighborhood, works hard, raises their children well and would appear to be just like you in almost every affluent way, except for melanin enhancement, reads your comments as repugnant and completely insensitive." >>

hollywood blond said...

That said, LA Guy said it best:

"consumed with the idea of being famous, as if that were some sort of accomplishment in and of itself. Meanwhile China, India and other countries are at the dawn of their economic revolutions and bulging with an educated populace grateful to work for wages that McDonald's couldn't hire an unskilled teen to work for in this country."

James D. Miller said...

The post certainly wasn't racist. Please don't give in to the politically correct crowd by deleting the post, this just encourages such P.C. intolerance.

Seymour said...

Well, deleting that post certainly put an end to the debate.

Next we'll be reading "At least Ken made the trains run on time."

m! said...

Actually . . . Donald Trump, Jay Leno and Bush are all revered in many circles and respected not derided and certainly not used to castigate all individuals in their class . . .

That was the point of our objection to the post . . . It purported to speak for "average Amercians" and it also purported to castigate a particular class of athlete and on top of it call them all stupid . . .

Those types of sweeping statements tend to be done because of entitlement.

And, the cherry on top . . . If I object to this behavior and call it out . . . then I'm accused of being overly sensitive . . . the mantle of entitlement drawn ever more tightly around the offender. Oh no . . . I've called the person on their ignorance, then I get subjected to a long litany of why I'm deserving of mockery for actually being in possession of facts.

I think it would be irrational to assume in this day and age that an average person of color could get ahead . . . Yet every day millions try . . .even thouogh most evidence is completely would suggest that to do so does not pay off . . . it is my observation that only those who are literally head and shoulders above everyone even get 1/2 as far as average white people (can you say George Bush anyone??). The standards and expectations . . . what we call "normal," and "average," the dominant culture sets those standards and excuses them continually for those melanin challenged.

How much do you study the impact of public policy on disenfranchised populations? White entitlement is alive and well in this country . . . I get to experience it every day of my life courtesy of my two white stepsons and my black child . . . one of the three whom is facutally a true genius . . . I mean that literally not figuratively . . . of course Hollywood Blond not engaging in your "antiquated" entitlement to suggest I'm making a difference and I'm an exception . . . Clearly, you don't have a clue that we don't own the media . . . the media likes to reflect the worst of cultural values of all cultures for profit and fun . . . but I'm by no means the exception in my community of individuals of color who are making a difference and engaging in productive behaviors . . .But, the fact that you think I'm an "exception," just demonstrates how little you know or experience of what it means to be a person of color in this country.

Anonymous said...

"M!", like Al Sharpton and Naji Ali and pick any other race monger out there, seems to make their living from crying "racism" anytime there is a result that they don't like. You can say it any way you like, but you LOVE having that race card to fall back on. It is your single, eternal excuse for any and every disappointment or failure in your life. And hey, all I was saying was that as long as you continue to use it to rationalize every outcome that you don't like, then all of the legitimate points that you might be making are lost, because you're not willing to accept any culpability for your own failings. And don't take it as gospel from me. Bill Cosby has said it and your groups have pilloried him for it. Shame on you for that. Oh, and because I have no doubt that you will merely fall back on another cry of "racism" in my statement, I will not comment any further on your obvious and so very predicatable rantings. :)

m! said...

Right . . . we must put an end to debate if it is at all controversial . . . Even when there is no shouting or rudeness . . . we can't ever challenge the presumption of white entitlement and the evidence thereof.

Perish the thought we could actually engage in polite dialogue and get a glimpse into someone else's experience of the world.

Again . . . my objections were the blanket nature of the statement . . . and the pomposity of it . . .

also that to challenge it was met with vitriol and mockery, even though I didn't bring up welfare . . . but there you have it . . . bring up white entitlement and someone will bring up welfare and that blacks bring out negative comments upon themselves.

It's always so nice to learn that I'm an "exception" to the rule . . . NOT!. . . what it is says is that very frequently that whites "exceptionalize" a certain category of non-threatening blacks . . . e.g., you "except us" from being or seeming black in order to "accept us" and in your head what it means to be black never grows--Oprah, etc. are all exceptions (and they are exceptional for their accomplishments anyway) is thuggish, welfare fraud guilty and "scary," it never expands your worldview to realize that we aren't exceptional at all . . .

That maybe it's not us but you . . . and your own worldview.

m! said...

I am speaking for me and I don't love having you inform me of my motivations at all . . .

In fact, I hate it . . . I hate having to spend hours educating ignorant people about reality of public policy . . . and I mean from the silly policy relative to federal highway funding to other critical infrastracture . . .

I'm always reminded of Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours when he says "I'm your worst nightmare, I'm a Nigga with a badge." Well, I'm your worst nightmare a highly educated black woman who actually knows how to read public policy and its impacts on our whole community.

You can feel safe with your lie that we love to have the excuse of rasicm to fall back on . . . but frankly it's just exhausting and gut wrenching every time it happens, it's like a slug in the stomach when the pretty common exhibition of white entitlement rears it's head . . . In fact no one here was discussing at all failures, not one person of color here brought it up as an excuse. . . But, then I'm black so I must be lying right and you are entitled to tell me what is in my mind because I don't know my own motivations . . .


That's pretty much the definition of white entitlement in a nutshell! You get to define why we are "scary" and what is "average," and when you get push back, we are hiding behind racism to excuse our failures. Say what? What do the two concepts have to do with each other? Oh, that's right, we deserve to be mocked!

hollywood blond said...

I was paying you a compliment, not knowing (or caring) what your color is.

Many of us don't dedicate our lives to such intense core beliefs. But I believe by rejecting the compliment and restating it as a race-based presumption proves that you have a chip on your shoulder. And while your work efforts are impressive, you clearly have a strong bias against people of a certain color. That's a shame. That's simply perpetuating racism, much as Jesse Jackson does with his shameless corporate shakedowns.

Sean Combs, Beyonce, Oprah, Cathy Hughes (Radio One), Kenneth Edmonds... Robert Johnson... the Wayans Brothers... Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods... all are POWER PLAYERS in their respective industries. White entitlement would keep them down in the locker room or at the craft services table, no? Don't forget the two talented coaches who ran the Superbowl this year.

And really. Stop.
"can you say George Bush anyone"

Yeah, I can say George Bush. Outside of the fact he's NOT a conservative and has abandoned the GOP, he HAS given numerous high level jobs to people who deserve it, people like Colin, Condi and the man he nominated for a judicial seat (name escapes me; an Hispanic judge based in Texas). Karen Hughes (a female/minority) was his top advisor, and I believe still resides at the top of the inner circle. Definitely, definitely crying foul ball on your racist label. Bush has disappointed many people of both parties but the one thing you can't claim is racism. (You probably know, many of his in-laws and nieces and nephews are Hispanic.)

He's working overtime - against our national security needs - to help big business and secure the hispanic vote for generations to come. Making things legal for 'undocumented workers' who now can walk into B of A and get Credit without citizenship is NOT okay with me.

Seriously, you display the same deep bias that you cite in others. I don't like that. But I respect your opinion, especially because you seem committed to your values. I just think it's sad that you lump whole groups of people together in a misguided effort to support your political beliefs.

Frankly, that is racism.

hollywood blond said...

"I'm always reminded of Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours when he says 'I'm your worst nightmare, I'm a Nigga with a badge.'"

And why don't you rise up against this? Write letters, gather signatures. Hold Eddie responsible. And what about Cornel West, one of America's most gifted and controversial scholars? Chris Rock doesn't say the most politically correct things either.

Maybe these people are doing the most damage. That's not an accusation; I really don't know. But it's worth investigating, considering the nature of your concerns.

hollywood blond said...

James D. Miller:
So true. And it's a shame, isn't it?

This is a humor blog, and we're all targets of a comedy writer's pen.

E. Black said...

For the record, I did not want the post removed, nor do I recall any of the responders that took offense to it asking for it to be removed.

Just wanted to clarify that for anyone who assumed otherwise.

la guy said...

m!
I stand corrected, it is not a fact that NBA players seem to revel in the values idealized in Rap, it is merely my perception, although one I that I think is shared by many people.

You raise a lot of valid points and there is no question African Americans have been the most mistreated of any US citizens. (Maybe Native Americans would disagree)

I think a lot of Americans are sympathetic to the problems facing underprivileged inner city families but are a little exasperated about what to do about it.

It seems to me that many of the problems plaguing the black community are rooted in low marriage rates and high incarceration rates.

These two distrusting trends seem to be consistent with the ideas popularized in the urban pop culture. I know it's a chicken and the egg sort of problem, I'm sure rap music didn't cause the collapse of the culture, but it does reinforce what I see as negative values.

Obviously there are no easy solutions, but it does seem sometimes that black activists are stuck in a victim mentality which is counter productive to overcoming the problems they purport to be trying to solve.

When someone like Bill Cosby suggests that maybe black Americans should start taking responsibility for their own future he is roundly criticized by the activists as being an Uncle Tom.

To be sure most of our culture has become a vacuous wasteland which celebrates the most inane features of life, but the values expressed in Urban pop culture seems particularly poisonous to me. I'd love to hear a rap song about Dr. Benjamin Carson.

m! said...

No . . . Hollywood Blond, I have a strong bias against behaviors . . . white entitlement is not a product of melanin it is a product of mindset.

m! said...

I wasn't claiming Bush as a bigot . . . I was pointing out that he has never succeeded at the top levels of anything and still managed to be president of the US . . .

Just an average, really, really rich white guy that has three arrests for drunk driving on his record as well as two companies he put into bankruptcy . . .

That was my point . . . that very often it is who you know and not what you know and excellence and intellectual attainment is a construct that is not in evidence very much in the dominant culture but is very demanded from individuals of color to be deemed worthy of merit . . .

Sorry you misunderstood my point . .

Anonymous said...

To M!

You are correct about Bush being an idiot. Can you shine the light as brightly on some of your own black leaders?

Jesse Jackson called NYC "Hymietown" disparaging Jews for their religion... fathered a child out of wedlock... when he was cheating on his wife... and used Rainbow Coalition money to pay off the mother and child.

And what about Al Sharpton?... Oh god, this one is too easy. I'm not even going to list his illustrious accomplishments in being an embarassment to his race and this country. I'm laughing too hard to type here. Please, go and make your living race-baiting and be happy. If you are successful in some endeavor, it was DESPITE the entitled white people... if you fail to succeed, it was BECAUSE of the entitled white people. You will never get off this racial merry-go-round because you can't afford to. It is your living and it is your eternal excuse.

m! said...

I'm not lumping whole groups of people together . . . ARGH . . . I am saying specifcially . . .

I'm saying your comment "the post was not offensive. Sheesh" is to me evidence of white entitlement . . .

The point is you feel "entitled" to point out to us poor stupid people whom might have been offended by the blanket language by the "sheesh" that we should just get over it . . . it just couldn't be painful . . . and along comes others to point out that welfare fraud is occurring . . . or that I want to use race to excuse bad behavior . . .

I think Tim Hardaway is a total pig, not because he's black, but because he's an idiot! . . and not having read Ken before, I'm withholding judgment . . . His "Come on people" seems to belie his "I never intended to offend anyone," and is far short of any awareness of why it was offensive . . . But, again . . . growth is not to had in these quarters . . . you keep arguing against stuff that I'm not saying . . .

it might be advantageous for you to do some learning about what white entitlement is and how it operates in the world.

My point about Bush is not that he is racist, but that he is a totally mediocre and unextraordinary man who got to be the president . . . the ultimate in white entitlement. . . . and, in upside downland he's caring for immigrants . . . NOT. He's caring for those in big AG that would like a whole population off workers who don't have rights and don't demand living wages. But, that again is totally not the point was I making . . . I was making it that the list of names you rattled off as evidence that white entitlement is antiquated are all superstars at what they do . . ., but put average Joe White Guy up against Average Joe Black Guy and you will find out that almost (note I didn't say always, but almost) always Joe White Guy will have the edge. That's why in a recent study in Milwaukee a person who is white with a high school diploma and a drug conviction is more twice as likely to be given a job offer than a black man with a college education and no drug conviction. By pointing that out . . . without rancor . . . that would seem evidence that white entitlement is not so antiquated wouldn't it?

Or, in a recent Chicago study that a when viewing two identical resumes with the only change being the person's name (and whether it sounded "black" or not), a person with a white sounding name such as Buffy Smith, was likewise 50% more likely to be called back for a job interview.

Try having to go to an emergency room at midnight sometime as a person of color. It's a whole new lesson in disparity in outcomes of healthcare.

Hell, walk down my street and watch white people cross to the other side when they see my black son (straight A student, never dresses like a thug--isn't allowed to), when his brother who are white receive no such treatment . . .

I don't have a chip, but I do have a well tuned antenna. I've had to have one just to get by in this happy utopia we call USA. And, the irony is . . . I know that this is about as good as it gets, but we could do better.

Listen to Tiger, Magic and those brothers sometime, they'll tell you how many times they've been pulled over for DWB in too nice of a car for some police officer.

m! said...

Hey LA Guy . . . thanks for your very polite and very well-reasoned response.

I believe that of the issues we are confronting are ones that are incredibly intractable.

And have to do with in many cases very complicated sets of issues . . . where personal responsibility intersects with actual public policy and institutional bias. I'm reading a very powerful book right now, The Failures of Integration.

dave said...

So I didn't read the post, or even hear about it. I haven't read any of these comments.

But let me guess.

You took Mr. Hardaway's comments and searched-and-replaced any euphemism for homosexual with an equally offensive euphemism for African-American. Because that's the first thing I wanted to do with it!

Now I'll see if I was right.

Harry said...

m!
I completely agree with you, and I was happy to see that someone could express what I thought so eloquently. It takes a long time for some people to really abandon the worldview that comes with their entitlement (I'm a white male at an expensive University, so I do understand that specific struggle), but it helps if the people are willing. I think that most of these people who just want to trash Jackson and Sharpton feel uncomfortable with the notion that they're not as open-minded as they think they are.

CAL said...

Boo, Ken. Boo.

Why not just get rid of the comments section all together.

m! said...

hey, these comments are not hostile, we are all staying within the zone of civility.

And maybe growing a little too!

Why banish free speech and conversation or say Boo Ken Boo? I'm a little confused as to what is so threatening here.

I'm appreciating the give and take . . .

hollywood blond said...

I think somewhere behind a glowing screen, Ken is laughing or screaming at this brand new political blog.

m., for every study you cite, available studies exist which prove the opposite. We could read and compare and quibble on specifics, but it's basically pointless. Why? Because you're asked certain questions by various posters yet respond that's not what you meant. Hopefully, you don't have a chip on your shoulder. Hopefully you acknowledge that inequality is universal, and not color specific. Have I been passed over for EOE candidates... or maybe friends of mine at college... or those working in offices where they were passed over year after year, because of minority advancement? Yes, yes and yes.

The stake to claim inequality as color-based simply doesn't work. This blog is especially for people in ruthless, competitive fields. It's possible to solicit an endless collection of stories from each reader as to how and when they were screwed over in a particular job setting.

You still haven't taken a stand on Jesse Jackson. While I disagree with Al Sharpton on pretty much everything, he's still a great speaker. Entertaining. But the Tawana Brawley (Maryam Muhammad) matter was pretty shocking. How did you feel about it?

Last month, there was an equally offensive story to balance it, involving a man attacked in a racially based hate crime. For the same reason the original post disappeared from this blog -- that story received little to no media coverage.

I'm sorry the word sheesh bothered you and I can understand your explanation. But we simply aren't living in the segregated times you describe. We just aren't.

I would need to see stats showing that minorities turn in "equal or better" scores for advancement because that's simply not true, and it's not how minority enrollment is set up. Not a point for debating. That's a fact.

You may not want to google this, but check the medical and engineering disasters which have happened in recent years, and are directly traceable in some cases to enrollment quotas. Students with lower scores and aptitude are making mistakes where it counts most: out in the real world.

Another big tornado. Isaiah Washington said faggot. But I've been called worse... and you've been called worse. We need to accept the reality... we live in a world that's now Mr. Hall Moniter, and just one click away from reporting on what some guy/ co-worker/ celebrity/ politician/ or athlete did that was supposedly morally reprehensible.

On a final note and then back to sitcoms forever. Tim Hardaway chose some tough, tough words to convey his message. But you know, professional sports is Pressure City, and the guys (and women) don't need a funky sexual aspect in the locker room, especially before game time. On the other hand... qualified players shouldn't be discriminated against because they're gay. What to do? I don't know. I don't follow sports.

Tolerance is needed at every level.

la guy said...

M!'s comments reminded me of an experience I had years ago at the Essense Awards.

I was stationed next to two cameramen for the show and during meal breaks we would go eat together. Both men were black, one worked out of Chicago the other LA. They were really nice guys and at some point we got on the subject of living as a black man in the big city. They talked about the usual sort of police suspicion/ harassment but the thing that really stuck with me was one of them describing how when he would get on an elevator women would frequently reposition their hand bags in order to safeguard themselves from being robbed. I could really see the hurt in his eyes as he described it. It seems like a small thing, but that's the kind of indignity a white male would almost never have to deal with.

The show was also educational in a another way. The crew was probably 85% black, but people are spread around the venue so I really hadn't noticed it. Once the doors opened (this was at the Paramount) a couple thousand people flowed in to take their seats. This is just a guess, but I doubt that there were more than 25 white people in the building. The first thing I thought was boy do I stick out. To be honest I was little uncomfortable because it was a situation I had never been in, a member of the minority. After a few minutes I started thinking about it from a black person's perspective and it occurred to me, geez this is what it must feel like to be a black American at virtually every public venue they go to.

I know those aren't Earth shattering insights, but we have to remember to stop and consider what life is like through the eyes of others.

I think the worst thing is if you have been subjected to prejudice then it taints your life experience in a way that tends to make you think the worse. A month ago I was playing golf with a friend when a black gentleman was added to our group. We made the usual introductions I learned that he's an actor. (According to IMDB he has a very respectable resume and has worked steadily for many years)

So at that point our group had three people and a white middle aged guy walks up to the tee. Now clearly he was suppose to join us, but for some reason he didn't think he was suppose to be in our group and he leaves. As the guy walks away the actor says to me, in effect, he's sure the guy backed out when he saw him. My initial reaction was nah, he's just confused about which group he's suppose to be in, but the truth is I don't know for sure. In the mind of the actor, based upon his life, he's going to think the worse. (He said it happens all the time.) And who can blame him?

So while it may seem like minorities use racism to rationalize everything that's gone wrong in their life (to paraphrase an earlier post) if you look at it from their perspective you can see where it would be hard to distinguish the difference between failing because you weren't good enough versus failing because you never had a chance.

m! said...

You aren't entitled to tell me what world I live in. I'm really clear on the world I live in . . . I'm glad for you that your world is all hunky doory though . . . maybe I should get so lucky as to get a melaninectomy and experience your world of tolerance and sweetness and light.

Since when is being conscious of the experiences of your fellow humans on this globe "political." I never brought up politics vis a vis a position. I haven't brought up anyone relative to their politcal stance, but merely their relative positions of power given their actual demonstrated skills and competence in the world.

I'm not complaining about the ordinary stuff . . . Pointing out that this construct of entitlement . . . I know it's really hard to accept you have some very distinct advantages. Most economists can even put the dollar value on the difference. If women make .65 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same profession, what does that advantage benefit the person who gets the $.35 per hour more over a lifetime? If a black man makes $.70 for every dollar a white man makes what does that extra $.30 per hour buy that person, how does it advantage them?

I'd love to see these peer reviewed studies that say that racism is done and gone, could you please point me to them. I've not heard of any relative to housing or health outcome disparaties, who did the work, who peer reviewed the work, what was the methodology, what were they testing for? . . . 'Cuz according to where the dollars flow for education, healthcare, highways, etc. overwhelmingly favor whites. I happen to largely live in a white world so I get the benefits from the flow, but doesn't mean it's just.

A very important work on this topic is Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society. It is fairly dense and scholarly, but it is a true eye-opener many elements to do with race relations in this country. Including many of the points that raise, which are factually inaccurate . . . although I'm sure that sometimes in the past EOE caused some unique situations . . . although for the past six years, well, I'll let you do the research on what has been happening for the past six years.

On another note: Affirmative action. Having had the pleasure of sitting on UCLA's Chancellor Young's task force to examine affirmative action in the run-up to prop 209 in 1996 and as a woman of color who was partially asked to sit on the panel because I hadn't used affirmative action to get into the honors collegium at UCLA and had in fact been opposed to it, I was amazed at how I changed my position when actually looking at the benefits to the larger community.

I'd never realized how much leeway schools had to diversify their student bodies by region, etc. or to advantage legacy students or athletes (and not just in the big revenue earning sports).

I'd never thought off the benefits of actually having exposure to real black people a white person might get coming from a very sheltered life. That it might build a better community to put individuals together . . . integrate us . . . while our minds were still open.

Things like the average white student's parents at UCLA made double of what the average black person's parents did. And what that double salary bought was a lot . . .

SAT assistance classes for one, another was the ability for a student not to have to work while going to school. Then there were the other things, like the numbers of computers in the average home. When added to things like schools in white neighborhoods on average boasting upwards of 40 to 50 Advanced Academic Placement classes (which give you a bump on your GPA) with communities like Watts and Compton only having one or two for the whole school.

The effects post school were even more remarkable. Upon graduation, a person of color was much more likely than their white counterpart to return to the community and serve it in some way, whereas the white student was much more likely to enter the private sector and maximize their own individual gain. So, as a community, it was a better value to educate the people of color, as they returned the investment to the community by performing "public goods," at incredibly high rates, often serving underserved and under-resourced communities.

It turned out the number one reason for dropping out wasn't the inability to handle the work, but the inability to handle the work while also handling all the attendant pressures of putting oneself through school. I did it, so I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it is very difficult and you have to be extraordinarily committed and focused to make it happen.

In our community here we are trying to get city-wide Wi-Fi, and the city got the funding to cover the "digital divide." but, turns out the only neighborhoods that don't have the fiber optic cables requisite to power up the network are in our "hoods," so they are coming to the most-upscale neighborhoods first.

I am only speaking for myself . . . I don't have leaders based on ethnic identification. I'm speaking totally from personal research and personal experience.

Although I will confess I have heard Jesse speak in person and he is a whole lot of preachin' fun in the live.

A quick question . . . how comfortable are you when you are the only white person in a room full of black people?

As I said before I don't care about athletes . . .

My biggest pet peeve at this time is the myriad white teen girls I see at middle school wearing sweat pants down to their butt cracks sporting lacy thongs with the word "pink" emblazened on their butts. I'm pretty sure many of them have "average" parents who are so shocked by the thuggery of the NBA . . .

I'm shocked that they don't instruct their daughters to honor their bodies. An NBA star and what he says has little impact on my life . . .

The girls in my son's school who are chasing him and begging him to "touch them," an entirely different thing.

m! said...

LA Guy . . . You are very cool! You are cool because you are actually listening to what I'm saying . . . experiencing it not as an attack. Thank you for sharing about being at the Essence Awards. That's one of the reasons for Marnita's Table (marnitastable.org) is to give whites that experience in a safe environment. My husband lived in China for 16 years and he is very used to it.

You are spot on correct about the handbag thing. I used to live in Los Feliz and one day was walking with my (ex)husband and our son (who is now 13, but then was in a backpack on his daddy's back). We are about to cross the street at Franklin right where Los Feliz Boulevard becomes Western. Anyway, here pulls up to the stop light this black mercedes with a nice white family in it out for a drive . . . two kids in back, mom and dad in front. Upon seeing my husband and I on the corner, dressed for a sunday walk and coffee at borgeous pig . . . the dad turns his head and sees us crossing the street, he screams "lock your doors" and everyone starts rolling up their windows and frantically hunting for lock switches . . . It was just gut wrenching . . .it hurt so bad to be automatically presumed to be criminal.

My son just this year is 5'5" and I'm now starting to see the fear in people's eyes when he comes down the street. Mind you I live in the equivalent of Pacific Palisades or Beverly Hills or Sherman Oaks not the hood. My son has grown up on this block all his life. But a new white person to the block feels entitled to be afraid of my son as opposed to my son being entitled to be afraid of a person that is afraid of him on sight alone.

However, there are other signs of hope . . .we have this one older formerly very bigoted neighbor (my husband is white and prior to us getting together this neighbor had said some things about not wanting Blacks to move in and ruin the neighborhood, etc., etc., etc.) anyway, we have lots of parties at our house where we talk about these things with respect and honesty to try to grow empathy and compassion . . .ok so I digress a lot . . . anyway, this neighbor of ours came to our big marathon party (we live on mile three of the twin cities marathon route and its the coolest thing 10,000 runners run by our house on the first sunday of october. (we even had a capuccino cart in the front lawn this year). Anyway . . . after the party, this formerly very closed neighbor came up to me and genuinely thanked me and my son for living in the neighborhood and just came out and said he had always been a bigot, but watching my son walk/skip to school every day (he's super sweet and cute) and observing his polite behavior and gentle ways . . . he'd realized that he'd been closed minded all of his life.

He lost his wife last year and he frequently joins us at our table now and he's kind of amazed at his own growth at 75 years of age.

I never asked for the original post to be taken down . . I think we need to discuss this stuff . . . it's important for the whole community to engage in these conversations without third party intermediates. That's why I'm not talking about what I think of Jesse or Al . . . they have no more impact on my life than the average NBA player . . .

But, the individuals I come into contact with . . . they do have an impact on my life . . . and I will say clearly when someone's expressions are impacting me both positively and negatively.

m! said...

Funny story for you LA Guy (your thing about blacks or maybe native american's being the most maligned in the country) . . .

Anyway . . .my one my best girlfriends is Native American and she was marrying a nice jewish boy so was converting to judaism. She'd gone through all the training, etc. and it was her last meeting with the Rabbi. The Rabbi before he declared her fully converted said he had one last question.

Becoming very solemn he said . . . "you know you are voluntarily joining an oppressed people don't you. Are you sure you can handle the opression," now mind you this is the equivalent of Wilshire Temple in MN, Temple Israel. My friend says "Rabbi, I'm Native American . . . I have a little experience with the opression thing."

Anyway . . . we are super close friends although she's a native girl who is a republican who went to USC and I'm a jewish blatina, lefty liberal progressive (of the non-authoritarian persuasion) who went to UCLA . . . boy was it fun calling her after the USC/UCLA football game this year.

SJ said...

Why is it that people always refer to a 'black community', 'Muslim community', etc.? As if all blacks/Muslims share the same opinion all the time?

I couldn't read Ken's original post, but it seems as if Ken said that most NBA players are into rap, thuggery and excess, which I think is offensive. What, all athletes are supposed to be sweet white guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning? Just so you know Tom Brady also had a child out of wedlock recently. There are lots of black athletes who are really nice, and just because there are some who revel in excess doesn't make it right to generalize all of them.

And why do people always bring up Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? I'm not black but I have met quite a few black people who say that they don't represent the "black community" and they don't want anything to do with them.

I think "m!" has also made some interesting comments. Also, what does Tim Hardaway's blackness have anything to do with him being a homophobe? People were making similar comments when Isaiah Washington called TR Knight a "faggot". I live in the south and it seems to me that most of the homophobes seem to be good ol' white Southern boys.

F. Lippert said...

"I'm your worst nightmare a highly educated black woman who actually knows how to read public policy and its impacts on our whole community."

Sorry dear. MY worst nightmare is me dying slowly of cancer. And that's only because I'm not a parent. I think most people's worst nightmare is something horrible and fatal happening to their kids. Frankly, "A highly educated black woman who actually knows how to read" doesn't even make my top 100 nightmares. Come to think of it, I know a few highly educated black women who can read that I'm very fond of indeed.

If it's any consolation, a humorless person with a keyboard and internet access makes my cut, so you are in there somewhere, though not intensely enough to ever make me wake up screaming.

And to "Hollywood Blonde," voters who think of Condi Rice as someone who deserves a high-level job instead of as an evil creature of the night DO make the top ten list of my worst nightmares. But that has zero to do with her race or her gender. It's strictly her politics. And I've never for a second thought that all educated black women are horrible and evil just because Condi is.

birdgal said...

I did not see your original post, but I can't help commenting here. To me, what Tim Hardaway said was despicable. My feelings on the matter have nothing to do with him being black, and I'm sure if he was white/hispanic/asian Mr. Levine would still have objected to his comments. To chide someone for being 'racist' about venting his anger over a homophobic asshat is just plain silly and hyper-sensitive. (ask yourself this: do you really want to defend someone like Tim Hardaway? If so, this whole thing is like the pot calling the kettle black)

hollywood blond said...

1:35. Love your spark, but that wasn't what the Condi inclusion meant. Whether you agree or disagree with someone's work as a public servant... that's my Camelot description... a person who's sharp, educated and a name at the highest level of politics is a success story.

>> Condi Rice as someone who deserves a high-level

Now, off to read some Ben Stein. (booooo, hissssss! good riddance)
The pain.

Julie said...

Ken, why junk the post? Why run from controversy? If it was misinterpreted, fine. You can clarify. But don't run away from your own opinion. That's P.C. guilt gone horribly awry. Shame on you!

mndean said...

Let me understand, birdgal - you presume to criticize someone reacting to a post you haven't even read?

I don't know what Mr. Levine wrote myself, and so cannot make any comments on it, but I consider it cowardly to not even respond to those who did have a problem with it, and to put the onus of misunderstanding on them. Those who now read it will obviously tar those who complain with epithets such as "thin-skinned", "PC" or "over-sensitive" as has been done here. Those who don't understand the reality of racism should just keep their fool mouths shut and their pens stilled. I had some respect for Mr. Levine that seems to have been misplaced.

hollywood blond said...

and a shout out to SJ who made some good points.

m, how you can totally discard ageism and sexism is beyond me. It's hard to grasp the assumption that everything's easy for those who fall outside your personal concerns. Ageism and Sexism are the unwelcome siblings of Racism and equally destructive.

The stories you could hear. The industries which are almost exclusively male dominant. It's quietly accepted, on the qt. Hirings that go each and every time to The Man. Or to the younger candidate.

Please open your heart and know that unfairness and inequality is not exclusive to any one group.

You're educated and you also know that men who are powerful in Media and Politics do affect our world:

"That's why I'm not talking about what I think of Jesse or Al . . . they have no more impact on my life than"

They both have tremendous influence on business, and media coverage. Much more than us, just regular posters on a message board.

m! said...

Actually, I'm totally square with Ken and his post. (and never wanted it removed!) It really is Chutzpah (or do I sniff more of that "entitlement" I was talkin' about????) to guess at what it said and then automatically assume that anyone of color had to be in the wrong . . . BTW you are all wrong, as to what it said.

And, Hollywood B. . . I never said I was cool with ageism or sexism . . . Unlike you who argues that racism doesn't exist and has no impact on an individual of color's life, I believe those things exists in our community and have an impact.

What I said . . . again . . . was that those who deign to speak of what the "average" person would find offensive, e.g., I believe the original post castigated the entirety of the NBA and called them all stupid. At the time, I had no idea that Ken was a comedy writer and his humor was not evident in the post.

It spoke about players having to have SAT's above their shoe size and then went on if memory serves to claim that the reason audiences had dropped from watching B-Ball was because the players were ALL not some but ALL "scary" "criminal looking thugs" or some such thing.

Ken good to his word that he wasn't trying to be offensive decided because he heard and listened to how his words offended and that wasn't his intent, to remove the post. I think getting to know more about his style, etc. he may have decided that he had spoken more vehemently out of passion than he intended and that being an entitled white guy that didn't like blacks wasn't the impression he wanted to give the world.

That's what engaged dialogue can do . . . it can make people open their eyes and realize that they are having an unintended impact

I then went on to point out that to make such sweeping claims was a sympton of white entitlement or rather just par for the course, that whites just get to make sweeping claims. Suddenly, we were launched into welfare fraud and how older blacks are afraid of younger blacks and apparently that "we people" were trying to shut up Bill Cosby. It was a quite a trajectory and insight into the minds of some of the posters on this site.

In the course of all this activity . . LA Guy and I came to a respectful place of sharing.

Apparently many people here think that we should be able to call ALL NBA players "thugs" and "scary," although I still haven't determined what makes them scarier than the white teen boys I see walking down the street in their Ambercombie fashions.

I also got pointed out that white entitlement didn't exist anymore according to Hollywood Blond. . . who just in your most recent post pointed out that you believe that male entitlement exists so I'm not sure why you are slamming me for agreeing with you.

I never suggested that there weren't other "isms," out there, but that in my experience that many times to be "scary" all you needed was to be black, which LA Guy and I both went on to share some of our personal experiences.

And, I actually do have a sense of humor.

SJ I agree with you on the Condi front and I was speaking to someone else . . . about being their worst nightmare, not you, I woudn't ever presume to know what your worst nightmare is or is not . . . and actually try not to be anyone's worst nightmare mostly . . . And, I realize that I didn't specify why I was saying my comment so you may have taken it generally and not specifically. It was a direct response to Hollywood Blond's assertion that racism no longer existed in the country, as well as other's assertions that "we" cry "racism" whenever we "fail" although none of those things were topics on the table . . . which led us all down the merry lane of the realities of living a melanin enhanced life and me informing a few people that I might be their worst nightmare, because I was actually well-educated.

Your list of nightmares is very similar to mine (including no. 8 The Bush Administration or is that 3????), but again . . . I assure you I am much funnier when I'm not having to explain to people that white entitlement exists and what it looks and sounds like. I'm not sure why you decided I needed to be slammed as it seems that we may be in concurrence on many things . . . Maybe you didn't like my perceived presumption that all white people would view a well-educated black person as being a nightmare . . . For that mis-understanding . . . I retract and say . . .

I'm delighted I'm not even in the top 100 of your nightmares . . . and for that I'm grateful!

m! said...

oops, I mispoke . . .

I'm talking to Fllipert! Don't want to be your worst nightmare at all!

best, m!

F. Lippert said...

That's F. Lippert, not Fllippert.

"Maybe you didn't like my perceived presumption that all white people would view a well-educated black person as being a nightmare . . ."

That's right.

And, as a white gay male with a black male lover, this whole Hardaway topic is a tender point in my bed.

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

"And, as a white gay male with a black male lover, this whole Hardaway topic is a tender point in my bed."

Must...not...make...joke...

m! said...

Okay F. Lippert . . . I clearly suffer from short term memory deficiency . . . sorry for the wrong name . . .

So, does your black partner find the "nigga with a badge" line funny. I grew up in a very small town and was transracially adopted. As the only person of color in townI saw some crazy stuff (you know bricks in the window, school board meetings convened to discuss how I could single-handedly bring down the entire education system in Arlington WA--Oh, and my favorite . . .the time a student dumped in an entire box of baby powder on me to make me "white" and she got sent back to class with a warning and I got taken to the principal's office because . . . and this is so sad but true and funny and weird, the principal said . . . well, I might have to suspend you "because, if you weren't black, this wouldn't have happened.")

So, you see my perceptions of what is very scary to white people is somewhat colored by my early experiences.

But nevertheless . . . totally meant the line as a toss off not an offense and see everyone out there, when you say something that you really don't intend to be hurtful or damning to all and it gets interpreted that way, there is no honor lost by just admitting that you were incautious and an ineffective communicator.

So, thanks for the shout out F. Lippert. And, my children think I'm very funny.

m! said...

BTW all . . .JUST TO TOTALLY CLARIFY . . .

I thought when I heard it and continue to Hardaway is an ignorant pig, if that isn't too damning to all pigs! That was not what I was arguing against or even commenting on. ARGH! I can't believe that without the original post it looks like I'm defending that total cretin!

So so so so not the case. If anything I was defending guys like Kevin Garnett and that looks don't make you "scary," but behaviors do and generally that I find it paternalistic the way that white sports writers frequently bemoan that black athletes aren't forced to finish college, etc. while I rarely see comments about the farm system in baseball and hockey. It seems somewhat entitled and then somehow the merry ride to inform me that blacks use race to excuse their failures and welfare fraud and blacks being responsible for it and everything is hunky dory and racism is dead began flying right and left and it seemed that maybe I should point out that I might be individuals with such views worst nightmare . . .

Clearly, you do not seem likely to hurl invective at me anytime soon relative to welfare fraud and hiding behind race to describe my failures (I'm not sure what failures that were being attributed to me) . . . so I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about me being your worst nightmare . . .

Although it is posssible that I could talk your ear off . . . but I typically cook well enough to even make that worth while.

And, having lost my best friend to suicide because his parents were bigoted baptists who couldn't stand the idea of a gay son . . . and a neighbor who lost his eye to gay bashing in Loring Park here 15 years ago . . . I really have a low tolerence for homophobia!

Glad I got my bona fides straightened up there!

xoxxo, m!

F. Lippert said...

"So, you see my perceptions of what is very scary to white people is somewhat colored by my early experiences."

Do you see the inherent racism in that sentence? White people, like black people, brown people, yellow people, and wisteria people, are all individuals, and what is scary to one isn't to another, and assigning ANY perceived attitude to a whole group of millions of people is - well - stupid, and not to be expected from a highly-educated black woman.

Your principal who felt you provoked the baby powder attack by deliberately being black was an IDIOT. His attitude may be typical of idiots, but not of "White People". I had a high school principal who was also an idiot, and a Mormon. (He actually made us cut the line "You can go and smoke now, those that smoke." from that salacious porn play OUR TOWN!) But I have known principals who were fine people, and my beloved grandmother was a Mormon.

If a redhead called me a faggot, it would be moronic of me to then assume that all redheads are homophobes.

Given the number of comment responses here, Ken should delete columns more often. It really gets the debates going.

m! said...

Again, F. Lippert . . .My point was not that ALL whites responded that way, but in my experience ENOUGH do and that in that particular sentence I was only speaking to THOSE that do and totally excluding THOSE that didn't. I also explicitly pointed out that I was only speaking to THOSE by the "your" in my sentence as those who would fear intelligent blacks.

There isn't "inherent" racism in the line that my experiences colored (get the pun???) my viewpoint. I don't presume that ALL whites feel that way. But, there are a lot of white people IN MY EXPERIENCE (not belief, but through observable interaction) for whom that statement is true. Those are the only class of people I was referring to. And, yes those people are idiots as well as fearing well educated black people (or maybe because of it). But, because I say, "I have lots of experience with white people who fear black people and for those people I can be perceived as their worst nightmare" doesn't make it "inherently" racist unless I take the step and say and "therefore, all whites are racist," which I'd never assert because it would be so stupid for me to say for so many reasons, not the least of which it isn't my opinion, and being married to one, having a mom who is one and living in a whole family of them I know the statement to be patently false. You have taken my statement way farther that they are written or laid out. You are extrapolating to a conclusion that doesn't exist either in my argument or in my head.

Also, it was meant just as a silly, funny, line, not as an actual belief I hold (at least not for ALL whites) . . . When I originally saw 48 Hours that line really stood out as very true to me . . . at the time I was a senior executive at an entertainment company and had a lot of experience with the "you can't be the one in authority here," moments. Because the line rang true for some circumstances in my professional life, didn't mean that it impacted all of my relationships and I became suspicious that everyone was a racist.

I do find it ironic though the number of people who accused me of over-sensitivity about a post that originally damned the entirety of the NBA as "thugs" and "scary," are now going after me for pointing out that there are white people who are entitled and white people for whom encountering a highly educated black person is scary.

Again, I specifically said I was referring to only the people who extrapolated that I was upset that a class of people ALL OF THE NBA were deemed "scary" and "criminal looking" and "thug like," In response I got informed that blacks commit welfare fraud, use their race to hide failure and a whole bunch of other complete inane arguments. Those were the ONLY people for whom I was addressing my comments and I may have been mistaken there too . . .

I find it amusing with all the negative things being said about blacks here, you are most upset that I said that SOME white people fear intelligent blacks.

hollywood blond said...

First of all congratulations for turning this blog into your personal MySpace page. It's pretty good considering you don't even read the site.

>> Unlike you who argues that racism doesn't exist

What I wrote: Ageism and Sexism are the unwelcome siblings of Racism and equally destructive. That acknowledges racism, m. ...It exists.

But your examples, based on a lifetime of perception, are slanted to a concerning degree. We're supposed to be shocked that a black woman is educated; or that an opinion is clearly a case of white entitlement. Or that Jesse Jackson is not a dangerous, manipulative, self-serving huckster.

Sorry, but several olive branches have been extended and each and every time you use those words to beat the person over the head. Example; Tim Hardaway. I said more tolerance is needed at every level. You countered with some assumption how easy 'n breezy my white life is, which is um, not an accurate description in any sense.

Everyone agreed Tim's thoughts and statements were offensive. But nobody has bothered to answer the sexual aspect in a locker room. Sports is a billion dollar industry... while we don't excuse his words, aren't players kept from their wives and girlfriends (/and hotel bars) to make sure they give their best performance to the Team? These athletes are playing under intense pressure, so how to meet those needs? Gays shouldn't be discriminated against in any field or industry. So what is the solution to this sports-related conflict.

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

M,

Most of your valid points are unheard because of your ranting. Point of fact, I'm a black man who works in the entertainment field and I feel the discrimination every day. But the manner in which you're trying to get your point across--the constant attacks, do you no good.

Yes, you've been attacked too by others but if you want to be heard and understood you have to better than that. Hollywood Blond doesn't get it but she never will if you talk to her like that.

Your words can be just as powerful without the malice.

"Everyone agreed Tim's thoughts and statements were offensive. But nobody has bothered to answer the sexual aspect in a locker room."

What in the world are you talking about?

F. Lippert said...

"'Everyone agreed Tim's thoughts and statements were offensive. But nobody has bothered to answer the sexual aspect in a locker room.'

What in the world are you talking about?"

I second the question. The whole morass that followed this crytic question is unintelligable. One suspects that you're trying to say that it's bad to allow gays in sports locker rooms for some unspecified reason without sounding homophobic, and since there's no way to do that, being as it is a homophobic idea at root (Yes, that one is intended), you dance around completing the thought.

What were you trying to say there?

m! said...

Great! I'm gone . . . Not trying to rant. Clearly, I don't communicate in a way you that many of you can understand . . . and clearly the way that you perceive my words that I think are completely calm, rational and without rancor are being taken as "rants."

I'll hang where I'm welcomed and valued.

N said...

You're all too dumb to understand me. I'm taking my highly-educated self off, and go home and eat some worms.
Happy now, you rats?

Ken Levine said...

Not to re-stir the pot, but this just appeared.

Mayhem Main Event at NBA All-Star Weekend

'Police Were Simply Overwhelmed' in Sin City
By JASON WHITLOCK
AOL

Sports Commentary

LAS VEGAS -- NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was an unmitigated failure, and any thoughts of taking the extravaganza to New Orleans in 2008 are total lunacy.

An event planned to showcase what is right about professional basketball has been turned into a 72-hour display of why commissioner David Stern can't sleep at night and spends his days thinking of rules to mask what the NBA has come to represent.

Good luck fixing All-Star Weekend.

The game is a sloppy, boring, half-hearted mess. The dunk contest is contrived and pointless. The celebrity contest is unintended comedy. And, worst of all, All-Star Weekend revelers have transformed the league's midseason exhibition into the new millennium Freaknik, an out-of-control street party that features gunplay, violence, non-stop weed smoke and general mayhem.

Word of all the criminal activity that transpired during All-Star Weekend has been slowly leaking out on Las Vegas radio shows and TV newscasts and on Internet blogs the past 24 hours.

"It was filled with an element of violence," Teresa Frey, general manager for Coco's restaurant, told klastv.com. "They don't want to pay their bills. They don't want to respect us or each other."

Things got so bad that she closed the 24-hour restaurant from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

"I have been spit on. I have had food thrown at me," she said. "I have lost two servers out of fear. I have locked my door out of the fear of violence."

All weekend, people, especially cab drivers, gossiped about brawls and shootings. You didn't know what to believe because the local newspaper was filled with stories about what a raging success All-Star Weekend was. The city is desperately trying to attract an NBA franchise, and, I guess, there was no reason to let a few bloody bodies get in the way of a cozy relationship with Stern.

Plus, the NBA's business partner ESPN didn't have time to dirty its hands and report on the carnage. I'm sure ESPN's reporters were embedded in the rear ends of the troops -- Shaq, Kobe, King James, D-Wade, AI and Melo.

But there were multiple brawls, at least two shootings, more than 350 arrests and a lot of terror in Vegas over the weekend.

And the police might want to talk to NFL player Pacman Jones about a nasty shooting spree at a Vegas strip club. Jones and the rapper Nelly were allegedly at Minxx Gentlemen's Club Monday morning shortly before (or during) the shooting.

Two victims, male employees of the club, were listed in critical condition at the hospital; a third, a female patron, sustained non-life threatening injuries after being grazed by a bullet.

There were so many fights and so many gangbangers and one parking-lot shootout at the MGM Grand that people literally fled the hotel in fear for their safety. I talked with a woman who moved from the MGM to the Luxor because "I couldn't take it. I'll never come back to another All-Star Game."

There are reports of a brawl between rappers and police at the Wynn Hotel.

Vegas police were simply overwhelmed along The Strip. They were there solely for decoration and to discourage major crimes. Beyond that, they minded their own business.

I was there. Walking The Strip this weekend must be what it feels like to walk the yard at a maximum security prison. You couldn't relax. You avoided eye contact. The heavy police presence only reminded you of the danger.

Without a full-scale military occupation, New Orleans will not survive All-Star Weekend 2008.

David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize. Taking the game to Canada won't do it. The game needs to be moved overseas, someplace where the Bloods and Crips and hookers and hoes can't get to it without a passport and plane ticket.

I'm serious. Stern has spent the past three years trying to move his league and players past the thug image Ron Artest's fan brawl stamped on the NBA.

After this weekend, I'm convinced he's losing the battle. All-Star Weekend Vegas screamed that the NBA is aligned too closely with thugs. Stern is going to have to take drastic measures to break that perception/reality. All-Star Weekend can no longer remain the Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby's mamas on tax-refund vacations.

This was not a byproduct of the game being held in Vegas. All-Star Weekend has been on this path for the past five or six years. Every year the event becomes more and more a destination for troublemakers.

If something isn't done, next year's All-Star Weekend will surpass the deceased Freaknik, a weekend-long party in Atlanta, in terms of lawlessness. Wide-spread looting and a rape killed the Freaknik in 1999.

The NBA's image cannot survive bedlam in the French Quarter. And I'm not sure it can survive the embarrassment of a New Orleans standoff between its fans and the National Guard, either.

If Stern wants to continue to strengthen the international appeal of his game, he has the perfect excuse to move the All-Star Game to Germany, China, England or anywhere Suge Knight's posse can't find it.

2007 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Seymour said...

America Online is obviously racist! Only white entitlement could notice and report what happened in Las Vegas. Don't you see how reporting the facts just plays into the hands of the bigots? Next you'll be saying the players are overpaid, another racist assumption!

I'm never reading this column again today.!

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

Ken:

If you put a shitload of people into one small town, this'll happen. It happens with Hockey, Soccer and Baseball as well (can you say, Canada?)

But in all these cases of sports violence, it almost always involves the so-called fans, not the players. It wasn't the NBA Players that were going nuts, it was the asshole "fans".

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

Seymour:

The next time you want to use sarcasm to make your idiotic joke, you might want to try being funny. Something like:

AOL and NBA join KKK

or

What Happens in Vegas Gets Shot in Vegas

or

The NBA All Star Game in Vegas. It's the only time when 3 watermelons is a bad thing.

Something like that. Feel free to use any of those.

Anonymous said...

This just in http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/jason_whitlock/16730767.htm

Anonymous said...

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/jason_whitlock/16730767.htm

e said...

Okay I have no idea why the full url will not print.
But the the article is the complete opposite of Jasons AOL column and he wrote them both .Go figure

Seymour said...

Ten & Brown,
Edit your own stuff.

Mike W said...

This is the "Very special episode" equivalent of a Levine blog post.