Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going Backwards in the Post-Racial Department

Sportswriter Jason Whitlock is having none of this business of Rush Limbaugh becoming part owner of the St. Louis Rams. He takes Rush Limbaugh to task for past comments he deems as racist, even though the quotes are fabricated and unsourced.

In Whitlock's defense, though, he does not rest his opposition to Limbaugh's ownership on those quotes alone. But his article does present a rather large target for critics of his current position.

He writes in his Fox News article on the subject:

And here come the Left Brothers — Al "747" Sharpton and Jesse "DC 10" Jackson — barreling in for a landing on top of Goodell's dome. And this time every black person with an ounce of common sense and self-respect is riding shotgun with Jesse and Al, who have justifiably voiced their displeasure with Limbaugh's ownership bid.

But Whitlock is being called out for "throwing his lot in with the terrorists":

"Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are domestic terrorists lighting fires and picking everyone's pocket on the way out of town."

That was Jason Whitlock, in 2007 (covering the Don Imus “nappy headed ho” controversy, which I touched on at American Thinker at the time, here).

Next, Jason Whitlock puts up a pre-emptive offense against the anticipated defense that Limbaugh is no less controversial than rapper Jay-Z who is part owner of the New Jersey Nets:

I'd say we're less than 24 hours from Limbaugh playing the Jay-Z card. Brother Jay owns a piece of the New Jersey Nets and has a library of rap tunes spewing the same kind of black-degrading lyrics, phrases and stereotypes that have made Limbaugh rich enough to buy a chunk of the St. Louis Rams.[...]

This is the major difference between Rush and Jay-Z. Beyonce's boyfriend raps a bunch of dumb, racist, sexist (spit) but serious people don't take Jay-Z or his music seriously. Jay's expression of self-hatred does not bother NBA players, NBA fans or remotely overshadow what transpires on the court.

But Whitlock is being called out for ignorantly downplaying the significance of the pernicious and destructive effects of the hip hop/gangsta culture on American blacks:

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem. […]

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Again, Whitlock in 2007 (the original Kansas City Star article is now behind an archives pay-wall).

With that strong of a condemnation of the embrace of hip hop culture in 2007, Whitlock strongly called out the sell-outs willing to sit out because of the almighty dollar:

We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

But this past righteous anger met a cruel fate this past July when Whitlock raised his personal white flag:

I’ve reluctantly made peace with the fact that black comedians and rappers can make millions of dollars shouting the N-word and lampooning/promoting negative black stereotypes.

If Barack Obama made use of the N-word a death-penalty offense, commercial rap music would disappear and nearly every black comedian would have to rewrite their material. My point is I understand the economic impact of outlawing our (black) self-hate.

Give him his due, though: Whitlock still speaks forthrightly about many issues facing the black community. But he's gone backwards, not forward in this effort.

Why was Whitlock so much more courageously post-racial in 2007 vs 2009?

Even though Limbaugh's bid to become part-owner in an NFL franchise is a political issue invading the sports world, and the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president is by far the biggest political development over that time, it would be unfair to blame Obama.

But give it a couple of years, based on the trajectory, and Whitlock may reluctantly make peace with the fact that Obama is culpable for his retreat.

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