Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sportsmanship and Race

Though a week late, I should point out a column on ACC Basketblog by my friend Ed. Using the "throat slash" taunt as an example, Ed writes about something missing from many areas of life these days: class. In the context of sportsmanship and race, Ed's essay is both controversial and thought provoking:

The essence of the question is this: Do White people blow the actions of Black players (or, white players who “act” black) out of proportion? Aren’t these actions just a natural expression of emotion and culture i.e. you dunk on your boy in the hood, you give him the throat slash and a little trash talk to take home with him?

When I first considered his query, I was quick to reason "they probably do over react." Upon considering the matter more closely (perhaps, 2 minutes more closely) I came to a more disturbing conclusion. What White people and the majority media thought was not the most important issue at hand. The most important issue was an apparent acknowledgement by two highly intelligent Black males that throat slashing, trash talk, boorishness (even when they back it up) and stupidity (UNC is like being in jail?) were cultural norms and should be overlooked by white people as just part of who these players are.

How unfortunate. How sad. How dangerous. How…..absolutely unreasonable and contrary to everything that my Black parents and his Black parents and most of my close friends' Black parents had ever taught us about sportsmanship and how to conduct ourselves as reasonable and respectful people. How twisted that we, if even for a moment, would attempt to take cultural ownership of the very traits and stereotypes that our parents marched, begged, and bled to rid our race of. How telling that in 2005, if even for a brief moment, two educated Black males would consider what is right, “white”, and move to take ownership of what is clearly and unequivocally wrong as “Black culture” and, therefore, forgivable.

Ed is a classy guy himself, and this gutsy column is well worth reading the whole thing.


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