Friday, December 14, 2012

Eaten Up With Race

I'm not personally familiar with ESPN commentator Rob Parker.  The only time ESPN is on in my house is when there's a game of particular interest being shown, so I've no knowledge of their on-air personalities (or, in the case of Mr. Parker, lack thereof).  I will say that I have no use for sports commentators who feel that people who turn to sports as a respite from serious issues should be regaled with political or social opinions as Bob Costas did earlier this month.

This week, ESPN's Parker decided to weigh in on the 'black authenticity' of rising NFL star Robert Griffin, III, (known as RGIII) a black man who is engaged to a white woman (which seems to be an issue to Parker), who has publicly stated that he chooses not to be defined by his race and (gasp!) may, just may have right-of-center political beliefs:

I talked to some people down in Washington, D.C. … friends of mine who are around at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question, is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother? … He’s not really, he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one with us, he’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you want to hang out because he’s off to something else ….
I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée, there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people got a little wondering about Tiger Woods ….
To me, [his braids are] very urban, and makes you feel like, I think you’d have a clean cut, if he were more straitlaced or not like, wearing braids, you’re a brother, you’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.

So, RGIII, to his enormous credit, chooses to be judged “on the content of his character rather than the color of his skin” and he’s considered “inauthentic” by this talentless hack, Rob Parker?

So, who are the “authentic” blacks, the gangbangers, the wife beaters and misogynists, the crack-addled, the 13 year-old rapists, armed robbers and murderers?

How about the NFL player who murdered his girlfriend, the mother of his child, then committed suicide in front of his coach? Is HE an "authentic" black man? How about the NFL player who, while driving drunk, killed his teammate in an automobile accident? Is HE "authentic"?

RGIII is a huge bright spot in an increasingly troubled “black community” (oh, how I hate that term) and Parker and his ilk are too vested in their own racism to recognize the value of RGIII, not only to blacks, but to everyone. Too bad our President didn't choose not to be defined by his race.

No comments: