Saturday, January 12, 2008

The stuff people say...

Recently a Golf Channel commentator made racist remarks while discussing golfer Tiger Woods. She has apologized and Tiger as always has accepted her apology. I say as always because this has happened before when golfer Fuzzy Zoeller made comments about Tiger Woods and fried chicken.

By the way I have never really gotten the fried chicken thing as being racially offensive, who doesn't like fried chicken? So how is liking fried chicken offensive or a bad thing?

Anyway we all know what will happen in the long run with regard to this latest racially offensive remark. The woman has already been suspended for two weeks. Reverend Al Sharpton will swoop in and demand her firing. She may be fired and the Golf Channel will likely give a nice sized donation to Reverend Sharpton.

But will any of that stop someone from making crazy racist remarks in the media again? We all know it won't. In the next few months some other idiot will say something offensive and we will all do the same thing all over again.

So what is the point? Why get upset? After all Don Imus is back at work and much more well known than before his racist remarks.

Temporary protests don't work. You can't say I'm going to protest for a while. You have to have a standard. In other words if you demand Don Imus' firing then you have to make sure he never works again in radio. Otherwise what was the point.

If you walk away and allow the offender to go right back to what they were doing then wasn't it all a waste of time?

There is no deterrent to making racist remarks about African Americans.

Here is my contention. If African Americans had demanded that Don Imus never work in radio again and followed up to make sure that he didn't. Then that would have been a very serious warning to everyone else.

If Don Imus had been a cautionary tale then this woman at the Golf Channel would not have made those remarks.

So here we go on the racist remark merry-go-round.



What do you think? Do we need to make an example of someone who makes a racist remark and make sure they never work again?

Are you sick of the same-old-same-old when it comes to our reaction to racist remarks?


16 comments:

Symphony said...

Government cant regulate people's personal ignorance but employers CAN NOT allow it to go unchecked on the airwaves.

Most of this garbage comes from people trying to be hyperbolic and cute. Its the Golf Channel--you're already boring. Why are you trying to be funny?

People who said it doesn't matter if Tiger (or the Rutgers women) accept apologies are right. More than the intended target can be offended.

I have no sympathy for ignorant people who have a career in journalism saying stupid remarks in this day in age.

Tami said...

The problem is that racial debate has become theater. You get a remark like this and there is all this uproar, then it moves from the front pages and people's minds. All gone. Forgotten. Those of us who believe in equality have to become vigilant enough that we don't let incidents like this become just the latest ratings driver, but that we contine thoughtful debate and action even when the general public has lost interest.

So, yep, I'm tired as hell of all this.

jose said...

Chicken is like watermelon pt. 2: people will sambo Blacks by saying all we do is eat watermelon and chicken, making us look slovenly and gluttonous in the process, even though people all across the world like both of these foods.

As far as racist comment, I'm happy people say them because it lets me know their colors.

LennieG said...

If African Americans had demanded that Don Imus never work in radio again and followed up to make sure that he didn't. Then that would have been a very serious warning to everyone else.

African Americans can demand anything we want but that does not mean we will receive it.

For every one black person offended by Don Imus, there are a thousand whites in support of him, as was proven by the white bloggers who set up petitions to get him back on air.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I am tired of us being so reactive to comments made by ignorant people in the media or in everyday life period. We need to refocus our attention on being better parents, better friends, better humans and stop jumping up every time some idiot says something stupid. Yes, most white Americans are racist, and yes they will continue to be so. We need to stop worrying their opinions of us, they sure don't care what we think of them. Why is their approval of us sooo darn important to us, anyway? I don't get it.

Baby Please said...

I think you raise an excellent point for discussion. Incidentally, I'd forgotton all about that Fuzzy Zoeller incident!

Interestingly, that's part of our problem -- but too much to go into here -- but part of our problem is our "short" memories.

But anyway, like you, I am sick of the merrygoround.

Without going on a long tirade, I think one of the problems is credibility.

How can we bitch about Fuzzy Zoeller's remarks and this broad's remarks when we continue with the rap lyrics.

I recognize these things are unrelated, to the extent their contnet differs (racism vs. misogyny, homophobia, pimp worship, gun worship, blunt worship) etc.

Basically, what I'm saying is people will continue to point to the rap thing and challenge us to clean out our own back yard before we bitch at somone else.

Realistically, our attention should be focused elsewwhere. Thre have always been racist remarks. And they will persist long after you and I are off the earth.

CW said...

Only when we do better by ourselves (As Black people) will the ignorant remarks not be as prevelant...Unfortunately there is division within our own race...


BWDB http://thecwexperience.wordpress.com

Mes Deux Cents said...

Symphony,

"People who said it doesn't matter if Tiger (or the Rutgers women) accept apologies are right. More than the intended target can be offended."

I agree, we can't let someone like Tiger Woods who has no interest in African America speak for us.


___________________________________

Tami,

It's become theatre in part because of people like Al Sharpton. He is so desperate for face time on cable channels that he will take part in conversations that totally detract from the issue, i.e. appearing on the O'Reilly Show.
___________________________________

Jose,

I see your point about the chicken thing.

And I agree it's better when they out themselves.
___________________________________

Lynn,

So we shouldn't demand? We should keep quiet when something like this happens? What group of people lets this sort of thing go without comment?

___________________________________


Anon,

Your analysis of the situation is somewhat lacking. It is very important for people who operate in the real world to protect their image and reputation.

African Americans being concerned about crazy statements are no different than the Jewish Anti-Defamation League being concerned about crazy comments being made about Jews.

Crazy statements that go unchecked lead to crazy actions.
___________________________________

Baby Please,

I agree about checking rap music and other things like BET.

But rap isn't really our backyard. If it were not for huge corporations like Sony Entertainment and Geffen Records and others, rappers would still be selling their music out of a trunk.

So when people point to rap, they should really be pointing to these publicly traded companies.

It really isn't WE that continue with rap. It's a bunch of middle aged White men that are controlling rap, like David Geffen.

Do you see what I mean? Do you agree?

___________________________________

CW,

That's true there is a division, but that doesn’t give people license to publicly abuse us.


-----------------------------------

DMB said...

I am laughing already because you are certainly going to put me on your Uncle Tom (ette) list!!!

....BUT in all honesty, I did not understand the huge uproar made over Don Imus' remarks. Black disc jockeys say far worse things about our public figures and no one bats an eyelash.

I am not condoning making such remarks, but I get tired of Black people rehashing that same justification, "WE can say it because we're Black, but YOU can't."

I don't want to be called the n-word, or 'nappy-headed' or 'bitch' by ANYONE. Yet, I have a higher chance on any given day to be called this by my own people than by a white person.

Also, I feel that comments like these expose people for what they truly are and personally, I'm grateful for the information. Don't smile in my face and act like you see me as an equal and then mutter under your breath.

I think there should be equal rights. If a disc jockey or announcer is expected to lose his job or suffer consequences (temporary embarrassment, at the most, as we have seen so far) for saying something mysogonistic or something racially or culturally insensitive, then it should go for Black people as well.

And we know that's not happening any time soon.

Besides, laws cannot regulate racism. Racism is in the heart. The matters that concern us as Black people most are the statistics that help perpetuate sterotypes.

For example, illegitimacy is a problem that has magnified so many of our societal problems as a people and yet, you can't bring that topic up in a room full of Black people because they will try to take your head off.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi DMB,

I don't get the Uncle Tom (ette) thing. I agree with everything you say.

I would only add that Don Imus should have been taken off the air and the same should go for any Black announcer that says the same sort of thing.

Also I don't think that by giving attention to one thing that we have to ignore another.

I think we can handle the Imus' and those of his ilk and handle those problems that you speak of as well.

See we don't disagree; do we?

XotiqueJaz said...

I have to say I was offended about most white people being racist. White males gave black males the right to vote and then men gave women the right to vote. I think their is too much focus on these racist comments - what about all the white commentators who don't say racist things - are they just smarter than the ones that do. Maybe it would help to give white people the benefit of the doubt instead of when you see one of us you automatically think we are racist - I am not - nor do I take offense when I hear jokes about crackers or whiteys and whatever else we are referred to.
I understand that slavery was wrong, I know that white people on average have the upper hand but then so do straight people and people who are taller and slimmer. It is wrong but it is life. Fuzzy, Imus and others may be racist - some of these comments are based on stereotypes - which do have some truth in them. Just quit watching him or listening to him. Personally the few times I saw Imus I was annoyed and thought how in the world does he get paid to do this???
Unfortunately for me every time I meet someone who is black I now automatically assume they are racist - unless of course she is a lesbian - then we seem to hit it off pretty well.

LennieG said...

Lynn,

So we shouldn't demand? We should keep quiet when something like this happens? What group of people lets this sort of thing go without comment?


Well you've been on my blog enough times to know that I am 100% pro black. Nothing in my personality would suggest that I'm the namby pamby type to just sit back and look while the things are falling apart.

I've covered the Don Imus story. Keep in mind that my blog, though black-focused, has a readership of 84% whites who read but rarely comment. They are certainly getting an eye full over at HickTownPress!

They love Don Imus, but I talked about him like a dog anyway. So no, of course I don't believe blacks should sit back and take it. I've never even suggested anything of that nature here or anywhere else.

What I said was that we are free to "demand" anything we want. That does not mean we will get it. And I believe we need to pick our battles.

I'd like to see blacks "demand" that the black males in our community who are criminal minded stop terrorizing our community via black on black crime, for example. I would like for blacks to "demand" all black children receive a great education and that we take the inner city schools and turn them into beacons of education so our children won't feel a need to drop out---and so they will receive a true education.

Not sure if you are aware of this, but the white blogosphere banded together to support Don Imus with petitions. They would not back down.

And quite frankly, Don Imus is a jerk. He apologized. I never in life listened to the Frankenstein looking creep. It does not bother me at all that his followers want to hear him or that he is back on the public airwaves. This country is free.

Don Imus is not black people's problem. We need to first identify where our true problems are and focus in on them.

alpha de tortuga said...

Hi MDC,
Ouch, that was a little harsh on Tiger, I've heard this before (that he has no interest in Black America), and I don't really get that. I wish he was more outspoken on issues, but he's in such a unique position, Tiger is, besides a time will come when he will be forced to do so. I think thou that, his success and his composure and immaculate behavior on the tour speaks louder than words. I know people that have taken example from Tiger's relationship with his father to build their own with theirs. But to get back to your post - No, I don't think that black people are overly sensitive when it comes to these remarks; I mean it's human nature to have such reactions, we all know that it hurts a little more when the neighbor calls your brother stupid, even though your father have called him far worse, I wish people would understand that.

Mes Deux Cents said...

XotiqueJaz,

I assume some of parts of your comment are not meant for me since I never said anything about all White people being racist.

I don't agree that stereotypes really have a basis in truth. I think some may perceive that as being so. The thing about stereotypes is that they are generalizations, such as when someone said all White people are racist.

I'm curious though, you state taking offence that someone said that all White people are racist and yet in your last sentence you say "Unfortunately for me every time I meet someone who is black I now automatically assume they are racist".

Explain please?
___________________________________


Lynn,

I don't think that you and I really disagree. I read HickTownPress so I know that you are pro-Black.

I think the only thing that we are apart on is I believe we can multi-task. Just because there are problems within certain parts of the Black community does not mean we can't focus on other things as well.

So I agree that we should demand the things you mention but I also think we ought to demand other things too.

My point of this post was about consistency. There seems to be none with regard handling derogatory public comments.

___________________________________

Alpha de Torga,

I feel that at minimum Tiger is very aloof when it comes to his Blackness. That certainly is his choice but that is what seems to bother people.

For instance, even though these statements were directly aimed at Tiger, it should be obvious to Tiger that others would take offence. So he might take that into consideration when he responds to this type of thing.

mtskc said...

MDC,

I wasn't referring to you it was something one of the people wrote earlier in the comments about most white people are racist (by anonymous) and it saddens me that I do feel that most black people I meet automatically assume I am a racist. I always give everyone a chance and I don't build any of my relationships on color - but on respect.
I truly enjoy your blog and by reading it I get insight and a lot of learning - for example I had no idea that bloggers (mostly white from what it states) supported Don Imus - I definitely don't.
About the stereotypes I guess I use the idea of the "gaydar" as a reference - or a man who walks effeminate has a good chance of being gay and a stocky woman w/short cropped hair and likes sports (myself) has a good chance of being a lesbian.

Mes Deux Cents said...

MTSKC,

Okay I understand. To be honest I didn't expect this post to elicit so much passion from the readers.

Posts are funny that way.

Thanks for letting me know you enjoy and get something from my blog. It's the interaction that I enjoy the most.

And I really enjoy you stopping by and leaving comments!

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron