Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Black Men Don’t Matter on Decades Channel

February 17, 2017

I’m white, but I am concerned that the  February schedule for the “Decades” television channel  could indicate the staff is racist.   February is supposed to be Black History month, but you can barely tell it from the Decades program schedule.   The emphasis is on publicizing the lives of those they call remarkable women even though women have the month of March as their month.

Decades normally has a schedule that combines history documentaries and entertainment programs. Each weekday has a program that summarizes major events that occurred on that day which may include events such as a birth or career milestone in a celebrity’s life.  Weekends have marathons called “binges” of a single series.  Lately they have been running mini-binges with two 3-hour periods devoted to a single series possibly featuring a celebrity being emphasized that day.   This month they are running series featuring predominately white women.  They are running a week of shows featuring black women, but except for “Touched by an Angel”  the shows have a white male as the principle character.

There aren’t very many female entertainers who are more remarkable than Debbie Allen who played  a dancing teacher on “Fame” while being the show’s choreographer.  She later became a successful director.   Diahann Carroll as “Julia” was one of the first black women to play the central character in a sitcom.    “Barefoot in the Park”, a series about a young black couple,  was the first show since “Amos and Andy” to feature a predominately black cast.  Teresa Graves starred in “Get Christie Love” the first series about  a police woman since the fifties’ series “Police Decoy”,

I had expected they would emphasize programs featuring black performers to observe Black History Month possibly including episodes of Nat King Cole’s program.   There’s no good reason to run women’s programs instead of black programs this month. One thing that would have been great would have been to run different series showing how the roles available to blacks changed since the fifties.   If they wanted to devote two months to women’s programs instead of one month they could have used April instead of February.   The devotion of a week to black women indicates they believe  black women matter.  The lack of a similar  week for lack men implies they don’t believe black  men matter.

Is the NBA Above the Law?

June 10, 2014

The NBA’s handling of the Donald Sterling controversy has a definite odor to it and it’s not from sweaty socks. In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver decided that the NBA was above the law and thus didn’t have to obey laws that interfered in the NBA’s decisions. In its haste to get rid of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling the NBA violated a California law that prohibits use of statements made in secret private recordings as a basis of punishment for an individual.

On April 25, TMZ released a secretly made illegal recordimng of an argument between Sterling and his girl friend V. Stiviano about her male companions. A controversy developed when some claimed Sterling’s comments were racist. Four days later after what was likely only a cursory investigation, Silver imposed a fine, banned Sterling from NBA events and ordered the sale of the team.

California law explicitly bans recording a person’s voice without his knowledge. The law further states that such secret recordings cannot be used against a person in a court of law. If government cannot use such evidence to take a person’s property, how can a private business do so? Is the NBA more powerful than the State of California? Is the NBA above the law?

Our system of justice is based on the philosophy that it is more important for government to obey the law than to punish lawbreakers. If a police officer fails to advise someone he arrests of the suspect’s constitutional rights and the individual confesses to murder, the confession must be thrown out because the law requires that those who are arrested be advised of their rights.

It Sterling had confessed to murder in a secret recording, the state would not have been able to use the recording to convict him. So where does the NBA get the authority to punish him for saying something unpopular during a lovers’ quarrel? When people quarrel with people they are emotionally involved with they often say things they don’t mean and wouldn’t normally say. For example, a little girl arguing with her mother might say “I hate you” under the effect of the emotions involved in an argument.

The fine and lifetime ban imposed on Sterling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver are illegal and should be rescinded. The order to sell the team is also illegal, but the incident created such a negative public attitude to the Sterlings association with the team that Shelley Sterling had no real choice but to sell.

The negative attitude means the new owner should seriously consider moving the team and changing its name. When people develop a negative attitude to an individual or organization the negative attitude may remain long after they have forgotten why they developed the negative attitude. Many people will remember the controversial statements as coming from the “owner of the Clippers” rather than someone named Donald Sterling. These individuals may ignore the change in ownership and think the new owner made the statements.

Some have suggested that Sterling has a “plantation owner’s attitude” to the team. I suspect many sports franchise owners have some degree of this attitude and it has nothing to do with the color of the athletes on the team. For example the decision by National Football League owners to ignore a concussion problem among NFL players might indicate a “plantation owner’s attitude”.

Adam Silver’s seems to have a “Godfather’s” attitude toward those in his organization. He feels he can ignore the law when dealing with those in his organization. Our system of laws is of little value if private organizations can ignore the laws of evidence and impose whatever punishments they want to impose. The word “vigilante” is used to describe those who convict individuals and impose penalties outside the law,

NBA Action More Racist than Sterling’s Statements

May 28, 2014

\
The NBA has criticized L.A. Clipper owner Donald Sterling for his statements that many regard as racist. However, shortly after the recording of his conversation became public the NBA took an action that was a racist insult to the black players of the L.A. Clippers. The NBA offered to make a “grief counselor” available to the Clippers.

Grief counselors are often provided to children to help them cope with the death of a classmate. The NBA commissioner’s office essentially was indicating that it believed the Clippers were such immature children that a minor questionable statement was the emotional equivalent of a death. I can understand the black players being upset by Sterling’s statement, but not grieving about the statement.

Discussion of Sterling’s comment to V. Stiviano about attending games with black athletes has focused on what was said and ignored the situation itself. His decision to order her not to attend games with black athletes is consistent with the behavior of a man who is having trouble getting a daughter or granddaughter to follow his advice.

He doesn’t explain his reasoning very well, a common occurrence when a man tries to offer dating advice to someone young enough to be his granddaughter. He appears have been attempting to warn her of the sexist stereotype image of NBA players, especially black players, that comics have encouraged with jokes about NBA players leaving children all over the country. I don’t know the attitudes of L.A. residents, but, putting it bluntly, Sterling is suggesting that people will think she’s just some kind of a sex toy if she attends a game with black athletes, especially admitted lothario Magic Johnson. He seems to have been attempting to warn her of the attitudes of others rather than talking about his own attitudes.

Johnson along with the late Wilt Chamberlain are largely responsible for creating the [probably exaggerated] image that NBA players are frogs rather than princes. A frog jumps from bed to bed. A prince is devoted to his princess. Chamberlain claimed to have sex with over 20,000 women. Johnson claimed he once had 300- 500 sex partners per year.

A passage from a book by Jerry West says: “That November, as a new season was set to open, Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive, a stunning event that brought revelations about the climate of sexual frivolity around the Lakers. Johnson admitted he had been sleeping with 300-500 people a year. The team’s locker room, and its sauna, had been a place where the star and other players had entertained women, even right after games. Johnson would retire to the sauna after a game, have sex, then put on a robe and return to the locker room for his post-game media interviews. How far had the team gone in condoning such questionable behavior? ‘I cared,’ West said in his interviews for this book. ‘I did things for those guys. It was ridiculous, some of the things I did for those guys. If the public knew they’d be outraged. It was a pretty crazy period for us.’”

If NBA teams, including the Clippers, still allow this behavior it would have provided part of the motivation for Sterling’s warning to Stiviano.

a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant_sexual_assault_case”>Kobe Bryant was arrested for rape in 2003 when he misinterpreted a visit by a female hotel employee and thought she was there for sex like the other women he normally attracted.

After my first post on this s subject I received an email about Rev. Russ Weaver’s sermon titled “Easily Offended” that he delivered that week on Cowboy Church. Weaver’s most important point is that a person can choose to be a “Victim” who lets himself be offended or a “Victor” who doesn’t allow someone to control him with mere words. I’ll remind readers that I’m a Vietnam Vet so I know what it’s like to be called names.

NBA and Media Beat Up Man Fighting Cancer

May 7, 2014

Did the NBA in effect punish L.A. Clippers 80 year old owner Donald Sterling because he is fighting prostate cancer?

The NBA has voted to force L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team because of a secret recording in which he told his black girl friend he didn’t want her to be seen in public, such as at Clippers games, with black men such as former basketball star Magic Johnson. He said he didn’t mind her going to bed with such men. He just didn’t want her to be in public with them.
I don’t know the specifics of the current status of Sterling’s prostate cancer, but it is possible his condition or treatment caused his comments to his girl friend V. Stiviano. I don’t know if Sterling was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his comments or whether the condition known as “chemo brain” might have affected his statement.

Prostate cancer can adversely affect a man’s sexual abilities which could be particularly frustrating for a man who associates with an attractive young woman. NBA players have a reputation, at least among some comics, of being very sexually active. This reputation is due in part to former players such as Magic Johnson bragging about their sexual activities. I suspect that the reputation is exaggerated and based in part on racist beliefs about black men, but Sterling could have been especially frustrated seeing Stiviano with men whom he believed could easily do what he might be unable to do because of his cancer.

We aren’t always consciously aware of why we feel a certain way or say certain things. The reasons may be locked in our subconscious. People sometimes hire professionals like tv’s Dr. Phil to learn why they feel the way they do. Sterling may not have been consciously aware of why he said what he did to Stiviano and may have a mental block that prevents him from understanding why some people are upset by the statement.

Sterling’s statement to Stiviano sounds more like frustration and jealousy than racism. He said he didn’t mind her being with black men so long as he didn’t see her with them. He was saying he didn’t want her reminding him that someone else might be able to satisfy her in ways he would like to but cannot because of his cancer. He was probably too embarrassed to talk about his frustration to Stiviano directly. He was asking her in an intimate conversation to not do something that hurt him without explaining why that action hurt him.

The NBA’s action against Sterling might be justifiable if he had made a public statement. However, the NBA had no business punishing Sterling for an intimate statement made to a close personal friend that may have been misrepresented by sensation seeking journalists who think everybody is as motivated by so-called “racial” differences as they are. It is the media that continues to push the myth that differences in skin color constitute racial differences by referring to Americans of different complexions as being of different races.

Stress can cause all of us to say things we don’t really mean. We may even say things that hurt those we would not think of hurting in normal circumstances. Fighting cancer can be an extremely stressful situation.

Many of us were raised to believe that you shouldn’t kick a man when he is down. America’s media sharks seem to believe that is the best time to attack because the victim is less able to defend himself.

It would serve the NBA right if cancer survivors and those currently fighting cancer would boycott the NBA for mistreating a cancer patient.

African American Is a Segregationist Term

February 24, 2012

Jesse Washington recently reported that many dark skinned Americans recognize that they are not “African” Americans in spite of what some racists say.

The term “African-American” perpetuates the principle tenet of Southern racism: “part black, all black” under the “one drop rule”.

Those who use the term are in effect segregating Americans with dark complexions from the rest of the population they may be related to. Those who use the term believe that those with dark complexions should Jesse Washington recently reported that many dark skinned Americans recognize that they are not “African” Americans in spite of what some racists say.

The term “African-American” perpetuates the principle tenet of Southern racism: “part black, all black” under the “one drop rule”.

Those who use the term are in effect segregating Americans with dark complexions from the rest of the population they may be related to. Those who use the term believe that those with dark complexions should only be able to claim their African ancestors and should forget about ancestors who came from Europe, North America or Asia even if most of a person’s ancestors came from places other than Africa.

The media in particular apply the term indiscriminately to any American with a dark complexion. For example, they call golfer Tiger Woods “African American” even though his ancestry is predominately Asian. His mother is Asian and his father had Asian as well as African and American Indian ancestors.

Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a day in which color would not be important. Unfortunately, the media along with many politicians and black leaders are still preoccupied with skin color.

Members of the media still falsely claim that differences in skin color among Americans indicate a racial difference. Perhaps there is an European “race” that is white and an African “race” that is black, but if there is an American race it is red and yellow, black and white. We Americans are a mixture of peoples from all parts of the world.

As the Lakota say, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related) regardless of the color of our skin.

The fact that a person has dark skin doesn’t mean a majority of ancestors came from Africa. Dark skin only means a person received one or more of the half dozen skin color related genes that produce “black” skin from an African ancestor. Some of the genes associated with dark complexion are also present in persons from other parts of the world, especially India and Australia. The versions of the skin color genes that cause dark skin are dominant genes which means if a person has a dark version of the gene, complexion will be dark even if the other gene is associated with light skin. Incidentally, the African gene pool includes the albino gene which means some residents of Africa have pale skin.

Calling black Americans African-Americans denies them the opportunity to claim their European (especially Irish) and North American ancestry. The first Africans in the English colonies worked with the Irish in the fields and occasionally became sexually involved with them. In some cases planters deliberately forced Irish women to have children by African men to produce children of a desired complexion. Later, Irish overseers and plantation owners sometimes offered favors for sex or just raped slaves.

Until the 1960’s Southern white men could rape black women without fearing punishment. Some black women voluntarily had sex with white employers or their sons. Former Sen. Strom Thurman fathered a daughter by his parent’s 16-year-old housekeeper when he was a young man. Young southern women were told that if their good night kisses were too passionate, their boyfriends might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.

Some black Americans can trace their ancestry back to President Thomas Jefferson and his virtual wife Sally Hennings. DNA tests confirmed the claim that Sally Hennings descendants were also descendants of Thomas Jefferson. The tests examined the “Y” chromosome which is passed from father to son.

A test of the “Y” chromosome of Martin Luther King III indicates that he and his civil rights leader father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a north European male ancestor like about 33% of black American males.

The Spanish who established colonies in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia in the 16th Century using African slaves were less likely than the British to bring wives and instead used their slaves for sexual satisfaction. The French in Louisiana also had a shortage of white women. The French, unlike the English, even used terms indicating the proportion of African and European ancestry.

African slaves of the Spanish started a long association with the original inhabitants of North America that continued in the British colonies. The Africans left behind when Spain withdrew from Florida joined with the Seminoles. In the English colonies the Cherokees and some other tribes socialized with the Africans, gave refuge to runaway slaves or had African slaves of their own.

Many white Americans, including former President Warren G. Harding, have African ancestors. Some believe as many as four other white presidents had African ancestors. After the “Roots Miniseries” many whites who researched their family histories were surprised to find ancestors who served in the military who had a “C” after their names for “colored”.

Most whites with African ancestors probably don’t even know it because their African ancestors whose skin was light enough to pass for white covered up their past. It would only take a few generations of people with mixed parentage to have descendants with skin light enough to pass for white. If only one gene were involved, the math of inheritance would indicate that if two parents each had one black parent and one white parent approximately 25% of their children would have white skin. The math is more complicated with the involvement of multiple genes, but the probability of some light skinned children increases with each generation.

Racists sometimes suggest that black males have a greater propensity for violence especially against women and falsely ascribe that characteristic to their African ancestors. If some black men actually have a genetic tendency to commit rape and murder it would be far more likely that they inherited the gene from a white male ancestor who raped one of their black female ancestors than that they inherited it from an African male ancestor.

Another popular stereotype is that blacks have “rhythm” which they are supposed to have inherited from their African ancestors. Although the slaves’ African heritage would have influenced their music, it seems more likely that the social and biological association with the musically oriented Irish would be more responsible for the black emphasis on music.

The Irish responded to the repressive treatment by the English through musical expression. They would have passed that tradition along to the Africans whom they initially worked with as “indentured servants” and later supervised after black slavery was established. The slaves blended their Irish and African traditions with their own situation. They concentrated on expressing themselves through music because their oppressors didn’t allow other ways to “fight” their situation. Watch Irish groups like Riverdance and Celtic Woman and then say that black Americans could only have gotten “rhythm” from African ancestors.

The first African “servants” arrived in Jamestown in 1619 only 14 years after the founding of the settlement. During the two centuries of the Atlantic slave trade only about 500,000 additional Africans were imported into North America. Britain led the way to ending the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 and the United States quickly followed to outlaw the importation of slaves without prohibiting the internal slave trade. Thus, the vast majority of the 4.5 million blacks living in the U.S. in 1860 were born here to parents and grandparents who were born here. A substantial portion had at least some ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the American Revolution.

It’s time we recognize that the only African ancestors of the descendants of slaves arrived here centuries ago. We need to recognize that those dark skinned Americans whose ancestors were slaves are just as deserving of being called regular Americans as those of us with light skins without any modifier that segregates them from the rest of us.

Americans with dark skins should be allowed to claim all of their ancestors, not just those who provided the genes responsible for their skin color. Those of us with light skins need to accept the possibility that many of those with dark skins are our distant cousins. Those of us whose ancestors arrived here a couple of centuries ago or came from the British Isles, especially Ireland, likely had relatives who had sexual relations with the descendants of Africans. We could also have ancestors who came from Africa. Those whose ancestors have lived in the south for several generations, especially if they have dark naturally curly hair, could easily have an ancestor who passed for white at some time in the past.

Americans need to recognize that color is only skin deep. It doesn’t totally define us.

Supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque Don’t Get It

August 23, 2010

President Barack Obama and New York officials don’t understand that for many Americans, especially New Yorkers, building a mosque near Ground Zero is the equivalent of waving a Confederate flag at a Dr. Martin Luther King anniversary ceremony.

I have no interest in visiting a mosque because I’m not a Muslim. I wouldn’t wave a Confederate flag because my great grandfather who was a sergeant in the 72nd Indiana Regiment in the Civil War might turn over in his grave.

I have nothing against those who wave the Confederate Battle flag (or Rebel flag) that Confederate soldiers carried when they were attempting to kill my great grandfather. (For those who don’t know, the flag we associate with the Confederacy was initially only used on the field of battle.)

I realize that the privates and sergeants who wanted to kill my great grandfather were only attempting to protect their homes from an invading army. Like my great grandfather they were fighting because the politicians of their day couldn’t find a peaceful solution to their controversies.

The Confederate flag may be a symbol of defiance of authority, but it isn’t a symbol of racism. For many southerners it’s a symbol of the willingness of their ancestors to risk their lives to defend their homes even in a losing cause. Southerners may have occasionally displayed their flag when protesting civil rights activities, but that was because they liked to display it on public occasions including parades and sporting events.

The Virginian I roomed with my sophomore year had a Confederate flag on the wall next to his bed, but he wasn’t a racist. In fact he was studying to be a missionary to Africa and worked with black kids at a local church.

The white robes of the Ku Klux Klan and their practice of desecrating the cross by burning it are the real symbols of southern racism.

Many Americans have a negative view of the Muslim religion because the al Qaeda killers who attacked the World Trade Center claimed to be acting on behalf of the Muslim religion. The violent Muslims who use mosques to meet and plan terrorist actions may be a minority of Muslims, but they are the ones who get the publicity.

When many Americans think of Muslims, they think of terrorists. Many Americans fear that the violent Muslims might claim a victory, or even use, a mosque constructed near Ground Zero.

Nonviolent Muslims are the majority, but they don’t get the publicity. Muslims who want to build near Ground Zero should delay plans to construct the facility until they can convince critics that nonviolent Muslims are the real representatives of Islam and the terrorists who murder Muslims and non-Muslims alike are not the real representatives of Muslims.

The Christian book of Revelation describes a person called the anti-Christ who is Satan masquerading as Jesus Christ. The Ku Klux Klan falsely claims to act on behalf of Christianity while furthering the cause of Satan . Nonviolent Muslims need to convince Americans that members of al Qaeda are the Muslim equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan who claim to be acting on behalf of Allah when they are really serving Satan.