Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Racism seems to be the big buzz word lately. I'm not really going to talk about the Imus episode (which, unless nappy-head is a new euphemism for black, wasn't racist; but certainly ho's was sexist).

I'm talking more 'institutional' racism here. ESPN's biggest crusade is about hiring practices (in all sports) and the minority roles thereof. Recently they also deplored the declining numbers of blacks playing baseball.

They gave a stat: 1970's the NFL roster was roughly 30% black, today it is 66% black. This particular minority makes up about 11% of the general population (lower than hispanics now I believe) but makes up 2/3 of the NFL rosters. Does ESPN have a crusade for this? Of course not. When asked, ESPN (and generally anyone that is on this crusade) will tell you that the numbers are that high because the best players get to play. Regardless of race. I totally agree, but why is it that the best players get to play, but the best coaches don't get to coach?

Granted, there are people (and will always be) that are racist and will not look at hiring a minority (in this case, black person; ESPN doesn't really harp about the other minorities much) and that is plain wrong. But if your team just fired it's coach and you KNOW the guy you want (proven winner, hall of famer, whatever) then why should you not hire that guy? If he's not someone that ESPN can talk good about and up it's 'minority hiring in the {sport}' numbers, should that really be a problem?

When looking at the playing side of sports, why is there no giant uproar on 'fair' lines of players? Why does no one get upset that 60% of all players in professional sports are not white? Because then they would be considered racists. If you then complain that only 3% of coaches, or 5% of owners (made up numbers) are minority (or black, according to who's complaining) then instead of being racist, you are pointing out racism in others.

As long as the media, and to a larger extent the people themselves, continue to put people into groups; or continue to define themselves as a part of a group, you will get this. In a system of government designed for 'majority-rule' but with safeguards for the minority (in any situation) you would think that we would be able to take people as ... well people.

The next time you hear of someone saying something bad about a group of people (regardless of the group) substitute these words in their sentence. White for color, male for sex, christian for religion and then ask yourself if the SAME sentence is racist. If you are honest with yourself, you'll probably say no. (If you are one of the few people that believe that people are people regardless of anything else, you'll say yes). Then ask yourself if that sentence would make news at all with the new words, or if the media would think it is racist. An honest answer is no.

The saddest state of this country today isn't racism, it isn't class difference and it isn't illegal immigration. The saddest thing today is that over half the people in this country spend most of everyday feeling offended about something that was not said 1) to them or 2) about them.

There are bad things said everyday. There will be bad things said everyday from now on. It's up to the people to start deciding that enough will finally be enough. When we decide to change things by teaching our kids what's right instead of showing them how to get your way by being a victim, then the country and perhaps later, the world, will start looking up.
Reason, not used apparently

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