Thursday, February 22, 2007

he was for All-Star weekend before he was against it.

The Head Chick, Paulsen and D-Wil all have better takes on Jason Whitlock's abrupt double-take in his columns for the KC Star and AOL, so after reading the columns and the other opinions, hear me out.

Ready? OK.

It's profoundly irresponsible, idiotic and stupid for Whitlock to play both sides of the table -- you cannot play to the stereotypes associated with black people in the newspaper column and then pull your infuriated Bill Cosby act on the internet a day later. Whitlock reversed himself 24 hours later and then still played to the same stupid, moronic stereotypes, which, if used by a white writer, would have gotten him drummed out of a newsroom within 24 hours.

Pick a side and stick to it. Either you are with the legion of black cultural commentators (Stanley Crouch, Debra Dickinson, Cosby, et al.) and most of the idiot commentariat (regardless of race) who find no virtue and every reason to slam black youth culture at every turn as if you are just as irrationally afraid of them as whites, or stand up and say that the violence at All-Star weekend is not representative, that it is a series of isolated incidents (Las Vegas media has reports of violence, but Whitlock provides mostly anecdotal information). If your online column is supposedly real, then what is this you are selling to the paper? Both columns reek of imagery better left to old stereotypes soon overcome -- the pro-All Star column is laden with idiocy about "a calling" to the game and other naturalistic, animalistic claptrap. Then, the AOL diatribe gives you regular use of the word "thug" and this nice bit:

David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize...All-Star Weekend Vegas screamed that the NBA is aligned too closely with thugs. Stern is going to have to take drastic measures to break that perception/reality. All-Star Weekend can no longer remain the Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby's mamas on tax-refund vacations.

So, 24 hours after you declared it okay, but a little "ghettofab," you did a complete 180 and decided to amplify your stereotypes. I grant Whitlock that ESPN should have been on the aspect more, but that's it. Before I read the columns in full, I thought Whitlock was OK; his main targets of "bojangling" were commentators or writers I didn't think were particularly good on any sort of journalistic merit. Problem is, he's just as guilty of bojangling as he thinks his targets are; he is the perfect enabler.


Head Chick said...

I caught Debra Dickerson on Colbert Report the other day. She was funny and insightful, not incendiary and ignorant like Crouch and Whitlock.

Whitlock is going to be sick when Michael Irvin returns!

Signal to Noise said...

Some of her columns that I've read in the past don't strike me as insightful. She is a hell of a lot less incendiary.

I watched it online. She was funny and ten times better about the format than most of Colbert's guests. I think Colbert got her and her general point about Obama at the end -- for all intents and purposes, Obama is a black man to the majority of America, and Dickerson's intent, though well-thought out, isn't useful and plays into a monolithic problem of whether being black isn't enough; you have to Be Black.

I think the political battle over his authenticity is telling -- who holds the legitimate claim to what is singularly "black" in American society? I think it's part and parcel of the battle between generations waged by the more ornery types like Crouch and Cosby on black youth.