Friday, February 23, 2007

Jason Whitlock Is Going To White Heaven

Several more capable minds have weighed in on Uncle Ruckus' weekend in Vegas, but let's look at them in juxtaposition to similar statements made by Bill Cosby. (*via Straight Bangin' ) The problem of 'mainstream' hip hop peddling violence, misogyny, homophobia and corrosive misrepresentations of the black community is hardly a new one, an ever growing movement of dissent having existed within the culture for years now. The NBA had shed it's notorious label of being "too black" during Michael Jordan's tenure, only to have the issue rear it's ugly head again in the past decade with it's marriage to hip hop. Which leads us to Whitlock's diatribe, disguised as "Real Talk". While he and Dr. Huxtable may be delivering the same message, I doubt they have the same motivations.

It's certainly within reason to question whether these types of statements should be made publicly by anyone-black or not-and if so, whether Bill Cosby should be the one to express them given his history. However, his commitment to the education and empowerment of black youth is unassailable. He's spent countless hours promoting the necessity of a robust learning experience to minorities, and has backed that talk up with money-lots of it-including a one time $20 million donation to Spelman College. A man of such means has no need for self promotion, Cosby's only agenda is to draw attention to the problems at hand. A willingness to step outside of his gregarious public image and become a controversial lightning rod in the process, in my opinion, is indicative of a genuine desire to save the future of his race.

On the contrary, Jason Whitlock's hateful denunciations draw attention solely to himself. A reasonable man would assume that someone as committed in theory to a black renaissance as Whitlock has also committed the time, effort, or money that are prerequisite to making such incendiary statements. Ha. Whitlock probably thinks a collection plate is something restaurants use to pile up uneaten food for him. Has he ever provided any true analysis or solutions? Ha. In his eagerness to brand Scoop Jackson and practically an entire culture as savage caricatures of black incivility, he seems oblivious to the fact that he easily fits the description of another narrow minded stereotype, ol' Uncle Tom...

So is all of this just his plan to get into white heaven? Could be. It would definitely explain the Gospel of Jeff George. Why else would Big Greasy paint his vitriolic masterpieces with such broad strokes, ignoring the fact that violence and misogyny are lucrative for, and detrimental to, all races? WWF? Girls Gone Wild? The Sopranos? No, Whitlock saves his love for The Wire, which provides him the opportunity to mar someone else's canvas with his senselessness. David Simon is another man who has invested in his words, blessing the idiot box with a piercing portrayal of postmodern decay, neglect, and their consequences. The Wire is universally lauded by critics for it's resolute depictions of the drug war, disillusioning viewers to contemplate the complex nature of good and evil. I have trouble believing that Simon, Ed Burns, or anyone else associated with this show would see their work in such a simplistic manner as "The Adventures of the Black KKK". Instead of joining the talking heads in tossing around irresponsible generalizations, why doesn't Whitlock emulate Simon or Cosby, and direct his efforts towards achieving an improved sense of public discernment? (He could start with how Joe Kennedy was Stringer Bell's blueprint. Or how the Nu Klan held their rally in a city built by organized crime. A city that promises discretion to it's visitors while they cheat on their spouses and feed their addictions might attract 'undesireables'.) Because like those talking heads, and those whom he despises, Big Dummy is only interested in self advancement.

The only thing Big Wasteofsperm succeeded in doing was taking a bite out of something bigger than he could finish. David Stern is well aware of the "landmine issues"-race and class-and he's also astute enough to sidestep them. Are we really asking the Commissioner to become W.E.B. Du Bois? These are issues reflected by the NBA, not rooted in it. I'm not a big Sinatra fan, I can't stand Brooks & Dunn, and Wayne Newton frightens me. The NBA hasn't exactly embraced hip hop as a collective, and until the percentages of black folks in the stands match those on the court it's going to stay that way. I understand it, and I don't find anything particularly wrong with it. "It's just business." Tell 'em, String. However, what I would like to see more of from the league is an embracing of the communities that produce it's workforce. This is not to rally for a Lil' Weezy performance at next year's halftime show, but to ask for more stories like a Caron Butler. Stories of human frailties and redemption that can shatter stereotypes. Lord-and Reagan-knows Jason Whitlock won't write them.

* 2/26 Dave Zirin. Ether.


Jake said...

Dammit, Max. I was going to run a Whitlock/Ruckus seperated at birth!

Phillip said...

i actually saw reagan and whitlock at some phantom gay bar doing some real subversive shit...
it was weird, but in a good comforting way;
like a blankie-gay-kinda-way...

Max Airington said...

Ronald Reagan would never sully his good name by helping a black man achieve anything. Even an orgasm. I think you have him confused with Strom Thurmond.

Herb L. Seward III said...

*lmao* @ the Boondocks reference...

Great Commentary; It's about time someone took "Big Sexy" to task...

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