Eternal Beauty in Black
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Monday, September 14, 2009Another Day in Paradise : A Commentary on Weekend Events
Earlier today, I was going to say "Man I'm glad this week is over." But, oh no. It's only Monday.
They say things always happen in three and this week (and weekend) started off by showing such an illustration.
1st - Michael Jordan is honored in emotional Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. During his speech he is critical of certain players, coaches and officials he once worked with. Among the slew of backlash to his person, Jordan is called a competitive sociopath, petty, and I'm sure tons of other things that my brain refuses to remember based on the comments.
2nd - Kanye West apparently yanked the microphone from Taylor Swift during the MTV's Video Music Awards and said that Beyonce Knowles deserved to win Best Female Video. Thanks Kanye for staying yourself.
3rd - Tennis star Serena Williams curses out a sporting official due to a faulty call that cost her the US Open win. Somewhere Mary C., Mary Jo F., Martina H., Pam S. and Martina N. are sharing a couple of brews while replaying this over and over on Youtube.
By now, I'm sure you, like myself and every other black person in America, is shaking our head and throwing our hands up. Once one prominent black person in the media does something, EVERY black person will be painted with the same brush. Times that by three now. That's one of the gifts for growing up in a country with tons of racial tension from the inception of said country every day.
Now, grant it. Kanye is just acting his foolish self and Serena shouldn't have cursed. And maybe Michael Jordan should have just said "So long and thanks for all the fish" and then took his spiffy trophy and new honor to a celebratory dinner where he can vent IN PRIVATE to his buddies. Okay response, but a wrong time. Alas, I digress.
Many are now saying that tennis is returning back to the way it should be with all the former top tennis players returning now that the "Threatening Negros Who Win All The Time" (gasp Oh noes! Too much color on the court!) may not be playing as much. To paraphrase George Lopez, "Tennis is Becoming All White Again". This will follow Serena Williams' career wherever she goes. No matter how many wins she has, no matter how sportmanship she is from here on out, it will be brought up, categorized, written about and rewritten about and commentated on until the end of time. It's one of the gifts of growing up with dark skin not only in this type of world but also in a game dominated by the majority who doesn't look like you.
Now had it been Anna Kournikova, or if the roles were switched, the commentators would have just shrugged and said how cute her rampage was. "Everybody makes mistakes. She was just tense because it was a high pressure game." Uh huh. I highly doubt she would have been fined. I don't tolerate cursing myself and Serena Williams shouldn't have outburst the way she did, sure, but this is only the beginning of what could be WAY blown out of proportion for many years to come. This isn't a case of "Oh look Johnny Mac threw another racket. How adorable! That's his trademark. Gotta love him!" Nope. This was a little colored girl "acting ghetto" and bringing "low ghetto class" to a historically prim white sport. And where was the racket abuse and outright crazy tantrum antics I keep hearing about? I didn't see it anywhere in the circulating clip. Nor did it come close to the famous "You Can't Be Serious" 1981 Wimbledon McEnroe situation that resulted in a $1,500 fine. Sigh. I won't be surprised if this is shown over and over again during next year's US Open promotional videos.
This could could very well cost her all those endorsement deals amidst the cries for her to be banned from the game. Yes, she cursed, but it's not like she smoked marijuana in public (for extra kicks, check out the comments section for tons of supportive posts about how he made a little mistake and is sorry so let's move on). Though I'm pretty sure if she did, she wouldn't be rewarded with an extension on her sponsorship deal until 2013 months later. Kind of funny how the article makes no mention of that misstep huh?
I could get angry at all this. I could get my blood pressure up at all the racist, hateful, spiteful, venomous comments that are circulating each article comments section. But I won't. The outcry against "Black Folks Act Up Week" is to be expected. No matter how high a personal of color reaches, there will always be the privileged class who uses every misstep as an opportunity to push down the whole group of those below them to "where they belong in their place". Lovely misconceptions and all. This is not a class you can buy your way into. Nor is it one you can eventually be inducted into. It's something you're born into. At least for now.
I'm heading to bed. Someone wake me when it's 2050.