Friday, April 13, 2007

Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock At War With His Own Black Community

Read: Problem of White Racism masked by talk about Black Rappers.

Jason Whitlock's an African American columnist for the Kansas City Star. On the 12th he wrote an article blaming Don Imus' words on the "problem" created by Black rappers.

That's stupid.

What bothers me about Jason is he's on shows basically attacking the all-too-easy target of the Black rapper , while leaving every White racist and White rapper without blame.

Look, it's plain dumb to compare Don Imus obvious racial gaffe to Black rappers. The real problem is that there are people who are White and Asian and Latino who feel that it's OK to make fun of and essentially be hurtful to those who are Black because they are Black.

Those people who do this will use any reason available to justify their words of hate, including pointing at Black rappers as "creating the climate". (Hey, to blame hundreds of years of racism on a 17-year old kid is pretty silly when you think about it.)

But it take a stupidly-reasoning person to help them point the finger and thus let them off the hook.

That's what Jason Whitlock is trying to do.

As I do my research on Jason, it turns out that he's pissed with all Blacks -- I guess including himself -- because he had a bad experience at the airport leaving the NBA All Star Game. Here's what happened:

"The whole All-Star Weekend just put me on edge; it left me in a sour mood. I can't deny what I saw.

When I arrived at the Vegas airport Tuesday afternoon, All-Star Weekend gave me one final kick in the stomach, and I'm not talking about the long lines at the Southwest baggage check-in.

I stood in line for 75 minutes in the Southwest A boarding group. I was fourth in line behind three elderly white people (ages 60 to 75). They beat me in line by three or four minutes. The A, B and C groups were all filled an hour before the flight's scheduled departure.

Twenty feet away from where we all waited in line, a middle-aged black woman (45 to 55), what appeared to be her two sons (22 to 30) and an elderly black man (60s) all sat together and randomly slept, ate and talked.

When it was time to board the flight, the group of four stood, approached the elderly white woman standing in front of me and told her, "We're second in line. That's my bag on the floor."

The elderly white people were obviously intimidated. I wasn't and told the group they were crazy, and they needed to head to the back of the A boarding group and get in line behind all the people who stood for an hour.

Of course, they disagreed. I walked over and told the Southwest boarding agent to fix the problem. He witnessed the whole thing and came over and told the group they needed to move to the back of the A group. Words were exchanged between the agent and the group.

Eventually, and I'm not making this up, one of the young men told the agent that this was racism and they were being to asked to move because they were black. The other young man said that people like me were the reason black people couldn't get ahead.

The rest of the story is boring. I bring the story up to illustrate the mindset that has infected some of us in the black community."

What bothers me about this is that Jason's using a bad experience with a group of individuals who are Black to cast a bad light on all who are Black, and then gets on national television to spread his hatred of what he sees as "Black culture."

And he's Black. He might as well be White and racist, because that classic way of acting comes from a person who's basically blocked their intellect from seeing that there are all kinds of people and that the ones he encountered were obviously not good people -- period, end of story.

But it's not because Jason's telling of the story calls his own behavior into question. It reads -- he told the Black family they were "crazy" -- like Jason has such a weird chip on his shoulder with other Blacks that he as much caused the confrontation at the airport, whereas he could have been the sooth-saying voice that made a bad situation good and gained new friends in the process.

Nope. Jason would rather fight Blacks he views as holding a stereotype. I know this kind of person, because I was that way once. It's a terrible way to be and I was called on it by a neighbor when I was 17-years old. I felt bad, because I'm emphathic enough to be able to feel someone elses pain, especially when I'm the cause of it.

I can't at all say Jason's like that. He was even disrespectful to CNN contributor Amy Holmes, who's Black and female. She's making a point, and he just laughs dismissively while she's talking.

And Jason's talking about Black men being disrespectful to Black women?

Nice demonstration, dude!

There are some of us who think that to have and gain White friends -- and be paid at a position owned by a White-controlled media company, let's be honest -- means pointing hateful fingers at other Blacks who aren't "refined like they are." I'm serious. Jason comes across as that kind of person. Heck, he might find it weird to know that some of us drive
Hybrid Cars!

I've moved far beyond my teens, and learned that I can and do have good friends of all kinds, and don't have to sellout Blacks who aren't "like me" to get them.

I hope Jason sees this, and as they say "Check's himself before he wrecks"....Us!


  1. Why is it that when Whitlock or anyone else points out the apparent double-standard here, nobody wants to address that? It's easier to just say Whitlock's argument is "dumb." Well why? It is not excusable for Imus to say what he said, but it is just as inexcusable for us to look the other way when such language is prevalent in mainstream hiphop culture. Seriously, did you consider that Imus might have been mocking the idiots like Ludacris who use this phraseology, or the moronic kids who allow such people to proffer millions off their exploitations? I'd just like to see someone try to address this double standard without scoffing at the people who call attention to it.

  2. I have to disagree with your argument on a number of levels. First of all, you are a hypocrite for taking Whitlock to task because he based his "entire" perception of the black community on one experience. You then base your argument against Whitlock on one article.

    Secondly, why is it that when Whitlock and others raise the question about this double-standard, and point the finger at hip-hop culture, nobody wants to answer to that. Is it just easier to call Whitlock dumb? It is inexcusable for Imus to say what he said. But did you wonder if, perhaps, Imus' remark was actually a mockery of an all too common condition in the hip-hop community where we refer to women as hoes, and desensitize our culture to phrases like "nappy-headed" and words like "nigga?"

    Fine, Whitlock needs to check himself for selling out his own people. But why isn't it selling out your own people when Ludacris and Co sing about black women, calling them hoes, and shooting videos clearly objectifying them as sexual objects? And why is Imus a racist sexist old man, but Fifty Cent is keeping it real? I just want to see one decent answer to those questions.

  3. Anonymous11:06 AM

    Sure racism is still present in a jocular manner among many non-black kids today. I think Whitlock's larger point is still right on.
    What is the damage caused by an old crusty white guy's comments? I think his suggestion that Imus keep his job and have to deal with the flames is even better.
    Why do we only see Sharpton and Jackson in a reactive mode? Didn't Sharpton show up for a photo op with the Duke Lacrosse accuser. I know that Jackson has the Rainbow/PUSH coalition but I think the podium that they enjoy should be used to encourage young black youth rather than go after the weak remnants of a prejudiced era.

  4. Well written.

    Whitlock is kind of an enigma to me. Sometimes it seems like he is a voice of reason, somebody everyone can get behind to provide mature, well thought out opinions on race relations and sports. Other times, it just seems like he hates black people.

    Not much of a role model.

  5. I read Whitlock's piece on Rutgers/Imus and I think you're missing the point. Whitlock was saying that ALL people need to look to themselves when there is a problem, not blame other people. I mean, is the world any better for black people now that Imus is gone? No. Would the world be better for black people if most of their role models/celebrities didn't encourage slapping women, shooting each other and selling drugs? Yes.

    Al Sharpton loves standing up for black victims, like the poor Duke LaCrosse Stripper, but in doing so, he only encouragesa victim mentality. What Imus said was unfortunate, and Whitlock may hate black people, but his overall point, as I see it, is that being a victim is worthless, and that playing the victim card is only gonna fuel less self-reliance and foster more problems.

    Of course, what do I know? I'm white.

  6. First, I think what some of you miss is one fact. Look at the comments -- they are split between those who are White who agree with him, and those who are Black who do not.

    Now, I don't post anonymous comments, so they're deleted. I didn't read them. In light of the Kathry Sierra controversy, I don't allow them.

    But back to the point, Jason's rant did what I thought it would do: give fuel to those who are White who seem to want to shift the blame from Imus to those who are Black.

    This is a constant strategy today. For example if someone who's White is pointed out as being racist, they say "Well, you're racist for saying I'm racist!"


    This forgets that racism is putting one group down in favor of another ...WHICH IS WHAT JASON DOES. To support it is to support an anti-Black racism. But it's ok, because it comes from someone Black.

    Those of you who responded who are White should really think twice about your take. Why not attack Jason and see the self-hate that's evident -- I could have used other examples -- rather than support him.

    It makes it easier to have a nice little target in any Black rapper -- forgetting Eminem, because apparenly he's White.


  7. But, aren't people better off if they don't take a victim mentality?

  8. Actually Zennie, there's only one person defending your point in the comments and the rest of us don't think you get Whitlocks point.

    Here's the $64K stanza from his recent article that you should have addressed if you truly have a problem with his point-

    We can’t win the war over verbal disrespect and racism when we have so obviously and blatantly surrendered the moral high ground on the issue. Jesse and Al might win the battle with Imus and get him fired or severely neutered. But the war? We don’t stand a chance in the war. Not when everybody knows “nappy-headed ho’s” is a compliment compared to what we allow black rap artists to say about black women on a daily basis.

    I suppose you then agree with Snoops comments that "it's ok for me to call them ho's cuz I'm a rapper, but not Imus"?

  9. Anonymous10:57 PM

    I think YOU'RE missing the point. Jason's trying to point out that blacks shouldn't walk around as "victims," pulling the race card whenever it's convenient.

    Let's say that he would've agreed with the black people who left their bags there. Don't you think that would've been blatantly racist?

    To me, it's refreshing that for once, an african-american looked past their race, and viewed a situation for what it was.

    You said in your comment: "This is a constant strategy today. For example if someone who's White is pointed out as being racist, they say "Well, you're racist for saying I'm racist!"

    -You're proving my point. Whites can't criticize blacks, because that race-card can be played on them at any time, even if it has nothing to do with the situation.

  10. First, I get Jason's point. I don't think you all read what I wrote with any degreee of comprehension. I not only disagree with Jason, but totally resent the way he treated the Black family.

    What's even more GALLING is that none of you noted that the family included an elderly person. You're SO BUSY with focusing on their Blackness, and your installed stereotypes, you threw out the basic way that people are supposed to be treated.

    With respect.

    Your viewpoints mark a dark hour in our society. I think this allowance of racism -- and that's what you're doing -- is criminal.

    Jason was being a total ASS with this family. You only SEE what the Black family does via Jason's eyes. You don't question why in HELL he was focused on them and not the Elderly white couple.

    I've flown Southwest tons of times. Had that been me instead of Jason, I'd have worked something out that preserved the dignity of the Black family. But Jason's shown himself to be a massive sicko -- and you all blindly follow him.

    All of you should be totally ashamed of yourselves.

  11. And Brian,

    I can't believe you just fell right into my trap and said that ..not knowing apparently the definition of racism, that it's OK for someone who's White to tell someone who SPOTS their behavior as being RACIST, that they are RACIST.

    Have you lost your freaking mind?

    A person -- LISTEN -- who identifies racism is not racist. Got it? Racism is the act of putting someone down because of their race. The person who points the finger is identifying what in some states is a criminal act.

    Racism is a mental illness and it's totally shown in this exchange. Many of you have shown totally faulty thinking and on a scary level.

    Don Imus rant has nothing to do with Hip Hop, or Black victimization. That is plain stupid and a smoke screen to mask the real problem -- racism.

  12. And don't for a moment think I'm supporting any kind of racist behavior. What I'm explaining is that the ugly spector of White racism is not out of our society and that's where the focus needs to be -- NOT ON BLACK RAPPERS!!

  13. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Seriously, all I read in that article was, "White (this).........Black (that)" Whitlock is right, to an extent. I wouldn't say he's totally right, but at the same time, quit playing the race card, it's a tired gig.

  14. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Woah, Woah. Whitlock stepped in because the black family immediately played the race card, and he said that was crazy.

    You're saying it wasn't?

    Apparently, he should've just stood by, watched the black family cry "racism," and then watch the rest of the people just stand there, knowing that there was no basis to their complaint.

    You're so quick to criticize white people for their racist actions, but the fact is that no one that is white would stand up to that family, for fear that they'd be branded racists themselves. Believe me, I've seen it happen, and have been in those situations too.

  15. BRIAN!


    First, look at what Jason wrote, again.

    1) He explained that he did notice the Black family BEFORE the incident. QUERY TIME: Ask yourself why he paid attention to them, and not any White group?

    2) Then, the Elderly White Family came up, as he explained. AND THEN Jason states that the Black family had a bag there, where the White family was standing. QUERY TIME: Ask yourself why -- since Jason was standing there -- did he not take time to tell the Elderly White Family that was someone elses bag? Hmm? QUERY TIME2: Why did Jason CHOSE to characterize the Black family as intimidating? Hmmm?

    What he's done is all the more damaging because -- even though you weren't there -- you CHOSE to believe the Black family was everything negative not so much because Jason wrote that, as you WANT to believe that.

    That's the terrible problem -- Jason's own self-hatred mirrors your own fears of African Americans. Thus, because his insecurities match your own, you turn off your ability to think critically. Plus, it permits you to maintain your own racism. That's terrible.

    Jason's committed the ultimate crime -- one that's without real legal writ, but has terrible social effects nonetheless. He's made it OK for you to be racially prejudiced, because he's racially prejudiced with respect to people who are Black like himself.

    I wrote this -- re-read my column -- that Jason could have been the sooth-sayer, but he was not. This also is true for you. Don't ever go into a situation like that looking to pick a fight.

    You wrote that any other White person would be intimidated. That's bull____. You weren't there. You didn't see the unfolding interaction.

    I wasn't there, but I also took a step back and -- having been in similar situations -- thought about it critically. I then looked at what Jason wrote and came away thinking that because he -- by his own words -- was "in the middle" could have been the mediator. In fact, he did show that he's no gentleman at all.

    So, I can hammer at him from that perspective, too. From whatever view, it's clear he's got a problem.

  16. I can't believe Deadspin linked to this horrible tripe. Zennie, you're entitled to your opinion - but you're the emperor with no clothes on, champ.

  17. I normally don't allow such comments as Buffalo66 because it actually says nothing at all. In other words, the comment did nothing to advance the discussion.

    In the case of this topic, please bring a good smart argument that's well-considered. I'm considering being more the comments I allow in the future.

    Say something intelligent, please.

  18. Jason Whitlock is a buffoon. I called him during all of this and of course the call went to his voicemail. The fact of the matter is that most black radio stations are owned by white corporations! (he wrote that it was black-owned radio stations). Secondly, he just did this for JOB SECURITY. Thirdly, no black woman accepts being called a ho that I know. If Snoop Dogg stepped to me, I would jack him up, place a call to his wifey, mess with his job, or fight him like a man. And finally, black people have created many words that now appear in the English dictionary.

    He possesses too much self hatred and when he gets fired from his job for kissing so much white behind, he'll show up in a black church crying and thankful that his people are still there for him. Kinda reminds me of Michael Jackson coming back from swing babies in Russia to shoot a video in the hood.

  19. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Zennie... I feel for you man... I really do. While I think you make some good points... wasn't Whitlock fired from ESPN for some off-color remarks about both a black and a white associate? I found it very refreshing to see a black reporter speak up and take an "outside the box" look at this. Granted he IS outspoken. But he is also very honest as well. And for that you gotta give him credit.

    Also, I noticed you tried to support your argument by mentioning the elderly black woman... Did you not read where he said the white people in front of him were also elderly? In fact all three were. So how does bringing that up support your point?

    The fact is, he's right... Because of the "race card", those elderly people were too intimidated to say something. Now I agree he could have handled it better and yes made some friends... but he himself notes that he is a very passionate person, especially when it comes to what he believes is right and wrong.

    And I love the citing of Eminem... Man, I can count on one hand how many gangsta white rappers there are out there. However, when it comes to african americans, lets be honest here... What would you say the breakdown is between white and black gangsta rappers? Feel me? Citing Eminem was silly.

    Speaking of gangsta rap... with its roots firmly embedded in the social and economic struggle of the black man... it has always been somewhat egotistical in nature, and most certainly is defined by crooning all about racism, illegalities, and sexism. Is it any wonder that the few white rappers we have seen over the last few decades were either raised in a pverty stricken broken family (Eminem) OR preach about how they were raised in the ghetto when actually they went to Paris High School (V Ice).

    Face it... Rap, for the most part, is angry expressionism. Do I have an issue with it? Hells no. I love Ice Cube, Dre, Snoop, and others. I sing that stuff loud in my car, and bump it at home. Do I act it out like its a reality? Nope. I think thats the key. I'm sure you listen to rap too, or did at one point, and you werent drawn towards the negative. So why are others of african american descent unable to separate rap from reality?

    I believe they will in due time and I applaud Jason Whitlock for putting his arse out there with some controversial, but neccessary statements. I appreciate your opinion, I do, but as a fellow American of black descent, I am deeply saddened by the way our race is representing itself these days.

    It really all comes down to upbringing. Sad but true. I hope the race card will go away in my lifetime, but I'm not all that certain it will. And that saddens me even greater.

    Thanks for the intriguing response. You made some good points, IMHO, but failed to prove your overall point.

    Be well, be passionate, and live with pride and respect for yourself and others my brotha.


  20. Anonymous2:56 AM

    First off all, the Don Imus issue is not a hip hop issue. Jason Whitlock have more self hate, than any "gangsta" rappers.Ask yourself, has Whitlock ever said anything positive about black people, beside himself? Atleast in hip hop there are positive rappers, who do uplift black people, unlike Jason. The other thing I don't uderstand, hip hop is not the only media, to disrespect women or have violent content or have vulgur langage, but there's no outcry from Jason Whitlock or Al Sharpton. When a rapper say the b word its the worst thing ever, but watch any reality show, cable show, a soap or even a movie, that word is use freely, these same people, will yelled "I don't want my kids to a watch that junk", but their kids are watching things much more harmful. Ask yourself, do Al Shaypton or Whitlock, change the channel everytime, a act of violence is shown on primetime tv? Or flip the nob,when somebody having sex on tv? Did Whitlock get pissed evertime "The Sorpanos" used the f bomb? Probably not. Well, Sharpton might, but Mr. Hotair, no. Most of these critcs, have no problem with on tv, but god these rappers are the threats! When something wrong in the world, for now on, just blame hip hop. If we censor rap lyrics everything would be alright, right.