Confusing attitudes with progress

By Chris Stevenson

A caller or guest on Jesse Jackson’s XM radio show \”Keep Hope Alive,\” said his daughter told him after she watched Three 6 Mafia win an Oscar for the song \”It’s Hard out here for a Pimp,\” that it seemed to her that blacks were \”confusing activities for progress.\” A profound statement for a 12-year-old. There seems to be an element among blacks today that will placidly try to articulate that this outrageous behavior and it’s soundtracks of hard rap are somehow a part of black progress, that somehow their message of cliques and clubs is informing us. But the young sister nailed it.

What would this young lady think about Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock’s controversial column \”Time to Stop Looking Past the Black KKK?\” You don’t have to be one of those black conservatives to have enough common sense to know when it looks like too many of us are taking stupid pills. Whitlock’s diatribe comes in the immediate aftermath of the NBA All Star Game and the behavior that took place the following Monday between 4-5am when 4 people were shot, 3 of them at a Las Vegas strip club called the Minxx. One security guard-Tom Urbanski-is now paralyzed from a shot by a friend of NFL star Adam \”Pacman\” Jones. This was the culmination of 362 arrests by Vegas police since the start of the All-Star weekend, 209 of those arrested were from out of town.

Whitlock quickly attacked with an essay that rocked the foundation of black apathy: \”We have a problem in the black community… with the exception of Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March it’s been on display nearly every time we’ve gathered in large groups to socialize in the past 15 or so years.\” What Whitlock infers is that, too many blacks gathered in large numbers, will soon demonstrate that they just don’t know how to act. What is troubling to me is that this is taking place on the weekend of an event connected to a sport most known for it’s young black following; Professional basketball. These reports are lacking on All-Star weekends of the other 3 American professional team sports leagues.

\”The Black Klu Klux Klan shows up in full force and does its best to ruin our good time. Instead of wearing white robes and white hoods, the new KKK has taken to wearing white Ts and call themselves gangsta rappers, gang-bangers and posse members. I’m tired of the lack of respect, the random violence, the celebration of drug dealers, and the insinuation that education is anti-black.\”

Whitlock has been outspoken when it comes to the linking of obnoxious behavior of some of today’s black athletes with slave-era or Jim Crow-era enemies and betrayers of blacks. Back in the fall of ‘02 he told ESPN co-host Mike Wilbon, and talk radio’s Jim Rome that he felt that then-Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss was an Uncle Tom. This was due to Moss’ undisciplined behavior on and off the field. Whitlock has not attacked hip-hop as a whole as some have tried to infer, just the worst segment of the genre that does inspire many blacks on the street and NFL players like \”Pacman\” Jones, who is being blamed for sparking the Minxx shooting. Jones did not pull the trigger, but the shootings were the climax to a series of extremely dumb actions (allegedly) by Jones that are too shameful for me to have printed.

Make no mistake about it, none of these activities are to be even remotely confused with black progress. Yes the progress kicks in when a young black man makes the pros, but from that point on they are role models by default whether they make that choice or not. These behaviors are not \”hard\” as they and their defenders attempt to make us understand. All of this violence against women and against others betrays their upbringing; Raised by Single Mother (of which both parents must share the blame). Because if you notice, they hold grudges like a lot of women do, only they have big muscles and guns. There was no active father in their life to pop them over the head when they were between 11-14 and tell them \”boy stop whinning,\” or \”suck it up, be a man and move on or I’ll take the switch to you.\” Don’t be confused, and don’t get played.

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