Thursday, October 20, 2011

Slavery is back?!?! Where do I sign up?

Sometimes, I fail to see the advantages given by our instant information access, 900 cable channel, microblog-for-everything-one-could-possibly-desire, Google / Wikipediadict world. Yesterday was one of those days I cherished the information superhighway making a detour through my living room.

Without the internet, I would not have been the last man to know that multimillionaire knee-grows are back in slavery again.

What, you hadn't heard?

Bryant Gumbel, on his sometimes-pretty-good SportsNews show, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel broke the news to me, and, hopefully a few other ignoramuses

In case you are later in getting the news then I am, and are reading this blog in 2014, I will set the scenario:

The National Basketball Association has mostly black players.

Said "NBA" is on strike.

The commissioner of said NBA is a white man named David Stern (who has his paycheck signed by a coalition of the mostly white owners) and Gumbel does not like him.

Gumbel referred to Stern as " the NBA's infamously egocentric commissioner." This seems to be a statement that would be validated by a fair number of people. He then went to on to say; "His efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys."

So, the commissioner is a plantation owner and the players, by proxy, I guess, are his slaves. This disregarding the verifiable fact that a few of the slaves actually make more money than the man with the whip!

From what I can recall of my increasingly faulty memory, this is about the 4th time we have been returned to slavery this year. Multimillionaires striking seem to bethe first ones gaining access to the ship, as Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall declared himself a slave during the NFL strike this summer.

Now 'Truth' is not one to pass judgement on another, so let me elucidate my personal feelings on 'modern-day slavery': If it entails a multimillion dollar paycheck for something I used to do for free, beautiful groupies, luxury vehicles, and and fans, whom, despite knowing how much money I make line up to by me drinks; I say "Where the Hell is the WhiteBoi with the Damn Shackles, and Why is He Taking so Long?!"

Bryant Gumbel has made these sort of statements before, and he just strikes me as yet another example of the 60 plus year-old blackman who wouldn't be doing anyone outside of his immediate family a disservice if he would just hurry up and shake St. Peter's hand already. My Afro-American friends seem to universally pan me for my views, the general consensus goes something like this:

"But 'Truth', you need to lighten up on that, Bruva, you don't know where he came from!" 'Yes, buddies, on some level, I do: I am a light-skinned (although not nearly as light as Bryant) A-Am who was raised in a middle class family in a metropolitan area also.'

Now I don't know exactly from where Mr. Gumbel is coming; I was not hired to host the nightly sportscast in America's #2 media market for beaucoup dollars a month after my 22nd birthday -- I did not ridicule my younger brother for being 'too dark', and I did not leave my black wife for Becky Van Gordenheimer from Iowa, but otherwise, our backgrounds aren't that different.

For years, Bryant Gumbel was the easy, black commedian proxy for "light-skinned sellout", and there is little doubt in my mind that Bryant was wounded deeply by this. He wants to retain a little "verifiable blackness" with "his people" and signify to them that a Black Park Avenue Millionaire who spends most of his time with at the charitable soirees of his White Park Avenue Millionaires buddies is still a real Nigga, Yo!

Truth is not so dense that he does not understand that years of somewhat nasty black-community ridicule can undermine a man's sanity, but on some level, is there anything more comical than the stereotypical Malcolm Duke character that so many black men, young and old, rich and poor have allowed themselves to become? that is, they talk like Malcolm X, and fuck like David Duke.

No, Bry, I do not consider Mr. Stern an overseer of any sort, and I certainly don't consider anyone who wears an official "NBA" patch on their uniform a slave. I will defend the 1st amendment with my dying breath, but in fairness, if ESPN found fault enough with Hank III to terminate a business relationship over the immortal sin of comparing someone to Hitler, I would not protest much over Bryant's termination from HBO. But hey Bryant, on while you are cleaning our your desk, please don't trash the commissioner's business card, make your last surreptitious act scanning it on the HBO equipment and send it to my box. Tell Dave I have my sack and garden gloves ready.

1 comment: said...

This is a hilarious blog, keep posting these outtakes from a 30 year old weekly circular column!

I've started a memorial thread in your honor, Troof: