|Another Jack Out of the Box
9/10/2014 4:18:56 PM
By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Many times in the Black Press of America, its publishers, editors, columnists and other assorted commentators have been bringing stories and issues to the forefront that racism is still alive within the bald eagle’s territorial landsacpe.
It’s a committed task that has been going on for a long, long time for those past and present chroniclers, and I’m proudly one of those writers who is still doing it now. As a literary rule of thumb, the earnest ones among us strive to inform the less informed of the masses in order to make the Black community and others aware that bigotry and racism shouldn’t be a part of the professed democratic slogan of freedom, equality and justice for all.
Sadly, some theoretical folk in this potentially great national grouping we loosely call “The America People” have gotten upset with the Black Press, for one reason or the other, for constantly pushing ebony ethnic concerns. These objecting abstract “colored” folk tend to “diss” the pro-afro-American Press, one and all, for never letting go of the bigotry aspect that surely exist in the caldrons of some parts of the ruling, middle and under classes of American society.
It’s our jobs in the Black Press, without fear or intimidation, to keep African-American and other ethnic segments of this nation “aware” of what’s happening in “our” worlds of existences. Who else is going to talk to you, the Black Reader, about “What’s Going On?” Remembering that the great singer Marvin Gaye is dead, the lingering lyrics of his album and the murky truth of America’s hidden racism and bigotry towards and about Black folk is no buried secret. I’m forever mindful that ethnic subjugation as real as real can get.”
The Black community, en masse, needs to wake up, see and smell the aroma of today’s hidden racism for what it is, even as comes from some of the highest, exclusionary and richest corridors of American business and government. Like “A Jack Out of the Box,” American racism is a closeted, dangerous and vexing iconic deterrent to the functionality of democracy everywhere.
Racial discrimination raises its dastardly head and launches its ugly shadow from anywhere destroying the ideals of the (colonial) proponents of democracy’s grand comprehensive design. Does the sun set in East or West, and are you still surprised why more and more people have so little faith in its globally elected political leaders today?
Think about that in the context of what it’s like to be a citizen in America where you know that color and religion are lightning rods towards discrimination, no matter what The Constitution says. Is the mythical bigoted Jack still hidden in the racism carton, or is he out there operating freely today on his “his-storical” plantation? Hmm! The bewitching truth is that the awkward dilemma is once again upon “The American People” to awaken and find out that the box of racism and the shadow of prejudice (against America’s ebony population) is always near. It can’t hide forever. Take for example, the recently revealed leaked email from the sports’ arena.
It’s from the corridors of the National Basketball League’s elite good old boys’ fraternity of owners where this latest bombshell has hit the proverbial you-know-what with shock and awe. And just when you thought Jack, oops, I mean, Donald Sterling, of past Los Angeles Clippers’ ownership notoriety and shame, was the final straw in exposing another torrid example of “hidden racism.”
Think again because “Another Jack (is) Out of the Box.” It never seems to stay indiscernible or undetectable because you can’t sweep racism out of existence by being politically incorrect. Can you understand that Black America?
Well, as I previously said, hold on to your thinking cap, because the good old boys of the NBA are once again being brought to light because of some of their bigotry and outspoken plantation type mentalities. This latest fiasco involves the ownership of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, and it’s a sickening reminder that America, in many untiring and unsophisticated ways, is still what it is.
It seems as though the Atlanta Hawks’ majority owner, Bruce Levenson, sent an email to several folk in his intimate circle, including the team’s general manager, Danny Ferry, concerning his feelings about ways to attract more White fans to the Hawks home games. Professional sport teams to some enlightened “colored” folk are like modern day plantations, owned and run simply for financial profit and economic means, never meant to be institutions of moralities and equality ideals for the ethnic minorities. Sports team ownership is a business just like in many ways plantation ownership were. Think about that point.
And now back to the Hawks’ owner’s statement. Mr. Levenson’s said in his offensive email, “I think (Souuthern) Whites were not comfortable in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority,” one passage alluded to. Is that shocking to you after the now infamous and scandalous situation involving Mr. Sterling of a few months ago? If it’s not, then hold on to your thinking cap once more because Mr. Levenson’s email gets convulsively more odious as you read on.
Continuing with another of Mr. Levenson’s disgusting, but apparently very sincere passage which makes you mad as all good night, if you aren’t already. It read “I have told them I want some White cheerleaders and while I don’t care what the color the artist is, I (also) want the music to be reflective to a 40-year-old White guy if that’s our season (tickets) demo. I have also balked when every fan picked out of the crowd to shoot shots in some timeout is Black. I have even (complained) that the kiss cam is too Black.”
One news source, Yahoo!Sports, alleged that Mr. Ferry read aloud an offensive and racist statement in a background report on a then free agent named Luol Deng. The remark was made during a June meeting when the team was considering signing free agents. Mr. Ferry is reported to have said that Deng has “got African in him.” He (Ferry) now says that he meant it in a good way. Mr. Deng signed with the Miami Heat.
If those disgusting hidden racist insights into the mind-sets of how some of America’s powerful elite and so-called liberally fair-minded folk, who are privileged either by birth, ethnicity, religion or who know, act and really feel about us behind closed doors, then we’re (really) in dire straits, especially since the hypocritical Jack is out of the box.
I don’t know about you, but if you’re of color, and even if you live anywhere in America from Atlanta, Georgia, to Ferguson, Missouri, and beyond, the xenophobic shadow of Jack’s escape from the box of racism should be a tremendous warning signal. It’s a menacing sign to me as a member of today’s thinking Black Press, but it also serves as a another wake-up call to me as a “hue-man” being living in the so-called land of the free and the home of the brave knowing that in many sectors, racism is (still) as American as apple pie.
For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”