I wanted to take a break from blogging and social media to refocus my energy on poverty and addressing larger issues. All was going well and then Serena crip walked. Not much later, a fire storm erupted. Racists, idiots and conservative Negroes put down their Chik Fil A Sandwiches long enough to complain that Serena’s celebration was ‘inappropriate’. In the spirit of ignoring ignorance, I paid it no mind…. And Jason Whitlock wrote something stupid. So, I’m going in.
First, there is the consider the source argument. Here is the man who’s most significant contribution to sports journalism was a penis joke about Jeremy Lin. In some ways he may be still feeling but hurt about being forced to apologize for his own inappropriate behavior. And like any self-righteous, spoiled brat, he now believes that since he was punished, everyone should be forced to apologize. No, it doesn’t work that way. Serena owes no one an apology. In fact, Serena doesn’t owe anyone, anything. Her list of accomplishments speaks for itself.
Even, Mr. Whitlock himself acknowledges that Serena curtsied and ‘tried to play the game Wimbledon’s Way.’ But, this is larger than Wimbledon. Over the last few years, Serena Williams has been vilified and disrespected by her sport. Endorses pay more to endorse players who haven’t accomplished anything but meet their standards of beauty. She has faced life and career threatening ailments and injuries. The internet is full of racist hatred against her. People have labeled her ugly, a money, a man and even some sport journalist has started whispering rumors that she is taking banned substances. And during all of this, where was one of America’s most visible Black Sports journalist? Not defending her but, silent. Jason Whitlock’s silence during all of this disrespect, is the most damning evidence against the credibility of his article. So while I should be, I am not surprised that he comes out among the chorus of people blasting Serena about her celebration. He has not even held himself to the standard of accountability that he now wants to hold Serena to.
Secondly, Jason Whitlock’s column stems from fear. This is the kind of fear that produced the racists to labels black as ‘spooks’. The assertions that Serena will now suffer some backlash for her celebration comes from the same mentality in which some blacks believe that they need the acceptance of others to survive or be successful or face the wrath of those ‘above her’. No, Serena does not work for the Fox Corporation or any corporation. She is already an established icon. It’s this sort of projection of fear that Serena rejected when she celebrated on Centre Court.Why does Whitlock, now feel the need to restrict her? Maybe because, Blacks like him have been taught to help others keep even successful blacks ‘in their place’. Through oppression they have learned oppression. Oppression has been so ingrained that these critics now believe that oppressing other is somehow right. This also explains why many blacks also went to Chik Fil-A last week. So, in winning the Gold Medal Serena Williams celebrated her independence.
An Independence that many of them see as none existent. She threw off the yoke of oppression placed on her, not just by her oppressive sport but also from oppressive blacks like Jason Whitlock. She dances like a run away slave who made it, ‘up north’. Symbolically her crip walk was the John Carlos and Tommie Smith black fist of our generation. It know Jason Whitlock playing the role of Jessie Owens and warning other black atheletes about the consequences of ‘embarrassing America’. He, like Jessie Owens, forgets that America has no problem or hesitation when it comes to embarrassing them.
Finally, Jason Whitlock Article is simple weak sports journalism. Once again, not surprised, Jason Whitlock has a history of this. Unlike others, he always tackles the ‘low hanging fruit’. Rather than write about that roots of issues and challenge the status quo, he writes what will attract the most attention. This article is no different. Rather than talk about the deeper issue and talk about gangs and its affect on athletes. He took a cheap shot at Serena. America didn’t need his patriarchy about a dance. They needed his insight on gangs. He could have mentioned the number of promising college athletes who have died due to gang violence this summer. He blew that opportunity. Instead, he stayed in his role and fueled support for the racist and sexist backlash against someone whom he should have been lauding.
With that win, Serena earned her right to crip walk, where ever and whenever she pleases. And with that article, Jason Whitlock should lose his right to criticize anyone else at anytime.