Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DePass: Republican activist suggests the first lady is a gorilla

Rusty DePass, a prominent South Carolina Republican activist recently suggested first lady Michelle Obama descended from gorillas. DePass commented on a story about a gorilla escaping from a local zoo by stating, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

He apologized by saying, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Obviously the comments were not called for and the apology was half-hearted.

What’s the deal with South Carolina? You remember when golf analyst Kelley Tilghman stated that Tiger Woods should be taken in a back alley and lynched last year to curtail his dominance?

I guess birds of a feather think and flock together.

More recently the New York Post runs a caricature of President Obama by depicting him as a gorilla being shot by two white police officers. Remember?

True to form Woods steered clear on controversy and so has the president and his wife. Taking a situation like this and bringing light to it will demonstrate to the masses that such comments are not tolerable but that would require rocking the boat. Sorry, but the President Obama, his wife and Woods are not boat-rockers.

For centuries a segment of white America has been intimidated by a prominent African American presence. Some whites erected damaging stereotypes that suggested African Americans are actually instinctual animals who are not capable of interceptive thought: it was disseminated they were descendants of slaves who were reduced to servitude because they weren’t humans. Just read Article One, Section Two, paragraph three of the Constitution where it characterized our ancestors as 3/5ths of a human being.

Despite being regarded as 3/5ths of a people one must say they did a great job building this country and White House where the president lives. Just like their forefathers built the Egyptian pyramids in Africa.

Now before some of you folks get mad just ask yourself this question, “Is what he saying truth or fallacy?” Don’t label the messenger: channel your hostility towards the message and begin to attack your ignorance.

Negative stereotypes were created to keep African Americans mentally confined to the jurisdiction of America where history says your legacy began in the United States. But it didn’t. According to my research it began in the Motherland. We were not apes swinging from trees, beating each other over the head with clubs. African American forefathers were building the Egyptian Pyramids, building colleges in Timbuktu, and producing multi-genius’ like Imhotep, and mastering the art of sophisticated civilizations like in Nile Valley.

So one may ask, if the latter is true (which it is) why do such negative stereotypes exist?

They were created by a small segment of whites to condition African Americans to think they came from nothing and for white America to feel superior. The latter would help reduce African Americans aspirations to reach heights above their collective level of perceived miniscule thought.

If African Americans were animalistic and so incapable who created all the artistry that whites are consistently exhuming over in Africa? If African Americans were so backward and retarded how could those slaves have built the most famous house in the world with their own hands?

Many wonder why the President Obama and his wife haven’t denounced racism. Why haven’t they addressed these situations as they occurred? Is that they are so comfortable with living their truth that it doesn’t matter to them? Or is it they are fearful for rocking the racial boat that can damage their popularity?

I believe to much is given much is expected. I think the first family has a responsibility to lift as well as climb. Inform, awaken, and educate the masses and attack ills as they arrive. Consistently letting racism slide will only ensure its presence. Speaking up and doing the right can be costly. I know firsthand. But I prefer the light of the truth rather than the comfort of prepackaged acceptance from the masses.

In my world DePass’ comments mean very little. They are actually laughable. I’ve had to evolve to the latter mode thought. Once you come into the light of the truth such idiotic comments don’t bother me as much: it just reinforces that there’s a lot of prevailing ignorance that needs to be attacked. It shows how people who resort to such chicanery are envious and afraid of a power shift.

For those who haven’t evolved and are being educated by the media and by a biased rendition of history should begin to constructively seek facts and avert fallacy.

But we all know that truth isn’t profitable but turmoil is.

So however DePass’ comments hit you depends on your perspective and level of thought. If you are pissed just think of the accomplishments your forefathers achieved in Africa. If you have semblance of the truth they shouldn’t bother you too much.

Does reverse discrimination really exist?

There’s a segment of white America fearing a power shift in this country. The rise of President Obama has prompted fear from a segment of this country that their on the cusp of losing their power: there’s a fear of a black planet.

According to the Census Bureau so-called minorities will shortly outnumber the current white majority. Fearing this power shift some whites are suggesting reverse discrimination is fast becoming a problem. Some whites believe African Americans are exercising their power and authority against them unfairly.

Are you kidding me?

When one looks at the historical development of this country the initial seeds of racism were planted in America with institutionalized slavery. One of the components of racism is discrimination.

Is reverse discrimination a problem in the United States? Or better yet, should this even be an issue? The short answer is no. It can subjectively be asserted there's a problem with reverse discrimination but once the facts are analyzed it's becomes difficult to embrace the notion being true let alone a problem.

It’s vital to make the distinction between reverse discrimination and discrimination. First of all, a segment of white America created racism. The preeminent example would be the rise of American slavery. Discrimination is a component of racism. Facts indicate many African Americans have been the consistent recipients of racism and discrimination over the last four centuries in this country.

Beginning with the Founding Fathers racism thrived as American slavery thrived. From the outset African Americans were treated second-class. Today not much has changed. African Americans don’t control the media, or own most of the Fortune 500 companies, or control legislation.

Yes, Obama is president but he doesn’t have real power-he has a job. In the global sense he’s told what to do by the power elite and he carries out their agenda. In America he’s subject to the approval of the House and Senate. More specifically he avoids African American issues like the plague. He cares little about the unique problems that reside in those areas as he fights rigorously to avoid them. He’s a figure head who isn’t maximizing his platform.

When African Americans historically have expressed disenchantment with the system it’s construed as discrimination when it’s not. The African American is largely responding to the habitual inequities they’ve been subject to since the rise of American slavery. When African Americans attempt to claim first-class treatment, freedom, justice and equality they are labeled as agitators. When African Americans question the system they are deemed as divisive and racist.

Logically speaking for one to discriminate one must be in a position to exercise authority and control over the economics, politics, and socialization of an individual or group. African Americans don’t control the FED, the government, or the media.

Do they?

With the latter in mind how can African Americans have the capacity to discriminate?
Over 90 percent of all mainstream media entities are owned by white males. That means information disseminated comes from a vantage point that doesn’t understand or reflects happenings in African American communities. Frankly speaking the power and capacity for the African American to discriminate isn’t there. The problem which exists isn’t a matter of reverse discrimination; it’s a matter of dialogue and understanding.

A segment of the African American community has long been disenchanted with the system and simultaneously whites are ignorant about the transgressions in the African American community. Ignorance can be constructively attacked but inclusion and true understanding has never been promoted in this country because that’s not profitable.

To properly understand one another we all must co-opt open minds and engage one another as human beings and not the way media wants us too. At the end of the day we all want the same thing which is to be happy, live, and learn.

On micro level we are conditioned to focus on items such racism and discrimination because the media has induced the masses to do so. Many of the problems that exist are curable with constructive dialogue and embracing truth. Little hopes of doing the latter exist so long as the media is hypnotizing the masses. Unfortunately sex, war, drugs, and disease makes money and harmony doesn’t.

Perhaps if we all looked beyond the obvious we’d understand that African Americans aren’t practicing reverse-discrimination. If we deal with the historical development of this country accurately everyone would see it’s hard for the oppressed to simultaneously be the oppressor.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tiger or Nicklaus: Who is the greatest golfer of all time?

In the art world it’s suggested that nothing is as good as the original. If the latter is true who do you think would take home the dough if Woods or Nicklaus squared off in their primes?

When Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods competed in the skins game over a week ago I'm sure many wish they could turn back the clock. I’m surely one of them. Instead of Nicklaus being a 69 year old legend hosting his own PGA tour event some wish he was 29 walking alongside Woods up the 18th green tied with the trophy at stake.

I’ve had an opportunity to watch Tiger live as a fan in California and I’ve been credentialed to cover him as a writer in Ohio. I grew up watching Nicklaus on television as a youngster. I must say Woods recently put on a show for the ages at Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament. He was down by four strokes Sunday morning and he was hoisting the trophy in triumph later that evening. It’s fitting that he won on the course that Jack built because unfortunately he serves as Tiger’s chief rival.

I’m fully aware of what I’m witnessing with Woods. But we must not forget what Nicklaus did. Woods greatness is vast because of his ability, personality, marketing, and cable television. Being a student of sports history I know Nicklaus won his trophies against the likes of Arnold Palmer, Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Ray Floyd, Johnnie Miller, Seve Ballesteros, and Tom Watson to name a few. All of these players won major championships I might add.

In boxing Ali had Frazier. Pete Sampras, whose career Grand Slam record was just equaled by Roger Federer, had Andre Agassi as a rival. Federer has a formidable rival in Rafael Nadal. Tiger doesn’t have anyone special. He’s is playing against the likes of Phil Mickleson, Vijay Singh, and Ernie Els. They are very good players but certainly not on Arnold Palmer or a Tom Watson level.

Tiger doesn’t have any rivals. Partly because he’s simply better than everyone else and the players aren’t as good now as they were back in the day. But in Tiger's defense shouldn’t he be victimized by not having a formidable rival and for the players not shifting to a gear they just don’t have. Woods is measuring himself by the gold standard of golf (Nicklaus) and rightfully so.

Nicklaus had many rivals from the 1960’s through the 1980’s and he still won more than anyone else. Nicklaus was nicknamed “The Bear.” While at the apex of his greatness players were clawing to tame him but they couldn’t. They tried to put him into hibernation at age 40 but he won the 1980 US Open and PGA championships. The media almost forced him into hibernation again but at 46 he captured the Masters to silence his critics. Remarkably at age 58 he was briefly in contention on the final day of the 1998 Masters as he was seeking his 7th trophy but he fell short and still finished in sixth place.

We know Nicklaus won 18 majors but he came in second and incredible 19 times. This demonstrates he was continually in position to win.

I’ve been asked whose if Woods is better than Nicklaus. When I look at the whole body of work I still narrowly must go with Nicklaus. He's won majors in three different decades, won every major at least three times, and he won a major at 46. We know what he's done and his record speaks for itself.

Tiger has succeeded in capturing world-wide appeal through stellar play, winning, and mass marketing. Woods has it all and his clutch performances are the stuff of legend. Tiger has 14 majors and counting: the way he played last week it could be 15 next at the US Open. He's 33 so he has lots of majors left in him.

But today, even at seeing what he did at the Memorial last week I cannot fall captive to the euphoria of the now and forget all the legendary moments Nicklaus posted while at the apex of his powers. Barring any injuries he’ll pass Nicklaus with ease. Once he does I’ll be the first to Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time.

I guess I’m just ole school in my thinking. In my book nothing is as good as the original until that greatness is eclipsed.

Should Michael Vick return to NFL as a quarterback?

Michael Vick is almost done paying his debt to society as he serves the rest of his sentence on house arrest in his Virginia home. Now the question is will Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstate Vick.

Commissioner Goodell has been emphatic about wanting Vick to demonstrate great remorse for his off-field activities. How is this remorse to be measured? Does it consist of breaking down in Goodell’s office and beg for another chance to play? Does it mean calling a press conference and having aired on ESPN like Roger Clemens?

Know one knows how it’s going to go down but without question someone is going to take a chance on Vick when he’s reinstated and not if. To me there’s no legitimate reason why Vick shouldn’t be allowed to work once he pays his debt.

Some have questioned when Vick comes back should he play quarterback. The so-called experts in the sports world are trying to create an atmosphere to further Vicks’ punishment by suggesting he should be switched to another position. Recently ESPN’s Trent Dilfer was popping his mouth essentially stating Vick should consider switching positions.


Why are African American quarterbacks consistently asked to switch positions when their white counterparts aren’t?

Back in the day African Americans weren’t welcomed as quarterbacks in the NFL. Word on the street was African Americans couldn’t think as well as whites. African Americans were deemed physically gifted but intellectually lacking. In short, the farther away you put African Americans from the ball the better. Hence, in football African Americans dominate the positions of wide receiver, cornerback, and running back.

The stereotypes are merely a reflection of the society which created them. For instance, in 1989 the late Roger Stanton stated, “They (African Americans) can be doctors and lawyers, or businessmen if they so desire. But it takes a lot of hard work and discipline, and in many cases they are not willing to pay the price. I guarantee you that if you gave twenty white college football payers an IQ test the whites would outshine the blacks every time.”

Twenty years later despite the success of African American quarterbacks stereotypes still abound.

Anyone remember Charlie Ward? Ward was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in 1993. He even won a National Championship with the Florida Seminoles yet he wasn’t drafted. The so-called experts said he was too short to play in the NFL and he had a desire to play basketball.

Yeah right.

I personally don’t think he was t too short. It was because of the permanent tan he sported. Years ago I had the chance to speak with Ward about being snubbed in 1994. Being the humble person he is all I can say is he took the snub rather well. Lucky for Ward he was gifted enough to have a nice 12-year career in the NBA.

In Vick’s case he didn’t go to prison for being a bad quarterback. He went to prison for the decisions he made off the field. When Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank made Vick the highest paid player in the league he was quarterback wasn’t he?

Despite missing nearly two years of football Vick is still better than many of those quarterbacks who expect to start next season. I’ll give you Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb. After that Vick can step in with most teams and start once he rids himself of the rust.

Vick was on the verge of revolutionizing the position of quarterback with his mind, feet, and arm as a quarterback before made his severe error in judgment.

Folks need to wake up. African Americans can’t relax and think we’ve made it because the president got his. African Americans with platforms fear rocking the boat-President Obama included. We live in a day where we need boat-rockers and not facilitators. African American journalists should use your platforms to help African Americans in the mainstream, hold the system accountable, and to allow the Michael Vick’s of the world to earn a living like everyone else.

Yes, there are more African American quarterbacks in the NFL than ever. Nearly 20 percent of all quarterbacks in the league are African American. Even though Doug Williams won a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1988 and Warren Moon is in the Hall of Fame for his quarterbacking subtle racial stereotypes still remain.

Bottom line: after Vick pays the rest of his debt to society irrespective what the likes of Trent Dilfer suggest he deserves to play quarterback.