Friday, December 14, 2012

ESPN suspends Rob Parker over Robert Griffin III comments - ESPN

ESPN suspends Rob Parker over Robert Griffin III comments - ESPN

Another sad situation, in which Rob Parker, ESPN Analyst, calls Robert Griffin III a "cornball brother" and questions his blackness.  This is just another situation that highlights where we are as a country in terms of race, but ironically this is pushing us forward when it comes to race.  Why?  Because these situations highlight the insecurity that some people have towards their own race, and these people are the forces that continue to perpetuate the assumption that a significant amount of racism still exists.  Those who assume that there are significant amounts of racism, also assume that we must talk about it, address it, call it out, encourage affirmative action, and eventually we'll overcome it.  But, it is these very people who slow the progress down when it comes to advancing beyond race.  We succeed on the "race" front in America when we no longer need to talk about it or mention it.  Not because we're hiding it, but because it is not used in any meaningful way to help or hurt what you can achieve in your life.

Now, there are individuals who exist who are racist, but there are also people who hate homosexuals, Muslims, Christians, unions, the wealthy, etc...  More importantly, there are a lot of reasons in which someone could hate you and it could be based on envy, jealousy, inferiority, or whatever.  But if it doesn't affect your life in any meaningful way, then it's pretty irrelevant.  And, accusing someone of racism without actual evidence to support it is a form of racism itself, because you could be wrong and you are using your own race to control how someone treats, responds to, or judges you.  In other words you are using your race to control them or invalidate them and their interaction with you.  Accusing someone of being racist has a lot of power, and it is exactly why it often misused.

Rob Parker didn't accuse anyone of being a racist.  But he did acknowledge that he has a stereotype of what "blackness" really means.  That's not necessarily a problem, but I wonder what he would call someone who isn't black that also has a stereotype for what "blackness" really means.  I have a guess...

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