About ten years ago, I remember reading a passed around email written by an obvious Caucasian American who claimed the only the only real racism that African Americans experienced was numbers, that they weren’t fairly represented in the media. He went on to say that on account of this there was now Jet Magazine, Miss Black America and the Black Entertainment Channel. But, he added, if a white person was to start a Cloud Magazine, Miss White American or have a White Entertainment Channel, that person would most certainly get a visit from Jesse Jackson. Therefore, whites were now the real victims of racism.
This unknown writer may be right, I don’t know, but if his problem is with numbers than I might have a solution. Why doesn’t the Black Entertainment Channel run one or two token white programs the same way the main channels do with those aimed at the African American audiences. The same thing can be said for Jet Magazine, an article in ever edition that would interest white readers. That way, no one can be accused of being racist.
These thoughts lead to more contemplation on the subject in my over active mind. There are many areas where one race is said to be over represented and another under represented. There are many factors that have influenced it and it is not necessarily down to race. Sports are a good example here. Let’s start off with basketball. Most people know that the vast majority of NBA players are African American and have made up the Olympic basketball teams for several decades. In 2012, the US team had what some would call, the token white player. However, what the basketball games that I watched, Kevin Love played consistently well throughout all of the Olympics. He might not have the flair of Kobe Bryant or Lebron James but he was the fifth highest scorer for the team and played his part in helping the US team win gold. Now, anyone says he did the white race proud is ignorant. Kevin Love, along with the rest of the team, did the country proud.
Let’s go to the other extreme, the sport where Caucasians have a massive majority, ice hockey. There are some ice hockey players of African origin. I know, because one plays for my beloved Philadelphia Flyers and I can tell you that whenever Wayne Simmonds scores a goal and he does score goals, I cheer just as loudly.
Sport is the ideal place where people of different backgrounds, races, cultures, etc can put aside all their differences and work together to achieve a common goal. There have been several films about it but I like to provide two real life examples. First was the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. Their starting eight, sans the pitchers who were all white, consisted of three Caucasian Americans, two African Americans, two of Latino origin and one American of South Pacific origin. All eight of these men stepped up with their hitting and fielding making some great plays in both areas and as a result, along with some good pitching, the Phillies were 2008 World Series Champions.
Here’s a more recent example. Last night I saw the US Soccer team crash out of the World Cup. I feel there was no reason to be ashamed because all of the so-called European experts were saying that they would not get past the group stages. Not only did they do that but Belgium need extra time to finally beat them in the second round. You could call the US team a truly American team because it was made up of players of many different backgrounds and ethnic groups. When they stepped onto the field, all of that was forgotten and they worked as a team and while they won’t be lifting the trophy at the end, they did themselves and the USA proud.
One could probably identify many other areas where race and numbers come into play and that’s well and good. I just thought I would focus on sport, although my 80smetalman blog has touched on this theme in music. So what do we do about it? My answer is nothing, if people of any race gravitate towards a particular sport or interest and are good at it what’s that to anyone else? However, those in the minority should also be accepted as players, teammates and competitors. Not just in sport but in all facets of life where this might occur.
Next post: Thoughts From an American Living in the UK
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404323439&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird