Saturday, November 26, 2016

LeBron James Needs to Stop Being Such a Posse

It seems that another innocuous word has now found its way into the left's rolodex of racist code language in the past weeks.  This time, it's due to LeBron James's having taken issue with Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" to describe LeBron and his business associates. 

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about how the left was insisting that "socialist" was a racist term to identify Obama in 2008 and beyond, even though "socialist" identifies adherents to a specific economic theory of redistribution, not anyone of a specific race.  It was silly of me, I suppose, to do anything other accept the fact that when someone else happens to take a word in the wrong context because it is politically expedient for them to do so, that the word must then become verboten in the PC lexicon.

Take the word "thug," for example.  I'd wager that those who claim it's a racist term never once used their finger muscles to google the etymology.  (Hey, I grew up having to read about it in a book, Dewey Decimal, card catalog, the whole nine yards.  I don't think I'm expecting too much here.)  But the term, in fact, dates back to identification with the "Thugee" cult, a group Indian brigands and thieves.  (That's the Indian subcontinent, not Native American.)  Devotees of the cult were branded "thugs," and hence were eradicated by the British in the 1830s.  The word became part of the lexicon to describe what they were -- brigands and thieves.

But then the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman encounter occurred in 2012.  When accusations occurred about his having been a thief (for his having stolen things from other students' lockers) and a violent fellow who engages in the act of theft (i.e., a brigand), all of a sudden the fact that he was a young black man must have been the impetus for the use of the word to describe him, not those other things.

But let's just assume I go with all of that nonsense, and all the nonsense that came before.  "You're right, PC police -- thug, socialist, personal responsibility, pickup trucks... all of the stupid shit you've offered over the years as racist code words are actually racist code words.  You've got the cipher, and you're right!  You cracked the code, congratulations!"

Even if I did buy all of that, I'd still refuse to buy the nonsense that Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" in describing LeBron James's professional clique is racist.  When I hear the word "posse," I think of western movies, or those eclectic clown rappers that my suitemate in my first year in college loved.  When anyone, anywhere hears the word posse, they don't think of it with racial undertones.

But LeBron James did.  "It just sucks now at this point," he said,  "having one of the biggest businesses your can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter's that's done so many great business [deals], [sic] that the title for a young African-American is the word "posse."'

Oh, dear God, LeBron.  Let me say this in a manner you might understand, and note, I'm being very careful in how I say this.


First of all, Jackson didn't suggest that the "title for a young African-American is the word "posse."" The word refers to a group of people, not a single person.

Second, the word "posse" has its roots (again, this is just a Siri question away, fellas) in the Latin term "posse comitatus" which loosely translates to "force of the county."  It has historically been used as a term to describe a group of law enforcement officials.  It's common, modern use in language is in describing "a group of friends or associates."  There is little, if anything, negative associated with it.  You are inventing these racist undertones.

To think that the legendary Phil Jackson, all of a sudden, after a long career of having worked with the greatest basketball players ever to play the game (most of whom were black), meant to throw a snide racist snub LeBron's way?  To believe that requires a level of stupidity that registers way beyond any scale of any acceptable scale of stupid comments I've heard in recent months.  And I've been watching this past election closely, so that's saying something.

So I'll just close with something simple: LeBron, grow up.

William Sullivan

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bill Clinton Goes Full Trump in 1995

Just stumbled upon this.  Amazing stuff.

Amazing in the sense that I'm amazed at how slippery politicians can be, with Bill Clinton later stumping alongside his wife while advocating Barack Obama's complete disregard for federal immigration laws, and demanding that border agents break them by not capturing and deporting the lawbreakers.

Count this among the myriad reasons Donald Trump won in 2016.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Fishy Thing About Stephen A. Smith’s Kaepernick Tirade

Like me, perhaps you woke up this week with friends on social media applauding ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for excoriating Colin Kaepernick for not supporting a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

“He comes across as a flaming hypocrite,” said a very angry Smith.  “And as far as I’m concerned, I’m not interested in a damn word that he has to say, and quite frankly, I hope he goes away.”

Welcome to the club, Stephen.  But I have a hard time joining my friends in giving you kudos for now, and only now, voicing your discontent with him, because there is something incredibly suspicious about your outrage.

Here’s why.

Smith, headlong into his angry tirade, said this: “[Kaepernick] of all people, because of the position he took, because of the attention he brought to the issues.  The fact that you don’t even have the decency to go to the poll and activate yourself in this election, as our president said, is a damn shame.”

Most people hear that and think, “Well, he’s right. Everyone should vote, because that’s what I’ve been told since I was a kid. It’s your duty.  Right on, Stephen A. Smith!” 

Then, if you look a bit closer at the words he chose, it should become clear that the broad “everyone should vote” message isn’t really what he’s getting at.  He cites that he should have “activated” himself, “as our president said.”

The president did say that the black community should “activate itself,” but the context of that statement that he cited is important.  “I will consider it a personal insult,” Obama told the Congressional Black Caucus gala, “if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this this election.  You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.”

The president wasn’t saying everyone should go vote for whomever they please because it’s our civic duty to vote.  He was saying he would consider it a “personal insult” if black voters didn’t turn out to elect Hillary Clinton and thus preserve his legacy, specifically.  So it’s extremely unlikely that Smith’s anger is predicated on the fact that Colin didn’t participate in the election process, as his supposed civic duty might require of him, though I admit, that appears to be the impetus for the rant on the surface.  After all, I don’t think Smith would be applauding Kaepernick if he came out saying that he voted for Trump.  Smith is most likely angry, based on this curious reference, because he didn’t get roused enough to “get his butt to the polls” to vote for Hillary, whom I’d wager dollars to donuts that Stephen A. Smith believes black Americans should have “activated” themselves to vote for in response to the perceived institutional racism that Smith thought Kaepernick meant to highlight.  This is a tantrum, and little more. 

But here’s the real kicker, for me.  Let’s climb out on the limb and assume that Smith really is outraged on principle, and that he really thinks Kaepernick not voting at all, not even having “the decency” to write in a candidate of his choosing (which would have been ultimately futile and a waste of his time, let’s be honest) makes him a “flaming hypocrite” and that he “betrayed his cause.”  That’s still not entirely accurate.  Kaepernick’s refusal to vote is actually pretty consistent with the purpose of his stupid “protest.”

First of all, Kaepernick has been extremely critical of both candidates, calling Trump “obviously racist” while suggesting that Hillary Clinton is also a racist, and should probably be in jail to boot.   

Fact is, he’s actually painted Hillary Clinton in a less favorable light than Trump, which as I’ve noted, really upset those among the left that were paying attention.  Furthermore, the underlying statement Kaepernick has hoped to make was that there are systemic problems in America that go beyond who may or may not be the president.  Just as he refuses to stand for the time-honored celebration of the national anthem, his refusal to take part in the time-honored American election process could be considered part and parcel of the same ideological position of protest.

“To me,” Kaepernick said of Clinton and Trump, “it didn’t really matter who went in there.  The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.”

Now, I will say that he is completely wrong in that position, and that he remains the uninformed idiot that he has always been.  And personally, I believe when uninformed idiots do not vote, the country is the better for it.  But to call him a hypocrite for it isn’t really fair, either.

Point is, there’s really not a lot to be impressed about in Smith’s angry rant about Kaepernick.  It’s a tantrum disguised as middle-of-the-road criticism, and at the very best, an expression of his disappointment that Kaepernick didn’t fall in line to do the one thing that Stephen A. Smith thinks all black people should have done in response to the perceived institutional racism Kaepernick highlighted with his protest -- i.e., he didn’t vote for Hillary.

William Sullivan can be followed on Twitter

Time off... But what a time it is now!

To all readers:

We've taken far too long a hiatus in loading content to the blog, thank you for the continued readership we've experienced.

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