Thursday, November 8, 2007

Whitlock on Reid

Kansas City Star and Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock is known for sticking race into every argument. It's his ugliest trait, as well as the only reason he has a job. I have always his disliked him, mostly because I don't think he believes half the shit he says, but does it for the money. Which is probably true. However, in his newest race-fueled piece, I happen to agree with every word he says. You know the old saying: even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The article, which you can find here, makes some very good points, which are almost in direct contrast with my article Leave Andy Reid Alone. Whitlock points out that if Andy Reid was black or poor or both, the media would have handled his situation differently. Now, for a second, imagine if Andy Reid was black, and you learned that his sons had just been arrested for dealing drugs in the hood. Needless to say, the same old media song and dance would have gone on, and probably would still be doing so. If you deny that, then you are stupid or racist or both. Let me highlight a few key points:

If this was a ghetto tale, police would look at Tammy Reid the same as Brianna Barksdale, as a silent co-conspirator or possible user. Garrett Reid would have to squeal on his suppliers or participate in a sting. He certainly wouldn't be viewed as salvageable. He'd be seen as a tool to make a bigger case.
Garrett Reid's admittance that he's a drug dealer and the fact that large quantities of drugs and weapons were found at the Reid home would make their house subject to seizure by the state. The Reids would be targets, not victims.

Whitlock then goes on to say that Reid is a coward.

America's morally bankrupt war on drugs, a cause that has killed and destroyed more lives than Vietnam and Iraq combined, has finally put Andy Reid's kids on the front lines (incarceration), and Andy Reid doesn't have a damn meaningful thing to say about it.
That's unacceptable. It's cowardly.
Andy Reid knows my pain, and he's too worried about a freaking football game to verbalize it. He could make Middle America and the power structure understand the helplessness and the pain you feel when people you love get caught up in America's political ploy called a "war on drugs."

All of this I agree with. In my original article, I pleaded for people to leave him alone and that Reid could get things figured out in his own time. Which would be true if it weren't for the problems that Whitlock brings to light; the Reid household, in rich white suburbia, is affected by the same things as households in South Central. Which is true. The glorification of the illegal hip-hop culture reaches past the white fences, and that's why you have kids like the Reid boys saying things like, "I could go anywhere in the 'hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer."

The message here is that while black people are expected to make some kind of social commentary in these situations, Andy Reid gets away from it all by not addressing it. Part of it is people such as myself telling everybody to leave him alone, failing to see the social ramifications this was suppose to expose. White people see things differently than blacks or Hispanics, but trust me, most of us don't want to. Whitlock shows us that what happens to minorities within the war on drugs is tragic, though it isn't seen that way until it happens to somebody like Reid. Perhaps this is a radical view, as you have to believe that the war on drugs does more harm than good, a debate not really suited for this site.

I admit when I'm wrong, and I was wrong regarding this issue. It goes beyond the NFL, dripping in a hypocrisy that has had a stranglehold on our society for a long time. This story illustrates why there isn't change in this country, and how much race is still an issue in 2007. I don't think racism is as big as Whitlock would have you believe, but it does resonate here. It's just sad that nobody will care by the time Sunday rolls around.


BGN said...

Ok... I'm going to imagine Andy Reid is a black head coach....

Let's call him... "Tony Dungy."

His kid was taken into police custody after he overdosed on drugs. Several months later, he committed suicide.

Oddly enough, no where did I hear calls for Dungy to step down as coach after his kid was first arrested. No where after his son died did I hear anyone call him a "coward" or a bad father. IN fact Jason Whitlock himself said this, "Indy coach Tony Dungy is so honorable, strong and friendly it's nearly impossible to root against the Colts."

But Andy Reid is a "shameful" "coward"

Whitlock's hypocrisy is shameful.

And for the record... I just want to say that Dungy shouldn't be called a coward or shameful. He shouldn't be called out. Neither should Reid.

JFishSports said...

Ok, this is where it gets tricky. I know what you're saying, but I think Whitlock's bigger point is that Reid, as a rich white guy, could help expose the problems that are perceived only to plague the poor or minorities.

Plus, Reid's kids were drug dealers who admitted to loving to go down to the hood and sell to minorities. They loved taking advantage of our ass-backwards laws to hurt the poor.

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