Socially Speaking's Blog
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The Richie Incognito Apology Tour

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

I opined on the issue of Richie Incognito’s suspension from the NFL’s Miami Dolphins on yesterday’s show. Incognito went on Fox Sports to give a rationale for his untoward conduct toward at least one particular teammate. 

The issue of racism fell at the center of the rift.  Incognito blamed the culture, the object of his many tirades and heat-of-the-moment.  He admitted using the “N-word” as a dart to further insult his teammate.  I imagine most Americans will accept this as “boys will be boys” antics at the heart of sports.  I shall never accept that rationale or anything resembling it. 

Is the apology tour the way out? You might recall former Seinfeld actor, Michael Richards and his ridiculously racist rant in a public nightclub caught on video. He later went on a clumsily executed apology tour.  You knew he was insincere.  Incognito’s apology tour looked just like Paula Deen and the many lesser known public figures who time and again demonstrate that America is virulently racist at its core and Black people better stay damned defensive. 

White America is just cordial enough to get along without getting cussed out or having to pull out their gun to defend the indefensible. Where one should be shamed, it’s clear that too many are not.  I don’t subscribe to the “shame game,” because it’s ineffectual with satan. Devils aren’t ashamed of any evil.  They’re still not ashamed of slavery…

Though the “N-word” isn’t death, it is a predecessor of the desire of pure racists.  Like beer is often labeled a “gateway drug,” the term “nigger” is gateway to hateful acts against Black people. As he sits on death row in Bonne Terre, Missouri, Joseph Paul Franklin is unblinking and empty as he talks about his victims.  He counts 22, including two young boys, just 13 and 14 years old.

I didn’t make it up, the serial killer said himself, “I felt like I was at war. The survival of the white race was at stake.” Franklin compares himself to a U.S. soldier in Vietnam, trained to be a sniper in the war. The enemy, he explains, were Jews, blacks and especially interracial couples. “I consider it my mission, my three-year mission. Same length of time Jesus was on his mission, from the time he was 30 to 33.”  His mission was “To get a race war started.”  What he didn’t realize is that it never ended.

Franklin spent 1977 to 1980 trying to accomplish that goal, committing more than a dozen bank robberies in addition to the murders. He stalked his victims, usually finding a sniper’s nest yards away, looking down the scope of a high-powered rifle to kill his targets at will.  These types of acts imminently led to a John Allen Muhammad who imitated Franklin, albeit unwittingly.  Also be reminded, Muhammad didn’t get to spend 30 years on death row…he was Black.

One thing that MUST be clarified and understood about the “N-word” is that it holds a significance unlike any other; many attempt to equate with other derogatory words in the English (American English) language, but that diminishes the amplitude of the American brand of slavery. No other national slavery institution embedded such a sordid and lasting legacy–without reparation–that ours did. The “N-word” is a “bottom-of-the-barrel,” no-holes-barred insult that has no recovery mechanism. That is why white America–the dominant class–has such a tough time elevating intellectual conversation of the subject…and would rather avoid it–at all costs

As far as the NFL, it’s a corporation. In the annuls of American history, corporations are inherently exploitative…that’s just the nature of big business. They have no room for caring about humanity, human interests or sentiment. The NFL cares only about dollars; it will band-aid the situation (since the cat’s out of the bag now), where it wants the whole thing to go away. They’ll buy their way out of it if they can’t get the “apology tour” right (just look at the Brain Injury settlement). As they wrestle with the Native American issue and Washington’s football team, they demonstrate my point concisely: respect for one’s humanity comes ONLY after dollar bills…a terrible god to worship.

But this isn’t about morality, this is about dignity—human dignity.  Don’t get it twisted, whites in America would take you to the Supreme Court to hold you accountable for insulting them with mere words (i.e., defamation of character lawsuits, Westboro Baptist Church, etc.)

Just to think that some Black on the Miami Dolphin football team offered up public support for Richie Incognito is not surprising.  These young men make damned good money; they don’t want to upset the apple cart.  That’s a more than usual societal phenomena…but that doesn’t mean its right.  Actually, its immaterial.  Just because some people don’t mind being degraded, doesn’t mean that all people are okay with it—even if they’re a minority of the people. 

Principally speaking, this is what makes America different from other democracies.  This country holds that protection of minority classes is enshrined within the Constitution.  Funny how Americans forget that when they have to be held accountable?  Funny how that principle falls to the wayside when money is placed at stake?  This only indicates that these people lack principles.  Just be honest about it, will you?


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