With the college football season fast approaching, the highly ranked Baylor Bear football team, known for their high flying passing attack, has hopes of claiming their first National Championship in school history. But currently Baylor, the worlds largest Baptist university has far more pressing issues than succeeding on the gridiron. The university is facing a Title IX lawsuit from a woman who was assaulted by Baylor football star Tevin Elliot. The suit asserts that the university was aware Elliott had a history of assaults, failed to protect her and other women, and ignored her when she sought help after her assault. Further investigation into the Baylor football program has revealed that coaches were aware of other incidents involving domestic violence, assault, and sexual assault and athletes did not face any negative repercussions in any manner. Since 2009, three Baylor football players have been convicted or charged with sexual violence charges involving women, and several more have been accused of sexual misconduct, that the university did not properly investigate, or investigate at all.The following are a just a few examples of these incidents.
These allegations concerning Baylor’s brazen indifference towards the protection of their female students , is put simply, disturbing. It is of vital importance that serious action must be taken to end this despicable culture that is currently permeating Baylor University . I am of the opinion that the only way that can be achieved is to relieve president University President Kenneth Starr and Head Coach Art Briles of their duties. Secondly, I propose that there be a further, comprehensive investigation into the entire Baylor Bears athletic program.
Before the corrosive culture of Baylor University football can be altered, those in power, namely Head Coach Art Briles and university President Kenneth Starr must be removed immediately. Since 2007 when Art Briles became head coach of the Baylor football team, the team has reversed its fortunes on the gridiron tenfold, and made millions of dollars in revenue as a result . The Bears have been the victor in more than 60 percent of their games and risen steadily from the doldrums of college football mediocrity and emerged as a national powerhouse after Briles arrived in Waco. The question that should be posed is at what cost has this occurred? Apparently, from the perspective of Art Briles and President Kenneth Starr, the expense has been slight; the bill is merely doing a drastic disservice to the female graduate and undergraduate students on their campus that are victims to repulsive acts of violence committed by their athletes. For these University administrators to be made aware of myriad sickening, ungovernable behaviors being conducted by Baylor football players and making no distinguishable effort to impose serious discipline or remove the responsible individuals from the university is put simply, despicable. From the vantage point of Briles and Starr it is readily obvious that athletic success supersedes the safety and security and well-being of their female students. And for these individuals to essentially view women as collateral damage in their quest to collect championship trophies,both Kenneth Starr and Art Briles should be removed from their positions, effective immediately.
While those in the administrative positions should be removed, an additional pivotal step must be taken . A thorough independent investigation must be conducted in an effort to uncover other potential criminal activity committed by members of other Baylor Bear athletic programs. As the above paragraphs illustrate, Baylor University has treated issues as serious as domestic violence and sexual assault with extreme indifference. If university administrators have been willing to overlook these serious matters involving football players in an effort to add more victories to the win column , in essence, a complete culture of lawlessness has been enabled, endorsed, and encouraged. An inquiry into all 17 of Baylor’s varsity sports is crucial to determine if other student athletes are engaging in criminal activity;and if so are these individuals being called to the carpet for their actions. If an there is a complete systemic culture of illicit behavior running rampant throughout the entire Baylor athletic program, more swift actions will be necessary.
In the end it is abundantly clear that Baylor University has cultivated and environment that has enabled its football players to not be held responsible for their disgraceful deeds towards women. The behaviors of Shawn Oakman,Tevin Elliot, Myke Chapman, Devin Chafin, and a scores of others has been permitted by Art Briles, Kenneth Starr and others in power in a quest to win games and benefit economically. at the expense of the safety of the students on campus. It is imperative that wholesale changes and further investigation be conducted at the university to ensure anyone committing nauseating acts of violence are held responsible. If not, I am of the opinion that Baylor university should alter the universities motto from “For Church,For Texas” to “For Football, For Money”.
As the 2016 presidential election fast approaches, there are a plethora of individuals vying for the top office in the United States of America. One of the top Republican Party candidates, billionaire real estate magnate Donald Trump has undoubtedly shocked millions of American’s with his success in the polls, despite his obvious lack of political experience or expertise. Many friends of mine and other individuals I have spoken to were taken aback at the fact that a legitimate presidential candidate would feature a campaign platform and other policies that are embedded in sentiments of uninhibited, unapologetic racial bigotry and xenophobia. I have consistently rebutted that Trump’s campaign strategy is not only unsurprising but actually anticipated. Put simply,the billionaire is merely utilizing the white elite’s oldest tool at it’s disposal; disseminating propaganda that plays to the racist sensibilities and sentiments of poor, uneducated, and vulnerable white American’s as a mechanism to keep them under their control to ensure the elite’s economic and political interests are not endangered .
Before the outset of American chattel slavery in Virginia, African slaves, indentured servants and poor white settlers all toiled on the plantation fields together. African slaves undeniably held the lowest position on the social hierarchy, although the living conditions that were experienced by indentured whites was not markedly better. In fact the majority of the whites where extremely financially indigent. In the British colonies, the planters who owned vast swaths of land held a superior position to field workers of all colors.
In 1676, Virginia settler Nathaniel Bacon and his constituents formulated a plan to seize land from Native American’s as a means to obtain more property for himself and other colonists and to eradicate the threat of Native American attacks. Bacon requested armed assistance from the governor of Virginia, William Berkeley. When Berkeley, who enacted favorable policies towards the Native American’s, declined, Bacon promptly organized and united a thousand of Virginians-regardless of race and position on the social hierarchy to revolt. Bacon’s followers subsequently assaulted the Native Americans, attacked the property of the planter elite, burned Jamestown the ground and forced Governor Berkeley to flee the area.
After the rebellion was quelled, the ruling class realized that a coalition of poor whites and black slaves posed a serious threat to their economic interests and they found it was imperative that they find a mechanism to divide poor whites and African American’s to ensure there would be no rebellion. The planter class consequently allowed poor white settlers to become plantation overseers and participate in slave patrols, granted them access to Native American lands, among other things. By extending those freedoms and perceived privileges to poor Caucasian settlers, they now had a vested interest in keeping the racially based system of slavery alive. Despite their new privileges, the economic plight of white settlers remained perilous, to be kind, however they were content being financially indigent due to the fact that they were not African American or slaves.
Nearly 3 centuries later, following the Great Depression and the sea of poverty that engulfed nearly all American’s, an alliance between blacks, poor whites, and ethnic minorities formed. The group formed and began to support the Democratic Party led by president Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to New Deal programs that were enacted of which the poorest American’s were the greatest beneficiaries. As a result of this newly shaped partnership, the Democrats held a decided stranglehold on electoral politics in the subsequent 3 decades.
Eager to find some advantage that would end the Democrat’s dominance at the polls, the Republicans and their tacticians decided to employ what would later be termed as the Southern Strategy. The approach was designed explicitly to as Richard Nixon’s adviser John Ehrlichman articulated “to go after the racists”. Nixon and other preeminent politicians of the time such as congressman Barry Goldwater,George Wallace, and later Ronald Reagan began to used their campaign as a platform to denigrate and cast negative aspersions on the African American community as a tool to gain the support of poor white voters. Although the lawmakers never explicitly articulated that they were referring to the Black Americans ,it was no secret who the supposed welfare cheats and criminals were. As a result of these tactics poor white voters foolishly began to vote in favor of Republican sponsored initiatives that would reduce welfare,despite the that the majority of individuals receiving government assistance are poor white women.
In the end, Donald Trump’s use of bigoted rhetoric and proposed public policy as a campaign strategy is expected. In this instance the tactic is not being utilized to malign the African american community as it has been historically. However,attacking Muslims,Hispanics and other groups with discriminatory language has still achieved the desired reaction and support from poor,uneducated whites. I believe this practice is synonymous to executing the same exact concept or play in a football game albeit from an entirely different formation. This strategy should all make us question if billionaire mogul’s beliefs actually align with the despicable sentiments he has expressed on the campaign trail, or is he merely espousing this rhetoric for political and economic gain.
“WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide,”
World Wrestling Entertainment statement, July 24, 2015
The above statement is wrestling conglomerate World Wrestling Entertainment’s press release following the revelation that Hulk Hogan made incendiary remarks about African Americans.
Hogan, one of the most iconic stars in company history, was swiftly terminated. The WWE removed all mention of Hogan, including related merchandise and paraphernalia bearing his likeness from its website, and may eliminate him from the WWE Hall of Fame. I find company owner Vince McMahon’s reaction to this situation most puzzling, because his company has long perpetuated negative stereotypes of African Americans and members of other minority groups for decades.
I’ve been a professional wrestling fan since childhood and have long admired the highly entertaining story lines and athletic prowess demonstrated by WWE superstars. However, one thing has consistently drawn my ire over the years, and that is the WWE’s untiring negative portrayal of their African American performers. These are just a few of the African American characters the company has used to “entertain” their audience:
The company’s depictions of performers of other ethnicity’s have been just as reprehensible.
As the above instances illustrate, WWE has long represented members of minority groups in a negative light.
The World Wrestling Entertainment has no problems with depicting minorities with promoting negative stereotypes. So McMahon’s recent response to Hogan’s comments are inconsistent and puzzling. Is he separating the WWE from Hogan because he is truly repulsed by his comments or merely shielding himself from the possible financial repercussions in the loss of sponsors?
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015.
“Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it”
– Kanye West ” Never Let Me Down”
In the wake of Barack Obama’s historic Presidential election that made him the first African American president of the United States of America, unbridled joy permeated the Black community. Many rushed to declare that the “American Dream has been realized.”
Unfortunately, the euphoria and optimism morphed into delusion for Black and white citizens alike. Many Americans’ proudly declared one of the following rhetorical cliches: “Racism is dead”, “America is now in a post-racial society”, “We have overcome”, or “The struggle is no more.” Unfortunately for us all, the above affirmations are far from accurate.
During Obama’s seven years as the POTUS, there has been an abundance of racially tinged incidents emanating from non-Black groups. African Americans justifiably upset at the senseless deaths of their brothers and sisters, often expressed their feelings of righteous indignation in American streets; the wisest of us realized that it was possible to have the highest ranking official in this nation be a Black man while racism was ascending. Despite many Americans refusal to accept the obvious, racism is still alive and well within this nation’s borders.
Time has proven that racism has remained a staple of the American cultural diet and political discourse, not to mention economic operations. Put simply, there is no quick means of reversing the effects of 400 years of white tyrannical rule that was publicly manifested during events such as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow era, Black Codes, and contemporary maligning of the African-American image via the media.
The notion that a Black President, even one who was elected to a second-term, could wave a magic wand and undo centuries of oppression is the height of ridiculousness .
Although there is little debate that the African-American community has come a long way since the first stolen Africans arrived on this nation’s shores in 1619. However, the alluded to progress does not lessen the reality that the plague of racism still infects scores of this nation’s white citizens.
Ultimately, it is the Black community that must address the myriad issues affecting it; despite the extreme hopes and dreams of the most optimistic of our race, no one else is coming to solve the political and socioeconomic maladies retarding African-American liberation. Until black on black crime, the absence of a relevant education, lack of collective economics and a host of other issues are remedied, Blacks will continue to have a fair distance to travel before we can ever accurately relate that we have finally “overcome”.