Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Next Time . . .

your sentencing commission or department of corrections is told to study the impact of race on sentences and punishment, have this op-ed bookmarked. I’m not big on the average sports columnist, whose brain power is usually just above his colleagues on sports talk radio, but this spells out as clearly as possible a very immediate case of the racial double standard we deal with in race. Here’s the start:

An absentee father, a mother at home with five kids, two boys with guns and drugs scattered throughout the house and a cranky, mouthy judge at sentencing time.

You've heard this ghetto tale a thousand times. Only this time, we're not talking about boyz 'n the hood or menaces II society, and it didn't transpire in sugar hill or some new jack city.

We're talking about an American Wanksta: The life and times of Andy Reid's boyz.

What's interesting and enlightening is examining the fallout and reaction to the Reid's family crisis. As best as I can tell, there's a lot of compassion and understanding coming from the mainstream media and a lot of judicial/investigative restraint being exercised by the courts and the police.

For the most part, everyone is conducting themselves in the proper fashion.

And here’s the middle:

But let me tell you what's most troubling about all of this: Andy Reid's cowardice and the fact that we're letting him get away with it.

We, the media, particularly black members of the media, are always crying when athletes won't speak out on important issues. We want 22-year-old LeBron James to have a position on Darfur, a place he's probably never been. We scolded Michael Jordan for not having a social conscience. We're mad Tiger Woods won't lend his name to the plight of six black cowards who stomped and kicked one white boy in Louisiana.

But white sports figures aren't required to have a social conscience. They can satisfy themselves chasing supermodels and filming cute commercials.

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."

Now go read the end.

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