I was introduced to sportswriter Jason Whitlock 20 years ago, when he was the featured speaker at a Kansas City legal convention I was attending. He was a forceful and entertaining speaker, and quick and witty in his question and answer session after his remarks. Since then, I have followed his career with interest, especially his recent emergence as a black conservative with the courage to be direct unequivocal, and not only regarding sports.
Commenting on the epic rant by a black parent and radio pundit about Critical Race Theory I featured over the weekend, esteemed Ethics Alarms commenter Humble Talent opined,
“One of the worst trends to come out of conservative politics in the last couple of years is to put up on a pillar any minority person that will say things that conservatives agree with. I think it’s a reactionary measure; Progressives say we’re racist, sexist, or homophobic, so we go out of our way to find female/minority/gay people to platform in order to prove we aren’t…Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’re bad people, I just don’t think they’re smart, funny, or talented enough to get space in conservative media absent these identity markers that conservatives seem especially hungry for….”
That point is legitimate, but it can’t be fairly applied to Jason Whitlock. Yes, I believe he has received special attention because he is a black man standing up to The Great Stupid, but he also deserves special attention because he is unusually astute, persuasive and eloquent. A white analyst, like, say, me, can be automatically squelched as biased when noting, for example, that George Floyd is an absurd and intellectually indefensible martyr for the Black Lives Matter movement since there was no evidence that his death was a product of racism, systemic or otherwise. When an astute, persuasive and eloquent black critic makes a similar argument, it demonstrates that my conclusion was not necessarily motivated by racial bias.
I know: people will say it anyway.
Whitlock has made a different argument regarding Floyd in his latest essay, but it is an excellent one. Indeed, if there were any integrity at the major newspapers, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, New York Magazine and the Usual Suspects that have destructively carried the banners of those who have, quite successfully, exploited that neatly symbolic manner of Floyd’s demise, he would not have had to seek publication in the relatively marginal Glenn Beck website, The Blaze, where he hosts a podcast called “Fearless.” The essay is titled, “The Veneration of George Floyd is racist and must be stopped.”
Read it all: my listing of excerpts is not fair to either Whitlock or his powerfully presented argument. But here are some excerpts:
- “The statues unveiled last week in Newark, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York, that memorialize the final nine minutes of George Floyd’s life denigrate and diminish the reputation of black men.”
- “George Floyd was a victim — of his drug addiction, self-destructive behavior, and Derek Chauvin’s misconduct….Floyd isn’t any of the black men I know who are terrific fathers, husbands, providers, and protectors.”
- “George Floyd is a prop corporate media uses for attention, a pawn liberal politicians use to push policy, and a punching bag social activists use as a symbol to explain black people and promote themselves.”
“The politicians, activists, celebrity influencers, and media personalities — the exploiters of George Floyd — are determined to transform an amateur porn star, violent criminal, and drug abuser into a national hero. They do so because they have no respect for black men or black people. Yes, I’m talking about Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Shaun King, LeBron James, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Jemele Hill, Michael Eric Dyson, Al Sharpton, Joy Reid, Joe Scarborough, Chris Cuomo, Jack Dorsey, Colin Kaepernick, and the editors and writers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and the Daily Beast.”
“George Floyd is relevant only because of the actions of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. The new fixation on the “Tulsa Massacre” is a story about what happened to black people. The new Juneteenth national holiday is a story about what happened to black people. No one who wants to promote a positive self-image and inspire young people to achieve would explain their journey the way black people are being coerced into explaining theirs.”
“The statues of Floyd need to be torn down immediately. They’re racist. They’re designed to symbolize that America turns black men into lazy, criminal drug addicts. I reject that in the name of Frederick Douglass, Richard Allen, Booker T. Washington, Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Ben Carson, Nat Turner, and so many more. I reject it on behalf of my father, my brother, and so many of my friends.”
Read it all.