AOL FanHouse Columnist David Whitley wrote a column about Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos that most viewed as having a strong racist tinge. Not surprisingly, Kaepernick’s parents were offended. Whitley defended himself as not being racist by pointing out how he has adopted African-American children.
Racism does not require active hatred, spouting code words on Fox News or doning a Klan hood. It is noticing a superficial characteristic, in this case, skin color, and judging a person based upon it. It can be subtle and far more insidious.
Whitley saw “dark skin” and “tattoos” and immediately presumed Kaepernick was the epitome of some form of gang culture encroaching on the hermetic quarterback position. Speaking to Kaepernick or anyone who has relations with him would have revealed Kaepernick was doing anything but. This was lazy, ignorant and not Whitley’s only malfeasance.
Earlier this month, Whitley wrote about Warren Sapp’s bankruptcy. Instead of delving into Sapp’s faulty real estate investment going down in the housing bubble, which has happened to many a sensible white person throughout history, Whitley fixates on the decadent black athlete stereoype. We hear about his sneakers, his enjoyment of video games and his inability to keep his pants closed.
These guys have earned the right to throw around some silly coin. But can’t a guy get by on, say, 150 pairs of Air Jordans? Is it that hard to stash a little cash in a nice CD or mutual fund?…
Sapp invested in a housing development that went south. But the real-estate bubble wasn’t his downfall. Did he really need an Xbox and a PlayStation?…
If only Sapp had invested in a really good zipper, he might not be on the hook for $75,495 a month in alimony and child support…
Whitley would not claim to be sexist, but he deployed a similar tendency to make gross assumptions based on physical characteristics in this column about Erin Andrews returning to work after the stalker incident (linked to by Deadspin). Whitley “jokingly” deciphers her internal monologue. He presumes an attractive women, such as Ms. Andrews, would have no more weighty concerns than their physical appearance and the latest trashy celebrity gossip.
7:24 p.m.: Taylor, apparently inspired by Andrews’ return, blocks an NC State punt. Anp drews is standing at the 25-yard line on the other end of the field. She jots something down on a yellow legal pad. I can’t be sure from my press box vantage point, but I think it says “Pick up more shampoo after game.”…
Andrews then walks to the mini-compound ESPN has set up in the northwest corner of the field. It’s impossible to tell who else is down there, but I swear I see Dr. Phil on the TV doing a halftime report. Please tell me he’s talking about his Britney Spears intervention and how Andrews can learn from it….
7:56 p.m.: Andrews makes her third walk behind the NC State bench. She stops halfway and has a brief conversation with a Wolfpack trainer. Again, it’s hard to read lips from a press box on top of the stadium, but I’m pretty sure she asked him if the black tights make her look fat.
Whitley would not consider himself a homophobe, either, though he wrote a similar encroaching culture lament about the prospect of gay people being on kiss cam. He’s down with the gays, you guys. He’s just worried his child’s 10-year-old brain cannot grasp the concept of two people of the same gender loving one another. It’s too “complex.”
To them, the old Shield-the-Kids excuse simply masks an underlying bias. A same-sex smooch is no different than if Nicholson had planted a wet one on Dyan Cannon. If “Kiss Cam” showed an interracial couple, would you quickly cover Little Johnny’s eyes?
The sooner my kids see examples of racial harmony, the better. But this issue has torn up entire religions. Call me homophobic, but I just don’t think a 5- or 10-year-old brain is ready to tackle those complexities.
Besides, can’t we just enjoy our peanuts and Cracker Jacks?
David Whitley may not be a racist, a sexist or a homophobe, but in his columns he asserts inaccuracies about people based on superficial qualities and expresses a wish to return to a simpler time when he could “enjoy his peanuts and Cracker Jacks” and not have the conventions of his heteronormative, white male world assailed.
[Photo via Presswire]