Today, my good friend Michael Bennett, former Seattle Seahawk and current Philadelphia Eagle, releases his new book, "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable"—the memoir/manifesto that he wrote with my other dear friend Dave Zirin.
There is a real transformative energy here and a continuity of plant your seeds and watch them grow. Cheers for Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin, and Jesse Hagopian for bring this to our attention.
It’s about time. I can understand Bennett’s narrative, but not Hagopian’s. In '71 I entered basic training in the US Army, a skinny naïve white kid coming from a Midwest rust-belt town where our nigger minority was very well-behaved indeed. I ended up in a company of trainees almost all from inner-city Detroit, and all black. This was '71, some of the fires there were barely put out. I was destined to understand just how that chip on the angry black man’s shoulder got there. Since that experience there were times that most or all of my friends were angry black men, and so I have been waiting, because of the friends I had, for this to emerge - again. It took longer than I thought it would, and I’d almost lost hope. The black athlete is the most highly prized commodity of professional sports. There is leverage there, if enough decide to use it.
Today’s sports climate creates a situation possibly readily found only in a couple of other places in our country, the military and teaching. Those situations are white people competing with and/or against each other, thus coordinating with and/or against people of color to achieve common group goals. Keeping it real without the artificial hierarchy, junk science and fake news, so to speak. And, with no crooked referees;
a real ( not mythical ) level playing field, etc. " Oh, say it’s so, Joe er… I mean Michael " kind of experience would be quite nice.
More people need to say this out loud, “We have been lied to throughout history, and, in this very present now, by corrupted rulers who only have self interest. We must clean house.
Don’t make the same mistakes over and over and over.”