05-21-2018  9:44 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM, A BIG...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 trillion yen ( billion) mostly in image sensors over the next three years, under a revamped strategy to strengthen both hardware and creative content.Sony also plans to buy for [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion a 60...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Deadly Florida airport shooting results in plea deal for man

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors filed court documents Monday in which an Alaska man agreed...

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Russell Wilson before a game
Omar Tyree

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up before the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

The Black Athlete

In early October, Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russell Wilson, published a revealing article on ThePlayersTribune.com, where he discussed his years of being a bully in grade school. Wilson realized that it would be beneficial to tarnish his squeaky-clean image so more fans and players alike could relate to him. But now it’s been reported that unnamed “sources” within the Seahawks locker room claim some players don’t consider Wilson “black enough,” while being too close to the team’s upper management.

It seems like just yesterday when 2nd-term African-American President, Barack Obama, was questioned about not being “black enough” while running for the presidency in 2008. Former Miami Dolphins lineman, Jonathan Martin, was deemed not “black enough” by his African-American teammates a year ago, when being bullied and called the N-word by white veteran player, Richie Incognito. A year before that, Washington’s popular Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, was speculated of being a “cornball brother” by African-American sportswriter, Rob Parker, who was quoting discussions overheard at his local Detroit barbershops.

The ongoing and bitter history of African-Americans who mistrust, ostracize and bully each other into following certain stereotypical traits, beliefs and concerns of the community has been a long and conflicting battle.

On one hand, certain group decisions are still needed to benefit the race as a whole, in particular on issues of politics that may affect fair education, employment, housing, taxation and the fair practices of American law. But when it comes to individual beliefs, ideas, habits, likes, dislikes and behaviors, all bets are off. Each person should have a God-given right and license to be who they are.

Restriction on individualism is where the problems lie. There have been far too many disputes about how someone looks, walks, talks, dresses, who they hang out with, what music they listen to, and who they marry.

I participated in such race bullying in my college years, where certain small town kids were teased for being less than urban cool. When you’re born and raised in the strong cultured big cities of Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit, and so on, you tend to set a higher bar of what black is supposed to be. Everything else becomes “country,” “corny,” “backwards,” “bama” and “not black enough.” 

Seahawks-WilsonPHOTO: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) works against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)           

However, the most harmful type of black-on-black bullying is when we accuse someone of “acting white,” “selling out” or being an “oreo.” Without realizing the many societal implications involved, “acting white” becomes a label for African-Americans who have higher academic standards, speak correct English, read books, live in higher economic neighbors, are successful at their goals, and are accepted and sociable with white American peers.

Wow, that sounds like Russell Wilson. But the problem is, if all of that is “acting white” and not being “black enough,” then what is “acting black” and being “real”—having low academic standards, speaking broken English, never reading anything, living in poverty, never reaching your goals, and not being accepted or sociable with white America?

Think about it. What exactly are we saying when we quantify the words “black” and “white?” Because the last time I checked the dictionary, everything “white” is deemed fresh, clean, innocent, angelic, perfect, ideal, good, honest, bright, new, beginning, exact and unmarked. In contrast, “black” is labeled soiled, dark, evil, deadly, mysterious, deceptive, violent, secretive, demonic, tragic and the end of things.

Ironically, the color “black” is also identified with power and elegance, like Black Power and black-tie affairs. However, that’s not the identification of the word “black” that African-Americans are referring to when they claim that someone isn’t “black enough,” I assure you. The question is, what do they mean by the term? I’ve never used it, because I understand that they are degrees to everything. And your “not black enough” may be someone else’s “too black.”

Like the use of the N-word that sports media professionals argued about last year, the African-American term “not black enough” will continue to be argued about as well. Nevertheless, one has to wonder if the Seattle Seahawks were a dominate 6-0 or 5-1 instead of a struggling 4-3, whether Russell Wilson’s degree of blackness would have ever become an issue.

Hence, losing and complaining about your teammates becomes a “black thing,” while winning and loving your guys is all right and “white.” Think about it.

 

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction and a professional journalist @ www.OmarTyree.com

 

 

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