Obama The Rock and Tiger. The New Black Man is a Little Less Black

Thank God! You know, we spend a good deal of time walking around on eggshells. “Don’t scare the white people; they’re very skittish.” But with the title of this piece I’m doing a little double meaning thing there, in case you didn’t know. But yes, physically these guys are a little less black . But more importantly their public persona is a little less “black.” And it’s good; in this piece I wrote about how the unexpected benefit of the Sept. 11 attacks was America FINALLY giving black people a break as the BOOGEY MAN. And we HAPPILY handed that title over to virtually any Middle Easterner-no matter which religion or which country they were from. Because we’ve unwillingly played the role longer than we’ve wanted. The media has treated us like a ragdoll or a sock puppet. You can almost feel newscasters reach under their desk and put the doll on and then start in on us like a creepy uncle telling some kid a bedtime horror story. But these 3 black guys represent a new paradigm shift that white people (and thus everybody else) seem ready and willing to gobble up! FINALLY. They’re not “black” but “American.”

That fourth guy by the way is ME . I couldn’t pass up this chance to stand in a…what would I call this? A Reverse Line-up? Since they’re always lining black men up to point a negative finger at us; what would be the opposite of that? I guess it’s Reverse Line-up, since white people love these black guys.

Part of American thinking is the rejection of intense thinking. Were a “broad stroke” kind of nation, we don’t get into minutia or “detail” and “facts.” Ask Bush. In fact, people ELECTED Bush into office in 2004. Despite the details of his past, and his overt theft of the 2000 election . But for most of MY LIFE “Black” has been this large, ominous, threatening, cloud that white people (and hence everybody else) have feared and loathed (forgive me Hunter S Thompson!). People have cherry picked our redeeming qualities (like enjoying us in various sports, various comedies, and ALL music) while generally wishing we would go away, or just not BE in their immediate vicinity. But NOW Black is in Baby! In fact, now that black looks more white it’s ok! Hoorraayyyy! But wait. Let me show you something..

Holy MotherFucker! Look at this guy. Jesus. THIS is what comes to white minds if they’re just thinking about “black guys” and not some specific individual. This…this…Jesus, what do you call it? A Joseph Campbell anti-hero archetype? But look at that body, that jewelry, the pants coming off in preparation to rape all your white women. And that smile-listen I’m not going to say what intellect either is or is not conveyed in that loose grin: you make the call. Don’t get me wrong! White people love this TOO . But they don’t want it up close and personal. They want it on TV. They don’t want to shake hands with it. But they REALLY want to shake The Rock’s hand, Or Tiger’s. And man do they want to get close to Obama!

See, the OLD black was really becoming a burden. When I lived in Japan I learned more about the black male image than I care to go into detail, but suffice it say; they all expected me to either rob them or break into a rap song at any given moment. And the reason they HAVE that image is because our culture PROVIDES that image to the entire world. They had a Sunday morning show that translated to the “Black People Doing Crime in American Fun Time Happy Hour.” Imagine me watching such a show EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY. Just footage after footage of black people caught on tape doing crime. The producers had just taken Cops type shows and extracted all the white people and voila “Black People Doing Crime in American Fun Time Happy Hour. Jesus! But rap and crime are ALSO what white people (and hence everybody else) USED to expect from us.

Lastly we DO need to touch on the physical racial attributes. Now the fact that those 3 guys and myself are physically less “black” is incidental . In fact if you saw Henry Lewis Gates PBS series that aired on PBS in February (of COURSE during black history month), then you know that this is a part of who we-as black people- are. Professor Gates is a perfect example. Most black people have HUGE quantities of non-black blood. He himself is genetically 50 percent non-black despite neither parent actually being a white person. Just like the Rock, or Tiger Woods. Barack is the only “classic” 50-percenter in the whole group. But most of us are not. LOOK AT MY NAME. And LOOK at my picture, you SEE what’s going on. Something. Right? You can tell SOMETHING is going-and yet neither of my parents is “white.” And that’s how most Black people in America are these days. But it’s just incidental It has no meaning in terms of our identity or behavior. It’s like height or weight or birthmarks. And up until Barack had a minor problem with his pastor, he was trying to get that point across to the general public. But because of the minister Obama had to get into the race issue and explain what I’ve had to explain to my white friends for YEARS. Just accept ME for who I am. Just a guy. Yeah, I like a little rap. But do I have a jewel encrusted fucking Goblet to drink my Crystal Champagne from? No. What would even make you think that!? Goddamned MTV! That’s who’s really doing this. Because it’s an image that sells. And things ONLY SELL BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT TO BUY it.

One Time Only I’ll Mention Tiger Woods Since it’s Black History Month

So why the one time only deal? Well he doesn’t want to be associated with us. So like a woman with a restraining order we, as a people, try to respect the law and keep our 50 feet distance from him too. Tiger has said he’s a man of the world of multi-ethnic heritage and a label like “African American” is too confining. Well as a Black guy named Rosenthal  (that’s me) who’s seeing a woman with almost the EXACT combination or Black, Asian and European as Tiger I supposed the 2 of us could also say the African American title is “too limiting” for us too. Oh, but there is one difference, we’re not rich and famous. So, mostly everyday when we go walking around people just call us “Black.” C’est la Vie!

Here’s how he put it

CHICAGO (AP) – When Tiger Woods was asked in school to check one box that best described his background, he couldn’t settle on one. Perhaps that’s because there wasn’t a box for ”Cablinasian.”

That’s the word that best describes his background, a blend of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian, the 21-year-old golf star said on ”The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Woods said it bothers him when people call him an African-American.

”It does,” he said Monday during the taping in Chicago. ”Growing up, I came up with this name. I’m a ‘Cablinasian.”’ Woods’ race has often been an issue in a game played predominantly by whites. It was brought to the forefront again when Fuzzy Zoeller referred to him as ”that little boy” and urged him not to put fried chicken or collard greens on the menu of the Champions Dinner next year at Augusta National.

Woods is one-fourth black, one-fourth Thai, one-fourth Chinese, one-eighth white and one-eighth American Indian.

So there you go! Hey, make no mistake about it; in a few years I AM going to be rich too, and guess what? I’m not gonna be Black either . I don’t think I’ll invent a whole new word, but it’s gonna be awesome! Now, listen Tiger IS telling the truth. He hasn’t had to live as a Black person. He’s been super talented since he was a kid, so he got famous pretty early in life. But MOST Black people who do become rich and famous did have to spend at least some years as a “Black” person before they got famous. Of course once you’re famous then you don’t have to be Black anymore.; For example Oprah, Denzel, Mariah Carey etc., (2009 EDIT-keep in mind I wrote this piece, in Chicago, WAY before the rest of the country really knew who Obama was, but a few months later I did write a piece about “Blackness” where I look at Tiger, Obama and the rapper 50 Cents).

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So WHY am I talking about Tiger at all? I mean, it’s actually NOT to talk about his lack of “Blackness.” You know me, I could give a rat’s ass wether he’s “one of us” or not, but I couldn’t write this piece and pretend like the race isssue didn’t exist. No, today it’s all about how well he’s been playing. Apparently his current level of play is blowing all kinds of (White) people’s mind and he’s doing something super special in the golf world. The photo will link you to the AOL story about his golf skill. But from what I read it’s a miracle of golf. Eh. That’s the sound of me giving a “who knew” shrug. Anyway “brother,” congrats.