Sean Taylor was sometimes called "half-man, half-beast" for his unbelievably hard hits.
Two days ago, the part of Taylor that was a man lost his battle to a beast with a gun.
Because of his prowess at football, Taylor, free safety for the Washington Redskins, was a young, well-known black man. The funeral won't be long over before the usual suspects use his death to try and advance whatever line they're selling that day.
Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star and weekly columnist at Fox Sports.com writes an angry piece and it's well it was read. "Taylor's Death a Grim Reminder to Us All" is well worth reading in its entirety. It might make you think about old things in a new way.
You don't have to be a sports fan to feel the power his anger at another needless death brings to the piece. You also need not be a sports fan to recognize what he says is true.
One thing that stands out is his condemnation of the Black KKK.
The perspective he offers is one you may never have considered before.
There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same.
Someone who loved Sean Taylor is crying right now. The life they knew has been destroyed, an 18-month-old baby lost her father, and, if you're a black man living in America, you've been reminded once again that your life is in constant jeopardy of violent death.
The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.
No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.
Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.
When the traditional, white KKK lynched, terrorized and intimidated black folks at a slower rate than its modern-day dark-skinned replacement, at least we had the good sense to be outraged and in no mood to contemplate rationalizations or be fooled by distractions.
Our new millennium strategy is to pray the Black KKK goes away or ignores us. How's that working?
After laying out an air-tight case, he brings the hammer down.
You're damn straight I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there's no reason to give a free pass to a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.He lines up the cultural culprits and mows them down--just like they've mowed down so many young black men themselves.
He's aiming his fire at one group, one color; though the culture he's speaking of has plenty of admirers who are white, brown or yellow.
But today, he's speaking to, and about, a particular group.
Let's cut through the bull(manure) and deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men. Period. Go check the coroner's office and talk with a police detective. These bullets aren't checking W-2s.The three closing sentences should be required reading of anyone--any color, any age--who thinks there's nothing wrong with the glorification of failure and perversion.
Rather than whine about white folks' insensitivity or reserve a special place of sorrow for rich athletes, we'd be better served mustering the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.
But we don't want to deal with ourselves. We take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people's hearts. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant.
The Black KKK is enforcing the same crippling standards as its parent organization. It wants to keep black men in their place — uneducated, outside the mainstream and six feet deep.Read his entire story, "Taylor's Death a Grim Reminder to Us All".
In all likelihood, the Black Klan and its mentality buried Sean Taylor, and any black man or boy reading this could be next.
It's too late for Sean Taylor. For someone reading Jason's Whitlock, if they listen: it doesn't have to be.
[image:nypress & redskins.com]
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