Monthly Archives: February 2015

Chris Rock is a Racist: KNOCK IT OFF!

Chris Rock on white people:

“Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.”

After generations of progress, by all sides- Chris, this is the type of rhetoric that continues to damage race relations and causes many good people to get just plain angry.

Chris RockCommenting on a New Yorker article, Inquisitr.com shared some of Rock’s tirade against white Americans.

Notable-

“Chris Rock goes on to say that white people aren’t only responsible for their “actions,” but must take responsibility for those of their racist ancestors.”

Well Chris, like many white Americans, I’m sure I did have some racist ancestors, but most of my family were anything but.

As far as any inheritance being “unfair,” well…

My mother’s family were Polish immigrants. When they arrived in America during the Great Immigration, they were treated, to use your parlance, like niggers.

They were discriminated against in every way imaginable. My mother grew up in urban tenements. I remember her talking about the first time they had an apartment with running water- until then the water was carried up three flights of stairs from a common well shared by several buildings.

Most of my Polish ancestors changed their names upon arriving in America. If they had a “ski” or a “wicz” at the end of their names, they were turned away from decent homes, jobs and schools.

The man I knew as my grandfather was my mother’s stepdad- her birth father having died from a heart attack working in Connecticut sweatshops, no doubt because he inherited so much from his immigrant parents.

My grandfather did inherit some money- which was taken away by Russian communists before he left Poland after the War, where he had spent his last couple of years as a POW in a German concentration camp.

He was a genius of a man and a genuine chess champion- but his name and his poor English limited him to a job operating a furnace in the Stanley tool factory.

My father’s side descends from French-Canadian stock. Many of them came to America to escape persecution of Francophones common in Canada for generations. Anglo-speaking Canadians in fact passed laws to convert French speakers and eradicate their culture.

My distant cousin, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was a famous hockey player- who also found himself, somewhat by circumstance, as the symbolic leader of a civil rights movement in Canada to fight for equal pay, opportunity and treatment for French speaking citizens.

Some branches of my French family arrived before the Civil War. I’ve traced several to service in several Maine regiments during the Civil War, where they fought, as far as they were concerned, to end slavery and free America blacks.

Most of my French family settled in Northern Maine where they worked largely as potato farmers, many of them tenant farmers. As the potato business dwindled in Maine, many of these ancestors, whose inheritances were not what Mr. Rock would imagine, left to work the factories of Massachusetts and Connecticut. My father- obviously having squandered the riches of his inheritance, was part of that migration. That’s how he ended up in Connecticut and how he met my mother.

So-

My parents were the decedents of people who struggled for generations to overcome prejudice and discrimination. They started their life together with absolutely no money- their ancestors having struggled for generations to simply survive.

Mr. Rock…

What great inheritance are you speaking of?

What sins did my ancestors commit- especially those who gave their lives to end slavery?

Of course, that’s ancient history. Let’s talk more about my mother.

I wasn’t raised as a racist. My mother taught us that you judge people by their actions and character, not by their color, nationality or religious beliefs. She taught us that we were solely responsible for our own destiny and that the past, however terrible, was just that…

…past.

From this past my first real job was working in my father’s construction company- a business he built out of 18 hour days where weekends were largely for the weak. After that I worked as a pipe fitter in a shipyard building nuclear submarines.

Yes- jobs reserved for the privileged. I’ve worked hard for every dollar I’ve ever had and for most of my life I’ve had precious few above and beyond the bare necessities. Still- I’ve had a nice life so far and it’s getting better every day.

Mr. Rock, I am not a wealthy entertainer, but I do not begrudge you a nickel of your money. Frankly, most of the time I think you’re hilarious- even when you’re making white people the target of your humor. I’m a true believer in the free market and if the market says your work is worth millions- so be it.

I don’t know your past; maybe you did work menial jobs like I did and like my ancestors did. I do know that now you enjoy a life of privilege most of us can only imagine. 

I do, however, resent your characterization of me and my ancestors. You dishonor the abolitionists, the civil rights activists and warriors who sacrificed to assure fair human treatment for everyone, regardless of race. You show flagrant disrespect for those of us who have stood up for friends and strangers when they were mistreated or abused because of their color- and those of us who continue to do so.

And as far as our generation paying for the sins of the past- that sir, is outrageous on the face of it.

I do not know first hand the challenges of growing up as a black man in America. I did have friends who experienced the race riots of the 1960s. I do remember when there was still Jim Crow and overt, legal discrimination. I remember the integrations of schools and the busing riots. I have friends that did suffer under those conditions. I even have friends who had crosses burned on their front yards.

I am just a few years older than you are- you may have missed some of this action.

My generation and generations of white Americans before fought, many died and many more sacrificed and risked their lives and livelihoods to eradicate institutional racism and end discrimination. Many of us continue that fight…

…but frankly, many of us are sick of hearing that we’re still part of the problem.

So as to your assertions that all white people are racist, that all white people are responsible for the lingering effects of slavery and institutionalized discrimination- that all white people are still accountable for the difficult conditions still experienced by some black people, conditions you seem to have transcended…

We’ve paid the price, and many of our ancestors paid the bill before us…paid in full.

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How the Patriots cheated the Seahawks out of the Super Bowl

Brady 02 No doubt we’ll hear that and worse this week.

The problem with being a rabid sports fan is that you’re often forced to defend your team, which, when you think about it, is kind of ridiculous. I don’t play for the New England Patriots, I don’t have anything to do with their coaching and I’m quite sure that removing my hat did not assure that Tom Brady would bring the Pats back from 10 down…

…even though that’s exactly what happened…and I also took my hat off just before Brady rallied the Pats and Adam Vinatierri sealed the deal in ’01.

“It’s not weird if it works,” right?

Writers, pundits and fans will debate the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX for weeks- at least until they can find some mysterious conspiracy to explain how the Pats somehow cheated the Seahawks out of their destiny.

The Patriots won because of one thing, and it wasn’t the psychic abilities of un-drafted rookie Malcolm Butler. The Pats won because no matter what adversity they face, they live and die as a team.

The Hawks’ Bruce Irvin sums it up:

“I don’t understand how you don’t give it to the best back in the league and not even the 1-yard line. We were on the half-yard line. And we throw a slant. I don’t what the offense had going on, what they saw. I just don’t understand.” (The News Tribune)

Irvin was ejected from the game in the final seconds for starting a brawl when he should have showed some class in defeat.

He wasn’t the only one with issues about the Seahawks last minute strategy. Several Seahawks players voiced their displeasure with their coaching staff and the decision to throw that final pass instead of jamming Marshawn Lynch into the endzone.

The worst was probably Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell who was quoted as saying receiver Ricardo Lockette could have gone harder to the ball to make the catch. While true, it’s not something you want to say about one of your players after the last meaningful play of the season- at least not on national television.

The Pats have last two trips to The Game ended with similar last minute disappointment. Twice Eli Manning and his Giants tipped the scales with last second heroics to come from behind.

Did the Patriots criticize throw their teammates and coaches under the bus? No- they praised their opponent, went home to rest and came back the next year to do their jobs.

This game could have gone either way…

Frankly, even if the Pats lost, I would be saying it was one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. If you doubt my sincerity, ask my wife, who has become a more intense Pats fan than I am, which is really saying something. I really pissed her off- twice, when I said that after each of the Giants’ wins.

The Pats stood together despite a psychotic hatred of all things Patriot. They rallied around one another while the NFL manufactured what is arguably the most egregious load of excrement ever dumped on a team before the Super Bowl in the form of Deflate-gate. They stood together after the embarrassment in Kansas City as the Boston sports press was hanging up Brady’s spikes, predicting the end of The Dynasty and proclaiming that Belichick’s mojo had finally run it’s course.

Most of all, they took the Seahawks’ best body blows and once again rallied from behind, just as they’d done several times this year.

Butler Pick 02Now as for Malcolm Butler…

Butler wrapped up the game in more ways than one. He admitted after the game that he knew that throw was coming in his way.

How could he possibly know this? More spy-cams? More Beli-cheat tactics?

No…

Study. Practice. Discipline.

Butler knew that throw was coming because he recognized the formation and the shift. The Pats had practiced this exact scenario dozens of times. They understood what Pete Carroll was doing- arguably even better than Carroll himself did.

I’m going to credit Butler not just for the interception, but for his embodiment of the never-quit attitude of this year’s Patriots- and it came on the play that put Seattle in position to win the game.

Butler fought Jermaine Kearse for Russell Wilson’s deep ball that highlighted Seattle’s potential game winning drive. Kearse won the battle and made arguably the best catch of the season.

At that point, all Kearse had to do was roll into the end zone. Of course that would have left Brady, Gronk and the boys two minutes to produce their own heroics, but instead Butler stayed with the play even after he was beat and kept Kearse from scoring the go-ahead TD.

Jim BullsIn football, it ain’t over ’til it’s over…and Malcolm Butler showed that not once, but twice.

The casual fan or the Super Sunday Only group will no doubt label the Pats lucky. Those who have played this great game, and those who know that football is game of inches where seconds last forever, appreciate the tenacity that guarantees Butler a place in Patriots history.

For those of us whose love of all things Patriots started long before The Dynasty- for those of us who proudly wore Pat Patriot gear and still have a warm place for the red jerseys, this one has a certain feeling of vindication about it. I won’t say it means the same as ’01…

…but it’s pretty damn close.

The haters will continue to hate. I’ll just leave you with the rallying cry that spread among Patriots fans over the past couple of weeks…

“You hate us…’cause you ain’t us.”

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