• Brian L. Barefield

You Ain’t Black Enough

Over the past week I have heard some very asinine statements come from the daily sports show on FS1, Speak For Yourself. The show is hosted by former NFL player and guardian of the “Hood Passes,” Marcellus Wiley from Compton, California and former journalist Jason Whitlock from Indianapolis, Indiana. For some reason I think I missed the memo or need to check my email to see the announcement that they have become the new voices of the black community.

I digress.

After Roc Nation’s CEO Jay-Z decided to join in a partnership with the NFL last week, former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick’s name was mentioned during the press conference on numerous occasions and media members wanted to know if Jay-Z had talked to Kaepernick before making the decision to collaborate with the NFL. The multi-millionaire businessman responded that he had talked to him in the past and went on further to express the need to move past kneeling (2016 national anthem protest started by Kaepernick in a pre-season game) and start looking to further the cause.

"I think that we forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice," said Jay-Z. "In that case, this is a success. This is the next thing because there’s two parts of the protest."

Yes, Jay you are right. I do agree with you on that statement and I have also gone on record by saying that I will wait at least three years for you to push whatever initiatives you are going to put in place to help bring awareness to social injustices towards minorities.

Now this is where the article should have ended right? This is where you walk away feeling positive that Jay having a seat at the table may help NFL owners see what their employees (players) have an issue with. I wish this was the end, but the aforementioned “guardians of the black community,” couldn’t leave well enough alone.

Marcellus Wiley went on a rant this past Monday on SFY and referred to Kaepernick not feeling “the full weight” of injustice being that he is “mixed.”

"Kaepernick comes from a situation where he never felt the full weight of these injustices," Wiley said. "This is a mixed-race guy who was raised by a white family from Wisconsin to central California. Respect. That does not disqualify you from talking for us but when you make missteps and miscalculations, oh, it comes back into play."

Yes, you read that correctly. Wiley, who does not know what Kaepernick’s upbringing was like used the “not black enough” card to partly disqualify Colin from speaking about social injustices. He used the race of the couple who adopted him and where he was raised to push his false narrative. Oh, and let’s not forget that he threw in the fact that Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab is “not black enough” in his diatribe as well. Ms. Diab is of Egyptian descent.

So, if I am correct. If you are of mixed race you can’t fully understand what the “struggle” is because you are not all the way black. Got it. Wait. No, I don’t because that would disqualify my late wife who witnessed first-hand what the struggle was like growing up with a white mother and a black father from knowing what social injustice was.

She wouldn’t know what it was like to have the police show up at her house and tell her that she needed to keep her little “Nigger child” in check. Or when her mother had to hide her in her coat from the KKK because she was mixed living in a town that was majority white. What about the time the neighbors wanted her and her kids out of the neighborhood because of their skin color.

Can she not have commented on the state of social injustice because her white mother loved a black man?

See how dumb that sounds? Don’t you love to flaunt your Ivy-League degree every chance you get? It seems like you may need to get them on the phone and have them explain how they failed you in this area.

No one should have their motives questioned because of their race and community. If someone wants to help bring awareness to social injustice, you should welcome them with open arms because that is one more person willing to help correct an issue.

What you did Marcellus is open a door wide enough for your co-host, Jason Whitlock to walk straight through. Whitlock, who never misses an opportunity to bash an African American, must have felt left out and decided to chime in and attack Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills.

On Friday, the on-air commentator who was fired from ESPN twice, made mention that Stills, and Reid were also disqualified from participating in bringing awareness to social injustice because of the neighborhoods they grew up in and the high schools they attended. He talked out of both sides of his mouth in his opening monologue.

“No one is trying to denigrate Stills, Reid, or Kaepernick’s upbringing,” Whitlock said. “Their parents should be celebrated. But it is not a coincidence that guys kneeling the longest, the guys dead set on being the modern-day Muhammad Ali’s, all have a similar profile. Every honest person can see this for what it is. Confused dudes from the suburbs trying way too hard to prove their blackness.”

Ok, breathe Big Sarge. Remember what your therapist taught you about dealing with stupidity. Take one more deep breath. Feel Better?

How in the hell are you going to fix your lips to utter those words Jason? Neither you or Marcellus are qualified enough to speak on another man’s intentions. Fox networks have provided you a lane on their highway to drive your vehicles of destruction. If I close my eyes I swear I could hear Fox host Laura Ingraham screaming out, “Yea. Just shut up and play football.”

Divisive words may drive up ratings, but it does nothing to help the cause of bringing awareness to the cause. You two are definitely entitled to your own opinions, but to say because these young men were afforded the opportunity to grow up in nice neighborhoods and went to nice schools that they don’t know the struggle is ludicrous.

Wiley and Whitlock are doing what most individuals who screamed that the NFL players protest were “unpatriotic” because they were protesting the flag are doing. Changing the narrative and moving the goal post of the entire movement. Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 to bring awareness to unarmed civilians, mainly African American men being killed or beaten by the hands of law enforcement officials. What does that have to do with the fact that Stills went to a predominantly white high school or where Reid grew up the majority of the city voted for President Trump?

I guess they didn’t teach history at Ball State (Whitlock) or Columbia (Wiley). Its ok. That’s why you have Big Sarge to help you.

Do the names James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, or Michael Schwerner ring a bell? Ever read the book, Mississippi Burning? Goodman and Schwerner came all the way from New York City to help fight for equality in Mississippi and it cost them their lives. They traveled along with Chaney who was from Mississippi to the Longdale community to speak with members of a church who had been burned down by white supremacist.

All three were arrested following a traffic stop and detained for hours. After their release the three men were abducted, driven to another location and murdered.

Oh, did I mention that Goodman and Schwerner were white? Yet they didn’t allow their skin-color, or their fancy neighborhoods stop them from trying to help bring awareness to a social issue that involved racism and discrimination. Will you go and do the socioeconomic and scholastic research on them Jason like you did Stills and Reid? Are they disqualified because of the color of their skin Marcellus?

What about the 60,000 Anglo Americans that joined in the March on Washington in August 1963? Do we tell them that the cause is for “Blacks Only?” Was their attendance not appreciated because they grew up outside the ghetto?

Did Marcellus and Jason forget March 1965? “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama that seen just as many white people beaten for helping black people register to vote? The march to Montgomery wasn’t a “Black Invite Only” walk to the state capitol.

Should I mention that a lot of white individuals are on the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movements and are helping fight for the same causes Colin Kaepernick is fighting for? Can’t wait until the next show when Jason breaks down the private pre-k’s those individuals attended.

Bottom line is this. Neither race or socioeconomic factors should disqualify anyone from fighting for racial and social injustices in America. Whitlock and Wiley are pushing an agenda and narrative so that they can compete and stay relevant by getting retweets on Twitter. They are hunting for ratings and sponsors, so they will say anything they think is controversial or edgy to fit their narratives.

I am pretty sure come next week there will be a segment or monologue on how people who choose Popeyes chicken sandwich over Chick-Fil-A's are social justice warriors looking for attention.

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