America Is Confused

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: January 26, 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE: In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. birthday, we here at BASN are re-running a thought provoking piece by staff writer Gary Norris Gray that still resonates from when he wrote in it just over one year ago today.

CALIFORNIA — There is the Asian Art phenomenon called Ying Yang. This is a phenomenon pits one force against the other that must co exist similarly, like the sun and the moon with each passing day.

This is what is similar too what is happening all over this country with the issue of race and sports. While the young African American Males is often browbeaten, other African American or Black male’s citizens are praised for positive actions.

This country has to change and save this generation to make America stronger and wiser then we are today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not be saddened to witness the young African American male situation in 2008. Make up your mind will it be praise or ridicule.

In 2008, this nation has its first serious Black candidate for the presidency of the United States. The charismatic and positive thinking Senator Barack Obama from the State of Illinois, has captured the fascination of America.

This gentleman has put America on its political head. He has invoked the words of Dr. King and President John F. Kennedy. He has uplifted the hearts and minds of many African American males in this country.

Obama has restored the faith of African American males in the United States with his oratory and new political ideas. The American have not heard these words of hope in 25 -30 years. He has accented the positive and ignored the negative.

We must magnify the positive issues African Americans have accomplished to this country, not accentuate the negative. It just seems that the news media promotes despicable acts and totally ignores the positive accomplishments of African Americans.

Just look at your local newscast or read your local paper. When have you seen a good story about an African American male? The sports department or section now has a police blotter division to inform the latest news.

Some of the travesties happening today are as follows:

– Too many American Black males are involved in gun violence and while others are joining the disabled community with their psychological and physical damage. It’s only the third week of January 2008 and there have already been 15 murders in the Bay Area. One of America’s most precious resources, human beings is being wasted and it seems like nobody really cares. This has to change.

– The Black male prison population (disproportionate) of African Americans is 12% of American’s population, yet they are 50 % of America’s prison population something is wrong. There has to be a salutation to this dilemma.

– Negative influences have now infiltrated the sports arena what use to be hollowed grounds young African American male is witnessing this and wondering what will happen to them. Sports use to be a safe heaven for young Black Males this no longer exists.

Take a look at the current statistics. America just got a little more dangerous. The list follows:

– O.J. Simpson accused of marital abuse and murder.

– Randy Moss accused of sexual battery.

– The whole Cincinnati Bengal football feam for just being jailbirds.

– Adam “ Pacman” Jones getting caught with stripper’s week in and week out.

Isiah Thomas accused of sexual abuse.

– Richard Williams accused of parental obsession with fame through his tennis-playing daughters, Serena and Venus.

– Wilt Chamberlain accused of womanizing.

– Michael Jordan accused of gambling abuse.

– Barry Bonds accused of steroids and drug abuse.

America’s response is very quickly and very loudly when a person of darker hue is accused with these social issues. While others skate away with little or no fan fair or consequences. It is time to tell the truth, it is time to look in the mirror.

It is time to stop the negative and begin accentuating the positive.

These are some of the productive and positive things that African American males have done for this country and in the sports world. We have to keep reminding ourselves and to the world of the wonderful things that we (African Americans males) have done for this country.

There are more African American scientists and doctors than ever before. General Colin Powell became the highest African American male officer in our government, as Secretary of Defense.

In the sports world there are six African American Coaches in the National Football League, the highest number of Black coaches in history. The NCAA also has increased the number of African American head coaches in Division One with the number standing at five.

Indianapolis Colts mentor Tony Dungy participated in the playoffs for the ninth year in a row tying the record held by Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll. There were two African American Coaches standing at the Super Bowl podium last year as Dungy was the first to win the Super Bowl Trophy in 2006-2007.

There are a plethora of African American basketball coaches in the (NBA) National Basketball Association and (NCAA) National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are over 60% African American players in both the NBA and NCAA basketball courts.

There are now Black general managers in football and basketball, an event that occurred within the past 15 years. There are currently12 black players in the National Hockey League Players.

A huge increase since 1960. And yes they are not just goalies; there are a few enforcers, two team captains and many team leaders. It is a far cry from the Willie O’Ree’s Boston Bruin days.

Lastly there is the wonder child Tiger Woods, one of the most powerful and dominate golfer of our times. He has won more tournaments at the age of 31 than any other golfer in the world.

Tiger was so good that he cause them to changed many courses in America (Tiger-proofing them). It was apparent that other golfers began to practice their driving strokes and their long green drives if they wanted to beat him. Mr. Woods handled himself with clarity and respect with the recent Golf channel episode.

The United States also has the fastest speed skater in the world and he is African American. Shani Davis took the world by storm in the last Winter Olympic games and he did it his own way. These are the wonderful sporting events African Americans have contributed in the United States.

We are nearing the beginning of Black History month and we should be accentuation and celebrating the positive. Yet we must understand and correct the negative. African Americans can no longer talk about what is wrong with Black America we must take action to correct it, like the astute Senator from Illinois.

This is what the Black Athlete Sports Network has accomplished, letting African Americans speak their minds on the issues of Sports and the world without filters.

Stop this confusion! Praise these young African American males for what they have done. Give honor where honor is due.