Anger in Black and White

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: April 4, 2009

CALIFORNIA — While watching the NCAA playoffs on Saturday afternoon one of the commercial showed a parity segment of the Tom Cruise 1980′s movie Risky Business.

There is a scene in the movie where Cruise slides across the floor playing his air guitar while wearing boxer shorts. In this commercial show four middle aged white coaches sliding across the floor, Roy Williams (North Carolina), Rick Pitino (Louisville), and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), and the last one former coach Bobby Knight lip-syncing to the song.

These coaches were all wearing boxer shorts, what a sight to behold.

The hard rock band, Metallica was standing at the fireplace watching these coaches slide across the floor. The leader of Metallica asked, “what are you doing?”.

Knight answers, ” We are playing Guitar Hero”, the leader of Metallica responds, “Now you need to play the new Guitar Hero by Metallica”, Knight responds, “So”, Metallica try’s to end the conversation with, “That means your going to have to put on some pants pops”, “Who are you calling pops?”, Knight responds.

Mr. Knight gets mad at the Metallica remark and throws the miniature black drum set at the Metallica band members expressing his displeasure at the age-ist band’s remark.

White male anger and it’s funny.

Mr. Knight participated in a similar commercial with the Volkswagen car company. He threw a chair at the talking car again trying to be a joke. After many phone inquires Volkswagen pulled the commercial.

White male anger and it’s funny.

Many years ago the television commercial industry produced the same type of commercial with John McEnroe. McEnroe famous temperamental professional tennis player in a commercial Mac throws his racket and screams at the umpire “You cannot be serious”. Insurance and medical companies now have kinder and gentle commercials showcasing McEnroe.

Once again, white male anger is funny and everyone is expected to laugh.

When African American male does the same thing as coach Knight and McEnroe the observers’ response is interesting. White females still cross the street when a group of young Black males are walking toward them.

In most major American cities, Black Males are ignored when they try to hail a taxi at night. The fear of the Big Black males can be directly traced to slavery. White America still fears Black male anger and has yet come to deal with this emotion.

Let President Barack Obama exhibit an emotional tirade. How long would The President stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. after a Barack rage incidence?

A recent Subway commercial featured the former New York Football Giant Michael Strahan. He’s building a nice ham and cheese sandwich. A Subway worker states that one item does not belong in that sandwich. Strahan turns, looks down, and gives this young woman a glaring stare.

However, he does not say a word.

Then the little woman runs away as fast as she can.

This commercial intentionally conveys fear, specifically big black males.

That was done intentionally to convey these feelings toward Big Black men.

African American men should feel compelled to write to the Subway organization and tell then we want they want that commercial pulled off the air because it reinforces this stereotype behavior.

This is just an example how some people still sees things in black and white and still exploits Americans negative emotions toward African American men.

A week ago in Dallas, the family of Ryan Moats could have experienced a double tragedy if events had turned out differently. The football player for the Houston Texans received a phone call from the Dallas hospital where his mother-in-law lay dying from cancer.

Moats drove his wife to the hospital with his emergency lights flashing and to the right of the road. Is it this what drivers are told to do in emergencies? Mr. Moats stopped his SUV for a second at a red stop light, then he proceeded through the intersection when it was clear of traffic.

One of Dallas’ finest turned on his police emergency lamps and followed Moats to the hospital, instead of leading the Moats to the hospital. This white policeman was angry that Mr. Molts did not stop.

This is a clear example of white male privilege and the abuse of power, you add white male anger you have a dangerous combination. African American males dare not express this kind of emotions for fear of the consequences.

We all know the rest of the story. If Mr. Moats had been an angry Black man what would have happened? If that young white policeman had an itchy trigger finger, it would have been a double tragedy.

Now a week later the Dallas Police Department and the police officer apologized to the Moats family. This past Wednesday police officer Powell resigned from the Dallas Police Department.

When young black educated males are growing up in this country, they are told over and over again, never to show anger. Never show anger, even-thou Black males may experience this potential volatile emotion. Even-thou if the moment warranted such action.


African American men are told by their parents to be quiet be cool and survive your life may depend on these three mantras. Well, for Mr. Moats, it averted a double tragedy and death to another member of the family.

Keeping anger inside killed one of baseball’s greatest Black heroes, Jackie Robinson who died way before his time. His traumatic experiences on the field in Brooklyn took away many years of his life.

Robinson said nothing when he was playing for the Dodgers.

This trend has continued with Classic examples of this racial attitude. Black speed skater Shanti Davis would not practice with the United States team in the Olympics. Davis wanted to win individual gold medals, not team medals because the team never embraced him as an equal member.

The New York Mets former Manager Willie Randolph could not say what he wanted to say about certain players when the team did not perform. After New York let Randolph go the Mets won 14 of 20 games.

Randolph could not vent his anger to the Mets organization or their players. Former Mets Coach Bill Robinson wanted to be manager but never happened. Again Robinson had to just walk away and say nothing.

Has former manager Hal McRae received another job after his tirade in the Kansas City Royal locker room? NO!!!!

Former Indiana basketball coach Mike Davis, and former Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith, had to walk away after being fired for very questionable reasons.

Former Head Coach John Chaney (Temple University) wanted rip into head Coach John Calipari, (then University of Massachusetts), now new coach of the University of Kentucky, in a fit of anger.

The Atlantic Ten Conference suspended Chaney, even though he didn’t strike a blow. UMass had just beaten TempleUniversity that night and Cheney had enough.

He was not only upset about the loss, but also at the low graduation rates at UMass Black basketball players under Calipari. That was his reason for going after Calipari but most people are unaware of.

The American media portrayed Chaney as a crazy man be never reported the reasons why. However, the images of him going after Calipari lingers in many Americans minds.


Black males exploding with rage and anger, strikes fear in most peoples mind. America still wants Black males to be quiet and old Stepin Fetchit it in the sports world.

America does not want African American males to make any political statements nor stand up for your fellow Black players, nor be proud to be an African American male, just get paid at the end of the day, end of the month, or end of the year, and go home.

“Ya sir masa I’m here for ya masa”

“I’ll be cooning for ya masa”

“I be Skinning and Grinning for ya masa”

Just look at African American football bamboozlers Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson. They are the new heroes of the White Sports networks because they do not threaten the white establishments.

This is the image that sports establishment want, Black clowns. Black, yes men. Owens and Johnson are smiling all the way to the bank. Owens and Johnson fill the bill.

Think about this the deafing sound of Black quarterbacks Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell of Washington. The silence of Allen Iverson of the Detroit Pistons and last the silence of numerous Black hockey players in the minor leagues.

When will African American males in sports be allowed to speak their mind without repercussions? When will they be allowed to show constructive anger on the court, on the field, and on the diamond?