A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Laughing At Allen Iverson
The Lancers have offered Iverson $20,000 per game, with a bonus of $5,000 per goal scored, win bonuses and merchandise bonuses. More than 12 goals are scored, on average, per game.
The “catch; “The Lancers have only two games left this season.
No you don’t think that isn’t the question asked in suburban and rural sportsbars across the land? How low will this once proud/arrogant, (depending perhaps on your perspective/skin-color) warrior/hard-court jester (depending on . . . you get it) stoop to fend-off the bill collectors? No? That’s not what this is about for all the millions of White guy sports fans who’ve longed for this moment like they did when the sports press was demeaning and mocking Vince Young when he supposedly had a quasi-mental breakdown at the hands of Jeff Fisher? Humiliation was a prime motivating factor in the Mike Vick affair and the Plaxico Burress shooting. Recall how there were, and remains those who wanted Mike Vick not just “punished” by the legal system, but they wanted him to, if allowed to play again in the NFL, be relegated to a so-called non-thinking position . . . a large slice of the WASP sentiment desired to belittle, slight, insult, humiliate Vick . . . put him back in his proper place.To enforce their historical belief that Blacks are mentally feeble, however physically gifted, primarily because we’re closer to primates or neanderthals. I’d venture to say some of that traditional racist mentality is at play with this team’s tempting of AL, but more-so I believe the racial insult is the motivation behind sportswriters and fans wanting him to lower himself to this sideshow carnival act – to illustrate that the “Black player,” especially the brash, confident/cocky Iverson type – are in their purest form, nothing more then physically gifted buffoons, if not baboons. Allen Iverson’s fall was hoped-for by millions, and it has a lot to do with what he represented, for his era; a bad-boy out of angry, arrogant John Thompson’s Georgetown’s “gang.” He looked like a uncut product of the Hood, reflecting the wangster/gangster/tankster . . . baller angry attitude which . . . alarmed White America. Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre, Easy E – AI personified these young men . . . and most of White America blindly hated them. AI took it a cross-over move beyond Charles Barkley’s comments about not giving a damn about White folks being “comfortable” with him, Iverson embodied and symbolized the disconnected and indifferent young Black American – who was much less interested in accommodating the White establishment by as simulating into mainstream All-American cultures then previous generations of Blacks. I’ve often written that AI was, unfortunately the poster boy for a lost generation, and that as Black folks we were faced with a no brainer dilemma, who do you want your son to grow up to be – Tiger Woods or AI? Who do you want your little princess to marry, Grant Hill or Allen Iverson – I stand by my position. AI’s rant about “Practice? Practice? You talkin’ bout practice” was the conformation many needed to confirm Iverson, as his peers . . . just didn’t get it. But AI is a tragic story, and he reflects another tragic generation of babies having babies having babies, i.e., young Black men, abandoned and betrayed by everyone from their biological fathers to their, dig this . . . country. So with that dose-of-reality in-mind, I’m not shocked nor surprised by the trials n’ tribulations of Iverson. I understand he’s the culmination of individual choices . . . but also a man born poor and Black in a national where about 65% of the White population wants to return to 1953 and racial segregation. Nonetheless this peculiar predicament he was born into placed him “against all odds” and “in harms way,” from day one. I also understand the segment of US society who helped make the odds against him so great, so-very overwhelming is collectively/individually White folks – an indifferent White America – who claim to be colorblind, and with that noted, have created a country where life’s chips simply fall where they may . . . and what do you know? They win . . . everybody else, you lose. What a coincident, yes? The rise of the eternally privileged is as predictable as the fall of the great grandsons of slaves, no?