Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bad words...Bad punishment....by Thom Abraham

Kelly Tilghman said a stupid thing. Actually, it was a thoughtless thing...thoughtless is the sense that she didn't tie the words she was using to make a point to the target of her point. Being glib with Golf Channel co-anchor Nick Faldo, and trying to explain the death grip her friend Tiger Woods has on golf, she quipped that the young guys on tour should, "Lynch him in a back alley" Oops, she forgot Tiger was black...at least partially black. Being in the business of delivering the live word, I know how easy it is to get loose with the tongue. Tilghman apologized on air and then apologized to Tiger, who said it was a "non-issue". And that was the end of it.
But then Al Sharpton said it was an issue. Akin to Sharpton saying "Woman should be raped" or "Jews should be in a Gas Chamber" . And now the Golf Channel has suspended Tilghman for two weeks without pay. Ironically, she'll return for the Buick Invitational, Tiger's first tournament of the year.
We are led to believe that using the "Lynch" comment would have been OK if discussing Jack Nicklaus, and if she just said, "Tying up" Tiger that would have been fine. But Kelly Tilghman forgot Tiger was black...because she just sees him as a friend. She forgot to label him...so thanks to the Al Sharptons of the world for reminding for reminding us NOT to be colorblind...

5 comments:

Joseph Abraham said...

I totally agree with your comments on this issue. I think this is the best blog you have written. In no way was she attacking Tiger or his ethnicity. It was a simple quip, said on a whim, that I am sure she soon realized was a mistake. Not only is Tiger one of the most lovable guys in sports, but he is a great man in a world where there are too few. I don't think there is anyone out there who would want to see Tiger lose a tournament, much less his life. It was a joke that was unthoughtful, but not meant to hurt anyone. Except, apparently, Al Sharpton. I am surprised Tiger has not reacted and told Sharpton to shove it. Especially since more people care about Tiger Woods last shot than Sharptons' next, or last, anything... Its unfortunate, what she said, but it does not even scratch the surface of comments like "nappy headed hoes". Not even the same ballpark... I am sure she has learned a great lesson from this though...

ClementUT said...

Let me begin by saying that as a Black male, I wasn't particularly disturbed by what Ms. Tilghman said. Perhaps I have become jaded over the years by comments such as this. Perhaps I have learned to gain a touch of perspective. In any event, I no longer allow ignorance and/or thoughtless comments to diminish who I am as a person. Ms. Tilghman's comments, although sophomoric and without thought, should be taken in the proper context.

As an adult and an American citizen (not just African-American), I don't believe that people like Al Sharpton should serve as an all-encompassing representative for all Black people. While I respect the work he has done in the past, I feel that he has helped foster a sense of disillusionment among all people. Unfortunately, most of my melanin-challenged brethren have become jaded and feel attacked. I don't feel that you can place guilt upon an entire segment of people and expect them to be sympathetic to your cause.

There will also be a segment of society that does not respect what Black people to this country, but I choose not to spotlight every negative word that is said against us. The path to equality will always be rocky, but we must learn how to keep our eyes on the prize. If that means overlooking a few ignorant comments in order to achieve equality, then that is what I will do.

Frank
knarf56@gmail.com

Eric said...

I'm going to say what I have almost been "lynched" over in college classrooms during heated discussions on this topic:

Get rid of the NAACP and other such organizations that promote Unity through Division. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and these organizations don't help advance blacks (I use this term because I hate "dashed" American titles. Everyone is an American!). They only hurt them.

Why is America so damn politically correct? Because of people like these! I have to be afraid to go in and say any type of stereotype toward anyone about anyone because I'm afraid I'll get attacked or something of the sort.

I'm going to stick with what was said a while ago: stereotypes are there because there is some sort of truth to them.

I will admit that slavery is one of the worst tragedies in American history, and lynching was a large part of this, but it's been over 200 years since slaves were freed. Terms such as lynching when directed toward a black should absolutely be used with caution, but in this day-in-age, that term shouldn't be taken harmful! It's been a very long time and people need to get over things.

Oye... This stuff annoys me.

It's not like she said something like "nappy headed hos"...

Anonymous said...

An American folk hero named Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering America. In reality, the biggest impact the man had on the country was what he brought with him. Slavery. How can we celebrate a man like this, but get mad when someone says "lynched" about a black man. First, lets examine the definition: "To execute without due process of law, especially to hang, as by a mob." Where in that definition does it say "Only done to African-American citizens"? I didn't think it was a racially specific act...

Many of the worlds ethnicities have faced hard times in the past. Indians forced out of their lands. Jews, killed because of their hair color. Asian-Pacific Islanders, discriminated against because of the Pearl Harbor attacks. African-Americans and slavery... And that is just in America... We all know that at some time or another, people meet these challenges. But Americans as a whole have been attacked as well. For our belief in freedom, we are attacked and forced to arm and protect ourselves. Young men die every day so that we may only worry about how our different colored neighbors may feel. But we are being attacked together. Our families died in the towers together. Our brothers fight a war together.

Sure, family doesn't always get along. They don't always make the right decision and say the right thing. Not saying that the past in not important, but the present is more important. We are trying to move past our mistakes. Not forget them, but not hold them against our brothers. We call ourselves things like United... Yet we hold grudges against each other for things we were never involved in. Why is that?

Trey Boro said...

She is pretty and has a great smile. I support beautiful Ladies that have the courage to do what She is doing. Maybe they should make her appologize and Grill Steaks for all the Guys at her next event she covers. Maybe make her Wear a Bikini and an apron that says " Tiger Rules" .