Friday, July 20, 2012

Republican Racism Example #61: A New York Post Writer Says Call An NBA Team The "Brooklyn Niggers"

It’s not much of a secret that the Rupert Murdoch media empire, including Fox News and the New York Post, is either run by racists or the powers there have deliberately chosen to appeal to the lowest common denominator by demonizing African Americans and Latinos.  But New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick set a new low for the conglomerate May 4.  Angered by rapper Jay-Z’s part ownership of the newly relocated Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association, the writer suggested in his ‘Equal Time” column that the franchise be renamed the “New York N-----s.”


New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick suggests that since the Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise is partly owned by an African American rapper, Jay-Z, the team should be re-dubbed the "New York Niggers" and the cheerleaders the "Brooklyn Hoes."  (Photo from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J04RSdoihwM/T6k3aPrjOQI/AAAAAAAABNk/ksiNik0NTRI/s1600/mushnick.jpg).  

As is the habit with bigots when they are called on their intolerance, Mushnick later implied that Jay-Z was actually the racist for supposedly promoting stereotypes of African Americans as gangsters, promoting a thuggish lifestyle, and using the “n-word” himself in his lyrics.  The problem is that Mushnick said none of this in his column.  Instead, without proving any context for his remarks, he got in the gutter, wallowing in ugly caricatures of African American culture and hurling racial epithets.   As he wrote:

“As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots -- what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new "urban" home -- why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment?

Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!”  (See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/phil-mushnick-jay-z-nets-racist-new-york-post_n_1477927.html).

Only after being called out on his ugly language, did Mushnick rationalize his outburst. "Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I'M the racist?" he later wrote. "Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about."
Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, is not exactly a hardcore rapper and he owns only a small percentage of the Nets, who just relocated to Brooklyn from New Jersey.  He has been deeply involved in poverty relief efforts in Africa and was highly active in raising money for victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005.  It’s hard to correlate Jay-Z’s career with the depth of Mushnick’s rage at the performer’s status as an NBA owner. 



Sports writers like Phil Mushnick think that African Americans like Jay-Z should stay at the back of the sports bus and out of the ownership suites. (Photo from http://static7.businessinsider.com/image/4fa409d169bedd7161000018-400-300/new-york-post-phil-mushnick-brooklyn-nets-new-york-n-.jpg).  
Perhaps Mushnick, who writes for the highly conservative, pro-Republican Party Murdoch-owned Post, doesn’t like Jay-Z’s politics.  The rapper strongly supported President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.   Perhaps Mushnick doesn’t like African Americans moving to the front of the bus in pro sports.  There are 122 professional sports franchises in the United States, as the Philadelphia Tribune reported last year, and just one black majority owner. Michael Jordan, who owns a majority stake in the Carolina Bobcats, is the lone standout.  Sports ownership remains a white man’s club in spite of the fact that 65 percent of players in the National Football League are African Americans and an incredible 80 percent of NBA players are black.  (See http://www.phillytrib.com/commentaryarticles/item/1164-122-teams-one-black-major-owner.html).   At the executive level, Americans sports are almost as Jim Crow as they were in the time of Jackie Robinson.
Or perhaps Mushnick’s racist rant had more to do with the politics of the New York Post’s owner, Rupert Murdoch.  Hostility to African Americans has become a core value in the right-winger’s media holdings.
Witness the March 18, 2009 editorial cartoon in the Post which depicted a police officer holding a smoking gun near a bleeding, dead chimpanzee.  “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” the cop says.  The cartoon appeared soon after an incident in which a pet chimpanzee in Connecticut had attacked the friend of its owner and following a contentious debate over President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill.  The chimp was clearly meant to represent the president.  It also provided a disturbing insight into cartoonist Sean Delomas’ violent political fantasies regarding the nation’s first black president.  Delomas, by the way, has a history of dimwitted, racist and homophobic cartoons at the newspaper. (See http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/03/republican-racism-example-40-new-york.html). 



A 2009 New York Post cartoon portraying President Barack Obama as a dead chimpanzee.  (Image from  http://gawker.com/5155855/ten-vile-cartoons-from-sean-delonas). 
Since Obama’s election in November 2008 Murdoch’s Fox News channel has repeatedly hyped stories aimed at frightening its overwhelmingly white audience (only 1.38 percent of Fox viewers are black, according to a 2010 Neilsen survey).  Around the clock, Fox has aired segments about the miniscule New Black Panther Party, community groups with high minority membership like ACORN, and mellow black rappers like Common.  The stories all have a common theme – dark, violent people seeking to corrupt the political process and take the country away from whites.  In one infamous incident, Fox repeatedly aired a misleadingly edited tape of a speech by a black Department of Agriculture official named Shirley Sherrod that made it appear that she used her office to harm white farmers.  The he speech was actually about racial reconciliation.  (See http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/07/27/109823/fox-viewers-african-american/ and http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/02/republican-racism-example-17-fox-news.html). 
 Fox primetime host Sean Hannity used to give extended airtime on his radio program to a Neo-Nazi named Hal Turner, without critical commentary. (see http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/02/republican-racism-example-18-sean.html).  Recently he has extended the same service to George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin earlier this year.  Hannity has not given similar airtime to any African American facing criminal charges.  (See http://www.examiner.com/article/gods-plan-might-include-10-years-for-zimmerman-after-doing-stupid-interview?cid=rss). 
Former Fox host Glenn Beck called the mostly African American victims of Hurricane Katrina “scumbags” (see http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/03/republican-racism-example-45-glenn-beck.html).  Finally, Bill O’Reilly in 2007 expressed astonishment, after visiting the famous Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem that among the mostly black patrons there “wasn't any kind of craziness at all . . . There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M.F.-er, I want more iced tea’ . . . It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense that people were sitting there and they were ordering and just having fun." (see http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/26/oreilly.race/index.html). 



Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was stunned in 2007 to discover that the mostly black patrons of Sylvia's, a famous soul food restaurant in Harlem, don't shout out, "Motherfucker, I want ice tea," but act like polite white people.  (Photo from http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/26/oreilly.race/index.html). 
Fox News occasionally presents an on-air black face, like that of reporter Juan Williams to conceal its racism from its reality-denying demographic. But this is mere media minstrelsy.  Want proof?  Mushnick was not suspended or fired for his hate speech.  One must assume that the New York Post endorses the idea of calling the Nets the "Niggers."  Perhaps we should call the Post the New York Klansman.  




Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

4 comments:

  1. odd discontent between his thoughts on Jay-Z and what precedes them:

    "DIFFERENT RULES: Paul O’Neill, who was known for throwing bats and kicking water coolers, was called “a warrior” by members of the media, while Amar’e Stoudemire has been vilified for punching a glass-enclosed inanimate object."

    It’s as if he was on the cusp of a eureka moment...

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  2. New York Niggers! Lol, that is a classic :)))))

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  3. Crawl back in your cave, pathetic trogladyte. (Have someone look up the word for you.)

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