Archive for the On Sports! Category

Don’t Believe the Hype!

Posted in On Sports! with tags on July 17, 2017 by playthell

Bidding on the Sugar Ray vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler World Title Match

Reflections of a Boxing Wiseguy on Mayweather v McGregor

This seems to be the season for suckers, and bunko artists are running rampant!!! There are so many pootbutt marks around you don’t even have to be a real bullshit artists who has mastered the basic tecniques of the con to play these chumps! You can tell that from the third rate grifter who bullshitted his way into the White House!

So if milions of pooty-pops went forTrump – mostly dumb white folks pissed off that Obama spent the last eight years in the White House and is adored around the world, while Trump is a universal laughing stock – millions of white folks who yearn to see Pertty Boy Floyd get his arrogant black ass kicked are shelling out 89 and 99 dollars for the pay per view hoax. And he is gonna walk away with GRAND THEFT DOUGH AGAIN!!!! Floyd has whipped 26 WORLD CHAMPIONS; in the process making many of them look like amatuers at the apex of their prowess!

Mayweather Vs Carnelo in Vegas

Floyd  Taking Yet Another Undefeated World Champion to School

 Take my word for it folks, you are being gamed! The vulgar spectacle that masquarades as pre-fight press conferences – an artless clown show that is more embarrassing than entertaining – is a desperate attempt to sell this hoax to a public begging to be fleeced of their coin. Take the advice of a boxing wiseguy folks: KEEP YO MONEY IN YO POCKET AND WAIT FOR THIS BLACK AND WHITE MINSTRLE SHOW TO COME ON YOU TUBE!

Save yo money because I can tell you what will happen right now. A brawling, akward, stumblebum McGregor cannot hit Floyd Mayweather WITH A HAND FULL OF RICE!!!!!! That’s how good Floyd is at the art of pugilism…when he steps into the ring boxing becomes a “Sweet Science.” The objective of boxing is to hit and not get hit and FLOYD MAYWEATHER IS THE BEST THAT EVER DID THIS!!!!

My assessment of Floyd Mayweather’s place in the history of pugilism is based on SCIENCE NOT SENTIMENT!!! Thanks to the marvels of computer science we can now analyze boxing matches – live or on films – and see who hit whom when, where and how often. All of the great fighters matches have now been analyzd by Compu-Stat, which reveals that Floyd Mayweather is the BEST EVER FIGHTING UNDER THE MARQUIS DE QUEENSBURY RULES OF PUGILISM!!!! Which are the rules that will govern the McGregor vs.Mayweather rumble.

Hence the question on everyone’s lips who are intrested in combat sports is does Connor McGregor have a chance? What are the odds? Well, after all things are considered, I put McGregor’s chances of prevailing over Pertty boy Floyd as less than the chances of a SNOWBALL’S SURVIVAL IN A PIZZA OVEN!!!!

 Pretty Boy Floyd Cajoles His Next Victim!
 Photo by> Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
 A Grand Master of the Sweet Science at Work!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York

July 2017

Here’s Johnny! An American Master

Posted in Cultural Matters, Film Criticism, On Sports! with tags , , , on March 12, 2017 by playthell
playthell-and-johnny-chocranPlaythell and Johnny hangin out at Katie Couric’s Party, in Manhattan

Notes on O.J. Made in America

Suddenly O. J. Simpson is in the news again, and from all appearances the “Trial of the Twentieth Century” is creeping into the 21st century. The “Juice” is being introduced to another generation in this new century by virtue of two films, one a documentary the other a feature film:  O.J. Simpson: Made in America, and The People Vs. O. J. Simpson.   I have not seen The People vs O.J. Simpson, but I am watching O.J. Made in America as I write.  When the documentary, directed by award winning film maker Ezra Benjamin Edelman, won the coveted Academy Award, I was shocked!

I had already seen Raoul Peck’s marvelous documentary on James Baldwin: “I’m Not Your Negro,” and I knew any movie that beat Peck’s documentary had to be great.  For Peck had provided us a poignant portrait of the turbulent history of race relations in 20th century America, told in the words of James Baldwin – one of the most powerful essayist of the last century, whose pen greatly enriched the English language – graphically illustrated with photographs and video. It was a powerful presentation: riveting, enlightening, uplifting, a sublime experience.  But the Academy chose the O. J. Documentary instead.  I couldn’t wait to see it.

As it turns out O.J. Made in America is a production of ESPN, the sports channel, it’s a part of their excellent 30 for 30 series, and the multi-part series is still being broadcast.  I stumbled upon the film when I awoke about five o-clock in the morning, after having fallen asleep with the television on, and found the documentary just beginning.  After watching about four hours of this seven-hour epic on race, class, sports and the power of American celebrity culture – which made a demi-god of O.J. and put Donald Trump in the White House – I agree with the Academy.   This is a great documentary!   I was unable to leave it except to run to the bathroom.

When I first heard about the film my reaction was: “What else is there to know about O.J. Simpson?  After all, the cat really ain’t that deep.”  I was wrong.  A great part of the insightfulness of this documentary is due to the unique perspective Edelman brings to this project. As the son of Marian Wright Edelman, the long-time Director of the Children Defense Fund, the inequities faced by many children at birth has long been a topic of conversation in his household.

His sense of justice is enhanced by the fact that his father Peter B. Edelman is a law professor at Georgetown University.  And by virtue of the fact that his mother is Afro-American and his father is a Jew, Ezra has seen the world from both sides. His maternal grandfather is a Baptist minister and his paternal grandfather was a Polish Rabbi who was killed in the holocaust.  He attended a Quaker high school and earned a degree from Yale.  He was born in Boston and raised in Washington DC. What a unique perspective from which to view American society.

Ezra Benjamin Edelman

ezra-benjamin-edelman

Academy Award winning Director

I welcome the arrival of this film with such an even-handed report because I have always advocated looking at the O.J. Simpson affair objectively; give him his day in court and try to live with the verdict.  During his dramatic trial for killing his blond wife and her young Jewish lover, I was not one of those black people who was running around chanting “Cut the Juice Loose!”  At the time of the trial I was an Editorial Page columnist with the New York Daily News, and I wrote three columns on the incident.  I remember well how I came to write them.

At first, like everybody else, I was shocked at the accusation that old smiley O.J. brutally slaughtered two innocent people; not this hail fellow well met.   And while I believed he should be assumed innocent, I didn’t insist upon it as an act of blind faith.  As the details of their relationship began to emerge, I found his brutality toward his wife Nicole both shocking and appalling.  Yet I was troubled by the swelling cries for O.J. Simpson’s head.  They reminded me too much of the southern lynch mobs that terrified me in my youth.

Although I had never personally witnessed a lynching, I read about them and saw grim pictures of the victims, and I was living in a southern town where you knew that such an atrocity could happen given the right circumstances – that there was an element of white men in the town, including the sheriff, who were quite capable of forming a lynch mob. So, I was turned off by the howl of the white mob.  In fact, my second Daily News Column on the O.J. affair addressed just this issue.  Not being a lawyer, I had no original legal insights to offer, so I concentrated on the issues that surrounded the trial.

Hence the first Column was an attempt to place the story of O. J. and Nicole in a historical and cultural context.  I talked about how a story about a hyper-masculine black man who marries and murders a beautiful innocent white woman would resonate deep in the collective psyche of Americans.  For anyone who studied English literature, as we all had, and is familiar with the classics of the western literary canon, Othello immediately comes to mind.  Although, to fully grasp O.J.’s personality, it would require referencing two of Shakespeare’s plays – Othello and Titus Andronicus.

While O.J. can be seen as Othello, because he is accused of murdering his white wife in a fit of jealous rage fueled by his suspicion that she had taken another lover, Othello is constantly referred to even by his enemies as “noble Othello,” or “The noble Moor.” But, alas, O.J.’s character has more in common with the treacherous Aron the Moor in Titus Andronicus.  A few years before O.J. was accused of killing his wife I had published a lengthy treatise titled “Did Shakespeare Intend Othello to be Black: Reflections on Blacks and the Bard,” that was anthologized in the text “Othello: New Essays by Black Writers,” edited by the distinguished Shakespearean scholar Dr. Maithili Kaul and published by Howard University Press.

On that occasion, I had argued that in the dramatis Personae of Shakespeare’s two Moors he invested the polarities of virtue and vice, hero and villain.  O.J. embodies aspects of both characters, and like them he is a warrior; not in the literal sense but symbolically.  Othello and Aron were both fighting men, soldiers; O.J. is a football player, a blood sport that is a metaphor for war.  And all of these images of violent black manhood, these cultural references, are embedded, along with recollections of Emitt Til and Willie Horton, in the racial memory of black and white Americans.

Alas, the most persistent theme in American history is racial conflict between African and European Americans.  This is why such intense interest in the Nicole Brown / O.J. Simpson murder case persists; it is powerful testimony to the truth of Nobel Laurate in Literature William Faulkner’s observation “The past isn’t even past.”

Hence when Johnny Cochran took on the defense of O.J. Simpson, he inherited all of the thorny issues surounding the history of race relations in American; including the instinct for mob Justice to exact retribution for what whites view as black offenses against their kith and kin.  This issue becomes as explosive as nitro-glycerin if the victim is a white woman, and it becomes even more explosive to the degree that she is blond, beautiful, and apparently innocent.  In the minds of many white men it is a blasphemy akin to befouling he precincts of heaven; hence many of them felt O.J. did not even deserve a trial at all.  They wanted to string him up from the nearest tree mucho pronto….if they had their druthers.

One of the most valuable achievements of this remarkable documentary film is the skillful ways in which the director weaves vignettes about the broader experience of Afro-Americans with racism  in the USA and how it affects the perceptions of Blacks and whites in the way they view the Simpson trial.  From the outset blacks viewed O.J.’s guilt with skepticism, and whites dismissed the assumption of innocence. Of course, it goes without saying that I am not talking about all whites or blacks; rather I am speaking in the aggregate based on opinion polls.  Hence Johnny Cochran was viewed with growing suspicion by whites, while blacks rooted for his success in defending O.J.

After the racist statements of Detective Mark Furman, who had found the bloody glove which the prosecution said was worn by O.J. while committing the crime, was exposed on an audio tape in the courtroom, the prosecution lost faith with most black Americans – including the Jury.  After listening to Detective Furman routinely calling Afro-Americans “niggers;” casually discussing how white cops brutalized and framed innocent black men; and declaring that he would like to see “all niggers killed,” the Black community became convinced that the fix was in and O.J. had been framed by the LAPD based on the lies of a racist white detective.

 A Dramatic Moment Tailor Made for A Professional Actor
o-j-simpson-iii
If it Don’t Fit…You Must Acquit!

johnny-cochran-iii

The Coup de Grace!

When this compelling evidence Furman’s racism was added to a major blunder by the prosecution, who ordered O.J. to try on the bloody glove and it didn’t fit, it gave Johnny Cochran the opening to charge the jury with the compelling rhyme: “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit!” The film examines this moment in a way that allows us to observe O.J., the experienced screen actor, at work. He recognized the high drama of the moment and made the most of it; turning to the camera and triumphantly thrusting his hands into the air to emphasize the fact that the glove didn’t fit!

His transparent effort to brazenly play to the cheap seats and milk the scene for all it would yield, conjured up the warning of that consummate thespian Sir Lawrence Olivier, who warned aspiring actors: “Acting is a noble profession but the actor must never be caught doing it!”   In the film, other members of the prosecution team all say they were against the disastrous courtroom demonstration because it went against a cardinal rule of good lawyering: “Don’t ask questions before a jury when you are not sure of the correct answer.”

But, alas, they say Darden saw this demonstration as an opportunity to kill two quails with one stone: to put O.J. away for murder, and salvage his reputation from the accusation that he was an “Uncle Tom,” who was being used by the white power structure to frame an innocent black star. Hence upon the insistence of Chris Darden, the only black attorney on the prosecution team, the other prosecutors went against their better judgement and allowed O.J. to try on the glove…and it sank their case!

However the thing that enraged white Americans most, was when Johnny Cochran dramatically compared Detective Mark Furman’s beliefs about black people to Adolph Hitler’s beliefs about Jews.  This was one of the most telling moments in the film, because it demonstrates the willful ignorance and denial of the obvious similarities of Hitler’s Master Race theories and the racist white supremacist ideology of white America.  Alas, the film maker missed a perfect opportunity to clarify this widespread misunderstanding.

The fact of the matter is that Hitler actually imported his racist ideology from the USA.  Never has the Afro-American historian Dr. Benjamin Quarles’ axiom rang truer: “He who would understand the complex realities of the present needs the added dimension of historical perspective.”  For it is well documented that Hitler adopted his Master race theories from a book by a leader in the American Eugenicist Movement: The Passing of the Great Race, by Madison Grant, published in 1917.  We know this because historians have found a letter from Hitler in Grant’s personal papers where the Nazi leader thanks Grant for writing the tome and enthusiatically declares: “Your book is my Bible!” Hence despite the opprobrium heaped upon him Johnny Cochran was right on target.  Nazi racial ideology and American white supremacy are the same class of phenomenon and it, like O.J. was made in the good old USA!

Despite this oversight however, the documentary does a good job of connecting the dots when it comes to white racism, Afro-Americans and the O.J. Simpson case.  And their inclusion of the brilliant litigator F. Lee Bailey’s cross examination of Mark Thurman on the stand, exposing him as a flaming racist sicko, is one of the outstanding episodes in the film.

They also spared no effort in exploring Johnny Cochran’s brilliance as a trial lawyer; his elegance and eloquence were fully on display. (see video clips of both lawyers in the courtroom at the bottom of this essay) As was the feelings of the jurors, the jubilation of the black community nationwide over O.J.’s acquittal, and the rage of white America that O.J. got away with “a double murder.”   The importance and power of this trial can still be seen in the intense emotions it evokes after all these years.

The Master at Work

johnny-cochran

Mesmerizing the Jurors with Erudition and the Magic Power of Speech

The shock, rage and outrage of white America upon the acquital of O.J.Simpson by a black Jury in Los Angeles is poignantly portrayed in this film.  It was as if the heat of white anger was fed by two blazing fires: O.J. got away with murdering some white folks, and the “niggers were laughing!”  It seemed that everywhere you looked black people were laughing; to white eyes it must have looked like every black person in the world was laughing!

Based on their comments, it sure sounded like that’s what they thought and it just seemed to piss them off more. I remember network television news reports showing students at the Howard University School of Law, and they were cheering like Howard had just won the annual “Whiskey Bowl” against their hated rival Lincoln University. What happened at Howard was of special interests to white commentators because of it’s venerable reputation as “The Capstone of Negro Higher Education.”

Under the leadership of it’s founding Dean, the brilliant and elegant Harvard trained lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston, Howard law laid the legal ground work for a team of Houston’s students led by gifted constitutional lawyer Thurgood Marshall – who would go on to become the first Black Justice on the Supreme Court – changed American society into a better place with their unanimous victory in the historic Brown V. The Board of Ed Decision.  

The white folks got so upset after repeated viewings of the jubilatiion at Howard that I felt compelled to write my third Daily News column on the history of white anxiety over black laughter in America.  My intention was to tutor my readers – and those who would hear me read and discuss the column on my radio show “Talk Back,” broadcast over WBAI FM – on the fact that white people have always gotten uptight when the see  black people laughing.

This has been discussed by white commentators going back to the 18th century, who pointed out that the source of white unease lay in the fact that they couldn’t see what was funny, and suspected that we might be laughing at them.  There are numerous references to this in the writings of white Americans from literary figures and journalists to private diaries.  Afro-American cultural critic Mel Watkins discusses this question in some depth in his seminal text on Afro-american comedy “On the Real Side: The Underground Tradition of Black Humor.”

At one point white anxiety over black laughter became so intense that “Laughing Barrels” were installed on the down town streets so if blacks felt like laughing in the presence of whites they had to rush to the barrels, stick their heads into them, and then laugh! None of this was mentioned in the film, but then this was my unique contribution to news commentary…I had been a history professor before I became a journalist.  Everything becomes clearer when viewed from the hindsight of history.

Among the special virtues of this film, which suffers an embarrassment of riches regarding virtue, is that it goes on to give us a good summation of O.J.’s life after the trial.  He tries desperately to regain the love of a white public that once adored the ground he walked on, but millions of his former fans were through with him for good.  And all the money he was making as the top pitchman in America evaporated.  For whether he killed his wife or not, the 911 tapes from Nicole left no doubt that he certainly battered and abused her; he would have been jailed for treating a dog that way.

One of the most shameful and embarrassing episodes in this richly sourced documentary is the hero’s embrace that O.J. received from the black community.  He did not deserve it!  O.J. Simpson had been running from any involvement with the black community as hard as he ran from defenders on the fotball field ever since he was in college, which is made clear in the film.  However, I became aware of this right after O.J. won the much coveted Heisman Trophy, which is annually awarde to “the best player in college football.”

I attended his party celebrating the event at USC, as the guest of my good friend Bobby Barnes, a baseball great and the father of Barry Bonds – who should be in the Hall of Fame – and I  noticed that O.J’s friends were virtually all white.  They shamelessly genuflected before him like a bronze God!  The white girls flocked around him like bees to honey, and he possessed the sort of arrogance that made him think any woman in the room was his for the asking.

I noticed this when he attempted to flirt with the lady I was with, a stunning beauty with a Ph.d in mathemetics.  However it was comical because she got off on brains not brawn, and had become mesmerized by a lecture I gave at UCLA on the dynamics of mass transformative movements as a class of phemomena by conducting a comparative analysis of the Black Liberation movement in the US, the American Feminist movement and the Chinese Revolution…which had inspired a standing ovation from the audience.  And since the country was aflame with mass protests this was a very hot topic  of broad interests….plus I was quite a physical specimen myself – a former highschool football player  six feet tall, a solid 215 pounds – and a silver tongued ladies man.  O.J. was a barely articulate square with no game off the football field, who got by on his looks and celebrity status.  I was amused at his futile attempts to impressed Dr. Fine.

Dr. Fine Braiding my Hair

The Juice bombed with this Brainiac

Shortly after the party, a friend of mine with the United Negro College Fund approached him about doing a public service spot soliciting money for Black colleges.  O.J. refused the request and frankly told her that he did not wish to be identified with anything racial.   My impression of him from that day forward was that he is what the old folks in Florida, when I was a boy, called: “A White Folks Nigger!”   Hence while this superb and candid film offered many new insights, it did nothing to change my initial impression….in fact the revelations of this in-depth documentary confirmed it.

 

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The Moment O.J. Tries on the Glove
https://youtu.be/16KaoVmVTPE
 F. Lee Bailey’s Exposes Furman’s Racism on the Stand
https://youtu.be/UyuqBOBM12s
 The Great Johnny Cochran in his Closing Argument
https://youtu.be/sBobchfpiVM

Playthel Benjamin Interviewed by NBC on O.J

In the Studio of WBAI FM, New York  circa 1994
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 5, 2017

 

A Sports Reporter’s Homage to Obama

Posted in Cultural Matters, On Sports! with tags , , , on March 3, 2017 by playthell
samori-interviews-raptorsSamori Benjamin interviewing Toronto Raptors shooting guard deMar DeRozan

Black NBA Stars Bid Obama Goodbye

Wise men may justifiably question if we have the right to feel pride in our ancestors; for what, after all, did we have to do with their achievements that would justify our gloating.  Hence one could argue that we are trying to “hitch a ride on their cool.”  But there is no question that we can justly take pride in our progeny; especially if one has been a present and active parent.  Whenever one is skillful enough to command the trust of your children, and well equipped to pass on wisdom, then none can deny that such a parent can claim some pride in their worth-while achievements.

My son Samori is a sports reporter, and like his cousin Jimmy Strawder, a distinguished architect, Samori has known what he wanted to do since he was a boy.  At first, like all boys who enthusiastically participate in organized sports, he aspired to become a professional athlete, a major-league baseball player. While he enjoys all sports I think his choice of baseball was determined by several specific things that I can see.

First, he grew up in Manhattan, which means that unlike the small Florida town that I grew up in there were not a lot of vacant fields where kids could play games like football – which was my sport of choice.  And in retrospect I can see that my choice of football was virtually inevitable growing up in Florida, where football is a civic religion, and a rite of passage into manhood – a demonstration of manly valor as well as a courtship ritual. But for Samori it was going to be baseball or basketball.

And since he could view the magnificent spectacle of Yankee Stadium, all lit up on summer nights, out of his living room windows, close enough to hear the cheers, he became curious as to what sort of wondrous magic was taking place in the giant arena that looked a lot like a space ship about to take off. Samori’s fate was sealed when he met the future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield on a trip to Yankee Stadium when he was five years old in an event sponsored by the Dave Winfield Foundation. 

Dave came out to greet the kids and gave them all baseball gloves, and thus began Samori’s love affair with baseball – which he played through Little League and High School- where he began to split his time with the art of Saber fencing.  After spending several years away at college he returned to the City and began to cover the Yankees as the Sports Reporter and Editor at WBAI FM radio in New York City.  He also wrote sports stories for The Black World Today.com and other outlets.  Now his writings and broadcast archives regularly appear on the website wbaisports.com.  Samori is also finishing a book on the disappearing Afro-American Major League baseball player based on extensive interviews of players and managers.

Hence as a sports reporter Samori’s work is sensitive to how developments in sport reflects what is happening in the wider society.  This feature, NBA Players Say Goodbye to President Obama, is a poignant example of the social consciousness that characterizes Samori’s work.  In this report he has systematically collected the heartfelt feelings of black professional basketball stars, and edited them into a seamless epic commentary that captures an important episode in American history, preserving the heartfelt testimony of rich, famous, young black men who are legends in their own time.

This is a moving tribute to President Obama and a historical document that, like the finest of wines….will continue to grow better and more valuable with time!

The Players Loved the fact that ‘Chilly B” is a Baller!

baracks-got-hops

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Kyle Lowry, Point Guard, Toronto Raptors

samori-and-nba-player

Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri.
samori-and-raptors-general-manager He Spoke as a Friend of Obama and Painted a Moving Portrait 
 Click on link to hear their Tribute

 

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Introduction By: Playthell G. Benjamin
Writer, Producer and Host of the NBA Tribute
Playthell “Samori” Benjamin
March 2, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

The End of the World is Near!!!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, On Nuclear War, On Sports!, On the 2016 Presidential Election, You Tube Classics on September 21, 2016 by playthell
a-terryfying-nuclear-explosionA Vision of Doomsday

Sixty Minutes Exposes the Doomsday Machine

God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign/No more water/The Fire Next Time!

This is an exceedingly strange political season where the bizarre has become common place.  For instance a New York real estate huckster and transparent con man with no experience in government is threatening to defeat the most qualified candidate in US history for the presidency.  Yet the fact that there is no serious mention, let alone discussion, of the unique horrors of nuclear weapons and the growing probability of an accidental nuclear war is the strangest thing of all.

For despite the false sense of security most Americans enjoy, believing the end of Communism and the Cold War with what was Soviet Russia has removed the danger of nuclear holocaust, it ain’t necissarily so.  It is a comforting but dangerous illusion that could lead to a catastrophe which would put an immediate end to human civilization and eventually all life on this planet.

Far from being hallucinations hatched in the fevered imaginations of nervous Nellies, the danger of nuclear war is as probable today as it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis of the Early 1960’s; the most volotile nuclear confrontation since the introduction of atomic weapons into modern warfare with the bombing of Japan during World War II.

Anyone who doubts how close the US and Russia came to destroying the world in their fight for Spheres of Influence – portions of the globe located close to the territory of major powers that claim them as being under their influence – should see Robert McNamara’s film The Fog of War.  McNamara was the US Secretary of Defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the US Navy put a blockade around Cuba and challenged the Soviet fleet on the high seas to prevent them from delivering nuclear missiles to that small Island, which had been attacked by the US in a CIA led a covert action intended to overthrow the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro known as the “Bay of Pigs Invasion.”  As a result of this US aggression against Cuba to prevent them from establishing a socialist economy they formed a military alliance with Russia and requested the missiles for protection.

Robert McNamara

PCC-53242 Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. January 12 , 1961. DoD photo by Oscar Porter, U.S. Army. (Released)

He Presided over the Missisle Crisis

The world came so close to destruction by nuclear war as a result of the confrontation the blockade provoked with the Soviet Union that even a half century later Robert McNamara had not come to terms with the part he played in this near catastrophe for mankind.  In his documentary film McNamara tells us how he was ready to engage the Soviet Union in an all-out nuclear war and was obsessed with finding out if his counterparts on the other side were also ready to engage.  When they told him that they were also prepared to launch their nukes McNamara was profoundly shaken and contemplates the madness of it all.  The thing that perplexed him the most was the fact that highly educated sane and rational men were prepared to destroy the world!

The relevance of this frightening tale for us today is that we are on the verge of provoking a similar crisis with Russia through our insane policy of NATO expansion in Eastern Europe; even though the Cold War is officially over and the Communist Party has been banned in Russia. As I write President Obama is giving his final speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations extolling the end of wars between major nations.  Yet despite his lofty rhetoric, soaring eloquence, impeccable logic and Solomonic wisdom the reality of US-Russian relations do not match his heroic optimism.

Even as the President speaks the US and Russia have thousands of Nuclear missiles targeted at the other’s cities and towns,  each armed with warheads over 50 times more powerful than the devastating bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima – the only time such a weapon was deployed in the history of the world.  To just stockpile such weapons is an unspeakable horror, but the fact that they are armed and on high alert – which is to say that they are on line and can be fired by computers – is a monstrous crime against humanity.

General James Cartwright

general-catwright-iii

Warning against the danger of accidental Nuclear War

When we consider the claim made by General James Cartwright, the former head of the US Strategic Command, which has responsibility for deploying our nuclear forces, that attempts by hostile forces to hack into our nuclear weapons system average ten million a day, our present nuclear strategy of keeping our land based Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles – ICBMs – armed and on high alert can only be considered a manifestation of collective madness. Since the hackers only have to get it right once!

This is why General Cartwright has been vociferously advocating disarming them and taking them off alert, pointing out that we are no longer in a cold war footing with Russia, where instant response from these missiles are necessary. The General, who knows what he is talking about, considers this policy dangerous folly that could instantly become fatal for the earth.  Alas, the fact that there is no discussion of this clear and present danger is irrefutable evidence of a flaw in human character that could well lead to the extinction of our species.

Thus the CBS Sixty Minutes feature story of October 18th,The New Cold War, should be viewed as a revelation; a final Wake-Up call to pull back from the brink of extinction; to turn away from the path to doomsday that we are presently trudging.  Done in the grand style of fact based reportage that has characterized the journalistic product of Sixty Minutes, the report provides us an unprecedented look into the command structure of America’s nuclear forces.  It is at once enlightening and frightening, for it allows a look into the abyss and see how the world could end in a bang.

The report begins by taking us aboard the USS Kentucky, an Ohio Class American nuclear submarine, the most destructive weapon in the history of the world.  The Kentucky is twice the length of a football field and is armed with 200 independently targeted nuclear warheads – enough to destroy every major city in the US and Europe!

If it were an independent nation it would have more weapons than Great Britain – which has 160 operational warheads – and only 100 less than France, which is reducing its stockpile.  Canada, our neighbor to the north has none; it dismantled its stockpile in 1984 and repudiated their use in a treaty signed in 1998.  And China has around 260 warheads.  However the US has 14 Nuclear armed subs in the “Trident” class such as the Kentucky.

Alas, the Trident submarines are but one leg of the US Nuclear “Triad” which includes intercontinental bombers and land based ICBMs: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.  Altogether the US arsenal stockpiles 6, 970 nuclear warheads and is second only to Russia, which maintains 7, 300 warheads.  Yet because of their explosive power the US arsenal is the most destructive force on earth.

In the Sixty Minutes report Captain Brian Freck, Commander of the Kentucky, explains the protocols under which he would launch his doomsday weapons, and he leaves no doubt that if these conditions were met he wouldn’t hesitate to shoot his deadly load. Viewers of this report should pay close attention to the casual way in which Commander Freck talks about taking an action that would set in motion a chain of events that would surely destroy civilization.

Commander-In-Chief

President of the United States Barak Obama visited Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq April 7. This was Obama first trip to Iraq as commander in chief and took time to talk to the service members and civilians serving here.

Recieving big love from the troops in Iraq

Admiral Cecil Haney
admiral-cecil-haney
Commander of the US Nuclear Triad

When we leave the Submarine and are ushered into the super-secret operations center of the US Strategic Command, where we are introduced to Admiral Cecil Haney, a very powerful man that virtually no one has ever hear of, including myself, despite the fact that I served in the old Strategic Air Command with a Top Secret security clearance under General Curtis Lemay, back in the day when the B 52 Strato-bombers were the heart of the US nuclear strike force, and I  have been studying and writing about the dangers of nuclear war for years…..often alone among American pundits.  By virtue of my Top Secret clearance I was privy to the war fighting plans of SAC, and serving under General Lemay –whose colleagues on the Joint Chiefs nicknamed him “The Mad Bomber”- during the heat of the Cold War, a hot war seemed a real possibility.

Cast from a different mold than the burly, crude, bombastic Lemay, Admiral Haney is an Afro-American officer and gentleman who is soft spoken, slight of stature, and elegant of style and manner.  Yet he is the supreme commander of the entire nuclear Triad, a far more destructive force, and answers only to President Obama; who appointed him to his Command. Like the President, the Admiral has a very impressive academic record.

Haney grew up in Washington D. C. and graduated from the Naval Academy – which is harder to get in and out of than Harvard – and rose through the ranks based upon brilliant performance.  Although he says that President Obama would invite his advice in the few minutes he would have before ordering a nuclear attack, should they disagree he would have no hesitation in carrying out the president’s orders.  “I am a soldier and I will carry out the orders of my Commander-In-Chief,” said Admiral Haney.   After listening to these men who would be tasked with giving the order to incinerate millions of men, women and children discuss their mission with a near cavalier attitude I was reminded of the philosopher Hanna Arendt’s intriguing thesis about “the banality of evil.”

If America’s doomsday weapons were launched today it will be a decision made by two elegant, brilliant, Afro-American gentlemen: President Obama and Admiral Haney. The irony here is thick and obvious.  For most of my life we were told “It’s a white man’s world,” but at this moment in time the fate of the earth resides in the hands of two very wise black men!  It is a dubious honor and a supreme irony that a society still so rife with racism that a morally deformed, intellectually lightweight charlatan and buffoon like Donald Trump could become a serious pretender to the presidency, buoyed on a wave of white racist resentment, could have invested such awesome power in these black men.

It is a power one associates with the Gods.  And what this Sixty Minutes report makes clear is that it is a power only the God’s should possess….no mortal – especially one as fatally flawed as Herr Trump – should hold the power to destroy the world.  Hence the paramount problem urgently facing mankind as I write, is ridding the earth of all nuclear weapons…putting the atomic genie back in the fuckin bottle!

In his acceptance lecture upon winning the Nobel Prize for literature William Faulkner assured us that whatever happens, come what may, mankind will endure.  This faith was echoed on the other side of the globe in a different tongue, by the great Chinese revolutionary poet and philosopher Mao Tse Tung, who led the mass movement that transformed China from a feudal to a modern society.  The Great Helmsman dismissed atomic weapons as “paper tigers” and declared “The Bomb will not destroy man; man will destroy the bomb.”   I hope they are right, and if I were a religious man I would pray.  But being a prisoner to reason and an ardent student of human history….I am not so sure they are right alas.

What I am absolutely certain of is that the mere existence of atomic weapons impeirls our continued existence…and if we do not soon put an end to them they will surely put an end to us!   As things stand at this hour the preeminent experts on the question of nuclear annihilation at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist have their Doomsday Clock set at three minutes to midnight! Which means the end of the world is closer than you think.

The Most Destructive Weapon in the World
a-nuclear-submarine
A waste of wealth and technological
Double Click on link to see video and Transcript of CBS Report
 http://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/60-minutes-the-new-cold-war/
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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 21, 2016

 

When Black Heavy-Weights Ruled Sports

Posted in Cultural Matters, On Sports! on February 27, 2016 by playthell

louis-joe-22_display_image

 Was the Brown Bomber Democracy’s Secret Weapon?

 Reflections on the Biggest Prize Fight in History

“He knows not cricket…who only cricket knows”
C. L. R. James

A fantastic myth is rapidly becoming conventional wisdom among casual boxing fans – and some fairly knowledgeable commentators too – that Floyd “Money” Mayweather, pound for pound the best pugilist in the game today, is “the greatest prizefighter of all times;” a claim that is quickly followed by the equally extravagant claim that his fights are also the most popular in the history of the boxing game.

Disproving the first claim would require a rigorous analysis of the art of pugilism, beginning with defining the objectives and techniques of the sport and then assessing how the best boxers – the great world champions – mastered the tools of their trade.  To do this on the level that such a complex question deserves would require extensive film study of their greatest fights, and conducting a comparative analysis.

Clearly such a tedious and sprawling task is beyond the scope of this essay.  Yet while  belabor the point, candor requires me to confess for the record that I believe Sugar Ray Robinson would have knocked “Money” out, Sugar Ray Leonard too – just like he did his daddy – “Hit Man” Hearns, “The Mo-town Cobra,” would’ve wiped him out with  overwhelming combination  of speed and power.  And Aaron” The Hawk” Pryor would have  rained a blitzkrieg of power punches, launched from every angle at warp speed, and packing the punch of human hand grenades.  While Pretty Boy is almost as hard to ht as the Lotto Jackpot, all of these guys would have hit him hard and often!  There are other greats I could mention…but I have already said too much on this score.

The raison d’etre for this essay is to challenge the claim that “Money Mayweather” aka “Pretty Boy Floyd,” is the most popular fighter in history i.e. that his greatest fights attracted more attention than any before him, and that he is the most widely known fighter in the history of pugilism.  This is not merely an argument about sports trivia, but an effort to set the record straight about the importance of boxing in the twentieth century, when the game formed a critical nexus between race and politics.  When viewed from this historical perspective Mayweather’s claim is fairly easy to disprove, like taking candy from a baby in the hands of an able analyst.

Yet it is constantly voiced, as if it were gospel, by Mayweather himself and endlessly echoed by a Greek chorus of yes men in and out of the media, on or off his payroll.  This is based on the vast amounts of money Mayweather has made.  But I contend that the size of Money Mayweather’s  purses reflects the vast increase in revenue for boxing and sports in general, including amateur sports like track and field and college football, and is a function of the technological revolution that has occurred in mass communications, especially in the last 20 years.

This quantum leap in communications capabilities has created a world –wide viewership on the basis of pay per view available to everyone, everywhere, that has a TV set or computer screen, a few dollars and a dream.  In other words the big money “Pretty Boy Floyd” is making is due to a greater efficiency in marketing and distribution capabilities made possible by virtue of innovations in technology that revolutionized mass communications.  Added to this development is also the rise in importance of fighters in the lower weight classes, and the marvelous artistry of Floyd Mayweather, whose style personifies what the writer E.J. Liebling meant when he called boxing “The Sweet Science.”

Yet Muhammad Ali was far more popular on a global scale, as was Joe Louis aka “the Brown Bomber” before him, and Jack Johnson who created the mega-fight back before television was invented and the telegraph was the only way to transport information over vast distances quickly.  For most of the history of the sport the Heavy-Weight division ruled, because the World Heavy-Weight Champion was viewed as the most powerful and potent man on earth.

And during the golden age of white supremacy, when Europeans and their descendants abroad ruled the world, that man was assumed to be white.  In the view of virtually all white people everywhere a black Heavy-Weight Champion seemed to go against the laws of nature, to upset the natural order of things, to fly in the face of divine providence, and thus there was blasphemy in the thought and the deed unthinkable.  As the Ibo’s would say: “Such a black man had not been born and his mother is dead!”

Hence the prize fights that attracted the most interests in history all involved the Heavy-Weight Crown in the 20th century.  The second fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling attracted the most attention in the history of the game; the title fight between Jack Johnson and “The Great White Hope” Jim Jefferies ranks second.  And all of Muhammad Ali’s fights were the most discussed events in sports after he won the Heavy-Weight title from the terrifying Sonny Liston.

Although this impressive victory was big news for a sports  event, when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad and Ali announced his membership in the Nation OF Islam, a black nationalist organization founded by Afro-Americans whose leader, Elijah Muhammad, preached that “the white man is the Devil,” Ali became front page news and stayed there throughout his career.  The public interest in this young champion grew even more intense after he refused to be drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War; especially after he announced “No Veitcong ever called me a nigger!”

The worldwide notoriety of these fighters, absent the powerful technological apparatus available to Floyd Mayweather’s promotional team,  is a function of the fact that the significance of their fights was such that they mirrored the Zeitgeist – a term coined by German philosophers that translates as “spirit of the age” – and therefore transcended the sport of boxing.

Their fights became identified with issues far bigger than boxing as they flowed with, or against the Zeitgeist.   Floyd Mayweather has never been involved in a fight that transcended the concerns of the fight game and he has never identified with a cause higher than making money.  And in this, he has proved peerless.  While there may be questions about his place in in as a performing artist in the boxing pantheon, as a businessman he reigns without a rival.

Thus he is merely a wildly successful entertainer in a sport marketed to a limited fan base and is of little or no interests to the general public.  This is a discussion that would profit from the advice given by the distinguished Afro-American historian Benjamin Quarles: “Those who seek to understand contemporary events need the added perspective of history.”

To the student of history the contemporary world looks different from those who are ignorant of the past – which includes most people.  In fact, political theorist and cultural critic Harold Cruse tells us that Americans are “anti-historical” in their view of the world; a condition that may well result from the fact that our actual history of racist repression, slavery and genocide is in direct contradiction with the self-serving myths that masquerade as popular American history and supplies the foundation for the master narrative of our civilization.  Whatever its origin alas, fear, ignorance and indifference to the facts of our past has filtered down to all levels of society.

Hence when a night time television talk show host ventured out on the streets on Columbus Day and conducted a random sample of what Americans know about Christopher Columbus the ignorance of their responses – mostly white folks too – was shocking.  The majority either had no idea when he landed in the Americas, or the most popular answer was 1842!  And when he asked a group walking together what was Columbus’ first name, everybody stood around looking puzzled, staring like country cows witnessing their first steam engine.  Finally one of them said “He was Spanish right?”  A hint to the “wise” deemed sufficient another quickly replied “Well his first name was Juan!”  At that they all chimed in eager to agree and assumed a “so there!” posture.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather

Mayweather_belts_ai

Unquestionably the Greatest Fighter in the game today!

In view of the epidemic of historical ignorance sweeping the land it comes as no surprise that most people know so little about the history of the boxing game that they could go for the okey-doke and accept the inflated claims of the Mayweather camp and their boosters that he is the most popular pugilist in history.

A seven times World Champion, whose box office receipts have earned him 500 million dollars, “liquid” as he likes to say, Money” Mayweather is by far the biggest earner in the history of the boxing game. And while there may be questions as to his claim of being the greatest fighter, he is unquestionably the best businessman!

He is a marvel of niche marketing and more people actually got a chance to see perform in real time than any other prizefighter, but he has never been associated with a momentous historical event that would elevate him to the importance of Joe Louis, Jack Johnson or Ali.  As the erudite literary and cultural critic Albert Murray points out in “The Hero and the Blues” a man may be good, and even virtuous, but he must slay a dragon to become a hero!

This explains why even in the relatively primitive media environment of his time Joe Louis was better known than “Money,” because in his fight with Max Schmeling he slayed the dragon of Nazi master race theory, and emerged a hero to millions of people around the world who had no interests in boxing at all.  Schmeling, who Adolph Hitler had declared a hero of the Nazi Reich and a paragon of the superior Aryan male, had defeated Louis in a 1936 fight, before The Brown Bomber won the Heavy-Weight title, and the return match was widely advertised as “a battle between fascism and Democracy.”

This was a reflection of the looming battle between Nazi Germany and her allies, the fascist Axis powers of Italy and Japan, vs. the Western Alliance of Democratic nations France and Germany led by the United States.  That Joe Louis should represent “American Democracy” was a cruel irony that boldly testifies to white American hypocrisy.  Nowhere is the contradiction between what white Americans preached and what they practiced more dramatically exposed than in its treatment of Afro-Americans, in law and custom.

The US was in fact a racist Herrenvolk democracy with a color caste system based on a master race theory that the Nazi’s adopted.  Under this system Afro-Americans were deemed an inferior race, that could be segregated from whites by law and forced to live under inferior conditions. Furthermore the prerogatives of democratic governance were largely confined to whites; millions of Afro-Americans living in the southern states were denied the right to vote, despite constitutional guarantees and lived under police state conditions.  Joe Louis himself had been driven from his Alabama home when his family escaped to Detroit fleeing white terrorism, just as Afro-Americans had made their way to Detroit in order to cross over into Canada seeking freedom during the era of chattel slavery.

 A Paragon of Male elegance Joe Was a Chick Magnet
_and_joe_louis Jean_stovall_anderson 
He also Shared Duke Ellington’s Tailor

Looking at pictures of Joe Louis and his Afro-American associates in Harlem and Chi-town it’s hard to believe that they were not welcome anywhere and their company sought by everyone, given how fabulous they were.  This was the elegant world Duke Ellington, who was trained as a painter, portrayed in his Black, Brown and Beige Suite.  Unlike today’s celebrities, Afro-American stars use to live and hang out in the black community, and Harlem was the showplace of the black world.  Hence it was not unusual for Duke to run into Joe Louis hanging out in a local show bar at 155th and Edgecombe, where Duke pulled him aside and schooled him on how to be a star.

When Duke met Joe he had not yet won the World Heavy Championship, but Joe was the leading contender and the way he was bombing people out all knowledgeable fight fans knew it was just a matter of time.  In his autobiography Joe Louis, My Life, written in collaboration with Afro-American sports writer Art Rust, Louis tells us he was approached by “a tall handsome man who was dressed like a king” that told him he was a fan and since he was going to be a champion soon he should start dressing like one, and offered to introduce him to his tailor.  Joe was astonished when he recognized that this man was Duke Ellington, who was already world famous, and he happily took Dukes advice. That’s how Joe became one of the best dressed men in the world!

 Joe Louis’s Role Model in Sartorial Affairs
Duke+Ellington - paragon of elegance 
The Duke at His Piano: A Paragon of Male Elegance

The biggest obstacle to Joe Louis becoming the world Heavy-Weight Champion was not the opponents he would fight, but the racism he faced as the next black heavy-weight to challenge for the crown after the notorious reign of Jack Johnson.   In his masterful text Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society, arguably the best book ever written on boxing, Afro-American historian Dr. Jeffrey T. Sammons tells us:

“Since prizefighting has been characterized by some as a true test of skill, courage, intelligence, and manhood, boxing champions have traditionally stood as symbols of national and racial superiority.  Consequently, black challengers to white American champions have been perceived as threats to white and national superiority. If football was ‘the strength of the Anglo-Saxon, the dominant spirit of a dominant race,’ then boxing reduced this expression to individual terms.  Indeed, the progressive era’s concern with ‘racial betterment’ was often tested in the world of sport.”

Football was the perfect sport for a young warrior nation born in armed conflict, settled by centuries of continual war against the indigenous inhabitants, chose a war song for its national anthem, and a bird of prey as its national mascot, and embarking on an imperialist adventure.  Teddy Roosevelt, arch imperialist and proponent of “gunboat diplomacy and “muscular Christianity” was football’s greatest champion; some even credit him with saving the sport from extinction after a movement of impassioned reformers declared it a barbaric sport and urged the colleges to abandon it.

The fact that 18 students in the elite universities died from collisions on the football field in 1905 alone!  Roosevelt publicly repudiated the effort to ban football “just because it is a rough game with occasional injuries.”  To Roosevelt it was the ideal sport for young American males; he was quite unambiguous on this question: “I would rather my son’s play football than any other sport.”  He had a similar affection for boxing, which, like millions of Americans he regarded as a test of one’s manly virtues.

Thus it is no surprise that after Jack Johnson’s demise, which, as we shall see, was a national project in which even agencies of the federal government conspired, the princes and powers who ruled the corrupt boxing game were determined that Johnson would be the first and the last black Heavy-Weight Champion.  They were not much concerned about the lower weight classes, where there had been several champions – Lightweight Joe Gans, et al (complete List) – but the Heavy-Weight title was different because of what it symbolized.  Hence for 22 years no black fighter in the world had been allowed a shot at the crown, the most prestigious trophy in sports.   That’s why Joe Louis was constantly counseled “don’t be like Jack Johnson!”

“Eventually,” writes Dr. Sammons, “to facilitate Louis’s rise to the top of his profession and to hero status, promoters, handlers, and the press worked in harmony to develop the proper image for the young fighter…Appropriately, Louis accepted the prescribed role of a god fearing, bible reading, mother-loving, clean living, humble young man.  His somewhat carefree and childlike habits, such as his voracious gum chewing and ice cream eating, revealed the wholesomeness of his ‘vices’ and his naiveté.”  Joe was advised not to gloat after defeating white boys, not to flaunt his wealth when he became champ, to assume an overall humble posture when appearing before the news cameras and reporters, and most of all: “Never have your picture taken with a white woman!”

This is the true origin of Joe’s humble image, and explains why his favorite saying after knocking out some white fighter was “Oh we had a lot of luck tonight.”  It was also the source of his famous “poker face” expression, in which he always seemed unaffected by events, he continued to wear this mask of humility even after he defeated Max Schmeling and became something of a national hero, the symbol of democracy’s superiority to Fascism, and perhaps the best known man in the world.

  Captain Jackie Robinson: US Calvary
jackie-robinson- Calvery Officer

However the real Joe Louis, like baseball great Jackie Robinson who integrated the Major Leagues, was something quite different.  For instance Jackie Robinson was really a hot tempered tough guy and a Calvary Officer in the US Army.  In fact, had it not been for the intervention of Joe Louis, who was widely admired among white superior officers in the chain of command, Jackie

Contrary to his carefully cultivated public image, Joe Louis was a cocky, dashing, lady’s man who was sleeping with Lena Horne and Lana Turner – a famous white movie star – at the same time.  There is an amusing albeit representative anecdote in Joe Louis, My Life about an incident involving this fascinating threesome, in which Joe was assigned to make a training film for the US Army after he was champ.

It turned out that the studio lot where the film was to be shot was also in the in the process of producing movies featuring Lena and Lana, and Joe had to sneak about from one trailer to the other.  Lena found out about Lana and punched Joe in the face while excoriating him in language that Joe recalls would have embarrassed a sailor. Trained to respond to punches, before he could check himself he dropped her with a left hook!

Joe was also undercover lovers with Sonja Hiene, the beautiful Scandinavian Olympic Gold Medalist in figure skating.  He was well aware of his attractiveness to women of all colors and nations, and he speculates that because he was the Heavy-Weight Champion of the world women assumed that he was a stud and were all too anxious to find out.  And like powerful white men of the era who kept beautiful mistresses of all races…so did Joe.

Lana Turner: Movie Star
Lana Turner
The Dream Girl of Millions of White Men

Sonya Henie

Sonji Hiene
Triple Olympic Gold Medal figure Skater and Movie Star

Lena Horn

lena-horne-2

Singer/Dancer/Actress

Thus Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson were nothing like the “humble Negros” projected in their public persona.  They were playing a very old role that extended back to “slavery times” as Afro-Americans of their generation called the slave era.  This kind of role playing is symbolized by a folk ditty that is widely recorded in the testimony of ex-slaves from all regions of the south: “Got one mind for white folks to see / Got another mind I know is really me / and they don’t know my mind.”

This attitude was immortalized by Paul Laurence Dunbar – who was the son of slaves and the first Afro-American poet to win literary distinction – in his poem: “We Wear the Mask.  “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties…”

In order to pursue their careers in sports Joe and Jackie were playing a role that accorded with what the white public demanded of black men.  But Jack Johnson had refused to don the mask of humility and play that role and this was the source of all his troubles.  Yet it was not just black men who were forced to assume a false face in order to placate a bigoted public; such was the fate of all men deemed inferior by the white Christian majority.

For instance, Jewish men were also forced to play a demeaning role as comic figures not to be taken seriously.  Hence Jewish men not only invented the standup comedian act in American show business, but Jewish boxers were portrayed as clowns in the boxing ring.   Professor Sammons tells us:

The stereotypes attached to Jewish boxers vividly underscored the prejudices they faced.  Maxie Rosenbloom, as the light heavyweight champion, received press coverage as demeaning as any given to blacks.  So disrespectful was the media that it called him ‘Slapsie Maxie and the ‘Harlem Harlequin:’ indeed, readers who did not know his race wondered if he were black.”

Maxie Rosenbloom
Slapsie Maxie RosenbloomAlthough Max Was a World Champion the White Goy Press cast him as a clown!

Since boxers have always come from the lower rungs of society different groups have been dominant at different times.  In the US it went from poor Anglo-Saxons, to Irishmen, to Jews, Italians, Afro-Americans and Latinos.  As each of these groups advanced in American society and produced more and different role models boxers became less important.   But in the 1930’s, when times were hard and racism intense Afro-Americans were hungry for a hero who could provide them some victories over whites, even if they were symbolic vicarious victories.  Joe Louis would fill that need.

But Joe also filled another need at the time, the desperation of boxing promoters to find a new heavy-weight talent that could revive a dying boxing business.  Sammons explains why Joe was ideal: “In 1934 a powerful, good-looking, speech-impaired, light-skinned black boxer appeared on the scene.  Everything about Joe Louis Barrow spelled success for some lucky boxing promoter even with his handicap, which ensured relative silence at a time when only a humble quiet, unassuming black would do.”

However contrary to popular belief it was not whites who first encouraged Louis to distance himself from a defiant persona that would conjure up unpleasant memories of Jack Johnson, it was his black handlers and advisors who steered him in this direction first.  While most people know of Louis’ relationship with his Jewish promoter Mike Jacobs, the real powers guiding Joe was his black co-managers John Roxborough of Detroit and Julian Black of Chicago, two old school gentleman gangsters popular known as “Policy Kings” i.e. “numbers” bankers who ran an illegal lottery in the Afro-American community.

And Joe was trained by Jack “Chappie” Blackburn, who had to be talked into the project by “Roxy’ and Black.  a ring wise veteran who knew Jack Johnson, Chappie was convinced that backing a black heavy-weight was a losing proposition because the white princes and powers that controlled the boxing game would never allow another black fighter anywhere near the Heavy-Weight Championship.

With the insights essential to black hustlers who lived successfully outside the law, Roxborough and Black understood well that white Americans, their vision and judgment impaired by racist delusion, viewed Afro- Americans through a series of stereotypes.  Where black men in particular are concerned, the dominant archetypes are the “Good Nigger” and “the Bad Nigger.”And they knew that in order to get at the big money it was critical that white America saw Joe as a “good nigger.

Hence they played what professional ” bunko artist” call “the long range con,” and they did it so well references to Joe as a “good nigger” showed up in the pages of the white southern press.  These distinctions between good and bad ‘niggers” persist even until today in the minds of many whites.  I encountered a version of them as late as 1988, when I was interviewing whites in my home town that had grown up during the era of segregation and witnessed the Great Civil Rights Movement, who spoke nostalgically about the disappearance of the “beloved Southern Negro.”

While Mike Jacobs, a Jewish businessman, promoted his fights, Joe Louis’s closest advisors were his managers John Roxborough and Julian black, along with Jack “Chappie” Blackburn who trained him –all of whom were black.  Roxborough and Black were Midwestern “Policy Kings” whose income from the illegal “numbers’ lottery was disguised by legitimate business activity.  They were gentlemen gangsters, master players who understood well the ways of the white world and were adept at pulling the wool over “whiteys” eyes.   Working with Mike Jacobs they skillfully maneuvered Louis into a title bout.

Louis’s first big fight which brought him national and international attention was his 1935 bout with the Italian boxer Primo Carnera, a mobbed up ex-circus strong man.  At six feet seven and 260 pounds Canera towered over Louis, who was about 6”1’ 195 pounds.  In Italy the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini – an avid boxing fan – had come to power and was threatening to invade Ethiopia.

The symbolism of little Ethiopia battling a bigger more powerful Italy and a Louis /Carnera fight was not lost on Mike Jacobs, who quickly made the match, and it was quickly noted by the white sporting press and the Afro-American press.  The fact that Mussolini was a fan of Carnera, and had once intervened on his behalf with the US government in a deportation case led some to regard the fighter as “Mussolini’s Emissary.”

For Afro-Americans the issue was clear.  As the late Dean of Afro-American historians John Hope Franklin observed, because of Ethiopia’s unique status as the only ancient African country to remain independent during the period of European colonialism, a successful invasion of Ethiopia by fascist Italy would “symbolize the final victory of the white man over the Negro.”  Throughout the centuries when black people suffered slavery, lynching and segregation Ethiopia was a singular beacon of hope.

Afro-American preachers, searching for a serviceable theology that could explain God’s mysterious divine plan in to Afro-Americans in light of their benighted plight in a way that gave them hope for a better future, would quote passages from the bible where “Ethiopia stretched out her arms to God” and told their flocks that it predicted a future time when black people would rule the world; when the “bottom rail would be top” and   ”the meek would inherit the earth.” The pervasiveness of the Ethiopian Myth in 19th century Black Nationalist /religious thought verifies its importance in the way Afro-Americans envisioned themselves in the cosmic scheme and explains its recurrence as a major theme in 20th century Black Nationalist ideology.

For instance one need only consider the lyrics to the anthem of the Universal Negro Improvement Association – a mass organization founded and led by the Jamaican immigrant Marcus Garvey during the 1920’s – in order to demonstrate the tenacity of the Ethiopianist trope. “Ethiopia thou land of our fathers/ Thou land where the Gods love to be.”  Many a tear was shed by impassioned souls as Afro-Americans devoted to racial uplift and African Redemption gathered in “Freedom Halls” and sang these lyrics in fortissimo.

To Afro-Americans in the 1930’s living amid the economic collapse of the “Great Depression” and increasing white terror in the southern states, having witnessed the Garvey Movement’s destruction by the clandestine machinations of the US government under J. Edgar Hoover aided by the folly of Garvey himself, Ethiopia, led by His Majesty Hallie Selassie – believed to be a direct descendent of King Solomon and the black Queen of Sheba, whose physical safety would be endangered by an Italian invasion – was the last shining example of black power and national glory in the world.

Hence black folks everywhere prayed for Joe Louis to kick Carnero’s “Guinea” ass!   When Joe stepped into the ring with the Italian giant he carried the hopes of the entire black world on his shoulders. Needless to say, despite his many millions earned in the ring as the darling of pay-per-view television: Floyd Mayweather has never known such a grand moment.

Louis and Carnera met in the ring on June 25, 1935 in New York City, less than four months before Italian armed forces invaded Ethiopia on October 3, over the protest of the US government and many other nations.  The black and white film footage of the fight  – which can be seen along with footage from all the fights described herein can be seen by double clicking on the links at the bottom of this essay – although somewhat murky, clearly shows Louis dominating the Italian hulk.

Carnero, like a lot of muscle bound guys who are not very artful in their approach to boxing, sort of pushes and paws with his gloves while Louis is throwing sharp crisp punches – which are more punishing.  Although Joe was not fleet of foot like Jack Johnson before him, or Muhammad Ali, who came along over twenty years later, he was a highly skilled boxer with lightning fast hands and knock out power in either fist.

Although Carnera towered over Joe Louis, just as Italy towered over small technological Ethiopia, Joe beat him up, hitting Carnera at will, while making himself harder to hit than the Lotto Jackpot.  In the six round Joe dropped Primo with a right hand and knocked him out with a sizzling left hook launched at lightning speed.

David and Goliath

Joe Louis and Primo Canerra
A Rehearsal for the Italo-Ethiopian War? 
 
His Imperial Majesty Ras Tafari  of Ethiopia

Hallie selassie2

King of Kings! Conquering Lion of Judah, Hero to Afro-Americans
A Descendant Menelik II:  Son of King Solomon and Queen Makeda
Hallie selassie1
He is Worshiped as a God by Jamaican Rastafarians
Primo and Benito
primocarnera4 and Benito
Chillin with the Fascists
 The Brown Bomber Smashed the Giant Italian Palooka!
Joe Louis - Carnera II And African Peoples Everywhere Cheered!

 

Ninety five Thousand people turned out to witness the fight!

The Roar from Yankee Stadium could be Heard in Harlem

However the second fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling dwarfed the Canero fight.  Whereas the Italian invasion was opposed by many nations; it was a life and death matter only to black people, who viewed it as a measure of their place in the world as a race.  But in the Louis vs. Schmeling fight the issue was the survival of modern civilization, as Hitler threatened to exterminate “inferior races” and enslave all who were not Germans.   Thus it was a splendid irony that this fight was viewed symbolically as a struggle between civilization and barbarism now that white Americans and their European kith and kin were threatened with the fate that they had imposed on the “inferior” colored races for centuries.

The Anglo Saxons of the US and England openly denounced the “master race” vision of the Nazis as criminal barbarism, despite that fact that Hitler had proposed no treatment for them that they had not meted out to the colored peoples over whom they had ruled in Africa, Asia and the Americas; employing the same “master race” logic to justify it.  And it required a special hypocrisy that these same whites chose Joe Louis, whose people were among those that suffered most from their pretensions to racial superiority, defend their values in the clash of ideologies!  Yet such was the state of affairs when Joe Louis met Max Schmeling in their return match in 1938.

However fight this would have been exciting event if viewed in wholly pugilistic terms.  Schmeling was the only man to have defeated Louis thus far in his professional career and by a knockout no less!   In their first fight on June 19,th 1936 Louis entered the ring undefeated with a record of 22-0 compiled in less than two years.  Everybody figured Louis as a sure shot to win the Heavy-Weight Championship – including Louis himself – it was just a matter of time. 

Unfortunately, Louis, seduced by the siren song in the press, must have taken his ordination to heart and forgot that he still had to fight the fight.  And Schmeling, who had a brief reign as the Heavy-Weight Champion from 1930- 1932, when he became the only man in boxing history to have won the crown on a default in his match with “Jack Sharkey in Yankee stadium on June 11, 1930,   was anxious to get another shot.

A true sportsman, Schmeling had been disappointed at the way he won the title.  Sharkey had been ahead on points when he was  called for fouling Schmeling in the fourth round, and the German was awarded the crown.   He gave Sharkey a rematch two years later and lost the title on points.  But he gained many fans in losing, especially since his promoter was screaming to the press “We wuz robbed!   Having tasted the glories that accompanied the Undisputed World Heavy-Weight Championship, Schmeling longed to return to the most prestigous pedestal in sports.   Thus he was training like a para-trooper headed for a dangerous combat jump, while Joe Louis was hanging out on the golf course at Lakeview New Jersey – which was close to his camp in Pompton Lakes.

When he wasn’t practicing his swing on the fairways Joe was Lindy Hopping to Jimmy Lunceford’s swinging paean to dance “I’m A Rug Cutter.”  Boxers often have a favorite song they like to train with.  For the ferocious Sonny Liston it was Bill Doggets “Night Train;” for Michael Spinx it was Frankie Beverly’s “Joy and Pain,”  and Joe loved to boogie down to the red hot rhythms of the Jimmy Lunceford big band.  After all, Lunceford’s motto was “Rhythm is My Business!”

Chillin on the Greens
Joe Louis plaring golf
Cooling his Heels while Schmeling Trained
 While Joe Played…..

Max Schmeling mit Trainer und Manager

……Schmeling was training to The Max

Max Schmeling in training

A Man on a Mission

Schmeling training II

Preparing to shoot down the Brown Bomber
 Building his Endurance with Road Work

Max Schmeling doing roadwork

Boxing is a sport where the training regimen remains pretty much the same, even as there are radical changes for preparing for competition in other sports.  The basic elements in training boxers

As part of his preparation for the fight, Max also studied films of Joe Louis’s fights and he would be richly rewarded for his diligence.  While wise guys in the press and betting parlors gave Max only two chances to win, thin and none, the German bruiser walked around with a confident swag, shit eatin grin, and IDGAF attitude.  When inquiring wags wanted to know from whence his confidence sprang, he simply said that he had discovered a flaw in Louis’ style that would assure him a  victory. Whenever the public got a glimpse of Schmeling the smile never left his face and the pep in his step seemed to heighten in the days approaching the fight…the Louis camp figured it for the fake bravado of a man facing execution.

He was kidding himself everybody thought. Hence Louis played while Schmeling worked. The fight jumped off in Yankee Stadium on June 19th 1936, and Max Schmeling revealed the secret he had been keeping which he had repeatedly told the public would lead to a victory over the undefeated top contender, who everybody believed was on a straight path to a shot at the title.  But as the fight progressed it became increasingly clear that Schmeling had Louis’s number as he fought with greater and greater confidence, repeatedly tagging the brown bomber with power shots.

What Schmeling had learned from studying films of Louis is that he had a tendency to drop his guard after throwing a left hand.  Once Schmeling got his timing down he simply countered with straight right hands to Joe’s Jaw.  These were vicious punches and Schmeling dropped Louis for the first time in his professional career in the fourth round.  For the next eight rounds the fight ebbed and flowed but Schmeling was very disciplined, took no chances, and continued to land the right hand.

As the rounds piled up Joe began to tire, the result of his lack of training, and as his reflexes slowed Schmeling began to hit his exposed chin at will.  Louis couldn’t figure out what was happening, at least not in time to avoid a knockout; which came with a perfect right to the jaw in the twelfth round!  Hitler rejoiced, America mourned, and Harlem screamed “Fix!”

  On Fight Night

The Brown Bomber Crashes

The Brown Bomber Crashes!
And Schmeling Shocked the world
Joe decke by Schmelingimages
And Joe paid the price for overconfidence
 Joe Louis Stops James J. Braddock at Cominsky Park

joelouis stops James J. Braddock

And Becomes the Undisputed Heavy-Weight Champion of the World! 
The New Champion Strolling in Harlem with wife Marva Trotter

A-JOE_LOUIS and Marva Trotter

The Poker faced Pride of Black America!
Max Schmeling: Hero of the Third Reich!

Maz schmelinghitler

The Only man to have Defeated Joe Louis
 Gentlemen Jim Corbett

Gentleman Jim Corbett

The Father of Scientific boxing

****************

Playthell G. Benjamin
February 27, 2016
On the Road

 Magic Mike: Nightmare in Steel City?

Posted in On Sports! with tags , , on October 1, 2015 by playthell

Michael Vick II

Opponents beware!

The Third Resurrection of Michael Vick

Although I don’t wish Big Ben Roethlisberger any harm and hope he completely recovers in a month or so, I’d be lying if I said that I am not overjoyed that Michael Vick will be starting at quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers. While some will regard my position as amoral or morally ambiguous at best, my attitude is easy enough to understand.  I am a dyed in the wool football fan, down with and can’t quit it.

It’s as simple as that!  And if you like football, Michael Vick at his best is the greatest show on earth!   That’s why it was a drag when the season was about to start and Vick was still sitting at home with no hope of ever leading another team in the NFL.  But Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Steelers and the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl, is a longtime Vick fan and convinced management to sign him as a backup to Big Ben.

Since Vick’s signing there has been a lot of invective leveled at him by white dog lovers because of his past history of dogfighting, in which loser dogs who couldn’t compete were put to death.  Yet once a dog has been trained to fight it it would be irresponsible to allow them to roam the streets where they will attack other dogs and their masters too should they attempt to intervene.  And one of the world’s most prominent animal Rights advocates Henry Spira, Coordinator of Animal Rights International, has pointed out the glaring hypocricy of many in the movement:

Looking at the universe of animal suffering in America today, we see pain dominated by the more than eight billion farm animals, who suffer roughly 95% of all animal misery…. Let’s get out of the past and quit ignoring the vast majority of animal suffering.”

According to Mr. Spira’s argument anybody who eats meat is an animal abuser…hence only Vegans are without sin!  Yet to hear the pooch huggers talk Mike Vick is the most depraved person on earth; although most of them are not only guilty of animal crulety according to Animal Rights International, but many of these same people  sympathize or empathize with the Cracker cops that murder unarmed black men!

Some even sympathize with racist asshole murderers like George Zimmerman.  Yet Mike Vick must be a permanent pariah scorned by respectable society because he treated a dog like a dog?  These Crackers are not only racist but crazy!  And I, for one, am tired of hearing about it; especially from a group of people who have yet to join a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration.

To those who scream that the Pittsburg franchise should not have hired him – even after suffering public disgrace, millions of dollars lost at the peak of his career from incarceration, and never reaching his full potential as a player who was on track to win a Superbowl because of it – I say fuck tha pooches; fuck yhall, and on with football!  My contempt for these holier-than-thou crazies, the sob squad that hang around the dog pounds, is exacerbated by the fact that they act as if the quarterback that Vick is replacing is a modern day saint….or like Caesar’s wife, pure as the driven snow.

That’s how they are talking, one need only look at the comments on the webpages of the Pittsburg media. Yet it is a matter of public record that Big Ben has been accused of sexual assault by at least two women!  And although he beat both cases the women insists that they are telling the truth.  I have repeatedly argued that the feminist demand that we “always believe women” is at best dangerous nonsense, since everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence before the law until somebody proves in court that they have committed a crime, I nevertheless find it curious that white females who make up the majority of Animal Rights astivists are willing to give Big Ben the benefit of doubt – i.e. the White Boy Pass – while refusing to cut Vick any slack even after he has paid dearly for his acts.

In other words Big Ben remains squeaky clean despite the allegations of rape, but they just can’t stop throwing stink on Vick’s good name.  Given the notorious history of racist double standards employed by Euro-Americans in their relations with Afro-Americans – a centuries old tradition that lingers with us today – any reasonable person must wonder if the fact that Big Ben is blond with pale alabaster skin and Vick is very black plays any role in defining the attitudes of white fans regarding the two quarterbacks.  After all, white Pittsburg fans once destroyed the career of a gifted black quarterback – “Jefferson St.” Joe Gilliam – just because they preferred a blond haired player.  The great Terry Bradshaw, who is the white quarterback in question, has repeatedly said on television “I was handed the job; I didn’t win it.”

Bradshaw said when he saw Gilliam he wanted to be traded because he was the best that Bradshaw had ever seen.  Check out Bradshaw’s tribute when Gilliam died.  He also said in an interview with Maury Z. Levy in Playboy magazine six years later: “Joe Gilliam had a phenomenal preseason; he won the starting job and I lost it.” This is why as annoying as the self-righteous blather about the departed pooches is, the incessant commentary from empty headed white fans who regard themselves as football experts – even if the are working a job they despise rather than as highly paid General Managers of a football franchise – disparaging Vick’s skills as a quarterback is an even bigger pain in the ass.

I see some of those old feelings popping up in the assessment of Vick by hysterical white fans who are running around like Chicken Little crying that the sky is about to fall because Big Ben went down and is lost to injury for five or six weeks according to some estimates.  It was the same kind of reaction that wrecked Gilliam’s NFL career and ruined his life, despite the fact that he led Pittsburg to a 30-0 victory over the Baltimore franchise before being benched in favor of Bradshaw by fan demand.  Vick will also be facing the Buffalo team on Thursday night; let’s hope he does as well in the game as Gilliam and fare better than him from the salutory results.

Jefferson St. Joe Gilliam
Joe Gilliam- Steelr Quarterback
The first black Steeler starting Quarterback

I’m taking a wait and see attitude.  But while I think those who expect to see that old black magic that Vick weaved so well, and put all who witnessed it under his spell, will be disappointed, I also believe that at his best Vick was so much better than everybody else that even if his skills are diminished he will still be as competitive as any quarterback in the league.  And if Vick is healthy enough to play his best he is going to give defensive coordinators and players nightmares!

Vick is unquestionably one of the most gifted athletes to ever play the quarterback position and he demonstrated this on every level:  from high school to the Pros.  He is one of the fastest players in the league, a quarterback that can match future first ballot Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss’ 4.25 time in the 40 yard dash, the basic measure of football speed.  He is smart, elusive and has the human equivalent of a high powered rifle for a throwing arm.  The first thing white fans do when they want to disparage a black quarterback is the say that he can run but can’t throw.  Back in the day they would just switch these great athletes to running back, defensive back, or wide receiver- who, by the way, are the best athletes on the field.

As the desire to win triumphed over racism General Managers started trying to get the best athletes that could help them win – in fact their jobs depended on building a winning team – so the black quarterbacks finally got their shot.  And they are changing the game with their dual threat play; equally dangerous throwing or running.  Michael Vick is the quintessential dual threat quarterback, and two of the most dangerous young dual threat quarterbacks starting in the league today – Tyrod Taylor and Russell Wilson – are from his state and watched Vick play during their formative years.  Tyrod actually was mentored by Vick when he first came into the League. And while he has a style of his own, Stevie Wonder can see that it is in the same tradition of Vick.  However the same can be said of Wilson.

It’s got to be something about that Virginia area – great sports programs in the schools I suspect – that enables them to consistently produce great athletes.  For instance, Allen Iverson, a sure shot Hall of Fame basketball player, was also a great dual threat quarterback in high-school and led his high-school team to State Championships in basketball and football; the only athlete to ever accomplish such a feat.  So Michael Vick did not suddenly appear from nowhere, bursting into the world like the goddess Athena from the forehead of Zeus, he represents the grand athletic tradition of his community.

I have not burdened the reader with a lot of talk about statistics, because the objectives of this essay are to address some of the negativity that dogs this superb athlete – who from all the available evidence is a good husband, father and all around solid citizen – the worst that can be said of him is that he treated some dogs badly.  I hope that is the worst that can be said of me after I have danced and joined the ancestors.   I thank the Gods of my fathers fathers that I am not George Bush or Dirty Dick Cheney, who has the blood of a million innocents on their hands!

I also intend this essay as an introduction to the video tapes of Vicks performance from high-school, college at Virginia Tech, and the professional ranks.  Here one can see Vick in action and even hear from his high-school coach about the early revelations of his superb gifts as a runner and passer.  I still expect to see some version of this from Michael Vick in his fourth incarnation and third resurrection with the talent laden, well coached, Pittsburg Steelers.  I can hardly wait for Vick to silence his critics!  Now he’s got to play the game.

Magic Mike at Work!

Michael-Vick-Hokie

Vick was the most exciting quarterback in college football at Virginia Tech
He was the same in the Pros!

 400px-Michael_Vick,_November_2006_(1)

 First Incarnation at the Atlanta Falcons
First Resurrection with the Philadelphia Eagles

Michael+Vick+Houston+Texans II

After going to the dogs he soared with the Eagles and made All-Pro again!
Second Resurrection

Michael-Vick-nfl-new-york-jets-kansas-city

A backup with the New York Jets; everyody thought he was through
Third Resurrection

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick (2) passes against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

He’s Baaaaaaack!
And he is starting for the Pittsburg Steelers in a Marquee Matchup

*******************

For video of Mike Vick in Action see the following:
Michael Vicks Highlights
https://youtu.be/DlzM3SkVM14
The Great Comeback: Eagles vs. Giants
https://youtu.be/VDTKfhGYwrU
College Highlights
https://youtu.be/rHdPCF8mPZw
Mike Vick: Sports Science
https://youtu.be/b01EuXuJz9M
(This video employs Sports Science to demonstrate why Vick is so great!”)

Black Female Heroes Invisible to White Feminists

Posted in On Sports! with tags , , , on July 11, 2015 by playthell
Althea Gibson ticker Tape
Ain’t she a woman?

New Yorkers turned out to Honor their Own circa 1957

As ticker tape parade honoring the US women’s soccer team’s victory proceeds through the Canyon of Heroes in downtown Manhattan to the cheers of a proud nation, we are inundated by smiling white female faces clamoring about how this is “the first time a female athletic team has been so honored.”  This is only partially true, but I have waited in vain to hear one of these commentators point out that a ticker tape parade was held for a single female athlete almost 60 years ago!  But no one has even alluded to it as I write; despite the fact that the talking heads have been chattering on for hours and grappling for interesting things to say.

The athlete who received this unique honor was Althea Gibson, and Afro-American tennis player from Harlem who won the Wimbledon tournament on July 6, 1957.  A year earlier Gibson had attracted attention in the press as the first black woman to compete in the US Nationals – now the US Open – and had also won The French Open, one of the prestigious Grand Slam tournaments. She conquered Wimbledon in spectacular fashion, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-2 in less than an hour!

Her opponent in the final was Darlene Hard, whom she later teamed up with to also win the Doubles Championship.  Queen Elizabeth II attended the singles final, and Fred Tupper covered it for the New York Times.  “Miss Gibson was in rare form,” wrote Tupper.  “Her big service was kicking to Miss Hard’s backhand with such speed that Darlene could only lob it back.  Behind her serves and her severe ground shots, Althea moved tigerishly to the net to cut away her volleys.”  We hear much praise for “girl Power.”  One commentator Chrystal Ball, an MSNBC talk show host and a vocal feminist did correct the record by going all the way back to the Statue of Liberty in order to cite another instance when a “woman” was given a ticker tape Parade: but no mention of Althea Gibson!

It is further evidence that white women are as much white supremacists as white men, and just as narcissistic, despite the vocal protests from white feminists that racism is a male phenomenon – a claim the is contradicted by the many enthusiastic white female faces in pictures of lynch mobs where black men were being hanged or burned alive!

White women enjoying the Spectacle

White womwn at lynching II

Even little Girls joined the fun at this 1935 Florida Lynching

As black female intellectuals have pointed out, the problem with white feminists is that when they speak of “women” they are speaking about “white women.”  Hence they constantly overlook black women who ought to be their heroes because the personify everything these feminist celebrate.  I speak of women like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Mary McCloud Bethune and Dr. Anna Julia Cooper – who was born a slave and took a PhD degree in French Civilization from the prestigious.  There are no more impressive women in American history than these women.  Yet I have never heard an of them celebrated by white feminists.  Most have probably never even head of them.

Ms. Gibson and the Queen
Althea Gibson and the Queen
Queen Elizabeth Came down to the Court and Shook the champion’s Hand

Hence it is no wonder that they know nothing about Althea Gibson, although she was a native daughter of the Big Apple, and was given a big ticker tape parade after her marvelous championship performance at Wimbledon.  Her performance had so moved the Queen that she came down on the court to congratulate her with a hand shake…. Something that goes against royal protocol.  And this at a time when Ms. Gibson couldn’t even sit and drink a coke at a lunch counter that routinely served low life white trash in half of the country!

I was in the tenth grade in High School when it happened and, although I didn’t give a fig about tennis, I was as excited as all of my fellow students, because we were certain that her magnificent victory would help move Afro-Americans as a group forward by demonstrating yet another praiseworthy field of endeavor that we could excel at.  The fact that this was also the year of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King made Ms. Gibson’s victory seem all the ore momentous.

Although she couldn’t sit in the front of the bus in Alabama, nor play on their tennis courts, New York Mayor Bob Wagner was so impressed by her he feted the 29 year old queen of women’s tennis with a full ticker tape parade, and thousands of New Yorkers turned out to cheer her victory.  Although Ms. Gibson went on the next year and not only successfully defended her Wimbledon Championship but won three out of four Grand slam tournaments.  Yet listening to the white females who dominated the commentary on the US women’s Soccer team today, one would never know that Ms. Gibson ever lived – despite the fact that information on her can be found by just doing a little research on google.  It is further evidence, although none is needed – that heroic black women are invisible to white feminists commentators!

That Championship Form!

 Althea Gibson in Action

 Winning Wimbledon
Holding the Championship Trophy
Althea Gibson with Queen
A Congratulatory kiss from her Opponent

Althea Gibson Ticker Tape IV

The World Champion of Women’s Tennis
Althea Gibson
Chillin with her racquet
*********************
Click on Links for videos of Althea Gibson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riEvIiS2_CQ
http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/news-footage/2043-43
http://www.biography.com/people/althea-gibson-9310580/videos/althea-gibson-mini-biography-2192487634
https://youtu.be/K5TkI34rLus
https://youtu.be/U9mcjTCz5h4
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem New York
July 10, 2015