Remember the Titans: The Cases of Pacman Jones and Ben Roethlisberger

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJuly 26, 2009

Call me campy or sentimental or whatever you need to say in order to denigrate what I have to say, with generalizations about why you think you're strong-minded and I'm weak minded.

Because if you do, I don't care what you think. 

Obviously, I'm referring to an abstract stereotype of potential criticism of my views.  So, you shouldn't take it personally, unless you consciously and actively act that way.

The bottom line is however that racism still permeates our society, and if you think the election of Barack Obama has made it better—in the case of some people, it has made it worse.

In the past, I had been tolerant of hack jokes because I believed that the joke did not reflect who that person truly is, and that hack jokes were tantamount to smelling your own farts. 

Nowadays though, it seems like those same people have all left the reservation, and are willing to spin the most ridiculous crap I've ever heard.

There are people now, who see themselves as the "victim" of a black president who they think lacks legitimacy.  People like Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs will sell that garbage all day for ratings.

On one hand, some of those people do so in order to sell news, and aren't necessarily believers in the news that they sell.  However, they do that because they know that their buyers will truly believe it.

Either way, it reflects badly on the person—but there is a difference of intent.

Personally, I don't agree with every opinion and stance of President Obama.  However, I thought that his election was a very important event to many people, and something that needed to eventually happen—regardless of whether I agreed with every opinion.

Sometimes there are more important things than opinions on how much money to allocate to a government program, and whether that program should even exist.

Sometimes, you should ask yourself, "Why do I have (blank) opinion" and whether that opinion is just sublimated hatred.  Meaning that, you only took the opinion that you did because it was the opposite opinion of someone you hate.

Suddenly then, you can claim, "I don't hate you, I just disagree."  Perhaps though the only reason you wanted to disagree is that you hated that person.

Thus, I do wonder if people must be willing to set-aside political differences and accept the importance of events such as the election of Barack Obama—in order to prove that they aren't just a veiled racist.

Obiously, I'm not asserting that you should throw caution to the wind, but at the same time, I wonder if the media-amplified voracity against President Obama is really just a desire to sell news to veiled bigots -- kinda like war profiteering.

You know, Bill O'Reilly always talks about a, "culture war" and being a Culture Warrior—perhaps though, O'Reilly is really just, "culture war-profiteering."

There is such thing as civil disagreement.


Pacman and Big Ben

By now you must be wondering what this has to do with Pacman Jones, Ben Roethlisberger and Remember the Titans. Thus, I shall explain.

In the past three years of Roger Goodell's tenure as commissioner of the NFL, I have been very disappointed by Goodell's decisions, because of his clear willingness to disregard the rights of players, consumers, and even the integrity of the very game they play or enjoy.

Why?  Whatever pads the pocket book, that's why.  To me, that is just the life of a nihilistic sociopath.

Everyone knows that the commissioner is supposed to act on behalf of the owners.  Yet, who will act on behalf of everyone else?

Why should I believe that my interests simply "trickle down" from the better interests of someone else?  To me, that is just insanity.  No one will protect your interests, ever—you must do that for yourself.

Yet, the player's union will get demonized when they demand a pay raise, because the owners continue to rake in money from media contracts and ticket sales.

The fans will get demonized every time some isolated dope does something dumb.

All the while, the mass media says nothing critical of the problem but will cook-up storms around the trivial, because they know that since the NFL has a Congress-given antitrust exemption for media—that the NFL has the power and leverage to pull strings in order to get that journalist fired, if that journalist steps out of line.

(Some people would truly prefer to live by the idea of, "How can I please the person with all the power in the man made system?"  Frankly, I think that is a very vile and miserable life to live).

I think then that Roger Goodell has done the same thing that Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Lou Dobbs have done—shamelessly sell news that is conducive to racist, "thought."

Pacman Jones was a serial tabloid headline, nothing else, and yet Roger Goodell suspended Pacman for allegations.

Yet, if Roger Goodell is to remain consistent—he'd also suspend Ben Roethlisberger for allegations as well.

In fact, the stated purpose of Goodell's suspension is to punish those who undermine the integrity of the game, regardless of whether that act is criminal.

Thus, why don't accusations of being raped by Roethlisberger undermine the game?  Whether Ben committed the act is irrelevant, because the stated policy of Roger Goodell is to punish even non-criminal behavior. 

In essence, the purpose was to punish those who bring negative buzz to the NFL.

Thus, the mass media has avoided the story of Ben Roethlisberger at all costs, and since white people will stand and say that they believe Big Ben, and that his detractors are just overreacting—there is no one to sell the news too.  Thus, no negative buzz—thus, no reason to suspend Ben Roethlisberger.

That in essence is the heart of Goodell's irresponsible "discipline" in which he acts like he is the judge, jury, and executioner.  Since, Goodell suspended Pacman for allegations—he must then suspend Roethlisberger for allegations in order to prove the veracity of his suspensions.

Goodell will bring down the hammer on a black guy in a cloud of controversy, such as Pacman or Tank Johnson. Yet, the white guys like Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Jared Allen, and Matt Leinart go on their merry way with little or no punishment, because there is no hysteria surrounding the player.

The reality however is that the hysteria is fueled by sublimated racism.

In that, those who claim to be "tough on crime" really mean, they're tough on non-white people or those that they think aren't acting white.

To compound it, the mass media will jump to report the issue—thinking that they can dispel the falsehoods and examine the issue (and sell the news).  When really all they do is exacerbate the racist lust for negative news about non-white people.


Remember the Titans

Fittingly enough, Pacman Jones played for the Tennessee Titans and his case has reminded me of the movie Remember the Titans.

In that movie, Denzel Washington plays Coach Boone who became the first African-American coach of a de-segregated school in Alexandria, Virginia.

The moral of that story was that the black and white players had to put aside their differences in order to achieve the common goal of victory.

When I think of the case of Pacman Jones and now Ben Roethlisberger—all I see is a country divided by hatred, so much so that you'd rather see the country fail than to pursue the common goal of victory.

That's you Rush Limbaugh and his Dittoheads...and many more.


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