There is nothing sadder than a bourgeoise self-proclaimed Cablinasian (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, American Indian and Asian), coming to the realization that when the going gets tough, he really is just Black after all to everyone else… perhaps it’s time he embraced the memo.
Sure Tiger Woods is still very rich and very famous, but as OJ Simpson learned 20 plus years ago, athletic prowess and admission into the “Country Club” may make you special, and afford you all the trophy Caucasian women you could want, but when the going gets tough… well
Does anyone remember when OJ used to look like this:
White America no longer does.
Tiger’s arrest for DUI, while serious, is of course no where as eggregious as the charges brought against OJ. Even an acquittal from a double homicide charge did nothing to lessen the fall from grace that made him go from one of America’s most beloved sport’s heroes to easily one of its most vilified persona non grata.
Like OJ previously, Tiger Woods has been extended an invitation to the Country Club of assimilation and privilege. His public declarations that he did not consider himself “just Black”, received some scrutiny, even if unfairly. He was in fact not just Black, or African American, with mixtures that included an Asian mother.
Race in America is beyond complicated. Most people’s genealogy lends to ancestry from multiple sources. However, Black in America while really just a color, has come to symbolize and embody, most (if not all) people who have some African heritage. How much you culturally relate to those America defines as Black is an entirely different matter and celebrites and those that have assimilated and been accepted often chose to lessen the association.
I have my opinion on such matters, but I always stop short of judging. Everyone grows up differently. Everyone’s cultural experience is different. Sports heroes generally are extended a pass in everything they do… as long as they continue to be great at what they do.
It is indeed debatable to argue whether Kobe Bryant’s legacy and stature as being loved after his arrest and trial for rape in Colorado in 2003 would have been intact if he had not won another 2 Championships with the Lakers years later.
Despite playing in a traditionally White and privileged sport, and not really being known for associating himself as African American, Tiger Woods has always been revered and embraced by the Black community. That community never minded sharing him with the masses because all of their biggest sports heroes eventually are rewarded with endorsements that match the universality of their cross appeal. No one begrudges Tiger for that, but as his career continues to remain derailed, arrests will not only highlight how far the mighty have fallen, but it may continue to Tiger Woods closer to a realization that despite his fame and millions, the only community that may enduringly support and have him, is the one that he has never embraced.
What Tiger may not understand, is that when the Country Club will no longer have him, the Black Community has historically been forgiven to the return of its prodigal sons…
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