Not Enough Buckwheat In The Pancakes!

March 2, 2006 

I’m surprised that this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race didn’t remind HBO’s Bryant Gumbel of “a GOP convention”.  You know those sled dog teams...there simply were not enough black Labs...err...I mean...chocolate Labs...I meant...just plain old Labrador retrievers.  Well...he still has time to take a shot at the complexion of the mushers.  

When Gumbel belittled the XX Olympic Winter Games, was he really postulating that Blacks are a breed apart from the rest of humanity?  Was he comparing humanity to the canine world where there are admitted genetic and behavioral differences between a Schnauzer and a Pekingese?  When Jesse Owens won 4 Gold medals and broke 11 Olympic records at the 1936 Berlin Games Gumbel would have played right into the hands of the Nazi propaganda machine.  

Apparently Gumbel, who sees no problem with his membership in the male-only Burning Tree Golf Club, was upset by the “paucity of blacks” who participated in the 2006 Olympics.  In fact, Gumbel tried to discredit the validity of the Winter Olympics, in toto, when he cautioned the public to “try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these Games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing”.  Hey you really think that Africans celebrated Kwanzaa before it “was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge”? 

If Gumbel wants to play the games of the “ancient Greeks”, other than a viewing of Brokeback Mountain, he should bear in mind that participation in the original Games was limited to male athletes and the athletes competed naked.  And, sadly, unlike the ancient Games, today there are no chariot races or third day sacrifice to Zeus.   

And...what dementia was Gumbel suffering from when he defamed the entire figure skating world as a bunch of “pseudo-athlete(s)”?  Why does this bring to mind the vision of Giant Bryant in a Texas Cage Match squaring-off against Tanya Harding?  Perhaps Gumbel only understands athletic competition on the level of Harding, Mike Tyson and OJ. 

Although much has already been written in response to Gumbel’s vacuous diatribe, nobody has had the guts to ask him what he was really saying.  To contrast his comments with the percentage of Whites in the NBA only compounds Gumbel’s wrong-headedness.  To ask what would happen to John Madden if he made a quid pro quo observation about the pervasive darkness of the NFL is frivolous. 

Unlike the ancient Greek Games, the contemporary Olympic Games are open to anybody who is athletically qualified.  And unlike affirmative action, skin color is of no consequence.  The Olympics are not social re-engineering.  They are a Darwinian competition where the best athletes in a sport, based on a competitive hierarchy, come together and slug it out for supremacy.   

That’s the beauty of the Olympic Games; it’s a matter of personal best.  The only barrier to entry is the skill of the athlete.  It’s a world where the cream rises to the top and loud mouths flop to the bottom.  In the end it comes down to excellence and this is where Gumbel is lacking. 

There are black skates and white skates but there are no Black skaters.  Neither are there any White skaters.  There are just skaters.  Color is a fashion statement...not an identity.  And those who preach otherwise are using color as a crutch or a soap box. 

It’s fine to posit that a quarter horse is the best choice to run a race, but people aren’t horses.  The mere fact that Gumbel could utter such nonsense more than suggests the nature of his racism.  Is he saying that there is a difference between humans based on color?  If he is, I wish he would have the intellectual honesty to put the concept out in the public domain for a thorough vetting.  But don’t count on Gumbel for intellectual honesty...or for that matter, intellect. 

There is no doubt that, in the past, racism was a deleterious syndrome in sectors of the American society.  Today, the industry of “race” is a harmful and divisive profit center.  It serves as a permanent crutch for those who do not wish to compete in the game of life and it simultaneously serves as a soap box for those who profit from it.  If the fires of racial injustice weren’t unceasingly stoked by its profiteers, the Jessie Jacksons of the world would be as anachronous as the American Cancer Society in a post-cure world. 

To further reduce Gumbel’s argument to the premise that Blacks can’t compete in the Winter Games because economic constraints create a prohibitively high barrier to enter these sports is ludicrous.  Why not say that Floridians have prohibitively high entry barriers to the world of competitive skiing while for Idahoans, it’s a no-brainer.  Sometimes the cookie just crumbles.

 The entire premise of segmenting Americans by race or ethnicity is getting a little tired.  There is a single species in this country and it’s called a human being.  If this is not the case, please let the Gumbels inform us otherwise. 

Those who seek to divide this country, rather than unite it, are self-serving idiots...and more than a bit tiring.  What is their endgame?   

Would they like to Balkanize America into a conflicted aggregation of city-states.  Are they seeking to subvert the Republic into tribal warfare?  Are they that enchanted with the recent history of Rwanda?  Or, are they just self-serving chauvinists trying to maintain their profit-centers”?    

Labels don’t discriminate...they disrespect both Blacks and Whites.  I don’t want to be color classified...I just want to be an American.  And the only color I want to think about while watching the Olympic Games is American Gold. 

Racial segmentation has no place in a melting-pot society.  The mere mention of race is a connotation for breed.  And that is disgusting. 

If Gumbel wants to hear his own voice...let him bitch about the buckwheat content in his pancakes.  I’m sick of Gumbel and the rest of those racial panderers trying to tell me that every time I see a human...I should see a color. 

I really just want to see golf-boy slap on a pair of skates and laugh at his pseudo-athleticism when he’s flat on his butt.



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