Issue of Race

September 05 2004 12:33 (+ 6 - 9 )

I'm going to preface this by saying I'm white and I DON'T hate blacks; what I hate is racism...across the board.

What is sparking this? How much the media has gone ga-ga over Mississippi State's hiring of Sylvester Croom as their football coach. He broke the "color barrier" in the South Eastern Conference; he is the first black head coach in SEC Football history.

Because of that, the media is painting him as MSU's savior. I'd even go so far as to say they've painted him the SEC's savior. Now, personally, I wouldn't say the SEC is in need of saving. MSU's football program, on the other hand, needs to be turned around. But to say Sly Croom can do it simply because he's black is flat wrong.

I have nothing against Sly Croom. I have nothing against the fact that he's black. What I don't like is the fact that the media is playing the race card--he will resurrect MSU because he's black. I've never heard anything more rediculous! The only way he will be able to turn around MSU's program is on his coaching merits. According to his creditials, he has coaching merit; I wish him luck at MSU, but I'll be rooting against him when Florida visits Starkville later this year. Okay, so his being black may aid him in recruiting (I want to play for the first black head coach in the SEC), but that shouldn't be long-lived. In a few years, he'll just be another SEC head football coach (the fact that he's black won't even be referenced).

Others may hail his hiring as a victory. To some extent, I can concede that it is. If I could meet Sly Croom, I would congratulate him on being the first black head coach in the SEC. Good, it's done! But again, the media has to play a race card: "Now, blacks have finally infiltrated the SEC. BWAHAHAHA, they can't stop them now!" Sheesh, leave it alone! Okay, so those aren't their exact words, but the way they report on this certainy seems like that's the message they are trying to convey. Did the other schools shy away from blacks merely because they were black. It's a possibility, but I doubt it. When hiring their coaches, they went for the best man available; in those cases, the best man just happened to be white.

The good in all this is that Sly Croom is trying to downplay it all, or so it seems. He just wants to coach. Wake up, media, and let him do just that. Judge him on whether he wins or loses based on his coaching ability and not the color of his skin!

This kind of thing is what irks me about affirmative action. The best qualified person for a job should receive the action that says, "Affirmative, you got the job!" Who the hell cares if he's black, white, asian, hispanic, or native (or whatever)? If he can do the job the best (as judged by application, résumé, and interview), he should be the one hired. You want to know how cares? "Special interest" groups like the NAACP (a group as racist as any white supremacist group...all disgusting).

Of course, this has spilled over into other facets of sports. NFL teams looking to hire a new coach, must interview at least one minority (read, one black person) for the job (um, what if there aren't any available). NASCAR and the NHL look for their "token black" drivers and players. It's sickening. Let the teams hire the best people!

If the best person is black, good for him, hire him! If the best person is white, good for him, hire him! Don't feel bad about hiring a white guy over a black guy; likewise, don't gloat over hiring the black guy over the white guy!


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