Friday, January 08, 2010

Acting White: TWA (Tiger With Attitude)

The February edition of Vanity Fair features Woods on the cover (pictured) looking, perhaps, more like an angry Black man straight out of Compton, rather than a We-Are-The-World Caliblasian. Anyway, given the troubling marital and professional spot he has placed himself, the timing of the cover is bound to create controversy – and this is exactly what VF is counting on.

They know that some vocal, hyper-sensitive, misguided souls will claim racist intentions, just like with that murdering OJ Simpson on the cover of Time (here). But, does the media really owe Tiger any accommodation? I think not – there’s been too much of this already. Besides, people who will jump to the all-Black-men-are-bad conclusion will do so regardless of whether Tiger or OJ claim, or are depicted as, Black and/or angry. Fear of the PC police should not dictate that any celebrity gets a fish-bowl pass.

The upcoming controversy reminds me of how after actress/singer Vanessa Williams won Miss America in 1984, pornographic photos of her showed up (here), forcing her out. Some called it racism, but it was clear that the pictures became immensely more valuable because she won the title, at all, not because she was the first Black woman to do so. Serial philanderers are not nice people, so why should we not expect people, even photogs of Annie Leibovitz’s caliber, to dig out their just-waiting-for-him-to-show-his-behind pictures.

Digressing one more level - in high school, certain white classmates were known for ‘aiming’ racist newbies at me, by falsely telling the marks that I, the near singular 'docile' Black, had disparaged white people. My denials would generally go unheard, forcing me to fight my way out of these ‘race-honor duals’. I never thought my white friends were racists for these set ups, rather they just got their juvenile ‘jollies’ from inciting a ‘can of whup-ass’ on their willing and gullible white peers.

Vanity Fair is not racist, just opportunistic and sleazy. And yes, I stopped playing that ‘whup-ass’ game a long time ago, and got some better friends.

James C. Collier


Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

1 comment:

Kurt said...

I read somewhere that Tiger Woods can bench-press over 300 lbs. Based on the picture on the cover of Vanity Fair, it's hard to believe that the reports are true. Woods's chest looks really weird and kind of flat.