Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What Makes Someone Black?

It hasn't been really big news, but the head of the NAACP in Philly recently wrote an article criticizing Eagles QB Donovan McNabb for being a mediocre talent, hiding behind the race card. Besides for being eerily similar to what got Rush Limbaugh fired, the article needlessly brought race in the picture. He attacked McNabb for helping perpetuate the stereotype that Black quarterbacks are not as good because they run, rather than stand in the pocket. In other words, McNabb is betraying his race because he refuses to run.

This argument is obviously dumb. Black and White has nothing to do with it. Quarterbacks who run primarily are just not as good. Name the last running QB who has won a superbowl. Football is about standing in the pocket and finding receivers, not about leaving the pocket after all the WRs are covered.

But I digress. This post is not about football. The idea that a QB is more "Black" if he runs is another element of the Black cultural element that defines "Black" by having a certain upbringing, speaking a certain way, and acting a certain way. John Smallwood for the Philly Daily News has an excellent article on the can of worms the criticisms opened.

I'm not going to arrogate myself to define Black culture. I'm not Black and share none of their experiences or history, so it's not my place. But the element of victimhood embedded in the culture too much reminds me of how Jews cry "anti-Semitism" whenever someone criticizes them. How many times have we heard someone denounce a critic of Israel as an anti-Semite? Jew hating, like racism, surely exists, but not every critic is a hater. I think both Jews and Blacks need to remember that because sometimes criticism truly can be taken to heart.

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