Masters champion Tiger Woods: To conservatives, he's just another one of "them"
As Tiger Woods approaches the Masters,most will be surprised if he doesn’t win. His talent, focus and drive are otherworldly.
Of course, to many in the GOP, he’s just another one of “them.”
David Bellavia, in introducing John McCain at a speaking engagement said, passionately:
“You can have your Tiger Woods, we’ve got Senator McCain….This is the real audacity of hope.”
Mulligan at The Golf Blog said it best:
It’s also unfortunate that John McCain said nothing about this slam on Tiger Woods. Just because Tiger’s black, his name is thrown out there as associated with Barack Obama, all in a disparaging way. The race card. Outrageous! Earl Woods, of course, was a Green Beret and Vietnam veteran, so to have his son’s name invoked in an insulting fashion at a war rally apparently by another military man is appalling.
For Tiger, this comment, while trying to slay a golf course at a club with a vile history of racism, this is but a stark reminder - he may be the greatest sportsman America currently has, but many Americans still view him mainly as one of “them.”
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From what I can gather by the speech, he's simply saying that some people look up to Tiger Woods as the world's top athlete, while he wants his kids or whomever to look up to a war veteran and politician instead.
This man is guilty of a poor analogy and sub par stage presence but not racism.
People give everyone the benefit of the doubt when it comes to racist speech, because in our society, being a racist is considered the most heinous of all things. Kelly Tilghman, Bill O'Reilly, the recent GQ cover with LeBron James, the GolfWeek noose cover, etc., etc. It's almost a knee-jerk reaction for people to start taking apart what people mean or say so that they don't get viewed as racist.
I don't feel that way. I feel Tilghman let slip something buried in her. I think O'Reilly knows his viewership is mainly racist, so he keeps up with them. I feel the Lebron GQ cover was a racist tip of the cap to King Kong, etc.
Basically, no one wants to be known as a racist, and no one wants to call racism on anyone. But not all racism is driving a pickup with a noose on it or murdering someone of a different race. The subtle "oops, I didn't mean it to come out like that" comments are racist.
The person who can stand before me and say they don't have a racist bone in their body is either a liar, or 2 years old. We all have our own varying degrees of racism. To say otherwise is naivety or at best feel-goodism. It is how we manage those feelings and work to understand them that shows character. Those who flat-out deny that they have ever thought or felt racist feelings and who feel racism is a word to attack tend to be those with limited character.
I feel Bellavia made a conscious choice, and blew his dog whistle for McCain's base to hear. To give the benefit of the doubt to someone espousing a conservative candidate is beyond me.
Maybe a guy like that deserves a little benefit of the doubt when he's campaigning for another courageous veteran he obviously feels very strongly about.
With that said, it was obviously an ignorant remark.
You'd think that these guys might realize that there's about a 97 percent chance that Tiger Woods is a Republican himself too. Of course, Tiger would never say one way or the other himself, but think about it. He's an obscenely rich golfer who has no problem following the money into Dubai or anywhere else. Nor should he.
It's hard to find a pro athlete in any major sport who's not a Republican, let alone golf. Charles Barkley is the one noteable exception and even he switched from Republican only several years ago. And there aren't many free thinkers like Barkley in the world's locker rooms.
Which brings me to the question: Why Tiger Woods? Why would you compare the other guy to someone as popular and respected as Woods?
To me, it's dog-whistle politics. Like Bush's "Not a period but a comma" comment when discussing the Iraq War was a dog whistle to his religious base.
I have nothing against Bellavia. But really, does everyone totally buy into the "Maverick McCain" thing? He's running for President. His campaign and the GOP control the message, whether it's coming out of McCain or Bellavia's mouths. And that message here was "no matter how good Barack Obama/Tiger Woods may appear, they're black. Don't forget it."
The Olbermann report condenses the "Keep Tiger.." quote and "Real audacity of hope" by using a fast wipe between the shots, so the viewer is led to believe it's the same sentence and thus closely related.
However after looking the entire speech (thanks to the mulligan blog for having it in its entirety too), there is a great deal of space between "Tiger" and "Audacity" - enough in fact I feel safe saying the two are unrelated.
If I'm a liberal, I'd pick my battles, and this wouldn't be one of them.
Again, I don't really see why that would matter. Unless you believe that when he said "Tiger Woods" he truly meant "Tiger Woods." Which I can't fathom. Why on Earth would anyone use Tiger Woods as an example of a someone you wouldn't want to admire, unless he was searching for Google hits.
If I'm a liberal, I'd pick my battles, and this wouldn't be one of them.
If you're a Conservative how would you approach battles? Or an Independent? Or a Libertarian? Or a Whig? Basically I'm not sure what your point is. Nor do I see this issue as a battle.
As for Wolfie, he really is a lowlife sleazebag. Wolfie, just so you know, I know what you are. And it's nothing good.
He's talking about idol worship of athletes rather than men who serves in a war, not race.
That's what i got out of the speech.
As far as picking battles, what I mean is that if you try and blow your whistle at the little things, you aren't taken seriously when you try and bring light to a more pertinent issue. I'm talking about the age old "crying wolf". I think we're crying wolf on this one...but knowing conservatives, that train is never late...
Ok, I see your point and it's well put. But I have two final responses on the matter.
1) It's not so much a battle in and of itself, it's more a tapestry that is woven over the entire campaign. On the other (and same) side, Obama's weak response to the gay community and lack of experience is dissected point by point in order to portray a bigger picture. As is Hillary, with her bizarre lies about "being in the sh**" in Bosnia. That episode itself would be by no means reason enough for a Hillary backer to leave her, but it's a continuous assault. And I have no big issue with that, as every step the Final Three makes now will be scrutinized.
2) As for racism, to me the biggest problem is how horrifying the word racism is, and how it's so vitally important no one get tainted by the word. I wrote the words "pee" and "urine" in the WG Newsletter, and people lost it. It totally offended many. Even though we all pee, we all produce urine. Basically, there can be no discussion whatsoever on race provided a great many people continue to live in absolute fear of the word and adopt the approach that racism only exists in the mind of wacky liberals who use it as a weapon.
Ok, I think I'm done ;)
I see you on point one. I'd go on longer but I don't want to get all political on a golf blog...
Point two, there is a difference between having a race discussion on something like Don Imus, versus trying to create one out of thin air, which I think Olbermann is doing here. True, there are macro race issues with the GOP. I just wouldn't use this case as a bullet point in my argument.
My only real fear in November is that people will get EXACTLY what they "think" they want, and America will be STUCK with Barak Hussein Obama for a long and desperate 4 years. How utterly sad for us.
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