If you’re not familiar with the Riley Cooper story, he’s the wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) who recently dropped an extremely offensive racist comment, at a country concert, that happened to be caught on camera and posted to YouTube.
Needless to say, it’s been a big deal in my hometown area of Philadelphia. His teammates have seemed to get over it (at least on the surface), including Michael Vick, and I’m sure the racial sensitivity classes that he is taking will change his ignorant view a bit.
However, his recent actions speak far louder than apologetic words. As my man, Shafe, posted on Facebook….
Maybe Mr. Cooper will change a bit, but I doubt others like him will. However, the positive in all this, is that those with such narrow-minded views will think twice about saying something publicly in fear that there may be a camera around. And in our near future, the amount of cameras will only exponentially increase.
This is important.
The type of behavior Cooper displayed has obviously been going on for years. When anyone “gets away” with it, it tells those around that person, that this sentiment and behavior is acceptable. Particularly those of a younger age. As Denis Leary puts it….
Then Jackie Robinson steps onto the field.
Robinson, the Brooklyn rookie still only weeks removed from becoming the first African-American to integrate Major League Baseball in the modern era, is a walking target for racism. Seemingly the entire Crosley Field crowd suddenly rises up to begin pelting him with racial epithets. The elder half of the father-and-son duo is no exception, abruptly morphing from jocular father to viperous heckler.
“(N-word) go home!” the dad screams. “You don’t belong here, boy.”
The son initially appears confused by his father’s vitriol. But before long even the boy joins the chorus of ignorance; even he hurls the n-word at Robinson.
This jarring scene from the new movie “42” portrays the film’s overarching effort to educate a wide swath of Americans — reminding adults that society is only a handful of decades removed from ubiquitous racism, while also showing children what racism actually looked like in the mid-20th century.
This is the reason many stress the importance of speaking in politically correct manner. You know by now that the next generation is soaks up whatever you say like a sponge. If you share a racial joke or comment, you are teaching racism. Hopefully folks like Riley Cooper will reduce their racial slurs in fear of being caught on the YouTube, and in turn, reduce the amount of racism TAUGHT to younger generations.
P.S. If you hear a racial slur and don’t say anything, you are tolerating and accepting this sentiment. Silence does not help. Say something.