Russell Wilson's "Blackness" Debate Reveals Divide Among African-Americans
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke tackles the Russell Wilson controversy.
The great-great-grandfather of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was a Confederate colonel's slave who was freed after the Civil War. Yet some of Wilson's African-American teammates don't think he is "black enough," at least according to a recent article by Bleacher Report sportswriter Mike Freeman. Wilson's lack of "blackness" is a big reason he's not getting along with teammates, Freeman added.
Wilson's problems expose how African-Americans are their own worst enemies. Well-to-do, light-skinned black people and poor dark-skinned black people from inner-city neighborhoods have a history of resenting one another.
It's been going on since slavery when house negroes, like the character played by Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained, turned on the black slaves who stayed in the fields. Generations of Uncle Tom types have raised their children to despise being black. They talk about African-Americans the same way the Ku Klux Klan does.
In Wilson's case, he isn't getting along with hard-core black Seahawks players because he had an upper-class upbringing. His dad is a lawyer, and his mom is a legal nurse consultant who made sure their son got an expensive education. Wilson went to Collegiate School, a predominantly white prep school in Richmond, Virginia, where he was a nationally recruited high-school football star and also class president his senior year. He married a beautiful blonde.
The black teammates who don't like Wilson would rather put up with a white quarterback yelling at them to get their act together. They won't let him lead the team if he acts like a boss. It's no different from blue-collar black guys working in a warehouse hating their black supervisor who has a college degree in business administration.
That's why receiver Percy Harvin, who was recently traded to the Jets by the Seahawks, didn't get along with Wilson. The same thing happened between Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens when they were Philadelphia Eagles teammates in 2004 and 2005. McNabb was seen as acting like a white boy who wasn't down with the brothers.
At the same time, Wilson and other blacks who grew up in a white environment don't know how to relate to regular black people. That's why we remain divided. History has kept us separated.
Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.
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