I was on a New York Yankee fan forum when I saw a thread about the New York Post and racism – I thought nothing of it; I figured it’s some Lefty complaining about the Rupert Murdoch Conservative ties to the paper in general.
So, the mention of the Post made me realize I hadn’t read today’s column by favorite columnist Phil Mushnick of the New York Post. Earlier in the week, as I do on a regular basis, I emailed Mushnick with my comments on the Brooklyn Nets new “urban” jersey colors. He sent a reply that included an exclusive sneak preview of what would become the controversial comment from today’s column.
Even after I read the column, I still did not immediately put two and two together and realize the Yankee forum fan comments were referencing THIS column – and I’m quoted in the column.
I thought nothing of the commentary because the misogyny of Jay-Z and many others like him has been a regular theme for Mushnick’s column. He has used the n-word (“bleeped” print version) to make his point on many occasions as well. I don’t see why this particular article would get him in trouble, unless it’s the first time anybody noticed. I mean, the flap over this makes Mushnick’s point even more astute. It’s okay for Jay-Z to use the n-word and refer to women as B’s and Hos, but it’s not okay for Mushnick to use the words, even when he specifically is citing Jay-Z’s use of the words juxtaposed with his acceptance in mainstream culture despite them???
What the hell???
Mushnick quoted my comment: “How will the Nets know which jerseys are the alternate black jerseys for nationally-televised games if they wear black every day?”
My comment was a play on another common Mushnick theme: the appeal of black sports uniforms to gangsta types, the preponderance of alternate black jerseys as targeted attempts to appeal to said gangstas and Nike’s insistence that college teams – even those with colors in their team nicknames (Blue Devils, Red Storm, Yellow Jackets, Cardinal, Scarlet Knights) - wear black for nationally-televised games.
I even noted how McDonald’s seemed to embrace the “urban” look when it went to “McEdgier” all-black uniforms (must be hot behind those friers).
I searched for news items on this. I found this James King blog entry on Village Voice, which includes Mushnick’s response to a reader – which I appreciated. Also note the commentary thread that ensues, including some who are incredulous that anyone could’ve first heard the n-word from a hip-hop artist. (Fortunately, King spared my comment in the column from any criticism.)
I mean he is basically QUOTING Jay-Z’s song lyrics. How can you get in trouble for that? It almost seems like some sort of entrapment. I mean if a white dude is walking down the street singing Jay-Z’s songs out loud, will he be arrested for a hate crime?
Well, if – Heaven forbid – this was Mushnick’s last column, at least I can say I was a part of it.
The bottom line is this: people should be outraged by Jay-Z’s lyrics and should be demanding that he not record songs with such inflammatory language if they don’t want a columnist to quote those lyrics. I recently rode the train and sat next to three African-American youths, and every other word they openly and proudly used in front of all of us passengers was “n” and “b”. (The young woman even talked about how her boyfriend used to beat her in places on her body that couldn’t be seen by the public.) I was offended by this, and so is Mushnick. That’s the point here. We’re not the racists, we are offended by racist language.
Alas, I get that it’s a Catch-22 for Jay Z. I mean if he made records called, “Cool with Cops” or “Treat Women with Respect” - would anybody buy them?