Are We There Yet? – Chazz Woodson

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I wrote this yesterday, and as much as I wanted to greet you all with “Happy Hump Day”, I am aware that it’s posting today, and Hump Day is but a memory.  So, good Thursday to you all!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend, and that this week has gone by, thus far, without too many hang-ups.

This particular post has nothing to do with lacrosse, other than this.  I’ve always been very proud of the fact that the lacrosse community generally tends to be a very well read, educated community.  In my personal experience, however, everyone seems to shy away from questions of race.  I went to Brown University, one of the most liberal and progressive concentrations of people on the planet.  On numerous occasions over the course of 4 years, however, I tried to get certain teammates of mine to come check out speakers/presenters that were hosted by minority campus organizations, and rarely did any of them ever show up.  I’m not faulting them for it.  But I always wondered why.  Was it that they felt uncomfortable possibly being the minority?  Was it that they felt these speakers/presenters had nothing to offer them?  Maybe, they simply did not care to attend!  But I never really got an answer.  To this day, however, I still find that people in the lacrosse community rarely engage in discussion about race (whether they are Black, White, Blue, Green, or Purple), even as it pertains to the sport.

It’s generally not my style to jump into a blog on the super serious tip.  After all this is only my second post.  But I heard about this story a week or two ago.  A Black man was beaten by White teenagers, and then run over by their truck as he stumbled around.  I searched briefly for the corresponding video, and after not finding it, I chalked it up to yet another deep south racist tragedy, that was initially swept under the rug – The story did not immediately surface, and when it finally did there was still VERY minimal coverage of it.  When I saw a tweet this morning from the Wall Street Journal regarding the case I clicked the link and watched the video both on their site, and then a couple different YouTube versions of it.  The more I watched it, the more it began to boggle my mind that people still believe that there’s no race problem in America.  Too often, we (Americans) are quick to say that people need to “get over it” or “move on” or that things are so much better now.  I hear my friends say similar things.  I hear people within the lacrosse community say certain things.  I hear it on TV, I see it in blog comments and news article comments whenever somebody feels that there’s either an injustice, or that somebody is “griping” about race.

My intent here is not to gripe, or blame anyone.  But I would sincerely like to open a dialogue, using this particular blog as a vehicle, to discuss where you all (those of you reading this) feel our great nation is regarding race.  I find it very interesting that I get a lot of people discussing random nonsensical topics on my Facebook pages.  But when I bring up race, it gets eerily quiet.  And I’m not exactly sure why.  Maybe it’s because people are afraid to speak their minds.  That’s not necessarily farfetched.  After all, race in America is often an uncomfortable subject.  Add to that, that I’m Black and that the majority of my Facebook followers/fans are white.  I guess it’s possible that some of them have views that they may think would offend me.  Maybe it’s the fact that people in general are sick of discussing it.  I really don’t know.  I would love, however, to hear your thoughts!

So to open the dialogue up, please take a look at this video.  At the 3:52 mark, I think he makes a GREAT point.  Again, this is my opinion.  I happen to agree with him.  By no means, do I expect everyone to agree.  But after watching the video, PLEASE comment on the following…

Why/How is it that this stuff still happens in such 2011?  Do you believe that this is an isolated incident and that America is beyond our issues with race?

And, why is it that race is such a difficult thing to discuss among one another?

Feel free to comment on the comments made at 3:52.  Agree?  Disagree?  Why?  Why not?

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to read my post, and I really do appreciate those of you that are interested enough, motivated enough, or daring enough to engage and discuss the topic.  If you feel more comfortable, you are welcome to submit your comments directly to me, via my website, rather than posting for everyone to see.  You can also hit me on facebook, or via twitter!  I hope to hear from you!

be easy

God bless.