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LZ Granderson with a better take on "Keeping it real" mentality

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Double Down, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Instead of blaming rap music or the Black KKK, Granderson, who works for Page 2 and ESPN the Magazine, talks about his own foolish ways as a young man (he held his first gun at 13), and how one of his ex-teachers assumed he'd end up dead or in jail. Though he makes some of the same points Mr. Quintuple-XL did, he does it rationally and without the "I keep my pimp hand strong" silliness.


    One of those rare stories where I think it could have, and maybe should have, been longer.
  2. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest


    I think LZ did a very good job at including himself in the story, but not making himself the story.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  3. Bruhman

    Bruhman Active Member

    Great piece.

    But this line - The thing is, systematic racism and slavery has nothing to do with purchasing illegal weapons, Bad Newz Kennels or making it rain. - is a bit naive in my humble opinon.

    Nothing to do with it?

    It doesn't have everything to do with it.

    But it definitely has something to do with it.
  4. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Great column. And these words from that column should be posted inside the jail cells of Michael Vick, the thugs who killed Sean Taylor and any other person who thinks keeping it real is somehow important:

    "I was doing it to gain respect from people who really didn't have my best interest in mind."

    Some day, kids might get this message. If they don't want to, they might consider this: Keeping it real has a stunning failure rate. They might want to consider the alternative just to play the percentages. And the alternative is to distance themselves from people who want to keep them in the same gutter in which they reside.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Before this thread takes a turn south (which I'm sure it will), I'm curious what you think systemic racism has to do with those things. Can you expand on that?

    I'm not necessarily agreeing LZ's statement, but I'm interested to get some perspective contradicting it.
  6. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    I was curious, too. My guess is that he is referring to the origin (and now consequences) of the socio-economic disparity that still exitsts, and is the root source of most crime. If not, then I too am curious.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Bruhman and hondo,

    I think your last two posts both make points that, when viewed together, provide the best soluiton. Bruhman, I absolutely agree that you can't just kiss off 400 years of slavery and all that resulted from it. It is naive. And if pressed, I bet that Granderson would concede that's more a wish than a real belief. It does have something to do with it. In this editorial written by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, he points out that studies show the difference between middle class African Americans and those mirred in a cycle of poverty is most often one thing: Property. Had Andrew Johnson not vetoed the "40 acres and a mule" policy, black America might look very different today. And there is no denying it. No amount of foot stomping and stories about how "my Irish grandparents had to scrape for every penny" can deny that fact. You can't tie bricks to the feet of an entire race of people for four centuries, untie them slowly over the course of 50-odd years, then ask them to run as fast as everyone else, and pretend like the past has nothing to do with the present.

    But I will say that Granderson's point about how it eventually comes down to personal responsibility is true too. Some kids cannot overcome their environment by themselves. I have been in some inner city schools in this country that would break your heart. And the theives that run them should pratically be put on trial at the Hague for what they've done to those kids in the name of preserving their own self interests. But the kids who do have opportunities and do have enough structure to have a chance at something better have to make that last giant leap by themselves. What's frustrating for me is that a lot of the conservatives (and liberals) who throw around phrases like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" could do a lot more good with genuine Christian kindness than they could morality lectures. Yes, it's frustrating. Yes, it's difficult. Yes, you will be let down occasionally. But if you save one kid's life from the streets, he might save two more down the road on his own. There is a high school coach in my area, this big, fat, white, devout Christian, and he teaches and coaches at the most elite private school in the city. Costs a college tuition just to send your kid there. But every year, he scours the city for kids who come from crappy situations and gets them scholarships to go to school and play for his team. And he ends up sending some of them to Ivy League schools. I've seen him steer kids to Duke, Notre Dame and Penn when Florida State wanted that same player because he knew it would mean more to that kid in the long run. Wish there were more like him.
  8. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member

    400 years of slavery?
  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Ok, 400 years of oppression. Does that work better Pac?
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Either we're burned out on this topic, or Granderson's rational thinking can't quite generate the heat that Whitlock's angry missives can and do.

    Perhaps both.
  11. Bruhman

    Bruhman Active Member

    It's both.

    I know I get tired of going round and round on this. But it's baffling that more reasonable, logical folks can't understand that subjecting an entire race to 400 years of systematic, systemic oppression is going to leave some pyschological scarring.

    Or "conditioning" if you prefer
  12. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Deeply sorry here about the 400 years. Wish there was something I could do about it but when the situation was at its worst (pre-Civil War), one side of my family was in Holland and the other side in Croatia. Doesn't excuse the conduct of Michael Vick or Pacman Jones one iota.
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