Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season

By David Shields | Go to book overview

2
EVERYONE ELSE IS THEY

11.16.94—Or so I feel until I bump up against the implications of such sentiments in the form of a New York Daily News column by Mitch Lawrence about the Sonics-Nets game, which a friend faxes me and which seems racially coded: “Karl, a very good coach, goes against the conventional thinking by refusing to establish a go-to player on offense. The result is that there are games like last night when the Sonics take bad shots, have no flow, and play like a 36-win team. As if those aren’t enough potentially fatal flaws for one team, the Sonics are built around three talents (Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and Kendall Gill) who rival the nuttiest Nets in the knucklehead department. Kemp’s low-post game is based solely on athleticism. When it comes to actual basketball moves, it is strictly primitive. Payton talks tough to everyone but has to learn that passing for an assist goes a lot farther than trashing an opponent. Gill is a great talent who thinks he is a great player. The critical difference is often lost on him. Nice troika.”

My friend Philip e-mails me: “Are you familiar with the UC Berkeley sociologist Harry Edwards? He has talked about how the white world has turned from the old view (‘Black man is subhuman; he can’t play with me’) to the new view (‘Black man is superman; I can’t play with him’).

-26-

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Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Introduction vii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Contents xix
  • Author's Note xxi
  • 1 - America Upside Down 1
  • 2 - Everyone Else Is They 26
  • 3 - Proof of My Own Racism 53
  • 4 - The Beautiful and the Useful 73
  • 5 - Converting Our Self­ Loathing to Hatred 97
  • 6 - History Is Just a Rumor Somewhere out There 114
  • 7 - An Agony of Enthralldom 129
  • 8 - Can You Feel Now What Power Feels Like? 154
  • 9 - History Is Not Just a Rumor Somewhere out There 175
  • 10 - The Space between Us 198
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