Sunday, November 20, 2011

6 comments What? Jemele Hill Wrote a Column about Race?

You may not believe this, but JemeHill has written a column about race that feels like it isn't well-thought through. This time she goes after Steve Williams, who is better known as Tiger Woods' former caddy, for his comments about Tiger Woods' asshole. Obviously when Williams said he wanted to shove something up Woods' black asshole this was incredibly racist to JemeHill. This caused JemeHill to think of other racist terms Williams may use to refer to Tiger Woods and decides these imagined terms are what makes Williams such a terrible racist. So even if Williams' language wasn't racist, just imagine what else he could say about Woods! There's no further proof required to know Williams is a huge racist to the point he probably refuses to go out at night while the sky is black.

JemeHill also has some harsh words for Tiger Woods, who absolutely refuses to see things from JemeHill’s point of view publicly on race. Clearly this doesn’t mean Woods’ point of view could be correct or does this mean his view has any merit, but just shows how in denial about race Tiger Woods truly is. It is like her own version of a racial dictatorship where those fellow minorities who don't agree with JemeHill are cast as being out of touch or have an ulterior motive to ignore "the truth."

If Steve Williams is bold enough to tell a room full of people that he wanted to shove Adam Scott's WGC Bridgestone Invitational win up Tiger Woods' "black a------," then what does Williams say about Woods in private?

Who knows what else Steve Williams says? I am sure it is 100% more racist than his comment about Tiger Woods’ asshole. JemeHill isn’t satisfied with merely looking at Williams’ comments and determining if they are racist or not, she has to add other potentially fictional layers to this situation in order to make Williams seem even more racist. She isn’t satisfied with commenting on the current comments, she has to add other layers to further her own agenda.

I think it's a fair question.

Well, you did create the question just now. So I’m not shocked you think your own question is a fair one.

Williams was among his peers at the caddie awards in Shanghai when he added that biting racial qualifier to express his utter disdain for Woods, who fired him in July.

A normal person would think, “What a jerk comment by Williams. He’s clearly a bitter man.” Then this normal person would move on with his/her life. Not JemeHill. She wonders how she can blow these comments into an even bigger deal in order to write a column. It isn't that Williams' comments aren't stupid or he doesn't seem bitter, I am not just sure his comment about Woods' "black asshole" deserves to be subjected to further analysis such as this.

So I immediately wondered if what Williams says about Woods in private is even more candid, even more venomous and, yes, even more racial when he isn't in a crowd.

And that's the scary part.

So here is what we have so far:

Steve Williams said something bitter and racially-toned about Tiger Woods.

JemeHill wonders if Steve Williams says even worse things about Woods in private and then creates thoughts of how venomous Williams is privately.

JemeHill thinks the idea of Williams making terribly racist comments in private is scary and immediately begins writing a column about how the imaginary things she herself believes Williams says in private makes him an even bigger racist.

So we have JemeHill reacting to a racially-toned comment by expanding this one comment into an entire set of thinking she believes Williams to hold privately and then proudly begins to write an article as if the imagined thoughts she had are real statements Williams made. To think I re-tweeted something JemeHill wrote the other day. Embarrassing for me.

When Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman used a lynching metaphor in early 2008 to describe how Woods' younger competitors should treat him -- this was back when Woods was still the top player in the world -- the remark felt clumsy and misguided, but not necessarily racist.

That comment felt more racist than talking about someone’s black asshole. Given the racial undertones of lynching I can see how that remark can be considered racist by some. Saying the color of someone’s skin and then talking about their asshole…not so much. Of course, I wouldn’t expect any consistency from JemeHill.

Williams' statement, on the other hand, seems so vindictive that it stinks with entitlement and racism.

So the amount of vindictiveness in a statement also determines the racism of the comment, but only if the correct amount of entitlement is present. Got it. I feel like I need to be presented with an official formula adding in the amount vindictiveness and entitlement that puts a statement up to the threshold of racism.

So unlike Adam Scott, Williams' current boss, I'm not willing to give Williams a free pass and excuse what he did as simply a poor choice of words.

Much like comments later in this column about Tiger Woods, because Adam Scott doesn’t agree with JemeHill’s point of view these comments were racist, he is giving Williams a free pass. So you either agree with JemeHill’s point of view or there is something wrong with you and you are giving Williams a free pass. I have no issue with those who bring up race in a discussion, but I have a problem when those who talk about race and believe their point of view is infallible enough to where it should be universally shared.

It's more than that.

You want it to be more than that.

Williams' words seem calculating.

Because we all know when a person threatens to shove an object up someone’s asshole this is a well-thought use of wording.

Williams' bitterness toward Woods is understandable. Woods fired him after he'd caddied 13 of Woods' 14 major victories.

It’s business. I’m not sure Williams should still be bitter, but if he is then maybe that’s understandable.

But here is where things get murky. After Williams caddied Scott's Bridgestone victory, he said it was the most gratifying win of his career.

Gratifying? How racist! It was gratifying to beat Tiger Woods, who is a minority by the way. If Steve Williams finds it gratifying to beat Tiger Woods at golf, in what other ways would Steve Williams like to beat Tiger Woods? Perhaps physically, with a whip? If Steve Williams wants to lash Tiger Woods with a whip while Tiger is in submissive position then that reeks of racism. I can’t believe Steve Williams said it would be gratifying to beat Tiger Woods with a whip. How racist!

Really? Winning Bridgestone is more gratifying than 60 wins and 13 majors? That's like someone saying an NFL wild card playoff berth is more fulfilling than making it to a Super Bowl.

Clearly Williams is using some hyperbole when making this statement. Still, I can see how a single win over Tiger Woods would be more gratifying than the wins with Woods were. Athletes are able find wins that aren’t in championship games to be the most gratifying of their career. I would imagine there are some Red Sox fans who find defeating the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS to be more gratifying than winning the World Series. An athlete beating a team that cut or released him could also be a very gratifying win compared to a playoff victory.

But this time, it just seems as if Williams' bitterness has morphed into something far more personal and toxic.

Of course JemeHill has no proof of this. She is taking his statement about Tiger’s “black asshole” and turning into the tip of the potentially fictional iceberg of what Williams says privately. If you combine Williams' fictional private thoughts about minorities with his satisfaction at winning a golf tournament as a caddy for a different golfer, then you can turn it into Williams’ toxic racial vendetta against Woods. I just think this is a hard leap to make. There are a lot of assumptions and imagination required to get to this conclusion.

The fact that he injected Woods' race into a description of how badly he wanted to show Tiger up is a troubling indicator that this wasn't just about usurping his former employer.

If we want to get technical, Woods isn’t actually black. He considers himself to be “caublanasian.” So would it have been as offensive if Williams said he wanted to shove it up Tiger’s Asian asshole? Maybe Williams did mean the comment to have racial undertones other than merely being a description of a portion of Tiger’s race, maybe he didn’t. The point is we can only take the comment on its face and turning the comment into something bigger by creating other layers of what Williams COULD think or MAY believe is pure speculation. Yet, JemeHill bases much of her entire conclusion on this speculation.

It seems like Williams was especially displeased that he'd been fired by a black man.

The only way you can get to this point is to read way too much into what Williams said. He said something stupid, but nowhere in “Tiger Woods’ black asshole” does it say he is mad he got fired by a black man. If anything, he was mad he got fired for doing his job well and is angry he seemed to be the sacrificial lamb to help explain Woods' struggles on the course post-divorce.

Williams might as well have told the audience, "How dare this black so-and-so fire me?"

Williams may as well have said that, except HE DIDN’T SAY THAT. To get this point you have to make a ton of assumptions:

-You have to assume Williams made the comment in a manner intended to be racial.

-You have to assume Williams has private thoughts which are much more racist than this one comment and this one outward comment was a small representative of the private thoughts Woods has towards minorities.

-You have to assume Williams is still bitter he was fired by Tiger Woods.

-You have to assume Williams did not like being fired by Tiger Woods because Tiger Woods is black and not for any other reason.

-Then you have to assume he was expressing his dislike for being fired by a black man by quickly allowing his long-held and previously unseen private racial toxicity to be seen in public.

-Finally, you have to assume the best method Williams had of expressing he didn’t like to be fired by a black man was to threaten to shove an award up this black man's ass.

And that is racist.

In the completely fictional conclusion you have come to, that would be racist. It would also be racist if Williams had come to the podium in black-face wearing a red shirt, eating fried chicken, drinking grape soda and then pretended to have sex with a porn star while screaming racial slurs. That would be very racist. Of course, much like actually Williams saying he didn’t like to be fired by a black man, this didn’t happen.

JemeHill should be embarrassed to write like this. She is not even misconstruing Williams’ words, but is actively making up words Williams never actually spoke and then gives them a reason behind Williams saying these fictional words based on beliefs we don’t know for sure that Steve Williams actually has.

Woods, who spoke of the incident for the first time on Tuesday, also characterized his former caddie's comments in the same manner.

"Stevie's certainly not a racist," Woods said in advance of the Australian Open.

Tiger, JemeHill thinks you are just turning a blind eye to the racist situation she just singlehandedly created. Since you do not agree with her position, and because there is no way she is wrong, you are in denial about race in America.

I don't know what's in Williams' heart,

Apparently you do since you just wrote an entire column speculating what you believe Williams actually believes and meant by his comment. You can’t write an entire article speculating and dissecting what Steve Williams said, while creating racial undertones, and then say you don’t know what is in Williams’ heart. Your writing says something different about what you think you do and do not know.

so I can't address his overall attitudes toward people of color.

Which, again, you just did address his overall attitude toward people of color.

And considering how much Woods has spent his career trying to be racially neutral -- despite arguably being the most noteworthy person of color to play professional golf -- it isn't surprising that he would once again sidestep anything involving race in his response to Williams' comment.

Or Tiger Woods may actually believe Steve Williams isn’t a racist and didn’t intend this comment wasn’t racially motivated, but he believes it was just a really poor choice of words. JemeHill thinks this is nonsense, because by not agreeing with her point of view, Tiger is just in denial. She feels there is absolutely no possibility she is misunderstanding the situation or her point of view is wrong. That would be impossible.

It was Tiger who reportedly told racially insensitive jokes to GQ writer Charles Pierce in a 1997 profile that followed his historic Masters win.

If Tiger tells racially insensitive jokes to Charles Pierce for an article then imagine the filth that comes out of his mouth in private!

(Cue joke about porn stars and weird sex games that Tiger probably played with his mistresses while he was married)

At some point, Woods has to understand that no matter how many cute nicknames he devises to explain his complicated ethnicity, and no matter how much he'd like to pretend his race is not an issue,

Yet again, JemeHill struggles with what words actually come out of a person’s mouth and what these words mean. Tiger never said race wasn’t an issue, he just didn’t have a problem with Williams’ comments from the point of view of race.

it still matters to some people.

Like JemeHill. Because if she couldn’t write about race then she would have nothing else to write about. So the conclusion JemeHill has reached is Tiger Woods pretends race is not an issue and that is why he didn’t find Williams’ comments to be racially-tinged. I realize race matters to some people, but JemeHill is really stretching to go from Steve Williams saying he wants to shove an award up Tiger Woods’ black asshole to Williams meaning he couldn’t believe he got fired by a black golfer.

JemeHill has to understand no matter how many assumptions she wants to stretch out in order to get to the “real” meaning behind Williams’ comment, no matter how much she’d like to pretend Williams’ comment meant more than an urge to shove something up Woods’ butt, it doesn’t mean her point of view is correct.


J.S. said...

LOL, this was fucking ridiculous, great post. I loved the "arguably being the most noteworthy person of color to play professional golf" comment. I can almost literally think of no less arguable point in the gamit of human civilisation than Tiger Woods is the most famous "person of color" to play golf. Maybe "gravity exists".

rich said...

So I immediately wondered if what Williams says about Woods in private is even more candid, even more venomous and, yes, even more racial when he isn't in a crowd.

Probably. Who hasn't said nasty things in public and in private about someone they had a very nasty breakup over.

My friends and I affectionately refer to an ex-gf of mine as the "whore of babylon." It happens. When you're pissed off you say stupid shit. This isn't anything new.

And that's the scary part.

No it's not. It's perfectly natural to be that pissed off.

You know what's really scary? A pissed off housewife with a 9 iron.

Williams' statement, on the other hand, seems so vindictive that it stinks with entitlement and racism.

Really? People use qualifiers all the time. "That that blonde bimbo did something stupid." "Ya, that asian kid did really well on the test." "That fat bitch just ate all my Twizzlers."

How is saying "black ass" racist. Is Tiger Woods in fact not black? Ya, I get how it could be racist, but not in this context.

Really? Winning Bridgestone is more gratifying than 60 wins and 13 majors?

Wait, you mean the jilted lover tried to make his ex jealous? Say it ain't so Jemele.

Oh and how about answering this Jemele: If Williams is so racist, then why did he caddy for Tiger Woods for so long?

And that is racist.

Jemele is like that gf who wakes you up at 4AM pissed off that in her dream you cheated on her. She took William's two words and from that was able to come to the epiphany that Williams is pissed off for being fired by a black guy. Holy shit this is race baiting at it's finest.

I don't know what's in Williams' heart,

But here's 2000 words on how much of a racist he is.

HH said...

So, Williams caddies for years for Tiger Woods. Williams helps him to 60 wins and 13 majors. Then Tiger, due to a major personal failing, goes through some personal problems. He comes back to the sport and struggles, and fires Williams. Williams is understandably angry: he's being made the scapegoat when it was Tiger's injuries and personal mess that made him suck for a while. In a Hollywood cliche, Williams' next employer wins the next tournament with Williams, and perhaps in a bit of exaggeration, Williams announces how satisfying it is to win after being made the scapegoat unfairly. And, in a similarly bitter (although, Williams: let it go, man) statement, he says he wants to shove something up Tiger's black asshole. Williams claims he's not racist. Scott says Williams is not racist. Tiger, who worked with Williams for years, says Williams is not racist.

JemeHill's only conclusion is that Williams is probably racist.

I hate you,

For a fun thought experiment, think about what people would say if the races were reversed...

HH said...


I can't address his overall attitudes toward people of color.

Which, again, you just did address his overall attitude toward people of color.

That may have been the funniest thing ever written on this blog. Kudos

rich said...

HH, ESPN already ran with "What if Vick were white?"

Let's pray they don't run with "What if Woods were white?" And conclude that no one would care that a white athlete cheated on his wife with dozens of Waffle House waitresses.

Bengoodfella said...

J.S., I am trying to think of another "person of color" to play golf. I can't. I also hate calling someone a "person of color." Not sure why, but it sounds pretty racist.

Rich, I like how JemeHill didn't just take the idea of what he may say privately as an indication of his personal beliefs. She also wonders what else Williams does based on those comments that could even be more racist. She would think your "Whore of Babylon" comment means you are probably Jack the Ripper.

I didn't have a problem with the use of his qualifier, it seems like he just added it to the comment. I'm not sure if this means he is secretly part of the Ku Klux Klan or anything like that. He's probably bitter towards Woods and that's about it. I can't believe Williams would be a super secret racist and enjoy such a great relationship while working with Woods all those years. So I agree with your point about that.

JemeHill would definitely wake you up and start a fight b/c she thinks her dream means something.

HH, if it were reversed then JemeHill would say Williams was fired b/c he was black and Woods (now white) needed a scapegoat. Williams has a reason to be bitter, but he also needs to get over it. It's over, man, let's move on.

I'm not saying Williams continued bitterness is justified, but he was essentially made the fall guy for Woods' poor performance after he suffered a major personal crisis. He had a right to be bitter for a bit and beating the guy who unjustly fired him probably feels good. No one thinks Williams is racist...except JemeHill, who by no coincidence also needed a column idea.

I could have just left this whole post at that remark.

Rich, if Woods were white...I'm not sure what would have changed. We've all forgiven him for his cheating and would really enjoy him making golf relevant again through his excellent play.