Thursday, January 21, 2010

Racism, Birtherism, and Basketball

The All American Basketball Alliance is proudly calling for a new segregationist culture. Apparently, this group is consciously and purposefully setting up an all white basketball league. Why? No reason than it just doesn't like non-whites and can't stand the thought of shooting hoops with them. Good God Almighty. What has this country come to?

And, yet, the most illuminating thing about this whole bizarre thing is how the anti-Obama birther movement is intimately linked to the All American Basketball Alliance's mission. Read this statement from the All American Basketball League:

"Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league."
These people are nuts. And I bet every single one of the league organizers, players, and supporters identifies as an anti-Obama birther and a movement conservative.


Eric said...

"These people are nuts."

I agree they are unequivocally worng, but I wonder if they feel justified in their behavior by looking at society and seeing the number of groups who exclude white people (while receiving very little social criticism for doing so)? I wonder how much that insanity contributes to their unhinged behavior? I personally know some people who would likely be supportive of this kind of thing, and I would be the first to tell them they are wrong, but I can say from experience that their immediate response would be something along the lines of: 'Come back and preach to me some more when there are no scholarships, government programs, and social organizations that are inclusive only to non-whites.' That certainly isn't a logical justification of such behavior, but it does seem to necessitate that if you are going to argue against all-white basketball leagues then you had better be arguing equally hard against all-black scholarships.

"And I bet every single one of the league organizers, players, and supporters identifies as an anti-Obama birther and a movement conservative."

And I bet most Al Queda members identify as Obama supporters who think he is secretly the 13th Imam. So there, your kooks are worse than ours. Neener neener.

Maitri said...

Um, I'm technically a Caucasian, but I can't play basketball worth a damn, which does not seem to be a requirement. I must qualify. Oh wait, my parents are Caucasians, too, but they were born outside the United States. So, I guess that excludes me and my German-American friends.

Actually, Eric, most Al Qaeda members want Obama to come sweep their homes and drive their cars because that's all black people are fit to do in the Arab-Islamic world. So, they are no different than these All-American jerks. Their Imams simply speak better Arabic.

eric said...


I don't doubt that at all. The last part of my comment was meant to be a tounge-in-cheek repudiation of Huck's (probably also tounge-in-cheek) attempt to apply the worst charactistics of people on the political and social fringes towards a larger group who share some of the same ideas.

Huck said...

Eric - Are you sure Al-Qaeda are supporters of Obama? Obama has pledged to destroy them, you know. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment (sorta), but I think you need to do a better job of identifying the left's fringe. But I should also say that I don't think the converse of my statement is true. In other words, I don't think (and I didn't say) that all movement conservatives are racist anti-Obama birthers. But I would bet that nearly all racist anti-Obama birthers of the kind that would organize, support, and play in this basketball league are movement conservatives.

Also, Eric, I don't personally know any Al-Qaeda Obama supporters, but you admitted that you do know some folks who would likely support the All American Basketball Alliance. That tells me that your side's "fringe" is perhaps a little closer to your side's mainstream than my side's "fringe" is closer to my side's mainstream. Something to ponder.

Finally, the arguments you say your friends would make in defense of their support of the All American Basketball Alliance that you seem to think have some merit (i.e. I need to protest all-black scholarships before pointing an accusing finger at an all-white basketball league.) may be the result of racialized anger, but it is not a logical or parallel situation. We give scholarships and recognitions for all sorts of things. The difference is that there are as many all-white scholarships as their are all-black scholarships. For instance, some all-white social clubs have their own little awards and scholarship programs and such exclusively for their membership. The fallacy in the likely arguments posited by the people you know is that it presumes white folks don't behave accordingly in their own little private white worlds. That it's only the NAACP that gives out all black scholarships. And besides that, there's also the qualitative difference that the minority scholarship programs your acquaintances would complain about are not blatant efforts to to demean others, but I see the attitude behind this All American Basketball Alliance as purposefully doing precisely that. NAACP scholarships are meant to support black students without any kind of moral commentary on the worthiness or abilities of white students; but the All American Basketball League is designed precisely to be a commentary on the worthiness or abilities of non-white peoples. I know you probably think the intent is meaningless, but the decency in human beings tells us otherwise.

Eric said...

Either it is OK for people to organize socially along formally drawn race-based lines, or it's not. Anything else is a double standard, however you define it (which isn't even to say double standars are always bad, but they should always be acknowledged for what they are).

The intent behind formal racial segregation as applied to social or economic opportunity, while not entirely meaningless, is entirely useless for the purposes of defining the ethical fortitude of such behavior. Whether you mean it to be a commentary on the worthiness of another race or not, making rules that exclude them from your reindeer games also excludes them from opportunities based solely on the color of their skin. I call that racism and wrong, even if your intentions are decent.

"That tells me that your side's "fringe" is perhaps a little closer to your side's mainstream than my side's "fringe" is closer to my side's mainstream. Something to ponder."

Perhaps, but if you're going to agree to that jestful argument, it also tells us that your side's frige is insanely more dangerous and homicidal!