Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silly, silly Josh Howard

I can only assume Josh Howard won't be invited to play on the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team. Not now, not ever, especially after this little YouTube revelation. (on a side note: maybe he should publicly attribute this monumental gaffe to being high).

Howard, please, please, please, don't equate black or being an Obama supporter with possessing an inclination toward tuning out "The Star-Spangled Banner." You must make it clear that you're speaking for yourself, ok?

Let's talk about this: you should know that being black in America has traditionally meant being a patriot in the truest sense of the word - my father, grandfather and generations of uncles have fought overseas for this country despite no assurances their service would be honored when they returned home. Often, it wasn't.

Yes, our relationship with this country is definitely nuanced - were it listed on Facebook, it would be tagged "it's complicated." No, we black Americans don't always swaddle ourselves in the Stars and Stripes, and we can recognize the irony of celebrating "Independence Day." But our love for this country should never be called into question: we loved America when it didn't love us back. Still, our patriotism, - particularly the guy who you purportedly support in the upcoming presidential election - is always under suspicion.

I'm not going to be irrational and imply you don't love this country either. I know the back story and I know where you're coming from. Sort of. If only you had articulated yourself like Toni Smith, I might have been able to come up with a stronger defense.

But you're suspect now to people who don't want to see the history behind your silly bluster - you're positively a pariah for the next few days and possibly through the end of your career. And you've got no one to blame but yourself. Make sure you don't bring the rest of us along with you.

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