Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber. . . . Some people just can’t believe a lack man is president and will never accept it.
But today we woke up to two news stories regarding blacks gone wild.
At the MTV Music Video Awards, in a bizarre scene where Taylor Swift (who is white) was giving an acceptance speech for her VMA Award, Kanye West (who is black) took the microphone from her hand, apparently because he apparently believed that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" deserved the award instead. Rolling Stone reported:
"Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!," Kanye shouted to a mortified Swift and the speechless audience. According to sources at the VMAs, Swift was seen hysterically crying backstage after Kanye's outburst, making it convenient that her performance of 'You Belong to Me,' which immediately followed the acceptance speech, was prerecorded. Wale, who is serving as MC for the house band, told the crowd, 'You can't fault a man for speaking his mind,' which was promptly met by boos from the Radio City Music Hall crowd.It would be easy to ascribe unvarnished racism as the animating force behind West's outburst. West later apologized for his behavior.
Also on Sunday, tennis great Serena Williams had some apologies to make of her own. As reported by Total Pro Sports:
Again, was race the motivating factor behind Williams' tantrum? Maybe. She could have been angry, losing to Clijsters (who is white) or one could take notice that the tirade was launched against the line judge who is a diminutive Japanese woman.
Last night's semifinals match between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters was the epitome of craziness as the game ended in the most unusual fashion after Serena was penalized on match point, costing her the game, set, and match. After already receiving a code violation warning for breaking her racket after losing the first set, Williams was serving 5-6, 15-30 in the second. She faulted on her first serve and on her second attempt was called for a foot foul by the line judge. That cost her a crucial point at an important part of the game as Clijsters was now one point away from advancing to the finals. Serena responded to the call in a rather inaffable manner, making her way over to the line judge to shout and curse at her as she waved her racket and ball in disgust.
Dropping the f-word liberally, Williams said, "I swear to God I'm [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God."
And let's not forget Van Jones, who among other things, called Republicans (as Ben Stein put it) a "barnyard epithet." Something Jones later had to apologize for on his way out the White House door.
But in the end, what difference does it make whether West's tactless behavior was motivated by racism. It was still awful. The only bright spot of the episode was Beyonce's graciousness in later inviting Swift back up to the stage to finish her acceptance speech.
What difference does it make whether racism caused Williams' meltdown? It was shameful nonetheless.
We should declare a moratorium, or even better retire the old "racism" trope. Bad behavior whether by Wilson, West, Williams (is it racism, poor temperament or because their last names begin with "W"?) is still crass, rude and beneath the dignity of all involved. Let's not questions anyone's motives any more and just call unacceptable behavior out when we see it. There's really no good reason to try to score extra cheap political points by crying racism to condemn already appalling behavior.