|Should RGIII own his 'blackness'?|
|Parker's controversial comments spark meaningful dialogue.|
What these major black athletes should realize is, whether they like it or not, is that the reason that they are there is because someone before them paved the way for them to be there, and in essence, they too pave the way for future black athletes that hope to reach the level they currently attain. To come out and take pride in something when you are in a prominent position, you have the power to induce and strengthen the morale of those that share in that pride with you. When it comes to minority races in particular--where predecessors have fought against discrimination and suffered from inequality-- seeming lack of pride or appreciation for one's predecessors is viewed as a giant slap in the face, or flat out Uncle Tommery. Therefore, Parker was merely trying to illustrate for the outsider what RGIII's cumulative racial 'denials' amount to in the eyes of some blacks. His speech was just flat wrong.
Being a 'Carlton' or 'cornball' doesn't make a person 'whiter'. You're still black. You will always be viewed as black to the outsider no matter how un-intimidating or articulate you are. So take a stand, black athlete. Pay homage to those that came before you while simoultaneously playing a part in boosting the morale of a people that have for many years have had little to take pride in.