7.16.2014

Bill Burr and Abagond talk Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens (1913-1980), an American athlete and “the world’s fastest human”, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. And he, a Black man, the grandson of slaves, did it at the Olympics held in Berlin, the heart of Nazi Germany. Hitler himself watched as Owens showed the world that Aryans were hardly the master race.
So begins Abagond's excellent post on Jesse Owens. It got me thinking about a clip I'd seen from Bill Burr also talking about Jesse Owens.

Now, I know Burr tends to leave a nasty aftertaste in some folks' mouths, and again...I don't fault anyone for it. Most of his work leaves me deeply concerned as well.

That all being said, here are the rules of engagement:
1) If you're going to join the discussion, you have to watch the clip from beginning to end.  Burr doesn't talk about Jesse right away; he lays a foundation first before building up to him.

2) If you don't want to watch the clip, fine. Try to just lurk on this one because nothing's more irritating than conversing with someone who hasn't brought themselves fully up to speed on a subject.

3) Needless to say, give Abagond's post a gander.

19 comments:

  1. After reading Abagond's post I learned some things about Jesse Owens I did not konw, like that he was a republican and sort of blamed black people for all of their failings with no blame going to white racists. Also reading Abagond's post and watching the Bill Burr video I feel not much has changed about the white reaction to black athletes, they enjoy watching the athleticism but have absolutely no respect for the athlete, especially outside the game. You can still see that going on today.

    Burr talk about athletic moves and intelligent moves and I feel these athletes need to be intelligent not just in but outside the game also. Too many black athletes wind up broke and or disgraced because of some dumb move they made OUTSIDE the game. I've been noticing a lot if not most of these athletes who have had their careers end was not over a sport injury or simply deciding to leave the game or retire but over legal issues, getting involved in illegal activities, sex scandals, run-ins with the law etc., nothing that have to do with the sport they are playing. I don't know if Jesse Owens experienced any of that but (from what I took from Abagond's blog however I could be wrong) he did put too much faith in believing just being a good athlete is all he needed to be successful and get respect and he definitely put way too much faith in white people giving him that respect and just ended up dying broke and disgraced in a few people's eyes, as do a lot of athletes today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned some things about Jesse Owens I did not konw, like that he was a republican and sort of blamed black people for all of their failings with no blame going to white racists.

      I found that surprising as well. According to Wikipedia:

      Owens initially refused to support the black power salute by African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Four years later in his 1972 book I Have Changed, he moderated his opinion: "I realized now that militancy in the best sense of the word was the only answer where the black man was concerned, that any black man who wasn't a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward."

      So I think Abagond may have overdone that angle a little.

      Also, did y'all know that Germans created a mini-living museum to Jesse Owens?

      Delete
  2. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

    To me this man has a serious case of penis envy. I don’t know whether to dislike him or feel sorry for him. Even though it’s ventilated in a comedy routine his grievances speak volumes. It’s as if to say I’m not racist, but please forbear while I air a few personal observations about blacks. The first person that came to mind when he spoke of fast twitch muscles was of course famed sports commentator and odds maker, Jimmy the Greek. But someone else came to mind who spoke directly to the superiority of blacks -in one area of sports- and yet their lack of suitability (specifically coaching and upper management) which made it acceptable to discriminate; that man was Dodgers executive Al Campanis. According to Jimmy the Greek we blacks were bred on the plantation for drudgery in keeping with our bondage. Better developed and muscled because of a breeding program, black bucks supposedly could tote more cotton, labor longer than any white man and bear up better under the lash all because these traits were bred into him over the centuries. To use an excerpt from the film Cloud Atlas:

    “Reverend Horrox is specific how to run plantation.
    Georgian way best way he say.
    God, this heat is unbearable. How do they take it?
    Reverend Horrox say, slaves like camel, bred for desert.
    He say... they not feel heat like civilized folk.”

    Yet I’m sure in both Al Campanis and Jimmy The Greek’s minds they were giving blacks a compliment (much like this comedian). Still, Bill Burr’s segue from a black man’s ability to dominate white men on the court to Hitler gave me pause. White men drone daily about how they dominate in conflict, the political arena as well as technology, “I mean it’s obvious we’re superior in every way, so why Don’t we dominate in sports?” Then he self-medicates by attributing our ability to excel in sports directly to slavery. Only in this context is it ever ok to bring up slavery to explain the condition of black people. Yet we're not allowed to use the horrors of slavery to explain aspects of the black condition other than to say it made us better athletes? Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Only in this context is it ever ok to bring up slavery to explain the condition of black people."

      This! I mean any other time all we hear is that slavery was 150 years ago, my family never owned slaves, my family immigrated after slavery. But as soon as they need to attribute black success on the athletic field to anything other than hard work, discipline, leadership abilities then slavery comes up. It is not that black athletes train for years, for hours a day, no it is that they are born that way.

      Delete
    2. "Yet we're not allowed to use the horrors of slavery to explain aspects of the black condition other than to say it made us better athletes?"

      Whites are most intimidated by and are afraid of Blacks physically and a lot of their racism is built from that. So when it comes to some physical attribute between blacks and whites, whether it be sports, sex, violence, crime, enduring pain etc., whites will always say blacks are more dominant, but when it comes to some non physical attribute like being intelligent or having emotions and feelings whites will say they're more dominant or flat out deny those things in black people. Basically pushing the big scary unfeeling, non intelligent black that is a violent, hyper sexual, and a criminal who has super strength and can endure pain better like being enslaved for over 200 years.

      Delete
    3. I agree with everything stated above. If we bring up the argument that whites excel economically/socially primarily because they had a four-hundred year head start, we’re viewed as opportunists or malcontents. If we talk about disparities in education, the criminal justice system or the pervasiveness of de facto white supremacy whites will derail saying, “stop blaming everything on slavery, it was over 200 years ago, quit yer bellyaching and take responsibility for the here and now!” However, when whites fail at any sport/physical activity where people of color dominate it’s because of certain advantages accorded from an institution that ceased over 200 years ago. "Nonetheless, don’t you go blaming Enslavement or centuries of Jim Crow for your high incarceration rates, or fatherless homes, or the prevalence of drug abuse/AIDS in your inner-cities, there’s no correlation that slavery had anything to do with that. But we’ll concede to the fast-twitch muscle thing, hell that’s a given."

      Delete
    4. Leo Princess7/18/14, 9:35 AM

      I saw a article by a so-called scientist who used the whole Slave Athlete theory to explain why Usain Bolt and the rest of the Jamaican track team mined gold at the 2008 Olympics. 'fast-twitch muscle fibres/special breeding' with a dash of, "well, a lot of other colonies sent their frequently disobedient/run-away slaves there, so that explains it".

      Waiting on the slavery explanation for the number of Rhodes Scholars we have.

      Delete
    5. Waiting on the slavery explanation for the number of Rhodes Scholars we have.

      *bows*

      Delete
  3. Just wanted to add a correction on the Jimmy The Greek reference. This is the link which speaks to the breeding of blacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I laughed aloud while watching that. The fact that Jesse Jackson came in on the end was just icing on the cake.

      Delete
    2. I'm starting to wonder if Jimmy met Privately with Jesse to you know, Apologize before the civil rights activist spoke with such conciliatory tones.

      Delete
  4. Everybody on here is making some excellent points. The thing which stood out to me about the clip was how this was the first time I'd ever seen a white comedian comfortably, casually discuss American slavery, and whattaya know...it's in conjunction to the black dominance of sports. He does fill his routine with insurance statements (i.e., not saying we can't be scientists, not saying our athletes can't make intelligent moves, Jesse Owens destroying Hitler's propaganda), but he's only doing so that, as M. Gibson stated, he can air his grievances with immunity.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing how white people claim they don’t see race, but whether it’s on the starting line, or the gridiron if you’ve one white athlete with everyone else being ‘a person of color’ the white man will always root for the lone white guy rather than the best person.

    He makes that plain doesn’t he? At 1:06 he says, “I like that Jimmy the Greek moment that happens in sports you know like once every 4 or 5 years you know like some 50 55 year-old white dude tries to explain why black people are kicking the shit out of white people in practically (raising his hand to add emphasis) every major sport you know?’
    If you listen closely his delivery is seasoned with resentment even as he attributes the sentiment to someone else. First he lays the groundwork by bringing up the theory. Notice he doesn’t dispute it even as he milks the moment of every comedic droplet he still relates to their gripe on a personal level. Like the men he speaks of moving out of frame so as not to be deemed racist so too does this comedian distance himself from Jimmy the Greek even as he accords validity to the sports analyst’s claim. Then he puts all his cards on the table by saying: “Plus I gotta admit as a white dude at some level I Have to Believe In That Theory…” Then he presents his evidence, “I watched a show on runaway slaves.” There you have it ladies and gentlemen, definitive evidence!

    To paraphrase: I’m compelled to, (in other words as a white man), It Makes Perfect Sense to Me. Admittedly I’m distressed every time I see a black guy outclass a white guy (not just in sports mind you). So I’m obliged to ask, “Are we really that bad?” Or could there be a reasonable more plausible explanation to soothe my feelings of inadequacy. So Mr. White man, why doesn’t everything else make sense? How can you accept the cumulative effects from centuries of slavery with regards to our performance in sports, and yet repudiate all the other impediments that centuries of oppression caused? You know the lynchings, rapes and torture. Outlawing literacy, the breakup of family, depriving us of our humanity- our history and culture (for centuries mind you), why doesn’t that help explain our present state? Why doesn’t that make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just reading about Jesse's ordeal with racism should remind POC's and this should serve as a valuable lesson for Blacks and other POC's who think that they will not be victimized by racism for just being "good". Sure, White society will tell us that being good is the key to winning their hearts..uh-huh.

    Back in the day, people were more cordial and the " ratchet" stereotype that Black people are stuck with these days didn't exist. Jesse was a good boy, worked hard, got a college education( though he struggled a bit), became a world class runner and even was a Republican yet White society reminded him of his place in this world. While it was more predictable of Hitler not wanting to be around him, it was sad to see how our own country didn't respect him. Even the runner that Hilter put against him respected Jesse far more than the USA.

    Why can't society just accept that Black people work for what they do. I do agree with M. Gibson's assessment about Bill Burr's word. Mind you that he'a doing comedy and that he's there to make people laugh,but underneath the supposed humor seems lie some resentment with his words. He's not the only one though in being baffled over the strong Black athlete

    All of us have heard of the dangers of the educated Black man joke. I remembered wondering why would why society focus on the Black man focusing on his intelligence but not from Whites or other races. Then I think about the thing I was often taught about it. Booksense without common sense is dead. I think about how White slavemasters attempted to justify our intelligence on the lack of education my ancestors were denied yet, they still outsmarted them and continue to do so now. The real danger was..and still is is when a Black person have commonsense ALONG with booksense. That is very telling. It kind of reminds me of Richard Sherman. His White racists tried everything in their power to say that this guy wasn't dealing with a full deck, his major ( Which is communications) and where he's from( Compton,California). One thing I noticed with Richard was how ..in all..a lot of his critics was shut down when they learned that he was getting his masters from Stanford University with a 3.6 GPA( graduated from high school with a 4.0). He is not only a football player who didn't fit the dumb jock stereotype,but he is filled with so much commonsense. Though Richard is smart with his books but also with his mind..which a lot of his critics couldn't accept.

    Similarly to the athletes. Nobody is born to be one. You can work hard to be one. People like Bill and other " dumbfounded" White people just think that people are born the way they are. It's not a science was they want to make it as. Mentally, physically and spiritually. Mentally, we have to endure the hostility of White society, physically our ancestors had to work until it killed them and spiritually, we have to..and still have to keep our heads up to keep from going nuts in such racism. Experience,not science is what makes us and other POC's stronger and intelligent.

    ReplyDelete
  7. “Sure, White society will tell us that being good is the key to winning their hearts..uh-huh.”

    For centuries whites have basically said if you want to be accepted as true Americans emulate us. Adopt our ways, our values, and our culture, abide in our ideals and we will grant you full citizenship with all the rights and privileges afforded to every red-blooded (white) American. Many black men thought that would be the case after participating in World War II. That was the big lie. It was never white people’s intent to place us on equal footing, but merely to fashion and maintain a permanent underclass. No matter what we (Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Marian Anderson or Jackie Robinson) did, no matter how much we advocated compliance to the prevailing standards/practices it was all for naught.

    White society will tell us that being good is the key to winning their hearts…” yet they perpetually undermine this concept to keep us off-balance, redefining what Being Good means as they see fit, they hold us to standards/ideals they themselves fall woefully short of. Then use those failings to keep us oppressed.

    Reminds me of the plot in the 1988 film, They Live. Where the ruling class (Whites) are in fact aliens (figuratively people of another culture) concealing their appearance (privilege) by manipulating people of color to spend money, curtail breeding and accept the status quo (de facto white supremacy), all nestled within subliminal messages beamed through mass media. Even now messages like Obey, Submit, Consume more, Eat less (white women) can be observed in commercials on any given day.

    Back in the day, people were more cordial and the " ratchet" stereotype that Black people are stuck with these days didn't exist.

    Please forgive me but I believe “Ratchet" behavior existed way back when (not that we weren't cordial). Times change yes, but people really don’t change all that much. My mother was Ratchet/Ghetto before the word existed (forgive my characterization). She was a hard- outspoken woman who associated with like-minded folk. She was loud, boisterous and violent. Moreover, she wasn’t afraid of any man. Where I came from teen girls fought openly in the streets, and (some) black men regularly beat their women. I know a few women that came to hide from their men at our home. Now this was back in 1963 or so. In Zora Neale Hurston’s book Characteristics of Negro Expression the author describes ratchet behavior, although the term itself is not used you pretty much know the behavior when she describes it, and her book was written in 1934. A big AMEN to everything else you said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Even now messages like Obey, Submit, Consume more, Eat less (white women) can be observed in commercials on any given day."

      Don't forget "Sleep". We as a society are often told to sleep.

      Translation: Do not wake up and realize what is actually happening to you and, God forbid, do something about it

      Delete
    2. "Don't forget "Sleep". We as a society are often told to sleep.

      Translation: Do not wake up and realize what is actually happening to you and, God forbid, do something about it."

      That's it... you put that very well. To quote the Strangers in the 1998 film Dark City: Sleep now!

      Delete
  8. I commented on the Jesse Own thread on Abagond. The part about black people failing is their fault if they don't succeed. That was kind of "Uncle Tom" to me. But i have to remember he was a product of his era. One commenter on Abagond's thread after viewing this comic in the video . A commenter actually sadi some of that stuff the comic was doing in his routine,saying this was why black people were superior in track and field. After viewing this video clip i swear this is where that clown got his post from. Abagond, told him he sounded like one of those race realist with his racist theory. SMH.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.