Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Why black coaches are important

I have talked before about how having two black head coaches in the Super Bowl is not important from a football perspective. But from a societal perspective, it is important for one simple reason: intelligence.

One of the flaws in recent "black culture" (for lack of a better phrase) is a de-emphasis on intelligence. Too often, blacks who are successful in intellectual fields tend to be ignored as "oreos" (black on the outside, white on the inside). Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas are fine examples, although their conservative views are used to excuse any racial slurs used against them by liberals, thereby neutering them as potential role models.

Unfortunately, where are the liberal black role models? Barack Obama might eventually become one, but he is not there yet. That leaves us with people like Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, who only serve to reinforce a "blacks as victims" mentality. If you are doomed to be a victim all your life, what good will intelligence do you?

There are also too many stories of young blacks having educational success, only to be accused of being "sell-outs". This is how the "blacks as victims" mentality plays out within the black community.

This leaves limited acceptable success paths for black youths: entertainment (which is irrelevant), athletics (but God help the white person who says blacks are somehow superior athletes, even though the black community accepts this), or ultra-liberal politics (where they will be ignored by the mainstream, thereby reinforcing the "blacks as victims" since no one takes them seriously). Mind you, many blacks choose other career paths, and have success in them. But they get ignored when they try to promote other means to success, since they must have been "sell-outs" to have accomplished what they have.

But this is where Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith can make an important contribution.

While NFL head coaches normally come from a football background, harking back to athletics as an acceptable success path, these men have to be intelligent to have success, as defined in the NFL by winning the Super Bowl.

Sunday night, one of these two men will be unofficially crowned as the most intelligent man in professional football. Not the fastest, not the strongest, not the most entertaining, and we won't even know what his politics are, nor will we care. But he will be smart, and THAT is the most important role model for black youths.

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