Saturday, July 14, 2007

"You aint all the way black"

As someone who loves to speak uncomfortable truths myself, I have to say that I have no problem with Gary Sheffield when he speaks his mind. Sheffield is to baseball, what Francis Holland has become to the blogosphere. I love the guys honesty, his blunt talk, and the way he can straight stroke a baseball. Believe me, as a long time Detroit Tigers fan (don't ask how) this is important to me.

So Gary Sheffield has been "stirring the pot" again. This time by calling out the Yankees and their Manager, Joe Torre, for their double standard when it comes to their treatment of black players. Sheffield, because of his abilities as a player, and because of his veteran status has been acting as an unofficial spokesperson for the African American players in Major League Baseball . His comments about the passive Latin players and baseball's more willingness to deal with them, was also controversial and drew criticism from a majority white sports public tired of hearing about race. They wish the talk of race in their beloved sports world would just go away like one of Sheffield's home runs deep into Tiger stadium.

But why should it? Why shouldn't Sheffield be able to speak his mind? Every great athlete who makes a Brinks Truck load of money can't be like Mike, or Magic, or, for that matter, Tiger. No, some people in America,regardless of how much money they make actually call bullshit when they see it. For the record, I despise Michael Jordon as a person. I think he is a sellout, and is someone who turned his back on his people so that little white boys in Iowa can have his posters on their walls, and little black boys in inner city America can kill and rob each other for his $150 branded sneakers. Now he spends his retirement running from golf course to golf course gambling away his money, and playing O.J. (think about it) from one resort to another. He and his side kick, the round mound of buffoonery, also known as Sir Charles, are beloved by white folks because they never say things to really make them (white folks) uncomfortable. Charles tries from time to time, but he is viewed more as a big joke, and is never taken seriously by anyone who listen to him. Sheffield, on the other hand, is viewed as an "angry black man" ---at least that's how one local sports talk show described him today--- and thus he makes white folks uncomfortable. The response to his statements are often swift and vitriolic. "The guy makes millions and he is still angry, Sheffield should just shut up and play, he makes good money what is he bitching about, he makes more money that I will ever see in my life, and I am white." (God forbid a black man does that) Nothing puzzles white folks more than a black man who makes a lot of money but still bitches about inequities in society. To them, money is the great equalizer and should cure all woes real and perceived. Sheffield was confronted with another popular comeback when the uncomfortable issue of race is raised. Well if the Yankees are so bad why is it that a black player -Derek Jeter- gets the mega star treatment from them. (If America is so bad for black people how come Oprah is so rich?) Sheffield's response was that Jeter wasn't "all the way black", that he is both "black and white" true statements because Jeter is the child of a mixed marriage. Yet I am sure he will be pillaged for that one as well.

Now let me say for the record that I don't know anything about what goes on behind the scenes with the Yankees or Joe Torre. Sheffield said that other black players had an issue with Torre because "they weren't treated like everyone else". They were called out and "disrespected" while the white players weren't. This may or may not have been true. But I will say this; if it is true I wouldn't be surprised. What, cause they are the Yankees they are above racism? Bullshit! When it comes to racism everybody is a fucking suspect.

So keep speaking your mind Mr. Sheffield, no matter how uncomfortable it makes people. The other field Negroes out here have your back, and we are glad you make other people uncomfortable. Hell they should be, America is an uncomfortable place, and baseball is as American as apple pie.


rikyrah said...


This has gotten absurd.

Genarlow Wilson Prosecutor Releases Sex Videotape WITHOUT OBSCURING THE FACES

You mean to tell me that if it had been UNDERAGED WHITE GIRLS on that tape, he would :
1. Released it
2. Released it without obscuring the faces.


The man needs to be brought up on child pornography charges.

Or, is it only child porn when it's WHITE kids involved?

DivineLavender said... to look at that link.

FN; You are such the truth....Goodness we shouldn't make the Pilgrims mad or uncomfortable. I am with you.....speak!

Yeah, Michael, Charles, Cosby, and Tiger with their "golden" silence without taking up some leadership bothers me. (Oprah too) I know of plenty of neighborhoods in Chicago that could have used a private school for girls and HIV testing and treatment. I disgress.

Thank FN!


Francis L. Holland Blog said...

I think my best moments as a blogger have been when I realized that Field Negro had recognized my work, first back with the whitosphere vs. Blackosphere analysis and now in showing why Black people are going to be in a world of hurt if people like Markos Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA get any more power in the Democratic Party and in politics generally.

Just look at it this way. Back when Ronald Reagan was declaring ketchup a vegetable, calling Black women "welfare queens" and promising to use US troops to put down the rebellion of Black people against the apartheid government of South Africa, you know who was supporting Ronald Reagan in all of that? That's right! Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos. Read his Cato Institute article that's linked in my article to which Field has linked above!

And when George H.W. Bush was appointing Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court, Markos Moulitsas was supporting that, too!

And now we find out that Markos Moulitsas interviewed with the CIA for six months in 2001! THE CIA!!!!!!!!! AND someone with his name and listed on government documents as the "manager" of his family hotel in El Salvador is ALSO on the board a a right-wing political group that supports death squads and was implicated in the murder of a Catholic Archbishop! You can't make this stuff up! It's all in the government documents!

White people can ignore facts like these sometimes, but most Black people instinctively know that anybody who EVER supported Ronald Reagan is NOT a friend of Black people.

Now, Markos Moulitsas says he's become a progressive - a states' rights progressive with 3% combined Black and Latino membership at his blog!

Is THIS the man who should decide who the Democratic nominee will be? What are the chances that someone who supported Reagan will now support Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

Thanks for linking to my post! If we can just let everyone know that Moulitsas spent six months at the CIA in 2001, I think there will be less risk that he will infiltrate the Democratic Party and pick our (white male) presidential candidate for us.

NattyDreadKing8800 said...

yes bredren continue to speak truth

Anonymous said...

It only shows that an educated brother who speaks his mind is a dangerous person to white america.

I guess it is more "politically correct"for us to eitehr be silent and claim that race is not a problem anymore like it was 40 years ago. Put down the " Evil Charlatan Race Piming" duo of Al & Jesse on cue, whenever Johnny Blueyes brings up the topic on a Sunday news show. Or just simply lambast Shaniqua for her baby daddy drama, TaeShawn for wearing saggy pants and not doing anything to mentor them or show them life beynd the hood.

X. Dell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
X. Dell said...

Baseball wonders why there are fewer black players from the US than there were fifteen years ago. I agree with you that a lot has to do with a double standard not only in treatment in the clubhouse (as Sheffield alleges) but in coverage of ballplayers by the sports press. Just the abreaction to Sheffield's comments gives weight to his argument.

Because of the ubiquity of African Americans in football and basketball, singling out different treatment would be too hard to discern, unless you're talking about specific positions (e.g. Rush's assement of Donovan McNabb, and the current hounding--pun semi-intended--of Michael Vick).

I came over via C-Dell's blog. Hope you don't mind.

field negro said...

rikyrah, thanks for the link, I will definately check it out.

divine.., I am feeling you on more involvement from our celebrities.

x-dell, thanks for coming over. Everyone is always welcome in the fields; so of course I don't mind.

rw said...

Mr. Field,

I’ve been reading your blog for about a month and have a great deal of respect for your work. I enjoy your blog immensely, and read it frequently. I seldom comment on blogs, since it’s real easy to lurk.

You wrote, “Nothing puzzles white folks more than a black man who makes a lot of money but still bitches about inequities in society. To them, money is the great equalizer and should cure all woes real and perceived?” I’ve been trying to wrap my head around your declarations, and I can’t.

Would you please explain how you acquired the information to make those assertions? You must have forgotten my number. How did you find the time to contact all of the other “white folks” in the world, and then poll them? What scientific methods did you pursue in order to arrive at such a blanket statement?

Some people, black, white or whatever, think it’s puzzling that any rich athletes bitch, in general. Various people, black, white or whatever, don’t really give a crap about what any rich athlete thinks about anything. A number of people, black, white or whatever, believe there’s more to life than money. Such pursuits as meaningful work, friends, family, health, etc.. What do you think?

The more I read your above noted assertions, the more ridiculous they sound, to me. Are those assertions really your perceptions of all “white folks“? Do you really think that all “white folks” are that racist and shallow? If so, you’re not as well-informed as I thought you were. Perhaps you should become acquainted with some different “white folks.“ It may be worthwhile, on your part, to look a little further than a couple of statements from an isolated source.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to read your usually excellent blog. Some people believe that an honest dialogue, among all people, is necessary for the future of humanity. I read that a famous reverend once said, "The world is becoming more of a neighborhood, but is it anymore of a human hood? If we don't learn to live together as brothers and sisters, we will perish together as fools."

P.S. Baseball may be as “American as apple pie,” but the fun seems to have gone out of the game on the professional level. If Mr. Sheffield’s statements are true, the taste of apple pie is not so sweet.

Hathor said...

I get so tired of this.

Do you really think that all “white folks” are that racist and shallow?

Does one alway have to say "within my experience" or can't we generalize like others? Do we have to say white folk, more than black folk...? I alway wonder why do white folks take it so personally, I say this because what you say is not unique. I begin to think that there is a hint of white guilt, guilt that comes from knowing that at one time you have made that statement or some other racist comment or had had such thoughts. I am now speaking for myself not FN.

field negro said...

rw, thank you for your thoughtful-and I hope honest-comments.And thanks for lurking in the fields. I hope you keep coming back.

Now let me say for the record, that I do often generalize when I say, "white folks". Most to me means the majority, and that only has to be 51%.

And I do not consider "all" white folks as "racist or shallow", if you read this blog as much as you say that you do, you would know that. On a lot of levels I have to agree with hathor; I am not sure why every white person has to personalize generalizations. I am sure black folks don't when I say that some black folks are flat out "poverty pimps" or "lawn jockeys". Maybe there IS something deeper going on here. (White guilt maybe?)

"...You must have forgotten my number..."

OK I must confess, I never had it. So give it to me, so that I can check with you as one of my designated white friends to check on before my next post about White people :)

BTW, nice quote about the game of baseball.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

A friend with white skin came to spend 11 days with me and my family recently. He and I have been friends since we were ten (about 34 years) and it was he, a psychiatrist, who first told me that much of my depression comes from slavery, Jim Crow, and from fighting with white people all of the time.

At first, I told him that his ideas made no sense, that fighting with white people hadn't affected me that much. But, after now living among Black people in Brazil for three years, I can tell you that fighting with white people and dealing with their crap day in and day out was one of the biggest contributors to my chronic depression.

Now that I live among Black people in a Black dominated Brazilian culture, I feel amazingly better, like a giant weight has been lifted from my psyche. I feel like someone was holding my head under the water before, suffocating me, and now I am finally able to breathe.

But, when I read what's going on with my people in the United States, I still become furious and I want to do something about it. I think that's part of why punishing Markous Moulitsas is so therapeutic for me. My essays about him are like a riot that uses the keyboard as a substitute for . . . rioting.

I say, if you feel you need to unburden your heart, then pick any running dog of the white male supremacy paradigm and write about him constantly. :) Isn't that what they do to Black people? Undermine us and run us down every chance they get?

Well, do what I do: Pick any ex-CIA trainee who still supports states' rights and who supported Ronald Reagan, George H.W.Bush and Henry Hyde, and whose blog is only 3% Black and Hispanic, and write about that MF constantly. Start a blog about the MF! If it doesn't change society, at least it will unburden your heart.

H.D. Thoreau said, "The masses of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Well, as Black bloggers, we might feel "desperate" sometimes, but were damn sure don't have to be quiet about it!

If you decide to riot at the keyboard toward one of the white male supremacists, please pick one who wants to perpetuate the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency in 2008, and riot virtually against that "progressive leader" white male supremacists. We might be able to make some progress in the next 18 months, if enough of us Blacks and women make our position clear. "It's time to end the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency."

Tasha said...

Continue to speak the truth. Everytime I stop by here, I'm reminded of how refreshingly honest you are.

Woozie said...

It only shows that an educated brother who speaks his mind is a dangerous person to white america.

An educated anybody speaking their mind is dangerous to America.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

You will never, ever, hear of anyone in MLB talking about disparities in treatment of white, Latino and Black ballplayers other than Gary Sheffield.

But because he's got a boatload of cash, he's supposed to be a happy Negro in the Major Leagues. Sounds like this brother has done his reading of books like "The Rage of a Privaleged Class" by Ellis Cose.

He's also saying "What good is the money, if you don't have equal treatment."

The discussion is always uncomfortable for some - which is why it's not being done. Bump being comfortable - it's like saying we're supposed to be comfortable about racism in our society. Which is why you will never hear Mike, Charles or Derek even deign to talk about equal opportunity or treatment because they don't want to bite the hands that sign their checks.

Until they get pulled over by the cops, thrown out of an exclusive store or club, or get denied access, they don't get it and they never will. Jeter might be biracial, but let him into the wrong side of Central Park West and see how fast he's relagated to being a Negro.

My father and grandfather were sandlot ballplayers who couldn't even grace a baseball field back in their day. My grandfather, especially used to regale us with stories of his playing days - Satchel Paige (best pitcher ever), Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck O'Neil (a couple of years younger than my grandad) and others. They paved the way for the brothers who have enjoyed the ride - and no one says a damned thing about Curt Flood, the brother who sued MLB so other brothers could get as paid as their white counterparts.

It's Jackie Robinson and that's all.

Handle your business, Sheff, cause it seems like there's too many House Negroes in professional sports these days.

Christopher Chambers said...

White males watching Sportscenter go nuts over Sheffield because interrupts their delusional fantasy "hipness" with reality. I say go ahead, Gary. Too many of our athletes are too busy feeding that view with crime, chicks and bling.

Speaking of that, your new House Negroes should be Debra Lee and Reggie Hudlin of BET, for trying to pass on these new reality show Hot Ghetto Mess as some sort of public affairs show on dysfunctional black behavior. Remember, MTV and VH-1 are all in BET's corporate family and you know the crap they put on TV...

The Angry Independent said...

Thanks Field!

And I agree about Sheffield.

With all the intoxicating & obscene amounts money that these players get... it would be easy for them to just shut up and play. It takes courage to speak out when most of your contemporaries are shuffling along... scared to speak.

And good point about MJ and those silly ass shoes. Black folks will camp out damn near overnight whenever a new design comes out.... and will spend $150 or more on those shoes (money that they have no business spending on sneakers). They became the number one status symbol for Black kids... at least when I was growing up. I'm just thinking back to all the reports that I read or heard about someone being robbed or killed for their Air Jordans.
Yet, I never recall any major effort by Jordan to address that epidemic. Seems as though he was more concerned with collecting the checks.

In the end though... we shouldn't look at sports figures for any kind of leadership IMO. At least not from the current generation of althletes... although Sheffields courage is admirable....and rare.
The money & fame has taken over their lives...completely!

And did you mention Detroit as your team?????? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was a typo, lol.

The Angry Independent said...

And what the Hell is going on in Philly???

Philly is like a much larger version of St. Louis... where law and order has almost broken down in certain parts of the city. But right now... some of these inner cities look like 3rd world countries.

These are the remnants of high dropout rates, high unemployment, a lack of alternative training, the high level of fatherlessness, and the breakdown of the Black family.

field said...

Chris, I already have Mr. Hudlin down as my HN of the day. He has taken coon TV to an all new low with that "Hot Ghetto Mess" bullshit!

No AI that was not a typo :) My first orientation with baseball was when I was a little kid and my father moved our family from Jamaica to East Lansing Michigan while he studied at Michigan State. He took me to my first baseball game at the old Tiger stadium and I have been a fan of the kittens ever since.

Let me guess; you are a Cards fan! (If you are, just remember 1968)

The Angry Independent said...

Yes... I am part of the Cardinals Nation. Yeah I heard stories about 68. But that was just one game.

But i'd go with the Cardinals legacy any day.

Detroits glory is all but a fading memory... lol.

What have they done in recent years on a consistent basis... besides lose a lot of games???

I would have had to lie and say the White Sox... or the Phillies... (even the Phillies), or Boston... Any team besides Detroit.

I don't follow baseball like a used to.... because I am always in the Fields workin'. But I do catch a few games via radio.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it.

ESPN shoves a mic into sheffield's face and incites him to speak. Then certain people get uptight when he does. Well, you know Gary Sheffield, if you ask him how he feels he's going to tell you, in his way, perhaps not the most effective or diplomatic or politically correct way; no, he's going to be honest. And I don't see anyone in the sports world isuing blanket disagreements with his views, so he must have a point.

I live in the area and I love having this guy on the team, for the same reasons I like having Rasheed Wallace on the pistons or (when he was) brendan shanahan on the wings: because they're only "controversial" outside of the team. Teammates seem to love and respect these guys for their leadership and honesty, and that's a bigger intangible than whatever someone wants to vilify sheffield for.

dnA said...

There aren't any black people in America who are "all the way" black. Just ask Skip Gates.

Anonymous said...

Angry Independent, I was wondering when someone would compare the "black kill rate" in that HOLE to other larger cities.

FN, you should read the article by Darryl James "All Bets are Off" over at Assault on Black Folks Sanity.

And please, folks, if you did not see the ?Hudlin brothers classic film "Pimps", I would like to restrict their being a HN or coon for now. Watch the film, then decide. It was meant as a documentary, not a "training film". Thanks.


fairlane said...

I'm white and I don't think Derek Jeter is black.

In fact, I didn't know he was. I thought he was Latino and white.

Sheffield doesn't talk enough. Anyone who pisses off the "mainstream" is probably telling the truth.

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