11.30.07

Whitlock Thinks He’s Caught Sean Taylor’s Real Killer

Posted in Hip Hop, Sports Journalism at 6:46 pm by

The Miami police, it seems, should be trying to track down an organization Jason has dubbed “the Black KKK”. From Big Sexy’s latest Fox Sports.com column :

Let’s cut through the bull(manure) and deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men. Period. Go check the coroner’s office and talk with a police detective. These bullets aren’t checking W-2s.

Rather than whine about white folks’ insensitivity or reserve a special place of sorrow for rich athletes, we’d be better served mustering the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.

But we don’t want to deal with ourselves. We take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people’s hearts. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant.

Our self-hatred has been set to music and reinforced by a pervasive culture that promotes a crab-in-barrel mentality.

You’re damn straight I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there’s no reason to give a free pass to a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.

Of course there are other catalysts, but until we recapture the minds of black youth, convince them that it’s not OK to “super man dat ho” and end any and every dispute by “cocking on your bitch,” nothing will change.

Does a Soulja Boy want an education?

I don’t claim to be an expert on crime or race, but I’m still having trouble getting past the proliferation of guns having something to do with people being shot to death. Of course, I do realize handguns and hip-hop were introduced at exactly the same time, and without the latter, the former would cease to exist — as would all other social problems!

20 Responses to “Whitlock Thinks He’s Caught Sean Taylor’s Real Killer”

  1. PostmanE says:

    God, Whitlock. He’s got such a good gig, what with never having to rethink his overriding explanation for all of the world’s ills. Hip-Hop! Black KKK! Whatever that means! Argh!

  2. Kevin Baker says:

    “I’m still having trouble getting past the proliferation of guns having something to do with people being shot to death.”

    Perhaps that’s because there isn’t much correlation between the two?

    “Of course, I do realize handguns and hip-hop were introduced at exactly the same time, and without the latter, the former would cease to exist — as would all other social problems!”

    Wow! How hard did you have to work to misunderstand Whitlock’s point that badly? Are you naturally that impaired, or were mind-altering chemicals involved?

  3. GC says:

    kev,

    Sorry, was busy beating off to pictures of guns. Did you say something?

    I do realize, buddy, that it is terribly simplistic to claim no one would be shot if guns were eliminated.

    True, but simplistic.

  4. Lego says:

    Your point is well taken, but at the risk of crucifixion I am going to defend the fat man. While he does paint hip-hop with a bit of a broad stroke, I think his overall message is and has always been about people taking responsibility for their actions, as well as promoting education and family. Surely there are worse messages out there?

  5. GC says:

    Can he try making that point for a change without stereotyping/scapegoating an entire genre… or using what might be an innocent man’s passing to advance the same argument?

  6. Kevin Baker says:

    I do realize, buddy, that it is terribly simplistic to claim no one would be shot if guns were eliminated.

    True, but simplistic.

    No, they’d be beaten, bludgeoned, stabbed. I guess somehow that’s better? That way people with NFL physiques could rule over those without. We’ve been there and done that. It was called the Dark Ages for a reason.

    Granted, blaming hip hop was lame, but he was using that as being illustrative of a culture that is extremely toxic to those in it. You quoted a large swath of the piece, but I noted you left out this:

    Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there’s every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That’s not some negative, unfair stereotype. It’s a reality we’ve been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

    Living with, tolerating, rationalizing, and – apparently – avoiding.

    Jesse Jackson blames the gun. But what is it that makes young black men – less than 13% of the population – 49% of the victims AND PERPETRATORS of homicide? Do guns give off brain-altering waves that affect only young black men? Or is it something else?

    Guns aren’t going to go away. Wishing won’t make it so. If you want to affect the problem, you’re going to have to acknowledge the problem, not blame inanimate objects as though they are talismans of evil that can be exorcised.

    The problem, Whitlock correctly diagnosed, is a “a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.” A culture reinforced by a lot of hip hop. An “anti-education, pro-violence culture.” A culture that tells you “you’re selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you’re selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.”

    You didn’t say anything about that, though it was the core of the piece. Instead you drew a parallel between his condemnation of hip hop and firearms.

    And placed the blame on firearms.

    In psychology that’s known as “avoidance.” Its a mechanism for dealing with another psychological mechanism known as “cognitive dissonance,” well expressed by someone a few years ago as follows:

    “When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn’t seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn’t executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as ‘escalation of failure’.)”

    Young black men are dying. Let’s try gun control! Gun control doesn’t work, but the philosophy cannot be wrong! – so let’s try it again, only harder! Escalation of failure. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  7. josh says:

    Jason Whitlock is a dick who exploited Sean Taylor’s death. If this was a payback murder or drug gang related they probably would have done more then shoot him the groin ( i doubt they were aiming for a specific artery) and leave before knowing for sure he was dead. It sounded like a botched robbery from the beginning, one that was as likely to happen to Jeremy Shockey as it was Sean Taylor.

    The reality is that Taylor only was found guilty of a misdemeanor. Once. Many of the original charges against him were dropped after the first prosecutor was relieved from the case.

    Taylor went to a private school in Miami and came from a middle class family. The idea he was raised on the mean streets or is part of the “black kkk” culture isn’t accurate.

    Fox and it’s media empire probably has more of a degrading effect on communities and the devaluing of life then hip-hop

  8. GC says:

    “I do realize, buddy, that it is terribly simplistic to claim no one would be shot if guns were eliminated.

    True, but simplistic.

    No, they’d be beaten, bludgeoned, stabbed. I guess somehow that’s better?”

    perhaps. If they stood a greater statistical chance of survival. You’re a smart guy. Surely you have some numbers on the probability of surviving a beating compared to a gunshot.

    “Granted, blaming hip hop was lame, but he was using that as being illustrative of a culture that is extremely toxic to those in it,”

    I’m glad we can agree blaming hip hop was lame. But beyond that, I’m not alone in finding Whitlock’s characterization of said culture lazy at best. I realize there are those who have a hang up with an art form that depicts stereotypical behavior, promotes materialism, abuse of women and liberal use of racial epitaphs….but please, let’s not blame David Chase for the death of Sean Taylor! Not when hip hop is such a convenient boogeyman.

    “Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there’s every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That’s not some negative, unfair stereotype. It’s a reality we’ve been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.”

    I have a sneaking suspicion deadly crime — even deadly black on black crime — existed before hip hop. But again, i realize we might have to look that up.

    “Guns aren’t going to go away. Wishing won’t make it so. If you want to affect the problem, you’re going to have to acknowledge the problem, not blame inanimate objects as though they are talismans of evil that can be exorcised.”

    Again, you’re 100% correct. I think blaming inanimate objects is rather silly. I’d rather blame the manufacturers of said object and those who are apologists for their industry. Not before actually blaming the individuals (as opposed to an entire culture) who actually pulled the trigger, however.

    “Young black men are dying. Let’s try gun control! Gun control doesn’t work, but the philosophy cannot be wrong! – so let’s try it again, only harder! Escalation of failure. Lather, rinse, repeat. ”

    How’s this for avoidance? You claim to have some insight into my ideology, but you are sorely mistaken if you’d like to portray me as a gun control advocate.

    I’m a gun elimination advocate. And given that you’ve not lived in a gun-free Miami, you’re not qualified to say if such a scheme wouldn’t result in fewer killings.

  9. David Roth says:

    Two things about the gun-nut troll with the hard-on for GC that one can learn quickly from looking at his blog:

    -He self-identifies as “Proud Gun-blogging member of the Pajamahadeen.” That’s pajamas media, not…anything else. Also: dude doesn’t like Islamofascists. I think we can all agree that he’s pulling his weight on that end by doing his comment troll duty. I should mention here that I don’t like cancer or headaches or farts in crowded subway cars. I like to think I’m doing my part, too. Don’t thank me. I’m just another citizen soldier, citizen journalist.

    -Also, he’s one of the 228 Americans who still support Fred Dalton Thompson, the retired Senator from Iron Eagle III: Aces, for President. Good luck with that!

  10. Kevin Baker says:

    GC, now that we’ve had a couple of exchanges, let’s try to see specifically where we agree and where we disagree, because to a large extent I think we’re talking past each other.

    Point 1: (P)erhaps. If they stood a greater statistical chance of survival (from beating or stabbing). You’re a smart guy. Surely you have some numbers on the probability of surviving a beating compared to a gunshot.

    The question is moot. Guns are a technology that isn’t going to go away. And, again, when there were no guns, the world was run by large men with swords. It was not very safe, or very fair either.

    Point 2: Yes, Whitlock wrote “I blame hip hop,” but here’s the whole quote: “I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men.” You’ve expanded on one minor portion of the whole piece to be the entire topic, and focused it narrowly on Taylor’s murder. Thus: “I have a sneaking suspicion deadly crime — even deadly black on black crime — existed before hip hop.” Ok, you do snark well. You do avoidance better.

    Point 3: I’d rather blame the manufacturers of said object and those who are apologists for their industry. Not before actually blaming the individuals (as opposed to an entire culture) who actually pulled the trigger, however. Why? Do the manufacturers drive through neighborhoods distributing guns like Santa from his sleigh? Do the manufacturers drive trucks into neighborhoods and sell guns like ice cream vendors? Would you prefer it if gun dealers refused to sell guns to young black men? Would you support a law that said no young black men could legally possess a firearm? (That’s a PDF file.) I ask because the ones who are prohibited by reason of prior conviction don’t seem to have any problem acquiring them, and because – given black history and the current horrendous level of violent crime – I have never understood the support that black activists have given to gun control. Are there any other rights you think should be discarded?

    Point 4: You claim to have some insight into my ideology, but you are sorely mistaken if you’d like to portray me as a gun control advocate.

    My “quote” was a general one, one that I believe is accurate for, say, Jesse Jackson and others like him. If the shoe fits…

    But apparently not, unless you’re being snarky again: “I’m a gun elimination advocate.

    But this is priceless: “And given that you’ve not lived in a gun-free Miami, you’re not qualified to say if such a scheme wouldn’t result in fewer killings.”

    Chicago, Illinois and Washington D.C. are supposedly “gun free.” Given the experience of those two cities, I’d say you needn’t be a resident to say if such a scheme would work in Miami. England really tried to go “handgun free.” They even confiscated all the legally owned, legally registered handguns in the whole country in 1997. Handgun crime has doubled there since the ban. England is an ISLAND. If they can’t keep them out, how do you expect a CITY to?

    Guns aren’t going to go away. Wishing won’t make it so, and you have admitted that I am “100% correct” on that point. You may be a gun elimination advocate, but you’ve admitted that advocacy is doomed to failure.

    So let’s start from these premises:

    A) Young black men are dying. In epidemic numbers.

    B) It’s been going on for literally decades.

    C) They are dying at a rate six times that of the rest of the population. Even when the rates fall, the ratio does not.

    D) Guns are the primary method, but are not the cause.

    E) Guns are not going to go away. (In fact, there are so many guns in circulation right now that if all the manufacturers closed their doors tomorrow there would be enough to supply one handgun for each homicide at the current rate to last about 100 years.)

    F) The only thing that can change black-on-black violent crime is a change in the culture.

    G) That change can only come from INSIDE that culture.

    H) Mr. Whitlock made all those points.

    I) You concentrated on the hip hop comments.

    Now, between the two of you, who appears interested in reducing the killing, and who would rather miss the point in order to complain (at length) about how misguided it is to blame a musical genre?

  11. Kevin Baker says:

    One more thing:

    Jason Whitlock is a dick who exploited Sean Taylor’s death. If this was a payback murder or drug gang related they probably would have done more then shoot him the groin ( i doubt they were aiming for a specific artery) and leave before knowing for sure he was dead. It sounded like a botched robbery from the beginning, one that was as likely to happen to Jeremy Shockey as it was Sean Taylor.

    You too have missed the point of the piece. It wasn’t about Sean Taylor.

    It’s about the person or people who likely killed him.

    Even Jesse Jackson has recognized the reality:

    “There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it’s somebody white and feel relieved. How humiliating.”

    I have nothing against GC or anyone posting here, I just want people to THINK.

  12. Timothy Cook says:

    Kevin,

    Wow. Enough with “avoidance” bullshit, please. Couldn’t you save the rationalizations, the santa claus metaphors and the unhinged “facts” you shovel for some kinda anti-quota/reverse descrimination/white power website that buys it for five seconds? Also, please, “The only thing that can change black-on-black violent crime is a change in the culture.” Could this culture change possibly include better education, healthcare and, sheesh, economic factors that bear directly to the violent crime rate? Do you have a pie chart for that? If so, please print it out and distribute them at your next Fred’08 rally.

    And the next time I hear of a child gets “accidentally” shot because of a inanimate “tool” laying around in an unsecured fashion at the child’s home, or at a friend’s home, I’ll think of you, douchebag.

    TC

  13. GC says:

    “(P)erhaps. If they stood a greater statistical chance of survival (from beating or stabbing). You’re a smart guy. Surely you have some numbers on the probability of surviving a beating compared to a gunshot.

    The question is moot. Guns are a technology that isn’t going to go away. And, again, when there were no guns, the world was run by large men with swords. It was not very safe, or very fair either.”

    If the question is moot, how am I supposed to answer the question you posed — would I prefer that shooting victims were beaten, bludgeoned or stabbed?

    I’m fully in favor of placing strict controls on large men and their swords, btw.

    I’ve made no assertions in favor of limiting the sale of guns to any particular race, nor have I proposed any legislation whatsoever regarding gun control. I wouldn’t dream of imposing on your civil liberties.

    I would prefer that you and other gun owners voluntarily give up your hobby and take up something far safer. needlepoint for instance.

    In return, I pledge to stop releasing hip hop recordings that glamorize violence. I think this is a very fair swap.

    “Chicago, Illinois and Washington D.C. are supposedly “gun free.” Given the experience of those two cities, I’d say you needn’t be a resident to say if such a scheme would work in Miami. England really tried to go “handgun free.” They even confiscated all the legally owned, legally registered handguns in the whole country in 1997. Handgun crime has doubled there since the ban. England is an ISLAND. If they can’t keep them out, how do you expect a CITY to?”

    Surely even someone with your debating skills is aware none of the above cities has ever been “gun free”, nor is anywhere in the United States. I’d submit the handgun crime in England has had more to do with (hang on here!) the importation of hand guns from other countries than say, the popularity of homegrown or imported hip hop.

    ” The only thing that can change black-on-black violent crime is a change in the culture.”

    Quite possibly. But even if I agree with the above statement, that doesn’t mean I think Jason Whitlock is a credible commentator on that culture, nor does said culture exist in a vacuum beyond the influence of (drum roll) other cultures.

    “between the two of you, who appears interested in reducing the killing, and who would rather miss the point in order to complain (at length) about how misguided it is to blame a musical genre?”

    I’m all for reducing killing, Kevin. However naive you might find my take, I honestly believe it would’ve been very difficult to shoot Sean Taylor to death without the benefit of a gun. I also think the prosecution (or defense) in Miami will have a very difficult time proving Taylor’s killers were specifically inspired or influenced by hip hop.

  14. Alex says:

    “You too have missed the point of the piece. It wasn’t about Sean Taylor.”

    You do realize that Taylor’s name was in the headline, right? And that his name was brought up about a dozen times in the (not very long) column?

    And wouldn’t the “Black KKK” try to target white people?

  15. GC says:

    Since the Miami police have effectively contradicted the expert analysis of Colin Cowherd, JT The Brick and Jason Whitlock by characterizing Taylor’s murder as the inadvertent result of a robbery — as opposed to a revenge slaying, long-standing grudge, etc., I look forward to all of the above apologizing and/or retiring.

  16. Kevin Baker says:

    Surely even someone with your debating skills is aware none of the above cities has ever been “gun free”, nor is anywhere in the United States. I’d submit the handgun crime in England has had more to do with (hang on here!) the importation of hand guns from other countries than say, the popularity of homegrown or imported hip hop.

    I’m all for reducing killing, Kevin. However naive you might find my take, I honestly believe it would’ve been very difficult to shoot Sean Taylor to death without the benefit of a gun. I also think the prosecution (or defense) in Miami will have a very difficult time proving Taylor’s killers were specifically inspired or influenced by hip hop.

    OK, last comment here, as I see there is no getting through to you.

    Yes. You’re naive. If there were no guns there would be, by definition, no gun violence. That’s what’s called a tautology. However, you’ve admitted yourself that there is no way to make guns go away. Advocating for an impossibility is… well, you pick a description. Mine is somewhat more emphatic than “naive.”

    Whitlock’s point – and whatever you and the other commenters here have to say this was the key – was this: (W)hen shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there’s every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That’s not some negative, unfair stereotype. It’s a reality we’ve been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

    It wasn’t about Whitlock’s past. It wasn’t, really, about hip hop (note you mentioned hip hop twice in the excerpt above). It was about CULTURE – a culture in which young black men kill other young black men, and those deaths are tolerated and rationalized.

    I’ve seen a lot of rationalization here, but mostly I’ve seen avoidance (yes, that word.) Timothy Cook asked: Could this culture change possibly include better education, healthcare and, sheesh, economic factors that bear directly to the violent crime rate? Yes. But the culture doesn’t encourage this: HBO did a fascinating documentary on Little Rock Central High School, the Arkansas school that required the National Guard so that nine black kids could attend in the 1950s. Fifty years later, the school is one of the nation’s best in terms of funding and educational opportunities. It’s 60 percent black and located in a poor black community.

    Watch the documentary and ask yourself why nine poor kids in the ’50s risked their lives to get a good education and a thousand poor black kids today ignore the opportunity that is served to them on a platter.

    Blame drugs, blame Ronald Reagan, blame George Bush, blame it on the rain or whatever. There’s only one group of people who can change the rotten, anti-education, pro-violence culture our kids have adopted. We have to do it.

    There’s always someone ready to tell you you’re selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you’re selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.

    Cultural change include all of that, but it has to come from inside – and the first step is recognition and repudiation of the current forces that tell young black men what it is to be a young black man – how he should act, what he should want, and how he should acquire it.

    Now that there have been arrests and confessions, I ask you to look a the four young men responsible for Taylor’s death. Read up on them. Think about the CULTURE that they live in.

    And, hey, ask yourself who their favorite performing artists were while you’re at it.

  17. GC says:

    “You’re naive. If there were no guns there would be, by definition, no gun violence. That’s what’s called a tautology.”

    Truism, tautology, whatever, man. Through all your rhetoric you’ve still not cited one shooting that took place without the benefit of a gun.

    “It was about CULTURE – a culture in which young black men kill other young black men, and those deaths are tolerated and rationalized”

    And who, pray tell, made you or 8 thousand pound year old Jason Whitlock an expert on contemporary black culture? Whitlock’s got no problem boasting of his nights out in a Vegas strip club or lending his dubious production skills to hip hop recordings with a shorter shelf life than his AOL Sports gig. You, on the other hand, would like us to “ask yourself who (Taylor’s accused killers’) favorite performing artists were.” Nice one. With the odd glance at any young person’s MySpace profile, there’s no longer a need for a fair trial or any sort of sophisticated examination of why anything happens.

    But I do hope none of ‘em were fans of black icons like Tony Montana.
    I wish Mr. Whitlock the best of luck in saving lives. In my personal opinion, he’s unlikely to change a fucking thing so long as he’s blaming victims or equating art with criminal behavior.

  18. Alex says:

    “And, hey, ask yourself who their favorite performing artists were while you’re at it.”

    Ah, the last refuge of the moronic. I was wondering when this particular bon mot was coming into play.

    I’ll confer with Tipper Gore and will get back to you…

  19. samantha says:

    why would you kill like the bestestst person in nfl history?!!!

  20. Garry says:

    Why did the police Sean’s firearm when he confronted three suspects that had stole his 4 wheelers? Poor Sean, he was left taking a knife to a gun fight with the predictable result. Realistically he was denied his right to self defense.

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