Monday, July 14, 2014
The False Gaza Narrative and the Dwight Coward Story
Used to be a time that African American athletes had character, integrity and stood on what was right more than how much they were paid. This was also the period of intrepid investigative journalism. Now, both have gone the way of extinction as it was with the dinosaurs at the close of the Mesozoic Era. Men such as Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Tommie Smith and John Carlos are rare indeed today, as too are men like Dan Rather, Edward Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
As it stands, honesty and integrity, with the exception a few in the media and sports is dead and gone. Now instead of reporting on the facts, we are often given scripted news reports, funneled from the top of some main office often word for word as dictated by the political powers that exist. As such, today, with the exception of a Glen Greenwald, we would never have stories reported honestly in the manner in which Seymour Hersh reported on the My Lai Massacre in 1968. Seems as if with the exception of donating to charity, helping their neighborhoods few if any modern African American athletes have the courage to address controversial political issues, regardless of political affiliation. There are a few bright spots, like former NFL wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth, who frequently speaks out publicly about political issues, the economy and even the use of drones, but these individuals are few and far between in their respective fields.
Now why am I saying this? Well it seems as if the mainstream U.S. media is presenting a false narrative on the situation in Gaza. No matter where you look the focus is on Israel, their right to self-defense and Hamas targeting the man-made nation state with hundreds of rockets. Never is there a mention of the disproportionate number of air attacks the Israeli defense forces (IDF) rain incessantly upon innocent civilians, rarely are their pictures of the horrendous deaths on the mostly female and children civilians being ripped apart and rarely, is there any narrative to place the entire situation in perspective.
They never mention that Palestine, or the people in Gaza do not have an Army, Navy or Air force, or that from 2009 to 2018, the United States has committed to GIVE Israel 30 billion in military aid. To be more exact over the past 60 years it is estimated that the U.S. has given Israel more than a quarter trillion in military aid. In 2013 alone the Obama administration sent Israel $3.1 billion in military aid. Israel has used white phosphorus on Palestinians before, and now it’s being reported by many officials that banned DIME weapons are being used against civilians in Gaza, a controversial weapon that emits super heated micro-shrapnel.
Outside of not providing any perspective, many media outlets even create the narrative against all evidence and fact. Fox news wrote a story called “Gaza rockets aimed at Israel: What would you do with just 15 seconds?” They also, fabricated a television byline using bombed building in Gaza destroyed by Israeli missiles with the caption: "Militants fire rockets on Israel." And it just isn’t Fox; Diane Sawyer of ABC News told its viewers that scenes of destruction in Gaza were in Israel. Ironically a segment in which the news anchor starts by saying “We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel today as Israel tried to shoot them out of the sky.” Next to her is video footage not of Israel or even Israelis, but rather of the destruction caused by IDF airstrikes on Gaza.
Now what does this have to do with sports and professional athletes? Well, on July 12, 2014, Dwight Howard, an NBA all-star who makes more than $21 million annually tweeted #FREEPALESTINE. However, within minutes, it is clearly the powers that be mad him reverse course for which I posted another tweet that read: “I apologize if I offended anyone with my previous tweet, it was a mistake.....previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.” Why would this be so problematic for the star?
The great writer Voltaire wrote, "If you want to know who rules over you just ask yourself who cannot be criticized." Maybe it was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver or Leslie Lee Alexander, the owner of the Houston Rockets who made that telephone call, after all both are Jewish. In a similar vein, we know that Robert Allen Iger the current chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company (owns ABC) is also Jewish. Which gives substantial support to the premise of William C. Rhoden’s book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete: meaning the easiest answer is that is all about the money. Athletes or the owners, teams or leagues for which they play, do not want to lose it.
Clearly Dwight Howard had someone whisper in his ear, enough so to make him ask for forgiveness and beg for redemption in the manner in which slaves often were made to do so by their masters in the Antebellum south. For a single moment, Howard was a man, and said what he realized was what was humane in his heart. But it only lasted long enough for master to crack that whip and return him to the coward he actually is.