You are black. Or, if you prefer, African American. Whatever designation you choose, you can't deny that your race stands out when it comes to writing the history of America's oldest professional sport. You also were a major league pitcher. In your day, you won 20 games, in some cases more than once. So you can't deny that you stood out regardless of your race. Prejudices such as those may not exist as they once did, but there are other barriers to be demolished. The notion, for one, that all things being equal, the pitcher's mound is no place a young, black athlete would ever choose to be. "There are kids out there ... in the inner city who have the tools to play this game," Blue said. "But baseball has to make a more concerted effort to reach them." However, without role models with whom those kids can relate, reaching them is going to become only more difficult. "I don't want to totally play the race card, but it's important to keep this thing alive," Blue said. "It's part of our evolution, both in a sports sense and socially. We can't lose that."

Whitfield said she has witnessed black actors "dumb themselves down" during auditions by taking on exaggerated stereotypical "black" speech patterns without request from a director. Behind the camera, things are not much different. Some black writers and directors push films or projects that fit certain "pimp" or "buffoon" stereotypes because those are the only projects they think studios will support, Whitfield said. "And that's when it's self-sabotage. We as African-American entertainers need a refreshening of our consciousness of who we really are," Whitfield said. "So often we are so incredibly insulting to ourselves, and I find that one of the saddest parts of the business."

How does one objectively accept contributions in this field given the questionable ideology of many of the field’s contributors? There is now a polarized formal debate regarding black intelligence at all levels of intelligence study. One can not pick up an introductory level psychology textbook or read through the literature without encountering at least one reference suggesting a possible inherent intellectual defect that may compromise black intelligence.

We've become so desensitized that we've allowed a lot of things to pass, and we've not been happy... Too often politicians, leaders, and religious leaders speak for us, and we sit back and don't realize the power in numbers, and when to say enough is enough....If you want to understand why Imus is out of work, read Coach Stringer's words again. The fact is that so many of us are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We are sick of the casual racism. We are tired of the smirking, drive-by sexism. We are done with people who make their living by selling the idea that some people are less human than others. We are fed up with the politics of division and hate. We are the majority in this country, but are often entirely without voice. This past week, our voices were heard. It won't - it can't - end with Don Imus.

The sewers where Neo-Nazis nestle, have been buzzing with using the World Cup as political platform since the day Munich was awarded the games. The German government, however, dutifully ignored the Reich rumblings, preparing instead for the corporate bonanza that accompanies the Cup. Yet the current climate could have been easily predicted if German officials had bothered to lift their face from the haystacks of Euros or recognize the repercussions of their own rhetoric. The German government wants to have it both ways: it's proper to foment anti-Muslim bigotry, tighten immigration restrictions and attack asylum seekers, but anti-black racism shouldn't be allowed to sully our reputation or diminish the grandeur of this highly profitable spectacle.

Right now, we do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt what was said but all the circumstantial evidence points at least toward a variant of SOS Racisme's claim. Zissou is the son of Algerian immigrants who has sparred verbally with Europe's far-right political machine for more than a decade. He is an outspoken anti-racist on a team that has defined itself by its multiculturalism and stubborn insistence to stand up against bigotry both inside and outside the sport. Materazzi on the other hand, will be playing this year for the Italian team Lazio, where his father was the former coach. Lazio's fan club, The Ultras, are notorious for their Fascist-friendly politics. Lazio's hardcore Ultras, known as the "Irriducibili," have members in Italy's extra-parliamentary far right and try to use the club to recruit. The group has frequently uses racist and anti-Semitic banners, one time hanging a 50-foot banner that said their opponents were a "team of niggers."

As the slugger closes in on the home run record, the anti-Bonds club is practicing an ugly double standard. It would all be amusing if such snarky comments didn't have real consequences. The anti-Bonds cottage industry has become so bombastic, so disproportionate to his alleged offenses, that it is having an ugly and divisive effect on society. But the black-white divide on Bonds is not about people being "more concerned with race than right." Rather, it represents a visceral response to the way Bonds has been subjected to criticism when white players with reputations of steroid use haven't gotten nearly the heat he has. For instance, suspicions have swirled around future Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens, but he hasn't received the level of media and investigative scrutiny that Bonds has.

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