Official Minnesota often supports and licenses the hate visited upon Black athletes. The normal and general hostility that Black athletes face is the reason they are cited more than non-Black athletes for misdeeds when found in similar situations.
America has a dismal record in all areas of humanity. Each and all of us underestimate the hostility, lack of respect, and downright hate visited upon Black people in general but particularly in the case of Black athletes.
Remember, we worked for many years as an enslaved people. Vestiges of the mentality that made us slaves and “3/5 of a man” are still with many of those who have the power in this country. This is to say nothing of the official hostility visited upon the original inhabitants, sometimes called Indians by official America.
There are so many examples of this hostility and the underestimation of the damage done to Black people in general, and to Black athletes in particular, that the totally White University of Minnesota academic and sports administration misses examples, patterns, and stark demonstrations of biases so engrained that most White and even many Black people miss the signs or feel the impact.
Do you remember when dunking was barred from basketball? The ban was invoked to restrain what the White rulers defined as “showboating” and “showing up” the slower, more methodical White players.
When the mental breakthrough by White players came, and they too could bring thundering dunks, it was thought by those who run the game that it was then time to open up the game again. Many believe that the three-point shot was put in the game to upgrade the worth of the White players, who at the time of its introduction were thought to be better long-range bombers than their Black counterparts.
There are stories upon stories of coaches who would never play more Black players than White on the home court, but when on the road played the best players, which often meant more Blacks than Whites.
It says here that if the University of Minnesota had not buckled to onlookers and hostile parties, the U of M basketball team would have a better record because they would have better personnel, including Royce White. White alone would have made a big difference had he been present in the lineup.
It is also true that the psychological impact that hit Trevor Mbakwe limited and inhibited his ability to deliver all that he could physically, mentally and with spirit. Why would university officials assume that Florida, a former slave-holding state, would be fair to a descendant slave?
The Minnesota legal community, in spite of its weakness and inadequacies relating to equal justice, is heaven when compared to the Black-hating, voter-fraudulent, dishonest, twisted and warped jurisprudence system of Florida. Yet, official Minnesota accepted the verdict of misdeeds on Mr. Mbakwe.
Royce White, who was with other youth, was the only one of the group to be charged, tried and convicted of “trespass” when he, a duly registered student and in a group of other young men, visited some rooms in a dormitory. He alone was charged, tried and convicted of trespass.
Tubby Smith and his staff did a tremendous job in the face of obvious hostility. He not only had to overcome the obvious administrative slights, but had to grin and bear it. And don’t forget the Jim Williams situation; here again, had Tubby and Jim been White, there would have been a different outcome.
Tubby has, in fact, been disrespected by university administrators, but I must confess very serious doubt that I could get an endorsement from Tubby on this rather direct response. I also confess that, although a lot of things about this situation I know not the details thereof, my response is that of one who has worked with White folks most of my life.
The reason I can say what I say is due to a history of personal experience. The fact is that a lot of people feel the same way but are, for their own reasons, not willing to say oppositional things or make what could be interpreted as in-your-face anti-U of M statements.
I must confess that while I love Minnesota, that love is a pittance compared to the love I have for my people of Afrikan descent. I do not apologize for speaking for the uplift of a person or persons descendant of Africa.
Kwame McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-398-5278..