[Marxism] Fight night in the NBA

Octob1917 at aol.com Octob1917 at aol.com
Mon Nov 22 12:28:56 MST 2004

Interesting piece, and, yes, the socioeconomic and race issue runs right 
through this incident.

Black athletes, as ridiculously well compensated as they are, serve a dual 
purpose in American society: that of court jesters whose purpose is the 
entertainment and amusement of polite (white) society, and to provide a sense of false 
hope and expectation for poor, black kids trying to emulate their example and 
escape lives of poverty and hopelessness.

Unwittingly, though typically accorded hero status, especially in today's 
extreme wealth and conspicuous consumption ethos of the hip-hop generation, black 
athletes help in the process of keeping black communities individuated, 
divided among themselves and as such fodder for the military and prison industrial 

Where, today, are the likes of Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith? 
Men who sacrificed individual success and careers for the emancipation of their 
people. The image of Carlos and Smith standing on the winner's rostrum at the 
Mexico Olympics, fists clenched in the black power salute, is one of the most 
inspiring and evocative of the 20th century.

Sports and entertainment, fields of endeavor in which black culture has been 
commodified by white capitalists (apart from one or two exceptions), have 
created an ideology of supra-capitalism, self assertion, aggrandizement and self 
promotion reflective of a sick society.

Real heroes aren't paid millions of dollars per year to travel around the 
country first class displaying their athletic prowess and all the symbolism of 
defiance - tattoos, corn rows and a swagger in their walk - without the 

Real heroes are the fighters of Fallujah, the Palestinians, people and 
peoples who resist the continuing onslaught of barbarity and slavery.

The day that our black brothers and sisters awaken and vent their 
understandable rage at the real enemy instead of at each other is the day that US 
imperialism will finally meet its end.



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