“Hugh Douglas Fired From ESPN After Allegedly Calling Cohost ‘Uncle Tom’……During an after-party at the House of Blues in Orlando, Douglas drunkenly threatened to beat up Smith three times, a source who was present told The Big Lead. He also allegedly called Smith a “House N—–,” the source claimed….”….Huffington Post Sports
I remember my time as an undergraduate at CCNY reading a book that was back then required reading: The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee. And of course I picked up my copy on one of my weekly visits to the Liberation Book Store on Lenox Ave. in Harlem. At some point I will talk in length about my weekly “recharging” sessions in that small but sacred space created by Sister Una Mulzac. But back to this idea of “spookism” and the “art of door sitting.” Whenever I hear about one of these situations I always think about the unfair (and yes, life is not fair) charge I received; along with many of my African-American adolescent contemporaries, to be: “twice as good”, “study twice as hard”, “work twice as hard” and to be: “twice as careful”. All of this to have the “chance” of being successful in America. It did not occur to me then (but does now), of how much of a tremendous burden to place on a young person; but the strategic purpose of that advice can’t be diminished; for it was offered in response to a national social/psychological culture that did (and still does) presumes and expects the least from, and out of me. If our Black parents and elders of the 50’s-60’s were guilty of anything, it was trying to at least get us to adulthood alive and educated. They held no illusions about the American dream. I guess the most freighting thing I find in too many young parents of students today, is their absence of suspicion concerning the intentions of educational systems; I often wonder if they are even aware that the successful education of their child is either last, or not even on the list of priorities held by the majority of public education’s stakeholders; that is conservatives, liberals or the so-called “new reformers. We need parents with an attitude of “healthy cynicism”, so they can arm their children with a thoughtful and politically aware consciousness about the reality of: Living and succeeding in America.
I wonder if Hugh Douglas received his parental “inoculation” against the price of acting badly. Too many of these folks who sit by, or near the door, get confused. They think that because they can act, sing, dance, throw, jump, catch, run, etc.; they are therefore subject to a different (dare I say house servant) set of rules. People acting like “stars”, when in reality they are employees. Too many (and there are exceptions) are in many ways “leasing” their celebrity status in exchange for good behavior, and the self- neutering of any progressive political expressions. And at times I think they actually get “things twisted”, and believe they can act without reflection and caution. To be Black in America (that includes seeing the daily overt and subtle disrespect of an American Black president) should produce a constant state of metacognition (thinking about your own thinking); before you act. And it is only this reflective “thought bridge” that can allow both the “celebrity” and “commoner” to live productively in the realty of your being both Black and American. Getting fired is not the problem; in fact according to one of my heroes Dr. Barbara Sizemore; “getting fired”, may be the logical and inevitable outcome of fighting for children. If Hugh Douglas got fired for speaking up on behalf of justice for Trayvon Martin; against the racist profiling act of “stop and frisk” Black and Latino males; or the national disinterest of even looking for, let alone finding, missing Black children; that would be a just cause (and worth getting fired). But calling your collogue a racially demeaning name, and threating physical violence; that suggest to me that you are unaware of your status of just sitting by the door, and the reason you were thrown through it.