Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sean Taylor, White Folk, and the Holy Saints

On Tuesday, the day of Sean Taylor’s death, I decided to listen to various chattering heads (mostly white men) jabber about Sean's past. And, for some reason they felt the need to spend a huge amount of time discussing the negative, and not the positive. While I am perfectly aware that telling the whole story is necessary to accurately project Sean’s reality/life, I still became uneasy by the unwarranted attention placed on the predicaments Taylor found himself in while living his short life.

Not one of these men mentioned what is MOST important in the case of Sean Taylor: THE PRESENT!!! So much focus was placed on his past in less than 12 hours from his death. It appeared to me that they were talking about a former cold blooded gangster. A Frank Lucas type, and not a man who recently decided to CHANGE. Something that so many of us have yet to do when in fact we NEED to.

At the time, all we knew was Sean was shot by a home invader. But yet, so many people were quick to associate the killing of Sean to his so called troubled past. Ridiculous and Judgmental! So what if the story is different! It still should not matter because Sean did what they do not want us to do: CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

Sean's "misbehavior" was a reflection of what we all experience: IMMATURITY! He was ONLY 24, which means he was "in trouble" when he was 19, 20, and 21! I can think of several questionable and illegally activity that I was associated with as a wet behind the ears young adult. I wonder how I will be remembered?? Like Sean, I was a product of America’s adolescent community. We all know what that entails.

To top it off on this day of mourning for thousands of people, we had the holy saints tossing his death up as, "it was in God's plan". I am sorry, but this type of thinking is FOOLISH! It just is! So, I guess God allowed Sean to get shot down like an animal just so Sean could go home to heaven? Think about that crazy and asinine thought process. Unfortunately, this type of thinking is pervasive throughout Christian intellect. Actually, referring to it as intellect is incorrect. In my mind it is Christian self-induced ignorance.

Christian Education for the all too common Clueless Christian:

The biblical Paul had a HORRIBLE past full of transgressions. Moses did too!

Not too many of these biblically un-sound/un-educated Christians ever talk about the negative past of these so called prophets. And, why? Of course lack of knowledge is one of the reasons – but could it be because what Moses and Paul did in the present is all that mattered?

Sean's death for some reason has drastically affected me. I am so disturbed by this - and every killing of our black men. I am also tired of these men (mostly white) attempting to demonize us (black men) while we are alive and when we are dead - and I am definitely sick and tired of the holy rollers adding senseless acts of murder to God’s plan.

What say you?

Here is what Jason Whitlock and Michael Wilbon had to say:

Where is the grace for Sean Taylor?

After the funeral:

Written by Muata. Inspired by the following statement from Sean Taylor’s father:

“It is with deep regret that a young man had to come to his end so soon. Many of Sean’s fans loved him because of the way he played football. Many of his opponents feared him because of the way he approached the game. Others misunderstood him, many appreciated him and his family loved him. I can only hope and pray that Sean's life was not in vain, that it might touch others in a special way."


Muata said...

Reader DM Responds:

I feel you on both points. I learned a long time ago that it is not important what a White man (or any other person) thinks about me, but what I think about myself.

White people can never relate to us no matter how they try, just as we will never know what it’s like to be white. This is why there will always be racism and misunderstanding. In their limited scope of us as a people, they define us by what’s on paper about us (academic record, criminal record etc.).

If it bothers you that much, please respond to their ignorance and set them straight (although it will only last about 2 seconds before they are at it again).

This has been a hard year indeed for the image of black celebrities. I agree with your thoughts from earlier this year that we (BLACKS) have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, regardless of what other races think.

On another note, Its terrible the way this young man was gunned down and some people actually take comfort in thinking that it’s god’s plan.


Muata said...

Muata responds to DM:

I disagree, DM. By having to live within their culture and system we pretty much know what it is like to be in their shoes. I know I do.

Me educating them does not help that much considering that they already believe that they are inherently better than us. So, their thinking will last a second.

Have you noticed that we rarely hear white people saying, 'it was in God's plan.' Actually, I have never heard one say this. NEVER. I wonder why? Could it be because they are raised to be in control of their lives/destinies? Could it be that they understand that God's work is done, and it is up to us now to do something with the gift of life. And, not wait around on some mysterious creature/being to give us something or even take our lives! Again, ridiculous!


Muata said...

DM responds to Muata:

You can try to relate to white’s by viewing their lifestyle from the outside like looking into a fish bowl, but until you are born into privilege and given every opportunity without resistance due the color or your skin or your family’s name, you can never relate to being white. They feel that they are better than us because for generations they have been given every opportunity and have been taught by society that they are. My point is, let’s not focus on what they think of us but instead focus on what we think of us. We (Blacks) need to get ourselves together in our own community before being down trodden with another person’s opinion.


Muata said...

Muata responds to DM:

Believe me, I am all for us getting ourselves together. Also, what they think of us needs to be combated via RIGHT education, love, encouragement, support, etc. so our children will not grow up thinking as several of them think: Black is Bad. It is up to us. It is our fight.

Let's honor Sean Taylor by not playing into their way of tearing him down after his death. Not saying that you are.

Sean (to me) was one of the BEST safety's to ever play the game of football. He also decided to 'change his life' when that precious daughter was born. Sean Taylor, in my eyes, was what they (some white folk) could not defeat: A Conqueror!

Did I just eulogize Sean in my own little way?? Just a little emotional today. Holla!!


Muata said...

Reader Responds:

I agree with you but like I said before, putting forth the negative is how they perpetuate the stereotypes. They have to keep our faults in our face and not our
successes because that is the only way to keep society believing that we are nothing more than what they see, the images that are shown of us day in and day out in the media. Promoting positive images of us defeats their purpose. Their negative attacks of us will NEVER EVER STOP!

I have read every article on this
matter that I could find and in every article his misdeeds have been mentioned, and it shouldn't be. I've reached the point that when it starts to get negative, I move one, don't read it.

Yeah and I find it hard to believe that God needed Sean to die in that manner in order for him to finally reach "Home". For me, you home should be your sanctuary, a place that represents safety, solitude and security. No one should have to die in their home.


Muata said...

Reader Responds:

I hear your comments and I don't really agree with them all but in any case you are entitled to your opinion. It amazes me that you only can see one thing out of this all. US against THEM. If that's all you see then it won't matter the incident because all you will see is some element of it as seemingly white determination to demean black people.

Well my issue with that is simple. WE DEMEAN ourselves enough to not
ever need to be by other races. I will make this point later but I
must speak on the Sean Taylor issue first.

Sean Taylor's death was tragic and I read today that the leading cause
of death for black males between 18 and 24 is homicide. HOMICIDE. Now
any of you can think what you may about the topic but you cannot argue this true fact. WE KILL OURSELVES. It amazes me that a young black man can be killed and we are worried about how the media portrays him. Where there is smoke there is fire. Sean (god bless his soul) was no angel. He had made strides to turn around but when have you ever seen the media not point out the negative when someone is murdered. Seriously! What's the outrage? The outrage should be that he was killed and probably by someone black. The outrage should be that his home was robbed weeks before and there was no real investigation
before. The outrage should be that for some unknown reason they didn't
rob him. It looked like a hit. There are more important things to
worry about than how the media portrays him. They didn't print
anything that wasn't true. All of the things they mentioned were true.

He has a past of violence and run ins with the law. It's not
demonizing him to point out truth. It's not like he was a role model.
Call a spade a spade. He was maturing but it's not like this time last year he wasn't in a world of trouble. I will say that now might notbe the time to talk about his past but if there was no past to mention then what would be the issue. Give the media ammo and they will take it and run with it. I am not letting them off the hook. I am simply saying we have to accept some responsibility.

>Finally, I want to point out that people of faith seem to know a lot
about what God wants. How do they even know the kid is going to
heaven? If you go by the Christian faith he must meet his judgment.
And who are they to say what his judgment will be? I don't get why
people always have the audacity to say, God did this or God wanted
that. It's an absurd inclination and it drives me crazy.

I am sure this event hit home for you in a lot of ways. But don't
take this as an opportunity to argue truth and conspiracy. Don't take his death as an opportunity to blast whites for reporting on it. If there was nothing bad in his past(which wasn't more than a year ago) then they couldn't write it. We have to get beyond the Veil of Ignorance and be more enlighten to out own vision of us. We don't have to have the double consciousness that Dubious speaks of.

In the end a kid is dead and it's tragic. How many more die daily in the inner-cities of America for no reason or reasons not fit for cause? How many more have to die before we (black people) stop talking about what we need to do and do something about it. Crime and poverty are highly correlated. Poverty in our community is very high. We have to tackle it from both ends. However, we need to stop watching MTV cribs and
pick up a book on financial planning. Seriously, this will forever be an issue until WE get a grip on it.


Muata said...

Muata responds to LS:

I see several elements to my analysis. I pointed them out in the SubjectLine of the email.


1) Too many white people in power do everything within that power to demean black men.


Black men do hurt/destroy their reputations.

With these two facts, I am still amazed that these white men feel it
necessary to demonize Sean in his death. He has not even been buried. Also, at most funerals the 'negatives' of the man/woman?are not mentioned. These white folk mention it in commentary today in an effort to, yes tell the
whole story, but also to remind us that we (black men) can't escape our past. A past that they help create, mind you! A past that they planned.

I am perfectly aware of what we are doing to ourselves. No need to remind me. However, I will call that white man a spade at every moment that it needs to be said. They are not innocent. They have caused the demise of too many of us for me to leave them out of the equation just because they are in
the position to tell the story. No way! So, my focus is on them today
because not one white commentator today said he was a father, that he was home with his family, and that the home was a family home. Not one. Nope, they focused on Sean's past. That too me in my mind is irresponsible.

"Get a grip on it". That is like the white man saying, Nigger, go in to that burning house.


The white man is the root of the black man/woman's issues. Let's not
forget that. Nonetheless, it is our responsibility to change this
devastating cycle of self destruction.

By the way, calling what I say in reference to the white man's actions "blasting" is inaccurate. What I have said about some white people in the past and present is pretty much accurate. Think about it.


Muata said...

LS responds to Muata:

I agree with many of your points as I say I don't think white
demeaning blacks and Sean Taylors death or past are correlated. The
article I posted was to the contrary of what you said.

The kid isn't the devil but certainluy not a saint. Trust me if he were the one who shot somoene we would say, "well he had a history of violence". The first thing I thought when he got shot was, "what did he get involved in this time?" His past was the determination of my quick judgement as well as my other co-workers.

My point is simple. Let's pray for his family but he wasn't a hero and
let's not cry because the media pointed out his flaws(in the article I posted it was an attempt to show his path to change).


Muata said...

Reader JS Responds:

Don't know what to make of all this but do understand that we live in a world of great imperfection. A lost life is nothing to trivialize.

I often wonder what would be written and said about me if my unfortunate incident 3 weeks ago had left me 6 feet under. Another tragic loss of another black man becoming another statistic ?

On November 8th around 8 o'clock I was helped up, robbed and ordered to get in the trunk of my car at gun point.

Consider the fact that I was at my mail box in a gated community. Consider the fact that Sean Taylor was in his home.

Give reverence to the man who so tragically lost his life. Lets be thankful we are here and can still make a difference.

We can't afford to get caught up in the daily trivial analysis of pundits. It's their job to try and keep us off balance.


Muata said...

Reader Responds:

JS, DM, and Muata you guys make an excellent points! But it's so hard for me to deal with black
folk who can't see past their own self hatred that they can't see the truth. I don't have the energy to debate this one.


Muata said...

Muata responds to EJ:

Why is it "self-hatred" when we point out our indiscretions, ignorance's, and stupidity? Why aren't we putting it on the table to discuss? Why do we have to close the door to have the discussions? The world knows already. Correct? Why are so many people upset with Bill Cosby for his statements when in fact the statements are true? We crucify Bill, but continue perpetrating and committing the TRUTHS he point out. (Sounds like the biblical New Testament story of Jesus - Interesting??). And, why don't we respond to Farrakhan when he makes the same statements Cosby continues to make? Is it because of delivery?

EJ, we need to get a grip, and stop avoiding the truth. The truth is we continue to disappoint and handicap ourselves and each other with our refusal to be honest about our predicament.

Sean Taylor, if killed by another black person, is another causality of the war that the white man started with his methods of slavery, and he is a victim of what so many of us have: SELF HATRED.


Muata said...

Muata's response to LS after reading Jason Whitlock's Commentary:

I must admit Whitlock is on point.

I just wish Sean's changed life was highlighted, and not ignored to promote the negative. He was worthy of upliftment. Where is our display of grace and understanding? He has not received this from Whitlock or several white commentators.

Keep in mind that Taylor could have been any of us. Perhaps the lesson is that we all need to live lives that reflect a dignity that is pleasing to who we see in the mirror. And, we certainly should judge with a compassion that reflects love.

Those white commentators I referred to do not love us. They fear us - thus the reason our present lives are playgrounds for them to shit on!

And, yes I am tired of the shit us black men do. My additional disappointment surfaces when that white person expects all of us to change after they have destroyed a race of people who they learned civilization from. Some of them are the worst hypocrites! And, the Black KKK (Whitlock's description) needs to be rooted out and lynched for betraying our black forefathers. I have a noose for both of the killers of our

Great dialogue!


Muata said...

EJ Responds to Muata's questions:

If you don't read all of this make sure you read the
last statement.

Self-hate does not allow you to see what is in front of you. All cultures have problems and issues...NOT JUST BLACK FOLK!!!! When you cant even respect this
mans family and let them grieve because years ago he pointed a gun at somebody-spat in a mans face-and
drove drunk. I have done all of those things as well..And on occasion I can be seen with family
members and associates I grew up with that still sell drugs. Now if im shot and killed while im conversing with my "drug running homies" and in my death all you
choose to talk about is how I hung with the wrong crowd and somehow I deserved what happened to me
because I shouldn't have been with them...I would consider you pawn. Any of you who believe that a
person who grew up in this type of environment should or even could completely forget about his "friends" are also fool...JESUS would also call you a
fool...because he believed that those kind of people are the ones you should be shining a positive light on (he did)...not running away from. It's easy for some
"affluent niggers" to divorce their ignorant family members and friends, for some it's a little bit more difficult. Michale Jackson will always be black no
matter if his wife and skin is white...He will never be Elvis. If you have evidence that Taylor sold drugs or killed people or even served a day in prison...then
I could understand all the talk about his failure to be a perfect human. No one is talking about the time he spent helping kids in his old community-gave money
to different charities-help most of his family out of poverty-etc.

If you refuse to acknowledge that the media treats us different, then I think you got what Michael Jackson has. Look at how they view Elvis vs James Brown...
Elvis married a child-was the biggest drug addict that ever lived-stole his songs and his moves from blacks...and is considered an American Icon. Now
James on the other hand was a drunk driving-wife beating-tax evading thug.

If Brett Farve had been shot in his home with his wife and kids...How much would the media talk about his alcohol addiction and his domestic violence issues?


Muata said...

LS responds to EJ:

There is some relevance to what you are saying. However, I will contend thay where there is smoke, there is also fire. And most of the articles I read made mention of his past troubles but also made mention of his recent turnaround due to the birth of his child and his improved play on the field. The spotlight comes at a cost. The spotlight these guys are in is sometimes self inflicted. Taylor shyed away from the media. He shyed away from the lime light for the most part. However, it's clear some of his antics were a bit out of control. You can't just go and call someone racist just because they mentioned something factual about a person that just died. It's not like they did it at his funeral. Furthermore, the media and respect are never synonymous and you know that. I haven't read one article that attempted to demean Taylor. Most articles I read made mention of the past and if that's all you can take from it then clearly you must be looking for it. It's not like it was 10 years ago.

BTW if Brett Farve was shot and killed I am sure there would be less articles talking about his past troubles than Sean Taylors. Brett Farve is an NFL legend. Can you not see the difference. You might say, it's because he is white. Maybe there is truth to it with some writers. But can you show me some empirical evidence to support the claim? No! It's speculation based on your biased opionion of the media. You are entitled to your own opinion and I am surely glad you express it but Jason Whitlock made a good point when he said that Taylor controlled the way he is remembered. It's true. You leave your own legacy in this world. And at this point his legacy is that he was a quiet player from the U that had past struggles and was on a path to turning his life around. He was on his way to another pro bowl season. What the hell is wrong or disrespectful about that? Why sugar coat it because he died.

If you are looking all of the time for hate then you will see it in everything. We have done a lot as a race to bring some of the negative media on ourselves. They can't report on stuff that doesn't happen. That my pal is truth.


Muata said...

DM responds to EJ:

Very well stated. All valid points but I highlighted what resonated with me. I think we (some of us) spend way too much time worrying about what others think of us. Not saying that it’s not important how we are viewed, but to me it’s far more important how we view ourselves.


Muata said...

EJ responds to LS:

I never called anybody raciest. My point is that the media is responsible for controlling most of Americas thoughts about other people..right or wrong. They
should be held responsible if they are not fair in reporting a balance of the truth. Let me ask you this...If they only film COPS in black neighborhoods does that mean that only blacks do crime? Of course not...but that is what people think when that's all
they see. My point is that the show should cover all crime in all neighborhoods weather rich or poor. That is responsible coverage.

The truth 99% of the time has to be searched never falls in your lap. Truth doesn't sell! When it comes to black folk....they don't search or
ignore....but for others they will. For you to say that they wouldn't cover Farve's problems because he is an the same as me saying they want cover
Farve's problems because he is white. NO DIFFERENCE.

Thought...Bobby Knight headbutted one of his players in a game on national TV....the main stream media called it tough one black coach that could
have pulled that off?

When the coach at Temple University (black) told one
of his players to "take out" one of the other teams player...he was ridiculed! When the coach at Duke
University (white) told his player to do it (vs North Carolina)it was considered an accident..even after he was quoted in an interview saying that "they should
not of had starters in the game anyway".

Im not saying that the black coach shouldn't have faced any punishment...but why not the same coverage on the other side? By the way...both coaches are why the discrepancy if not color? Your last point is very true...but the problem is when more coverage is spent on the negative than the positive...that has nothing to do with sugar coating...but more about respect.


Muata said...

DM responds again:

What amazes me in all of this is that a young man is dead. Brutally shot in his own home and all we can concentrate on is what he may or may not have done in his past. Believe it or not (but trust me it’s true) I stopped watching the NEWS when I was in the 10th grade. The news promotes and feeds off of negativity. I am the type of person that tries to stay away from negativity as life is too short. I don’t even take the time to watch the news and believe me, I haven’t missed out on anything (case in point this discussion). If it’s important enough it will reach me and it usually does. Anyone who has ever been interviewed or has had any other affiliation with the media can tell you that they (the media) will misconstrue and twist things to get what they consider the best possible story (which is usually just the sound bites or headlines that will draw the most viewers). I have no time for that. Eric and Brian are right, we are not portrayed equally in the media. Never have been, may never be. In order for that to happen we need more people who can relate to us in positions of power (the only people who can truly relate to blacks, are blacks). The unfortunate thing is, in the few outlets we have to express our story, they would rather show videos of half naked women with huge asses dropping like it’s hot while showing our black men with Aluminum foil on their teeth bragging about rims and gold chains. This is what I mean by IT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT (TO ME) HOW WE VIEW OURSELVES. The white man will never be able to articulate or convey the multifaceted character of the black man. In many cases, he won’t even try. But if we can have more positive images of ourselves doing our thing (making positive strives, showing our people in the best possible light, etc.) regardless of what any race feels about us or what our past was like, that would mean more to me than any news story on CNN or ESPN.

Just my opinion (and the last I will have on this subject).


FREEDOM said...

A WOMAN’S POINT OF VIEW on the subject matter, but does it really matter that I am a woman….

….this is another tragedy of one of our black men succumbing to a premature death. Even though Sean Taylor’s physical body is not with us, any longer his spirit still lingers on. The spirit of a man that was a HUMAN BEING, nothing more nothing less.

Sean was doing exactly what he should have been doing in his life. I believe one of the main problems this society has is not letting people BE who they are. If I accept everything and everybody as they are and that they ARE doing exactly what they should be doing then we can learn from each other. Even though Sean is not in this particular realm of time and space with us anymore his family, fans, colleagues, and people in general can still remember his “legacy”.

Just because he may not be put into the Hall of Fame, he still has a legacy. We all do! We (ALL) regardless of color have a legacy to leave behind for the next generation. I want my God-daughter to know that she is beautiful inside and out regardless of what guilt trip this world may try to lay on her.

I agree that what each individual person believes about himself or herself is ALL that matters. PEOPLE THAT are privileged THINK that they are. We are ALL privileged if we choose to allow our minds to think so. The key is who are “they” the media, White America, Black America, Foreigners…”who are they”? Every living being has the POWER to THINK. Therefore, my question is… Are we going to let “them/they” have that much POWER over us? NO ONE CAN stop another individuals greater good, unless that individual allows him or her to because “They” will have no affect on anyone unless that individual buys into what “they” are selling. And, often times “they” can be our own insecurities, fears, disappointments, but if we can only remember that these are lessons to be learned. Lessons that God would have us to learn because we are extensions of God. It is time for the conscious of so many people that are sleeping to be awakened.

Shouldn't we be celebrating that Mr. Taylor was changing. He was always GOOD he was just becoming more aware of the goodness he had within. Just think about how many life lessons we can look back on and have a testimony to give, where our hearts opened up to compassion for another human being, when our faith was increased…ALL lessons learned. Some ways to know if we have truly grown is when a similar problem arises that used to bother us, but now that similar issue no longer affects us in the same way anymore. If we are truly over “IT” we would not be bothered by “IT”.

One thing about living is that we ALL will be faced with choices. Just think if NO ONE made mistakes. How would we ALL learn? How could we grow? Isn’t that the good part of life looking back ONLY to see how far one has come and sharing our stories with others to let them know that they are not alone….“Because there is nothing NEW under the sun”. Why must we always allow our panties and boxers to get into a bunch when others decide to speak against us? What we are failing to realize is “Who are they”?

The memory Sean has left is a time for many Black Americans to reflect on how one started his journey and ended his physical journey turning his life around. Sean’s consciousness was opening to the fact that something in his LIFE prompted him to CHANGE, but his past had to occur in order for CHANGE to occur as well. Often times we miss that point. I can only change if I personally believe or conceive that a CHANGE is warranted, then and only then, will change follow. Who cares what the media, white America, black America has to say about a man that they NEVER walked a mile in his Shoes. “Who are they”?

On Monday when I called my mom, she asked me if I heard about the shooting of Sean Taylor. She was concerned about a young man that she did not know, but as a parent, she knew that – that was someone’s child. Some mother out there was hearing that her son was non-responsive. It does not matter what our skin color is… we are ALL people. And, “If I do not LOVE PEOPLE.” I AM NOTHING!

The question can/may be asked…Freedom, who asked you? This is merely my opinion.


Muata said...

EJ Responds:

Most of us black folks who are "established" and
considered to have some former education...hate
ourselves just as much as those who committee crimes
such as the one committed against Mr. Taylor. Just
think about those of you who felt that Taylor was some
"thug" that somehow earned his death because of his
lifestyle. Most of you felt he was just another over
paid,braid wearing,wreck-less, nigger who should have
been a better role model.

Those of you who did were wrong! Most of us believe
what believe about our people and yourself because
most of us see ourselves through the eyes of white we adapt everything that is
white...opposite of what is you.

I was speaking with one of my clients about the
situation and I mentioned Brett Farve and his
issues..He is an avid sports fan and knew nothing of
Brett Farve's destructive lifestyle....but he knew
that Mr. Taylor had some troubles previously and that
some people felt he knew the individuals.


Muata said...

Muata responds to EJ:

Those idiots who killed Sean deserve death. 4 less killers of our people to deal with. I am tired of these shiftless ass niggers robbing and killing our own. And, to be quite honest, I hate these niggers who walk around here adding to the destruction of black people. I have no love or forgiveness for them. They are
the worst of the human species. Black and white. Asian, Hispanic. Does not matter. I detest them, and life would be safer and more enjoyable without the nigger element. You know this! You can continue to take up for these fools just because the white man wants to eliminate them. Death penalty for those niggers
who killed Sean!!!


James Tubman said...

while i must sympathize with sean or any brother that is struck down at such a young age

many brothers in the streets are struck down and have their lives taken away from them while they are in the begining stages of manhood

i really want you to read my article on the role of men in a society

i think you might something from it dog