“I know you guys may be angry with me, but I’m used to it because I have a black wife and three mixed kids, so I’m used to people being angry and argumentative.” With those 33 words, which probably took less than 20 seconds to utter, Atlanta Hawks General Manager Wes Wilcox’s reputation has been irreversibly damaged.
Wes Wilcox, who runs the NBA Atlanta Hawks basketball operations, was meeting with a small group of season ticket holders and attempted a joke to diffuse tension in the room as some of the attendees were upset about the play of the team.
As the quote became public this week, we have been treated to the usual harsh critique from the press and social media that is the norm in our politically correct climate. Nick Birdsong of Sporting News said, “It’s a harmful characterization that has impacted how black women are portrayed in art and treated in the professional world. The implications of views like these, especially when held by those in power, are far-reaching.” From the McClatchy Company newspapers, Greg Hadley searched out a study by Wendy Ashley, a professor at California State University at Northridge, to remind us that Wilcox was playing to angry black women stereotypes that “have a significant impact on black women’s behavior and mental health.” In short, for this news cycle at least, until we will unfairly pin the scarlet racist label on a new victim, Wes Wilcox is the devil incarnate.
We are now told to believe that Wilcox, who works in the NBA and has an African American wife and three mixed raced children, is a terrible bigot and sexist and is worthy of public scorn. What Wilcox did was tell a joke that sounded better in his head than when it came out of his mouth. He who hasn’t had that experience at least once, feel free to cast the first stone. I will even go one step further. Although his joke fell flat, I find nothing racist or noteworthy in his comments, and find his critics appalling, not Wilcox.
One of the most deplorable things about political correctness, and there are plenty of deplorable things about political correctness, is that one minuscule snapshot of a person’s life is used to define them forever. Mel Gibson will forever be tagged as an anti-Semite for his drunken rant in 2006 while he was pulled over for DUI. Is there conclusive evidence that shows Mel Gibson has a history of discriminating against people based on race, creed, or religion? If by chance Gibson was an anti-Semite in 2006 and has had a change of heart since shouldn’t we be pleased, instead of forever bashing him?
The answer to those questions, of course, are irrelevant to the politics of political correctness, as the practitioners of political correctness’ motives are to control and silence, rather than be bothered with mundane items like fairness and justice. Personally, I would rather live in a world in which I’m occasionally slighted, or be told something that I passionately disagree with than live in a world where everyone is afraid to express themselves out of fear of having a gotcha moment. What a bland and inauthentic life that is.
Liberals to this day complain bitterly about Senator Joe McCarthy, lamenting how over 60-years ago he destroyed lives by finding communists in everyone’s closet. Hypocrisy knows no bounds, as we are now into our third decade of finding racists in everyone’s closet, destroying exponentially many more reputations than McCarthy ever did, and the left does not care to see the irony in their tar and feather routine.
As usual in these cases, Wes Wilcox is now on the apology tour, saying “I made a self-deprecating comment at my own expense regarding my family, which is multi-racial. This joke offended Mr. Crawford and his wife” — the two season ticket holders who made the initial complaint — “and for that, I apologize.” Much like how apologies didn’t save one from the gulag in the old Soviet Union or reeducation camps in Mao’s China, Wilcox’s apologies will be fruitless to the politically correct set that see him not as a person, but as a political objective that must be destroyed at any cost.
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