Sigh. The caption under Jason Whitlock’s photo on the Star‘s web site is as follows: “Jason Whitlock joined The Star as a sports columnist in 1994.” Nice. Now, if we could only get a sports column from the man, that sentence would be correct. Maybe we can give the guy a break today — after all, today and Wednesday are the only two days of the year with no MLB, NFL, NHL, or NBA games, so maybe he’s just plum out of ideas. But that can’t be right: he’s been pretty prolific of late when it comes to writing thinly reasoned screeds about racism and the racist racists of who love it. Today he writes about something the rest of the sports world covered three days ago: the “Black Olympics.” Here’s his pseudo-Fredian opening sentence:
There’s a backup tight end for the Dallas Cowboys who is doing everything he can possibly do to invite self-promotional controversy.
Wait… if we just change “backup tight end for the Dallas Cowboys” to “mediocre columnist for the Star,” then… oh my! Self-loathing, thy name is Whitlock!
Anyway, he’s typically indignant about the hypocrisy still prevalent in an allegedly post-racial America. And he’s typically lazy in his writing, especially when it comes to the totally unsurprising use of self-referential racial stereotypes:
I am not easily offended. Perhaps it’s my size and affinity for food, but I take virtually no offense to good-naturedly delivered jokes about food stereotypes. Everybody I know — black or white — loves properly seasoned fried chicken. Watermelon is extremely healthy and very tasty. And it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I kicked my Kool-Aid habit.
Hasn’t this become boilerplate in columns about race? You bring up the subject, make a self-mocking comment, and then recite an unimaginative triad of easily mocked stereotypes. Yawn. How about doing something new, Jason? Or — god forbid! — how about writing about, you know, sports? Or at least sports sans racism? Please? Just once?