Re: Slavery nonexistent in 21st century

In the opening scene of Training Day, Denzel Washington’s character, a narcotics training officer, explains to his new trainee why he likes to read the newspaper. ” It’s 90% bull shit,” he says, “but I read it because it entertains me.” That’s exactly how I felt reading an article entitled “Slavery nonexistent in the 21st century” in The Houstonian on this Tuesday. I would argue that this article was the best free entertainment that has been offered to students this semester. For the unenlightened, those who didn’t read this enthralling editorial, I’ll recreate just a portion of what was displayed. The article focused on statements made by NFL all star Warren Sapp. Sapp, upset at the league’s rules concerning wearing helmets at all times while on the field, made the comment that the NFL was a slave system. “Make no mistake about it, slave master say you can’t do it, don’t do it” was one of the remarks made by Sapp. Although I will agree that Sapp’s statement was really taking it too far, the article in The Houstonian argues that Sapp’s statement was racist and should be examined in the same light as Rush Limbough’s comments earlier this year.First of all, racism refers to discrimination based on race. Warren Sapp made no statements about race. He only commented about slavery. Slavery throughout history has existed between members of the same race! One of the last sentences in the article read “The color of a person’s skin does not determine anything.” I can just see my sociology professors shaking their heads now. But it’s okay, we can’t blame Sam Houston for the mis-education of one student!I’m sure the author, the opinions editor for The Houstonian, has some valid explanation. His theory might just explain why every President in our nations history has been white. It probably explains why there are currently no blacks in the U.S. Senate. It might explain why we still have the NAACP and the ACLU. It might explain why, in 2003, new laws have been passed concerning racial profiling and hate crimes. It might also explain the Rodney King beating or the 41 shots fired by New York police officers at an unarmed Amadou Diallo.Must I say more? I guess I will. Another brilliant comment made in the article was that “People need to stop pulling the race card on every issue, and let individuals be equal.” As if equality would just naturally flow from society if only people would stop playing the race card. Can we stop pretending about the whole race issue? Skin color still matters. Whoever begs to differ must have been in a coma for the last 100 years of history. The final sentence of his article reads, “People need to realize that slavery doesn’t exist in the 21st century.” Newsflash, slavery still exists in Sudan, India, and several other countries around the world. Did ever occur to you to do research before you make such blanket statements?I realize with classes your time may be limited, but at least make the effort next time.—————————————–John Sargent

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