Here's a riddle: So if it takes Rush Limbaugh a full week to be booted from ESPN for rather nebulous comments – at best – about black quarterbacks in the NFL, how many times can Bryant Gumbel incite direct racially based "playa hatin" before he gets a slap on the wrist?
Sorry, I now recognize that is a rhetorical question with no known answer. But doesn't it just rub somebody wrong somewhere that Gumbel can echo the thoughts of Hitler and someone barely notices, while fellow broadcasters say far less and receive merciless verbal beatings?
What did he say?
Well for starters he implied that Olympic athletes competing for the medals at the Winter Games shouldn't truly be considered great because not enough of them are black.
So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.
– Bryant Gumbel, HBO's Real Sports, Feb. 7, 2006.
But didn't the former Nazi supreme commander used to think of black athletes as superior as well? At least in physical prowess? Sure, he believed they were subhuman, but in reality, he feared a black man's athletic abilities.
Now Gumbel draws a comparison to athletes of other races and assumes, speculates and advances the argument that blacks are in fact superior athletes. Of course, its complete idiocy – but don't tell Emperor Gumbel.
Not that American blacks are drawn to winter sports necessarily, nor do they have to be, nor should they be. The wonderful thing about American culture is that we pretty much get to decide growing up if we would rather kick a soccer ball, throw a football, hit a baseball, or fly through the air on a snowboard – it's up to us. Tim Meadows' old skit on "Saturday Night Live" illustrated this well when he portrayed the lone black man in America who had to have his African-American hockey fix.
More blacks are associating with conservatives now than at any time in history since the end of the American Civil War. (At that time, blacks consistently voted Republican until the Democrats founded the KKK and intimidated them into a voting block used for the Democrats' purposes.)
Gumbel may not speak to average blacks very often from his ebony tower, as he looks down his nose upon the rest of the world. But I do. In New York City, my radio talk-show's audience is roughly 60 percent African American, with numbers of friends telling friends every day.
Gumbel may grumble about the percentage of blacks playing sports at the Winter Games, but what he should be concerned about is why seven out of 10 pregnancies in the black community occur in illegitimacy. And why a higher percentage of those end in abortion than all other ethnicities combined. Maybe Gumbel could explain the effect Planned Parenthood has had on the depletion of the African-American community through its strategic targeting of black neighborhoods. Maybe Gumbel could offer an explanation on why, in doing so, the black population in America is in actual decline. Maybe he could, but I doubt he will.
And while we're at it, I wonder if Gumbel views the U.S. troops who fight for our freedoms with the same amount of disdain as he does the U.S. Olympic team? After all, both groups are fighting for the qualities and values Americans believe in.
Then again, we wouldn't want to tax Gumbel's paucity of thought on the matter.
(And stay tuned next week when Gumbel unveils his new "Olympic Affirmative Action" plan for desegregating the sport of curling.)