What can we learn from Tiger Woods

The slow deflation of the Tiger Woods bubble is another reminder that fame, or even money, is not a protection from the relentless destructive forces arrayed against African-American success.
However, I’m left with the question that comes up after a Marion Barry or a Jesse Jackson or a Kobe Bryant or a Michael Jackson:
Don’t you know you’re black in a society that is avowedly hostile to black people?
Of course, the answer is that apparently Woods did not understand that, even though his two best male friends, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, have gone through the same wringer themselves.
My college classmate, Peter Harris, a Los Angeles poet and playwright, has authored a new play The Johnson Chronicles, which helps explain some of the reasons that men take these types of risks. It’s pretty healthy to hear men talk openly about the mythology of their sex organs and how the audience can immediately identify with the ongoing dialogue with what feels often like a second, if not a dominant, consciousness.
Woods is probably no different than many other black men, who seek refuge in the one arena where they are unquestioned as exemplars. Living up to Stagolee, though, omits recognizing Stagolee’s fate.
The irony is that the highest form of intimacy comes from recognizing the depth and worth of women, including their intellectual gifts and their role in building families. I had the joy of participating in National Novel Writing Month last month with my mate as we both turned out 50,000 word novels.
What we have learned from the tell-all exploits of Woods’ affairs is that a man who only worries about looks is looking for a fall.
Respecting others is the best way to respect oneself.


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