In case you haven’t heard, we’ve had another (albeit slightly less outrageous) Don Imus incident. In this case, the slip up comes from the lips of Golf Channel broadcaster Kelly Tilghman. A CNN.com account of the comment is as follows:
Tilghman uttered the remark during coverage of Hawaii’s Mercedes-Benz Championship on Friday, while she and and co-host Nick Faldo were bantering about how young golfers might challenge ever-dominant Woods.
Faldo said, “To take Tiger on, well yeah, they should just gang up for a while until …”
“Lynch him in a back alley,” Tilghman interrupted with a chuckle.
Now Tilghman is a far cry from Imus in my book. For one, she’s never had a public history of racist remarks or anything of the like. In fact, Tiger Woods, through his agent Mark Steinburg, went so far as to call Ms. Tilghman a “friend” and accepted her public apology, stating “We know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments.” Initially, the Golf Network wasn’t considering disciplining Tilghman, probably due to the good-natured way Tiger accepted her apology. However, as public knowledge grew (along with the black public’s cry for “justice”), the network decided to suspend Tilghman for two weeks. Among the vocal minority is, of course, Al Sharpton.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Al Sharpton will go to bat for any and all minorities, but somethings, in my book, are more open-shut cases. Yes, what she said is stupid, she’s been punished fairly (in my opinion), and it’s time to drop it and let it go. However, most of the black public who know about this are either incapable of letting it go, or are unwilling. It is clear, however, that the majority of the black public who are vocally calling for Tilghman’s dismissal are doing so under the banner of “no tolerance of racial insensitivity” carried by Al Sharpton. Usually, I’m all for people not making stupid remarks like Tilghman obviously did. However, in considering what this means to the black race in the grand scheme of things, I have to lean to the side of “she did it, apologized for it, suffered her consequence” and leave it at that. If she had been more like Don Imus and had a history of racial insensitivity and generally stupid remarks, then I’d totally support the call for harsher punishment. However I don’t believe this case warrants such a call. I think it’s a sad day in America when someone who has no history of racist remarks or offensive remarks against any segment of society is suddenly, and without reproach, stuck with the label “racist” for one slip of the tongue.
In short, I think this whole matter is blown way out of proportion. I’m not condoning the remark or racist remarks in general. I’m not even suggesting that she shouldn’t have been punished at all. All I’m saying is that she’s paid fairly for her “crime” and that people should let it go, give her the benefit of the doubt, and allow her to prove herself to be an upstanding broadcaster that both Tiger Woods and the Golf Channel thinks she is. Can she take back what she said? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean she should be kicked off the air totally. This, I think, is getting out of hand…
~ by Deuce on January 10, 2008.