January 10, 2008
Kelly Tilghman, an anchor for The Golf Channel, was suspended for two weeks for a remark she made during the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week. In response to Nick Faldo’s comment about who could challenge Tiger Wood, Tilghman inadvertently and innocently said that those players who wanted to challenge Woods should “lynch him in a back alley”. She has already come out publically and apologized, and Tiger Woods has already said he did not feel insulted and that it was a non-issue.
Tiger Woods has got to be the most down-to-earth non-racist respectful man I have ever known. I have been keeping up with him and watching him play golf for the past 17 years. I was a huge Tiger fan before he became famous. His father, Earl Woods, had to be the same way, because it was he that taught Tiger not only how to play golf, but how to be a good citizen and good person. Tiger’s achievements have been accomplished completely on his own merits, not on other people’s issues. And he makes sure he stays that way. What a wonderful example to follow. On his father, I watched him and Tiger on the Oprah Winfrey show several years ago. As you may or may not know, Tiger is only one-forth black. When Oprah asked Earl Woods what race did he tell Tiger he belonged to when Tiger was growing up, Mr. Woods look her right in the eye and said “the human race”.
Kelly Tilghman, as well as all others in the public eye, should always be conscious of what they are saying. But people are human, and human’s error. Tiger Woods knows and accepts that. But the rest of us and the news media don’t accept that. In fact, many of us are tuned to hearing those errors, and the reason is because of political correctness. Politically correctness demands that we not make mistakes. If we do, we will be severely punished. And Tilghman is being punished unfairly.
We live in a world where we all are saying “I don’t care about anything unless it affects me, and if it does affect me, or even if I think it affects me, everybody better care.” We have become so sensitive and demanding that all we want to think about is ourselves and to hell with anyone else. “If there is an issue I can use to my advantage, I will use it, no matter who is hurt and no matter if it is right or wrong to do so.”
Yes, racism is still out there, and it will always be there because there are too many powerful people who gain fame and fortune from keeping it alive, therefore they will never allow racism to die. And there are regular people who will always use racism to their advantage. Many blacks and non-blacks alike benefit from racism. So it is here to stay, no matter how hard we try to get rid of it. In the meantime, all we can do is accept that humans do make mistakes and ignore those who want to make non-issues an issue for selfish reasons.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky