First-time readers, the dialogue in this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date. Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.
Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters. You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.
Editor’s note: at the end of Entry #223, I indicated the series of articles about Charlotte and the black community was complete. This past week (beginning 10/23/2016) a quote in the Charlotte Observer seemed so relevant to the series and especially Entry #223 (Role models for the black community) that I thought another entry was appropriate.
The quote is from Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers football team. Mr. Newton is a graduate of Auburn University. He played in Super Bowl 50 and was voted the most valuable player in the NFL for 2015. As one might expect, Mr. Newton is admired by many children…and adults. Because of the topics in this series of entries, I’m noting that Mr. Newton is also black.
At the time of the interview the Panthers record in 2016 had fallen to 1 win and 5 losses (in 2015 the Panthers were 6-0). The article focused on how the Panthers might turnaround the freefall from last year’s stellar season. The reporter asked Mr. Newton for his thoughts. Mr. Newton’s response, “We don’t need no messages. We out of things that need to be said. We out of big rah-rah speeches and everybody saying believe.”
Some might attribute Mr. Newton’s response to “locker-room talk,” where language is less formal. Nice try…but no dice. Anyone who has ever been interviewed by the media or spent any time around the media, as I have and certainly Mr. Newton has, knows that other than on rare occasions, all remarks are subject to being “on-the-record.” (Mr. Trumps knows that as well.)
So here we have a high-profile sports figure who makes at least three grammatical mistakes in three sentences. For many younger admirers of Mr. Newton, and given Mr. Newton’s success on the athletic field, the interpretation of his remarks could be that “knowing good English don’t matter.”
If Mr. Newton were not a stellar athlete, it seems likely he would not have a very good job. What company or organization would consider hiring someone for any meaningful position when the candidate has such poor command of English?
Did the interview happen to occur on an “off day” for Mr. Newton? Unfortunately, no. In remarks cited in other articles and when speaking extemporaneously, Mr. Newton makes numerous grammatical mistakes. (Panthers fans, relax. I’m not picking on or being unfair to Mr. Newton. He’s a high-profile athlete and promoted by the Panthers. Besides he was convenient. We live in Charlotte and I often read the sports section on the exercycle.)
I realize Mr. Newton is not the only athlete whose command of the English language is limited. Even the most educated people make a grammatical mistake occasionally…but not three mistakes in three short sentences.
Entry #223 described three “non-athlete” role models the black community should consider. Since publishing Entry #223, I’ve talked to the real “Rock Man” twice, with each conversation lasting at least 20 minutes. In neither conversation do I remember Rock Man making a serious grammatical mistake.
Let me reiterate some thought starters put forth in Entries #219-#223 and a few earlier entries. If the black community wants to begin getting off the bottom rung of the economic ladder, then it should consider: (i) promoting such role models as Rock Man, Lonnie Johnson and Dr. Benjamin Payton (#223): (ii) strongly encourage black college athletes to select a study major that provides the foundation for a meaningful career outside athletics; (iii) discourage black athletes from entering the NBA or NFL and instead, seek jobs in other professions. At a minimum, exert family and social pressure on black athletes not to enter the NFL or NBA until graduating.
Okay, I’ve made my case about a different approach for the black community to consider. Hope some of these thoughts are of value. Comments welcome.