"Ain't nothing wrong with keeping your cool", is the line Mario Van Peebles says as Malcom X to Will Smith as Ali in Michael Man's Ali movie. As some one who's read alot about both of these men and seen documentaries on them I believe the words coming out Malcom's (Peebles) mouth as he advises his friend and fellow Muslim Muhammed Ali on not losing control in the presence of his opponents and I'm guessing the media, the public and everyone else.
Both men lived in racially and politically charged times in American history; a dangerous time where they were under the scope of aforementioned media, the public, CIA and the FBI. To use Jsmooth's words I'm being "Extras suspicious of a government that has a history of being crazy paranoid". Yet for Malcom X, a man who in his youth experienced violence (his fathers' murder) and knew that his own life was in danger said to his friend "Ain't nothing wrong with keeping your cool". The other master of nonchalance living in the same racially and politically charged time was Martin Luther King. He too advocated keeping your cool in the face of the opposition which in his case was people like George Wallace, a lot of the south, CIA, and the crazy paranoid FBI. Both of these men lost their lives to assassination.
So when I see Oregon University senior and Running Back LaGarrette Blount not keeping his cool to the point where he punched an opposing player ( On national television) after the game was over and then needed to be restrained by the police as he made a Ron Artest charge towards raucous fans I can't help but wonder what ever happened to that keep your cool philosophy with this generation. It seems to have them missed them completely.
Black men like Martin and Malcom faced adversity that you and I will probably never have to face because of their personal sacrifices (their lives) yet there has never been footage or pictures of either them loosing control and hitting some one. Trust me that would have been in every American history book, documentary and movie ever made about either of them if they had.
Not only has Blount been suspended for the season he also may have hurt his chances in the NFL draft. In in one moment of unchecked emotion Blount has put everything in jeopardy just like Ron Artest did when he charged the crowd at Auburn Hills and attacked a fan. When coach Mike Singletary was the interim coach for the Sanfrancisco 49'rs and one of his players responded to the taunts of an opposing player and got flagged by the refs Singletary kicked that player off the field and his now famous post game rant about not being able to coach players who put themselves before the team has been seen by every sports fan in the country numerous times.
Maintaining your cool is not only a philosophy for black activists and football coaches but also for black men period. We don't have the luxury of loosing control and being given the same benefit of the doubt that others get. When the black man looses his cool, he losses everything including his freedom and in some cases his life. For black men who survive their blown cool moment lies a even harder path to walk down than the one laid before them by simply being born black in America. While I'm sure Blount will eventually come back and one day joke about this moment the same way Ron Artest has; those of us who will never be star athletes will only have hurdles to jump as try to rebuild reputations and our lives in the blown cool aftermath if were lucky enough not to end up in jail or six feet under.
One last thing
The fat guy in the Pistons jersey that threw the cup at Ron Artest face and set him off got banned from the Aubrun Hills. The opposing Boise State football player who needlessly provoked Blount after his team won the game needs to be punished too. What Blount did was wrong and I don't feel sorry for him but their needs to be punishment for both actions and not just one.
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