Playing Race Card and the Victim=s Epic Fail

So,Thursday was apparently a day for two of the most anti-intellectual celebrities to voice their idiotic opinions, and get slammed for it.

First Miami Heat superstar LeBron James blamed the media for its “Racist” coverage of the debacle called his exit from Cleveland.  Race? Really? Really? The best you can do is pull a play out of Al Sharpton’s playbook. Give me a break. (And no, I am not an apologist for the sore loser owner of the Cavs either, just someone sick of the race card being drawn at the most arbitrary whim of famous racial minorities).

But the saddest and best piece of news came from CNN; Rick Sanchez made some anti-Judaic comments concerning the media and was removed as an anchor. His rant, like LeBron’s, was the classic “I am a victim, but look at me on t.v.” and he deserved his fate.

Both Sanchez and LeBron=s EPIC FAILURES this week. Ridiculous.

0 thoughts on “Playing Race Card and the Victim=s Epic Fail

  1. Brandon

    Hey Rod,

    No words for Lebron but I do wonder what you think Rick Sanchez said that justified a firing? I did not hear the radio interview but reading the statements found in the article you linked, I’m not sure there was anything I would fire someone over as a news company. I’m not for playing the victim but it seems he actually has some real critiques of the way racial and ideological discrimination plays out in corporate media. Thoughts?

    1. Rod of Alexandria

      I think Sanchez was right when it came to White liberal progressive discrimination but he was also using coded language (north eastern progressive liberal establishment–as if progressives aren’t in the midwest or South or Pacific west?) to imply Jews run the media, etc. I also think he deserved to get canned simply because he was not a very good anchor, plain and simple. There were a number of people who deserved to have their own 1-2 hours before Sanchez; that’s my personal opinion. Plus, his response to Jon Stewart was unbecoming to CNN’s image. Roland Martin didn’t cry when Stewart had a series about his ascotts. He is actually capitalizing literally off of Stewart’s jokes.

  2. Celucien Joseph

    Rod: I have a quick question to ask you, actually two:-) Are Jews minority in this country? What is anti-semitism about Sanchez’s statement?
    For what I know about Jews in this country, they have control over the U.S. media and yes the U.S. Congress. Wealthy and influential American Jews somewhat run this country. Now, is my statement antisemistic or Judaic?

    1. Rod of Alexandria


      Sanchez and your comment are just incorrect. The civil religion of the United States is not a de facto form of Judaism, is it? Judaism is not the normative gaze by which Americans, both non-Christian and Christian look out at the world. Judaism is a religion, first and foremost. They are a religious minority. Yes, there are some persons who grew up Jewish, but the ones in power are more secular than Jewish. Sanchez’s view is mistaken because he saw Jews as an ethnic race of persons and not a religion, which I believe to be a big mistake. And he did use code-words that racists use to refer to Jews in power. Jews are only considered to be in power in this country to the extent that there is the false-metanarrative of the “Judeo-Christian” roots of this country. There was nothing Judeo about it; it was Euro-Christian. The Judea portion is a false myth in the underlying hegemonic re-telling of American history.

  3. Celucien Joseph

    Rod: You completely misunderstood my statement. I think we are dealing with an hermeneutical issue here. My questions have nothing to do with religion or religious affiliation. Antisemitism does not have to bear a religious or theological connotation when it is used in the modern sense. Frequently, the word is rather associated with Jewish-Hebraic culture and values, and sometimes might employ interchangeably with Judaism to underline shared religious values and traditions. As you know, Antisemitism means anti-Jewish or hostility toward Jews, and not directly anti-Judaism, in the religious sense. Therefore, I think when Sanchez used the term “Jews” (“CNN is run by Jews”) in his conversation with Dominick (Part one:
    Dominick: How is he a bigot?
    Sanchez: I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.
    Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?
    Sanchez: Everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?

    Part two:

    I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah), he was suggesting that American Jews (not religiously) are fully integrated into the Euro-American system, culture and values; what many would call “whiteness” and therefore are culturally and economically privileged. Hence, Jews are not a minority group (not a religiously minority group) in the United States.

    Second, my statement does not delineate any distinction between religiously-professed and secular Jews. As I’ve made it clear, there’s a sense to state that wealthy and influential Jews have an hegemonic control in the spheres of economy, cultural media, and sometimes foreign-international relations (i.e. Arab-Jewish relations) in this country.

    Third, to say partly that Euro-Americans, that is, those who share, are committed to maintaining and sometimes evangelistically spreading Western values and civilization (such were in the case of Euro-American colonialistic and imperialistic endeavors abroad ), have an hegemonic control in the various cultural and intellectual domains in this country is therefore not a pseudo-grand narrative. Historically, this has been a consented historical fact and continues to be a true statement in the 21st century America. In the 1960s, we would have called that “white power” as many still call it today.

    Finally, I engage in this friendly-conversation with you does not necessarily mean that I fully support the generality of Sanchez’s conversation with Dominick, about wealthy and influential American Jews exercising considerable control within our society. Nonetheless, Sanchez was bold enough to have articulated some “real” and “frustrated” concerns that other Americans feel need to be addressed in the media, which were ultimately voiced by a prominent American journalist and respected cultural media person, such as Mr. Rick Sanchez.

    1. Rod of Alexandria

      My problem with Sanchez’s narrative was that he was referring to the Jews being a “racial” minority and scoffing but I do not think being Jewish is a “race.” Judaism is a religion of practice. Really, when one takes the census, Jewish is not an option. Jews have to come from either Israel or the Diaspora, so they know their native lands.

      I am not denying class privilege that Stewart has lived all of his life or the pro-Israeli lobby in American foreign policy. I said nothing of the sort. What I did say was that I think it was a nefarious assumption, first, for Sanchez to call an ace a spade or Jewishness as a race. If Jews, and by this I meant faithful Jews and not just the secular kind (I make a great distinction, because culturally, there is a big difference–Black Americans do not, for instance have the same cultural values as African immigrants in the USA). The difference is just like when persons call themselves Christians, but have never gone to church or read the Bible hear in the US, maybe a sort of secular Christian agnosticism. I am trying to avoid the essentialism inherent in Sanchez’s statements; essentialism, as J Kameron Carter notes in his chapter on James Cone, even if it is used for liberation, can lead to forms of hegemonic control, but of course, we should learn to escape the hegemonic/counterhegemonic binary (Carter in Redeeming Whiteness).

      In principle, I agree with Sanchez that there is a racially and class exclusive form of progressive liberalism that goes unchallenged. That was never my contention. Also, crying victim for being a target of satire is ridiculous. He should capitalize on it, like Roland Martin did, you know, one of the other racial minorities on CNN.

      Also, I do know the difference between anti-Semitism and Anti-Judaism. Sanchez’s statements have nothing to do with being anti-Jewish/Hebraic values, but have to do with having issues with Jews who have powers. Is being in power exclusively inherent to Jewish/Hebraic culture? I do not think so. Also, I have an issue, lastly, as the title of this post suggests with Sanchez playing the victim card. As a beginning student of Foucault, in terms of an inter-personal comparison with Sanchez and Stewart, in regards to power, Sanchez cannot claim to be powerless. He had and has more agency than any other racial minority would; I mean, he did have 2 hours of television compared to Stewart’s 30 minutes. Sanchez should have used better judgment and considered more creative options for how to dealing with Stewart’s critique.

  4. Celucien Joseph

    This is clearer, Rod. Thanks for taking the time to write back. It’s interesting that you reference Carter’s useful work.

    By the way, you should definitely get William Jenningin’s The Christian Imagination:Theology and The Origins of Race. It’s a groundbreaking study in the same line as Carter’s. If time permits, I’ll review this book for the JRER.

    How’s the PhD application process going? Don’t miss those deadlines:-)


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