Sometimes I listen to sports talk radio. I’ll listen to 105.9 The X on the way home from work when they broadcast Penguins games. Listening to hockey games on the radio has been a love of mine since I lived in Columbus. I would watch Columbus Blue Jackets games on tv with the sound on mute, and let the radio announcer make the call. George Matthews‘ game call puts those tv announcers to SHAME!!!
I was listening to WXDX this evening when sports talk radio personality Mark Madden remarked about how he thought a certain commentator on ESPN was “turning white.” Mark said this guy was getting pale, and that maybe it was a career move on this guy’s part. Then Mark follows this all up, on live radio, with his opinion that the guy was “turning white” because the guy “realized he was completely talentless”.
Now, there are so many things wrong with his few seconds of radio they are hard to enumerate. I want to ask Mark Madden, “Do you think talent is defined by skin color? Do you think this commentator would be more talented if he were whiter? In your opinion, should all Black people start “turning white” in order to further our career prospects?”
Mark Madden doesn’t want to call his comments racist:
Seriously? Apparently, Mark Madden thinks “turning white” is diversity.
I think Mark should seriously consider why this person is “turning white.” Maybe Mark is ignorant of the fact that dark people tan. (Yes! Black people tan!) Has Mark considered that maybe this man hasn’t had time to maintain his usual tan because he has taken on additional responsibility at work and doesn’t have time for sunbathing and fun in the sun? Has Mark considered that his knee-jerk assumption is based on racist indoctrination; and that losing one’s tan is a sign of hard work and dedication to one’s trade rather than baiting opportunity?
No matter which way you spin it, Mark Madden’s comments were racially insensitive, and rooted in racism. Though he most likely won’t apologize and will not understand the significance of his prejudiced remarks, he should know that other people get it. He should know that saying racist things in jest is still racism.
I know where he stands.