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Everything posted by wrestlingzen

  1. Hey Chapman--thanks for the response. Just to follow up: I want to start by saying that I'm on the side of science when it comes to most things (e.g., environmental policy). But, from what I've read and studied, the relationship between modern 'science'--which is a relatively recent phenomenon in human history--and racism--which is about as old as human history--is fairly vexed. That's my opinion, but I'd say it's well established in research circles. To your other post: I'm not suggesting that 'facts' don't exist or that the practice of genetics isn't effective. (I'll admit that advances in gene editing scare me just a bit.) I'm definitely not saying that we shouldn't draw on different sciences in our decision making. The point I'm circling around relates specifically to how different sciences--like molecular biology and/or genetics--frame the world, shape the social imaginary, and eventually seep their way into our discourse and thinking about each other (the latter two of which are inextricably related). I know I'm not getting at all the nuance here, but that'd be a book, and many conversations besides. On a personal note, I've been frequenting these boards for years, and while I don't post a whole lot--too little time!--I feel compelled in the moment to take time out of my day and join in the fray. The impetus is pretty simple, and the reason I started this thread: I listened to the USA Wrestling pod re: the experience of black athletes and was inspired to do something. If any one of those men happens to read this post, I'd like to thank them for their leadership, on the mat and off. In the end, my take may not mean much some people, but even one random member of this community reads a post like this, and it affirms their personhood, or emboldens them to do something--here, there, wherever--I feel OK about what I'm committing to this forum. And I wish you well.
  2. Just dropping in here with a couple brief thoughts on the relationship between race and science. Mainly because: there's been some logic thrown around on this thread that goes something like, 'it's science, so it can't be racist'. The reality: science has been used to support racism and race-based policy for centuries. Sometimes it's perpetuated by scientists themselves (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Mismeasure-Man-Revised-Expanded/dp/0393314251). Sometimes taken up and twisted by demagogues: see the history of 20th century genetics and eugenics ala WWII era Germany. These are just two examples, but there are others, continuing on into the present day. With that said, I'd like to be clear on a couple points: 1) I'm not talking here about what's in people's heart of hearts (including KD's); I'm talking about discourse that has literally been used by avowedly racist individuals and political parties throughout history to justify horrific acts (including chattel slavery). 2) Statements that use ‘science’ as a counterpoint to racism (e.g., It's biology, it can't be racist!) simply don't hold up from a historical or logical point of view. Here's a point: you may not be a racist if you say Dake was simply talking about 'science, evolution, and biology and not racism'; but, you are tapping into a very similar, if not the same, logic that has been used by racists--including the national socialist party--to justify and perpetuate actions like human enslavement and mass genocide. So the question: if you use reasoning that racists use, and use often, does that make you a racist? Maybe not. But if it were me, I’d do some hard thinking.
  3. I honestly can't tell if you're trolling or if you actually believe what you're saying. Either way, I can't imagine anyone one who has read and understood The New Jim Crow could get behind the narrow and radically simplistic reasoning you've articulated here. But to your second point, which I think has promise in a way: there's no reason why social programs, book reading, and self reflection can't be combined with personal responsibility, hard work, and a commitment to excellence. In fact, one could argue that it's an unnecessary and problematic separation that has historically been used to characterize some groups as 'lazy' and immoral and others as industrious and morally righteous. Similar to the leadership at USA Wrestling, I believe that wrestling can improve race relations and respond to injustice (https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2020/June/01/USA-Wrestling-statement-on-social-justice), but these efforts will always be hindered by the type of inane thinking you represent in your post.
  4. Hey Katie, real quick: here's a link to a recent NYRB article that discusses Edward Said's book Orientalism (1978): https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/05/20/orientalism-then-and-now/ Not trying to be presumptuous--I had it to hand, and I thought you might find it of interest.
  5. Hey Lurker--I appreciate your response, and especially your point about the real-life-situation at Foxcatcher. Good perspective. I'm not sure I agree wholly with everything you're saying (nothing that couldn't be worked out over a beer, I imagine), but I respect the general spirit of what I understand you to be saying.
  6. I said this before, but I’ll clarify again: I’m not talking to you, and I have no interest trying to change your view. Here’s what I am doing, whether you, or anyone else, agrees with what I’m saying: I’m using this site as a platform to communicate about issues that I believe are important. It’s not about me. Let me be even more specific: I think you, LBJ, exemplify the type of ignorance that actively contributes to problems of race in this country. I don’t care what you say about me; I’m only responding to your post because I hope that someone else might see it and feel emboldened to take a stand against the type of ideology you represent. With that in mind, here’s a link for anyone interested in learning more from people who have knowledge on the subject of race in America: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kylewestaway/2020/06/04/20-books-for-2020-a-reading-list-on-race-in-america/#746edb7630b0
  7. Hey—I appreciate your response, and in the spirit of dialogue, I’ll try to offer my own perspective. First: I admit the point I made is complex, even if I phrased it in a simple way. No answer will suffice here; it needs to be an ongoing conversation. Second: for me, when it comes to issues of race in this country, I believe we should listen to and believe people who have experienced firsthand the effects of racism over people who have not had that experience. I’m not inflexible, and I understand the nuance of human experience, but it’s a principle I follow. The bigger issue in my view however doesn’t relate to the particular examples we’ve been discussing. These are mostly figurations through which we are trying to articulate our points of view in this particular moment. What I find important, here, is the stance people are taking toward the topic we are discussing. Meaning: the majority of posts in this thread have been working very hard to develop a counter narrative to discredit anyone who is trying to engage in a meaningful dialogue about race in the wrestling community. That alone is telling. Here’s a few things that have been said or implied by others in this thread: -Racism is a thing of the past and is no longer really an issue in the wrestling community. -DuPont was mentally ill, not racist. (The first is established; the second seems to be a point of debate.) -Anyone who calls attention to issues of race in the wrestling community or our culture is “sick" and "twisted” and should go out into the street and “lick a boot” of a “person of color.” -People like me are blowing things out of proportion for the sake of self-aggrandizement and to make themselves feel better. -People 'get along fine' and will call out racism when they see it in ‘real life’. (Here I’d comment: this does happen, even on the real life of message boards, but according to the men who shared their experiences through USA Wrestling, it certainly doesn’t happen all the time or even in most cases where racism is on display.) I don’t have time to go on right now, but here’s the point I’d make: on a basic level, we can choose to engage carefully with these issues and do the difficult work of listening, learning, and confronting them (online, offline); alternatively, we can spend our time castigating each other and trying to come up with examples and arguments to discredit the idea that racism might be an issue in this community and in this country. I'm doing my best to embody the former. I never claimed to have answers, and I have no interest in ‘puffing my chest’. It’s a wrestling message board, and I’m here because I’m a wrestler. Sorry for the length of post—but now I’ve got to get back to the grind.
  8. A couple quick points, and then I've got to hit it. 1) if you haven't checked it out already, watch the video USA Wrestling published yesterday. You'll hear from Jordan Burroughs, J'Den Cox, Mark Hall, and several other awesome men who share their experiences as black athletes in the sport of wrestling. We should listen to them and believe them. 2) The men I just mentioned, if I understand them correctly, asked people in the community to take a stand and speak up about the very issues we're discussing. I'm not looking to speak for them; I'm just doing my best to amplify the message in the best way I know how. I'm glad to be educated and change my thinking if they think I'm missing the point. 3) It's a tired and fallacious argument to say that racism is a 'thing of the past' or it's just 'a few bad apples'. It's just not true, and my saying so doesn't make me a sick or twisted person. 4) I'm not interested in grandstanding. This is a wrestling message board, not Twitter. And I'm an anonymous poster who should be in bed, not a celebrity who is looking to bolster my image. 5) I'm proud of USA Wrestling's efforts to be an inclusive organization. I've always supported these efforts--the work is never done. Finally: I don't know who you are, but whatever anger you're feeling toward me, you should direct toward something meaningful. I'm one of the good guys.
  9. I'm not sure if you really want a response, but I sense you may actually be interested in dialogue. Here's a quick thought: it's not that I wouldn't take Kurt Angle's point of view seriously. But when it comes to the issue of race and racism in this particular country, yes, I would say that Kenny Monday's perspective (as a black man) is definitely more believable. (I think it's important to say that I have no idea what Monday's perspective might be on all of this; that's for him to say.) I'd like to be clear: there's lots of nuance in the statement I just made; I'm just trying to keep it brief and simple.
  10. Alright, so this has to be my last response to you for the night. I've got no interest in being a 'champion of the people'. That's your way of trying to undercut sound reason with ad hominem attack. To your point, though: I am interested in supporting people. It's pretty simple. RE: the argument that 'DuPont got rid of everything black so therefore he wasn't racist'. Being mentally ill simply doesn't disqualify a person from also being racist. As I've mentioned, I personally see mental illness as fundamental to the racist disposition. And to be clear: I empathize with mental illness and take it seriously. Ultimately, I sense that you're trying to make a point about what's going on in the world right now--I get that it's hard--but you've chosen to spend a decent chunk of your evening looking for ways to argue on behalf of a murderer rather than think hard about the real issue at hand regarding race in this community and this country.
  11. Here's my reasoned point: if Kenny Monday says race was an issue at Foxcatcher, I believe him. If he says it wasn't an issue, I believe him. I choose to side with the man who has experienced the effects of racism in this community and in this country.
  12. You seem vociferous in your point of view. That's fine; it's not my job to change your personal perspective. It's a much bigger issue than you or me. The reason I'm responding to your posts--which strike me as more or less superficial and ugly--is that I want anyone who might read a thread like this (before it gets locked) to know that your point of view has not gone unchallenged. There are people in the wrestling community, and on this board, who are willing to stand against racism and respond to people who, like you, feel a need to argue on the behalf of a murderer rather than even consider that, just maybe, race was an issue at Foxcatcher. It's not revisionist; it's understanding reality through an evolved lens. And again, I'm not self-righteous. My aim here is to articulate a reasoned and principled stance. I am trying harder: that's why I'm on this message board choosing to engage with you.
  13. Hey man, I appreciate what you're saying here. I obviously don't have firsthand information on the situation at Foxcatcher, but I'd say this: let's just believe Kenny Monday. I don't know what he, or Angle, has said, but if Monday said race was an issue, then I'm taking his word for it.
  14. Just so I have this straight: 1) You're choosing to amplify the perspective of a murderer who killed one of our nation's most accomplished and beloved wrestlers. Got it. 2) RE: the analogy to Donald Sterling. Your claim suggests that one can't be racist if they aren't making money on black athletes; clearly, DP wasn't in it for the money. That certainly doesn't mean he wasn't racist. 3) I don't follow your connection to religion. My argument: if you judge people according to their 'race'--which I realize and admit is a complex concept--you've got mental problems. (And I honestly don't mean that in a condescending way.) 4) I don't feel righteous at all. I've been part of the wrestling community my whole life, and I feel it's important to stand up and support and believe those voices--starting with those men who shared their experiences online through USA wrestling--when they say that a race problem exists within the wrestling community. You should try harder.
  15. Start by reading a book. Seriously: I don't mean a blog, a news article, or some random post about race in this country. A real book. Here's one place to begin: https://www.amazon.com/New-Jim-Crow-Incarceration-Colorblindness/dp/1595586431 Also, I'm OK with you dismissing my perspective, even if you don't choose to engage with it in on a meaningful level. It's not just a random opinion; outside of the minor dig on LBJ's intelligence, which may or may not be accurate, it's well reasoned, and if you do the work, and do some honest-to-god reflection on your own point of view, you may learn something. I honestly hope you give it try.
  16. You're very close here. Let me make the connection for you: racists are mentally unstable. I'd add: if you think that racists can't or won't fund black athletes, you're either ignorant or you've got your head in the sand. It's analogous to saying that the owner of an NBA team (e.g., Donald Sterling) isn't racist because some of the players on his team are black. It's nothing to do with melodrama--it's about raising awareness of a systematic problem that continues to be questioned by people who can't or won't accept the deeply racist history of this country and its ongoing manifestation in the lives of black athletes and the black community more generally.
  17. I've really enjoyed listening to his interviews lately. Without active competition, I feel it's the best wrestling-based content happening right now--and Bader is a great interviewer. No surprise, maybe, but he asks the right questions, and he comes across as a smart and thoughtful dude (and more calm and measured than when he's announcing, which makes sense). It's also nice to hear from folks in the wrestling community who are grappling with everything going on right now. I'd rather be talking about results from the Olympic trials and upcoming games; but, given the circumstances, it's good to see people making the best of a tough situation.
  18. I agree--a great topic. I'll add just one to each category: -Takedowns: Stephen Abas -Mat: Ben Askren -Leg: Steiner Bros -Toughness: Royce Alger -Fireman's: Sadulaev got skillz
  19. I have to say: I appreciate the spirit of this thread, and after seeing it last night, I came back and was glad to see it continuing to develop. Some good stuff here. I'm currently just trying to figure things out. My wife and I both teach at a university, and all our courses have gone online. Campus and town have also shut down pretty much completely. Just today, we officially started working from home, and on top of that, we made the decision to take our four-year-old twins out of day care. (Our daycare remains open, mainly to accommodate those essential personnel who are on the front lines of this pandemic.) A wild ride. So just a couple thoughts as I transition into the 'new normal': 1) I'm a productive guy, but I find myself looking to change what it looks/feels like to be productive. Meaning more less: I'm staying active but letting myself off the hook in terms of the amount of work I can accomplish--and even thinking differently about what it means to accomplish meaningful work. 2) I'm looking for ways to conceptualize this time in an 'affirmative' sense. Meaning more or less: rather than thinking about the time I'm losing, I'm working to approach this time as an opportunity to be with my children and wife and even to reflect conscientiously on the day-to-day work of being a professional/dad/husband/etc. I don't mean that as a cliche--it's more of a practice that requires deliberate attention, with the aim of (hopefully) coming out of this whole thing a better hu/man. Rather than ramble on, I'll just stop here and say: I appreciate the opportunity to vent a little and take part in this conversation. I've been part of the wrestling community for most of my life, and over the past few days, I've found myself coming to these boards for much more than Pan Am results (though that too). It's been reaffirming to see how you all are grappling with the state of affairs in which we find ourselves--stay positive, and good luck out there. [WZ]
  20. 'For every action, there is an inaction. Physics.' --Wayne Newton
  21. Wow. People seem to really be rallying against JC. He must be doing something right.
  22. Pletcher's got some heat. It's been said, but dang, he's looking tough this year.
  23. I’m honestly not uptight abt it; just find it interesting and enjoy thinking abt this type of stuff. But to yr question: A Flo vid that captures moment-to-moment discourse in an intense situation (like a higher stakes wrestling match or tournament) is very different than a coach tweeting out a petty comment on social media abt another coach in the middle of competition. The situations just aren’t analogous in this context. To be clear: I don’t care abt Paulson and am not interested in calling him/anyone out; I’m also not interested in defending other coaches hijinks—I simply think it was a strange thing to do, and perhaps a little vindictive.
  24. I see your point, but tweeting a more or less petty comment, to the world, about a colleague/all time great/top level coach is clearly different than sharing a moment with a fan or another coach at the tournament. The choice to vent like that, during a tournament, in a public forum, just seems strange to me, if only from a professional POV. Similarly: I don’t really care for Nick Saban, but he’s a great coach, and I think it’d be odd for another coach to be tweeting during the game about his sideline antics. To complete the thought: I do think it’s cool when coaches tweet out comments when it relates to their guys getting a big win, etc.; I just don’t get the airing of grievances from one coach to another, especially in the thick of competition.
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