Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mike Ditka is not a Chicagoan

     When someone denies the real pain of another, there’s always a selfish reason. Maybe, like right-wing radio hosts claiming the Sandy Hook schoolroom slaughter was a hoax, they can’t bear to consider the cost of their gun infatuation. Maybe, like Holocaust deniers, they are utterly unwilling to see the subjects of their hate in a sympathetic light.
     Then there’s former Bears coach Mike Ditka, in the news again, rejecting the idea that black players who take a knee during the national anthem have anything to protest.
     “I don’t see all the social injustice that some of these people see,” Ditka said Monday. “There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of.”
     Where to begin?
     First, we can recognize his honesty. I’m certain he doesn’t see social injustice. Though a glimmer of the blindness of what he just said may have flashed through even his eyes, because, Ditka added, “Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people.”
     Ya think? Too busy running from camera to camera, flapping your gums, coasting off your victory (well, really Buddy Ryan’s) 32 years ago. A third of a century. How come you couldn’t find time to curl up with a book of American history?
     For Iron Mike, and those freshly arrived from Mars, a quick synopsis: Our country was built on slavery, which coined much of its wealth. That was followed by 100 years of Jim Crow serfdom and horror that ended . . . what time is it now? I’d feel uncomfortable suggesting it ended at all, but slid into a new, more opaque phase where the economic system itself takes the place of hooded night riders and snapping German shepherds.

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  1. It's very easy, Ditka was hit in the head far too many times while playing & now the chickens have come home to roost.
    He has dementia!
    Just like his hero, Trump.

    1. I don't think Dementia is the cause of Mr Ditkas or mr. Trump's ignorance. Though it could contribute to their utterances. Ditkas upbringing much like many of us included being told anyone can be successful in america, even president. All you have to do is work hard and anything's possible. While this is true for more and more of us today there are many obstacles in the path of most black people. Mr.Ditka and many others seem to think it's their own fault that the system is stacked against them and they should not complain about it within earshot and get busy pulling themselves up by the boot straps. That's tough when you got no boots cause white people got the boot factories and the boot stores and lots of boots for themselves and when you finally saved up enough to get boots they sold you boots without straps that were defective and cost way to much

  2. ...coasting off your victory (well, really Buddy Ryan’s) 32 years ago.

    Neil, that's just cold.

  3. Why anybody cares what a dolt like Ditka thinks about *anything*, including football, is beyond me. And yes, kudos for the Buddy Ryan shot referred to by the Scribe.

    But he's not a Chicagoan? Uh, not the angle I'd have concluded with, but then, nobody's asking me!

    There are many Chicagos. There's the CSO, Lyric Opera, Art Institute Chicago and the "Da Bearsss," Old Style at the corner bar, Ditka's as fine-dining Chicago. The LaSalle St. and the Cicero Ave and the 75th St. The Mag Mile and the Six Corners and the 26th St. Sometimes the respective groups overlap, but a lot of times they don't.

    Around the time the Bears won that Super Bowl, overwhelmingly Democratic Chicago gave Republican Bernie Epton 48% of the vote against Harold Washington. Hey, that was less than 100 years ago! Ditka represents those kind of Chicagoans just fine, sadly.

    Of course, the column acknowledges that he's not an anomaly, and you're well aware of all of the above, NS, so I won't say "You were never in Chicago." That line's been taken, anyway. ; )

    1. You make a good point, Jakash, but so does Neil. The real point of all this is, how embarrassed are we that Ditka represents the city? I use Neil's logic when claiming that Trump isn't American. I'm embarrassed, most days.

  4. The protests against inequality in our country and the debate surrounding it is all bollixed up. Our Flag, Constitution, and America stand for liberty and justice for all. The manner of NFL players protesting it may not be the best strategy. The injustice being protested is not inherent in our Flag or Constitution, it is a result of unconstitutional laws and systems of justice that are applied differently to classes of people. To eliminate injustice as best we can, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, 14th and 15th Amendments in particular, need to be respected. Now we have the Moron in Chief along with his henchman Jeff Sessions ignoring more items in the Constitution then I can count. Their deluded followers think the President it upholding something, I don't know what, and the protesters somehow are against the nation. One of Trump's biggest failure is ignoring his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps protests that led to the creation of the Civil Rights Act could be emulated. It would nice if politicians would take their jobs more seriously and spend time undoing unjust laws.

  5. I remember when Grayslake used to brag about Ditka being their hometown hero.

    Good column.

  6. Racism and bigotry are as alive as they've always been. It's just that now, with Trump at the helm of our government, people no longer feel the need to whisper their true feelings of superiority.
    Being in the manufacturing working world for a large portion of my adult life, and no one being aware of the United Nations look of my family, or the Black man who raised me, I've witnessed the words of hatred since I was in my teens. I have very little hope that it'll be any sooner than many generations for the tribalism of exclusion to slowly fade until it becomes nothing more than a relic of our reptilian mindset.


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