January 5, 2008

If It is OK to 'Lynch' Tiger Woods ... Is It OK to 'Gas' a Jewish Golfer?

Drumbeats from SerenityLife told us about recent comments from broadcaster Kelly Tilghman who said young golfers challenging Tiger Woods should "lynch" him. Tilghman uttered the remark during coverage of Hawaii's Mercedes-Benz Championship on Friday, while she and and co-host Nick Faldo were bantering about how young golfers might challenge ever-dominant Woods.

Faldo said, "To take Tiger on, well yeah, they should just gang up for a while until ..."

"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman interrupted with a chuckle.

Woods says he considers Tilghman a friend, saw no malicious intent in remark. Villagers, at what point do we hold people accountable for hate-speech. I disagree with Tiger Woods. It is very malicious to indicate on public television that there is something to 'chuckle' about when you indicate that a Black man should be 'lynched'.

I'm confident that Ms. Tighman would not have chuckled in talking about a Jewish golfer and indicating that his opponents should 'gas him in a back alley'. She would know from her upbringing and from societial pressures that talking about gassing a Jewish person is beyond the pale. Just like talking about lynching a Black man is beyond the pale as well.

Brothers and sisters ... enough is enough! I agree with Al Sharpton on this one. Tilghman should be fired. Just like Imus. Just like Al Campanis. Just like any public figure that publically chuckles about lynching of a Black man. It is unacceptable in America and Tilghman should be called on the carpet about it. I'm uncertain if a two-week suspension is enough.

The Golf Channel, founded in 1991 by media entrepreneur Joseph Gibbs, employs 300+ people at their corporate headquarters in Orlando FL. Does anyone have contact information for Mr. Gibbs? If not, then I encourage you to express your feelings on Ms. Tilghman's racist comments directly to the The Golf Channel website.

I don't consider myself a "politically correct vigilante". I simply realize that the history of lynching is such in our country that it should never be a joking matter.

What say u?


Bohemian Chick said...

I guess thinking is not required before opening your mouth on national television. She went too far with her comment. Was that supposed to be witty??

Tiger says she's a friend and the comment was a "nonissue" Come on Tiger, you can do better than that! Hmmm, then again...maybe he can't.

SheCodes said...

I agree with you.

The problem is that most whites in america know nothing about the black mindset -- and do not care to either. However, we have no choice but to be immersed in theirs.

Frankly I am sick of these supposed 'innocent slip ups'. They keep stepping in crap because they don't know crap about us. Andt that's a shame. It's time to get some training with these knuckleheaded pundits -- they need an education on the racial climate.

So I would take either racial sensitivity training with a 90 day suspension, or a firing if she refused to do it.

clnmike said...

"Woods says he considers Tilghman a friend, saw no malicious intent in remark"

Now you see that right there is why I am not on Woods bandwagon.

Unknown said...

It is sad that Mr. woods would take such a lackadaisical attitude to such an asinine comment, especially considering that some black people actually like him and still others even look up to him. However I am not surprised, if I remember correctly Mr. Woods wasn’t too quick to embrace his “Black” side when he first appeared on the scene…
But for the people who are concerned and do see this as a big issue I would strongly suggest contacting the station/channel. Let your voice be heard!

Unknown said...

BHC - I almost don't blame Tiger. He's making so much money that most issues are non-issues to him. I'll leave it at that as I like Tiger. However, the fact that Tiger accepts her apology doesn't mean that Black America needs to do the same. Is 2-week suspension enough in your view?

Unknown said...

Shecodes - Yes, this is what my mother would call a teaching moment. Since it is evident that this broadcaster didn't get home-training on the inappropriate nature of chuckling about lynching ... perhaps the racial sensitivity training would be appropriate.

I would have felt about a 90-day suspension versus the 2-weeks off that she ended up getting.

Unknown said...

ClnMike - Do you remember when Tiger was slandered by the golfer after winning the Masters. Evidently the Masters champion can choose the meal/menu the following year. This golfer chuckled as he commented that golfers would need to get ready for fried chicken and watermelon or something similiar.

Tiger didn't forgive him right away ... and the chuckling golfer took a big hit in terms of his reputation and sponsorships.

I think that Tiger was trying to protect his friend (Kelly T) this time since he didn't do so the previous time.

Anyhow, I feel for Tiger often because of his rather unique position and heritage...

Unknown said...

Regina - Click here to see Tiger's explanation of his heritage.

Bohemian Chick said...

The 2 week suspension isn't enough. Sensitivity training, as was suggested by another commenter and maybe a 90 day suspension.

I understand your point about Tiger. However...were I a multi-billionaire (or whatever Tiger is), I would still be upset about the comment and wouldn't brush it off as a nonissue. That money does not stop him from being a black man.

clnmike said...

I remember that dude his name was Fuzzy. And your right Tiger was not forgiving in that at all, but none the less he has always seemed to be molded after Jordan. Do not take a stance or risk offending your supporters. I can not say that atheletes are required to speak out or take a stance on issues but if we are going to give them the power that comes with being a role model than we should expect an answer to more pressing social issue.

If not than I do not want to their face outside of game time.

Unknown said...

BHC - Points well-taken. It would be nice to have the multi-billions to see if we would be true to ourselves or if we would play it safe like it appears that Tiger and Michael Jordan do.

ClnMike - I agree with you. It would be nice to see folks like Tiger and Michael Jordan being more engaged in the Black community or in social issues. However, that may limit their limitless access to getting paid. Thanks again for sharing your village voice with us.

Woozie said...

It was an astonishingly dumb thing for her to say. Even though it obviously rubbed off as such on many people, it was such a dumb thing to say-on live television, no less-that I don't think she had any malicious intent either.

It was such a stupid move, hopefully she'll learn to watch her mouth. A suspension should be enough, along with an education on what you probably shouldn't say on TV.

Unknown said...

Woozie - I don't see that her punishment includes any training. She did get 2-week suspension.

maryt/theteach said...

Villager, are there still people in this word who think such talk is funny?? Are there still people who have such stuff at the front of their mind when talking about African-Americans, Jews, Muslims, etc.? god, villager, it's terrible!!!

Unknown said...

Teach - I would like to think that in the 21st century we would have eradicated these types of overt racist statements from public life ... but, then we see this bright, articulate, well-educated white woman who simply chuckles when talking on the public airwaves about lynching a Blackman.

We have to stay vigilant in the process. I am glad that Golf Channel had enough sense to take immediate disciplinary action ... however, I wish it had been more than two weeks suspension.

Liz Dwyer said...

Two weeks is nothing. If Tiger was Jewish, we'd never see her again on TV, ever.

Someone needs to start some sort of "racism rehab" where those that are addicted to race can go to overcome their addiction. And then after their three month stint in rehab, community service in low-income communities of color would be in order.

Actually though, all of America, not just white folks, needs that sort of rehab program.

Unknown said...

Liz - That idea of a racism rehab program ain't bad! You may want to follow-up on that. It seems like it would be a moneymaker!!! (smile)

I agree that this female broadcaster got off lightly from The Golf Channel.

Shelia said...

I am not the least bit surprised. It has become rather fashionable to reenact the awful acts and language of not too long ago America....so long as you say 'I'm sorry'.

However, I am very disappointed with Tiger Woods. I guess since his dad passed away he's feeling his more Asian side.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why Tiger reacted the way he did. Tiger knows Tilghman personally and he knows something about her character. His assessment was that Tilghman did not make the comment with malicious intent (note that the word "malice" refers to intent.) I don't know the woman but Tiger does; I'll defer to his opinion when he says that her intent wasn't racist (note that Tiger didn't come to the same conclusion about Fuzzy Zeller a few years back, as some commenters have noted.)

I don't think that's unreasonable - I doubt that Tilghman had spent five minutes in her life thinking about the connotations that the word "lynch" has for a black person.

But I bet she has now. This was a stupid thing to say, and although I think our community has bigger fish to fry than admonishing silly golf announcers I think that this whole issue has helped some folks out there understand the power that words have, especially when wielded by someone holding a microphone.

Personally I'm willing to accept Tiger's assessment of whether or not Tilghman spoke with malicious intent, but in the end it's not up to Tiger to decide whether or not Tilghman should be forgiven. But I'd hope that we, as a community, see that there is a difference between her comment (which was foolish) and someone saying that a Jewish golfer should be sent to a gas chamber. One could not possibly mention a gas chamber without intentionally invoking the Holocaust; this statement could only be made by malice.

The word "lynch", on the other hand, as formally defined is race neutral. I'm sure that Ms. Tilghman has spent plenty of time pouring over all of the other words she could have used.

Clearly Tilghman is ignorant (and she's a slightly less ignorant now) but based on this single incident I wouldn't be willing to conclude that she's a racist.

Anonymous said...


Ron Paul will pardon all blacks in prison for victimless crimes.

Unknown said...

Shelia - Perhaps since he has been married ... he is feeling more of his caucasian side?

Christopher - Your assessment is reasonable. However, often people are disciplined for their behavior ... not their intentions. In this case, her behavior ... calling for the lynching of a Black man ... should have resulted in more than a 2-week suspension. Ignorance is not an excuse in my view.

Truthful - Ron Paul is irrelevant to the lives of Black people in my view.

Dr. Tracey Salisbury said...

I don't care if Tiger doesn't see the offense or not. If he says he cares about minority golfers joining the game, he ought to spend a little time thinking that all golfers of color will not be as forgiving as he is. When his niece turns pro, I wonder if he would have been cool with someone "lynching" her.

Anonymous said...

Villager, Ron Paul may be irrelevant to blacks in your view, but Obama will never be elected as President. Then you will be stuck with Hillary or Huckleberry....or worse, warmonger John McCain.

Unknown said...

Prof Tracey - Amen!