Sloane Stephens won today’s women’s U.S. Open final. Congrats to her. Her performance was near flawless. Television announcers and analysts have a tendency to step on the moment, adding their spin on an event that half the planet witnesses for themselves. Today, ESPN’s analysts along with USTA president Katrina Adams harped the ethnicity of Ms Stephens and her opponent, Madison Keys. Both women are of African descent. According to Ms Adams, herself a woman of African descent, it was good to have a diverse Open.
Analysts Cliff Drysdale, Chris McKendrie, and Chrissie Evert also chimed in on how awesome it was to have more ethnically diverse players on the women’s professional tennis tour. Sloane Stephens, like Venus Williams (the woman she beat to get to the finals) were providing black girls with a role model that tells them that they can do anything.
When I hear whites speak the diversity narrative; when I hear them say that “black girls are breaking glass ceilings” or that “black girls can do anything”, it sounds like they are telling blacks that they have passed another test, but that they should prepare for another mid-term exam on social acceptance. What is worse is when so called social justice/advocacy groups chime in on the rhetoric, holding up women like Keys and Stephens as another bunch of one-zee, two-zees that show the white man that Africans in America who call themselves black should have some seat at the table; again, asking whites for a pat on the back for doing things that are simply another day in the park in other countries where Africans have firmly established their identities and need not ask permission or seek validation for any accomplishment.
What these “first black person to do this, first black person to do that” accolades should tell Africans in America who call themselves black is that after 400 years in colonial America and later in the United States, you have not yet achieved citizenship status; that much is not expected of you. Africans who call themselves black should not be proud of any of these accolades. They should be insulted when they hear them. There should be no chest puffing when these expressions of low expectations are made.
The mainstream media have been willing to do the American State’s bidding in publicizing the great accomplishments of its minority citizens. On a planet where the majority of its human inhabitants do not resemble white Europeans, America has to hold itself out as the beacon for all that is pure, good, and right. That includes showing the world that ethnic minorities are doing well because the State has created an environment in the past 50 years to make up for atrocities that have occurred in the centuries prior to civil rights.
The fastest way to eviscerate this portion of the diversity narrative is for blacks to get off of the “we gotta another negro first” band wagon and for whites to turn a deaf ear to it.