By Orville Higgins
I once heard somewhere that the greatest indication that you are making an impact in life is when people who don't know you have either really good or really bad things to say about you. I must be going somewhere, because I find myself being the subject of so many newspaper articles. It's hard for me not to feel 'me reach'.
The latest one is from one Mr Gordon Robinson, who I understand is a lawyer, but is also a columnist for this newspaper. Last year, around this time, he gave me the award for the Dunce Journalist of the Year. I made some comments about it on radio, but I chose not to reply in this forum.
True to form, Mr Robinson wrote on December 17 this year that I'm 'Still Dunce, one year later'. I find the whole thing extremely flattering, to be honest. Mr Gordon Robinson, like every other newspaper columnist, sets out to write things he feels will resonate with the people who read him. The mere fact that he chose to dedicate an entire piece to me must mean that he knows (or feels) that the mere mentioning of my name is enough to generate interest in his article. He must seriously doubt his ability to generate interest without going this route.
The article itself was disappointing, lacking the kind of intellectual flavour one would associate with somebody who is a trained legal mind, and seemed more like the ranting and raving of someone with an axe to grind. He feels I'm still Dunce, mainly because he and I have two different views on how black footballers should handle racist chants in a stadium.
Mr Robinson chooses to ignore all the other opinions I have taken on a litany of other sporting issues, but chose to base his Dunce award on my views on one subject. The strange thing is that Mr Robinson could quote quite extensively from some articles I write, and it leaves me to wonder why any 'normal' person continues to read and be so intimately aware of somebody who he feels is such a dunce.
It is obvious that Mr Robinson's utterances about me are more emotional than cerebral, and, therefore, must not be taken for anything more than a grand attempt at bolstering his readership.
For the record, I feel that black footballers are merely empowering white chanters by acting all hot under the collar when they hear these so-called monkey chants. I feel when black footballers get all discombobulated about so-called monkey chants from people in a stadium who can't physically harm them, and who can't affect their life or lifestyle in any way, they are making these white chanters more powerful than they really should be.
Like Mr Robinson, I want racist chants to be stopped, but I believe that the most effective way to do so is by letting the white chanters know that monkey sounds no longer have an effect on black people. I would prefer that any day rather than the chanters stopping by the passing of legislation. If this makes me a Dunce, I wear the tag proudly.
Mr Robinson mentions that "if we'd made bigger deals about racist chants against Jews by Nazis, we might have avoided the Holocaust". Mr Robinson is talking nonsense! You don't stop people hating people merely by preventing them from verbally expressing it. The Holocaust was the mass murder of Jews and other ethnicities during World War Two by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Racist chants or not, it is silly to believe that merely stopping these people from openly expressing their hatred for Jews would make a difference.
Mr Robinson writes about a time in Jamaica when "anyone resembling Rasta was banned from mainstream work", as if to suggest that chanting in a stadium against people can be equated to that.
I am now questioning Mr Robinson's ability to understand the written word. In the very piece from which he quoted, I made a distinction between chanting at people and impinging on their ability to move about freely and be treated equally.
Mr Robinson says I'm the 'duncest' journalist. I am now wondering whether he shouldn't be the considered the 'duncest' columnist of them all.
Orville Higgins is a sportscaster and talk-show host with KLAS ESPN FM. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.