Tyson's woes a setback for the Whining Brigade

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Whining Negro Brigade is now in glorious disarray. The brigade's poster boy, one Mike "Munchy" Tyson, is in deep and well-deserved trouble.

Before I go further, let me state there is a difference between normal black Americans and the members of the Whining Negro Brigade. Normal black Americans have decent jobs, work hard, cry racism only when they are legitimate victims of it and can immediately recognize a genuine scamboogah -- say, like Mike Tyson -- when they see him. They actually make up the majority of black folks in the country, though you'd never know it if you listened to the members of the Whining Negro Brigade.

Whining Negroes feel black folks can do no wrong, that every malady within black America is caused by white racism or white racists and that the tiny minority of blacks who commit crimes far out of proportion to our numbers in society are somehow our "brothers and sisters." It was the Whining Negro Brigade that took Tyson unto its bosom after he was charged with and convicted of raping black beauty contestant Desiree Washington.

The rape charge was all a setup, the Brigade huffed. Tyson was the victim of a scheming, greedy black vixen and a racist Indiana criminal justice system run amok. It was all a conspiracy to "get Tyson."

At this point, the more skeptical among us started to suspect that Brigade members might have a few screws loose. No one needed a conspiracy to nail Tyson, who seems to have been born under the zodiac sign "Dysfunction." Anyone who had a problem with Tyson needed only to sit back and let nature take its course. In Munchy's case, they didn't have to wait long. This is one guy who is to the cellblock born. Had he gone to a normal high school instead of a school for juvenile delinquents, his senior class would have voted him most likely to commit a felony.

The Brigade has been blessedly silent since the night of June 28, when their hero bit heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield twice in their return bout. Referee Mills Lane disqualified Tyson, who was obviously out to prove to the world what his detractors had been saying all along: that he was more of a screw-up than we thought.

After losing the first two rounds, Tyson was winning the third -- and winning it big -- when, with 30 seconds left, he bit a chunk out of Holyfield's right ear. When action resumed, he bit Holyfield's left ear. In a post-fight interview, Tyson portrayed himself as the victim -- much as the Brigade had done years earlier in the Desiree Washington incident -- claiming he was retaliating for Holyfield's head-butting.

What does it say about Tyson that the man doesn't even know how to cheat right? Getting head-butted is part of boxing. There are lots of ways to retaliate short of biting off part of a guy's ear. Tyson could have butted back, jammed the thumb of his glove into an eye, rubbed the laces of his gloves into both eyes or used his elbows on Holyfield. That Tyson chose the most flagrant, revolting and despicable way to cheat says something about the basic character of the man. His passion for his own self-destruction is nearly pathological. It is a flaw that the Whining Negro Brigade, in its never-ending quest for dysfunctional black heroes as victims of white racism, seems to have overlooked.

Let's hope the Brigade doesn't overlook the apology its members owe to all Americans, especially African-Americans. Elevating Tyson to hero status insults the memory of some truly heroic black heavyweights. Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, had his problems with the law. But it wasn't because a congenital passion for thuggery. It was because he openly flouted racist conventions of the time, which said he had to stay in his place.

Joe Louis rebounded from a devastating 1936 knockout at the hands of German Max Schmeling to easily thrash Schmeling two years later and send Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cronies a message about what they might expect should they decide to tangle with the Yanks. I should add that Louis managed to defeat Schmeling in that second fight without resorting to biting.

Muhammad Ali was banned from boxing and faced a jail term for standing up for his principles. He returned to the ring to win the heavyweight championship two more times, facing in the process fighters of the caliber of Joe Frazier and George Foreman.

Perhaps black America should remember its true boxing heroes and turn its back on the Whining Negro Brigade and the heel its members have upheld as a role model for all too long.

Pub Date: 7/09/97

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