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View Full Version : Whitlock weighs in on the "LeBron Vogue cover flap"


Deberg_1990
03-28-2008, 10:08 AM
I honestly dont get the controversy over this.


This is the media trying to make news where there is none again...

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/7955740


Would someone please write a handbook? "What Will and Won't Piss Black Folk Smooth the **** Off" would be an international bestseller.

What's your take?Got an opinion on the LeBron-Gisele Vogue cover or Jason Whitlock's column? The discussion is already raging. Join in. I'm black, and I'm pissed off most of the time, but I wouldn't leave home without the handbook. Not in these racist-ly confusing times. I can barely keep up with when I'm supposed to be disappointed as opposed to offended as opposed to being pissed smooth the **** off.

Right now I need to know where this LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen-Vogue-cover controversy falls. And just who am I supposed to be mad at, LeBron, the photographer, the editors at Vogue or Tom Brady?

Maybe they're all to blame. Maybe that's the point of this whole mess. Or maybe they're just as bewildered as I am.


Hmm, to LeBron and his handlers, he looks like LeBron clutching a pretty white woman on the latest cover of Vogue, and the image conjures up the idea that LeBron can race up court with a basketball and a supermodel.

I agree with LeBron. The photographer captured him exactly as he is. You know, when he covered his body in tatts years ago, mimicking a death-row inmate, LeBron invited people to jump to the conclusion that he's dangerous. Yeah, that's the way the image-is-everything game is played. Ink is a prison and gang thing. Don't act like you don't know the origin of the current fad.

Vogue put a mirror in our face, and we're complaining about the reflection. Half the black players in the NBA take the court each night in front of white audiences tatted from neck to toe like they're shooting a scene for Prison (Fast)Break.

When David Stern insisted on helping these players with their image by implementing a dress code, many of the players and their media groupies screamed racism. You see, showing up to work in a white T and iced-out (heavy jewelry) was their way of showing loyalty to their boys in the 'hood, a shout-out to the corner boys and girls.

And any time someone with common sense points out that athletes are making fools of themselves and feeding negative stereotypes, he or she is shouted down as a sellout, racist or out of touch.



Just look at how much heat the NFL takes for trying to stop Chad Johnson from bojangling. This is why a handbook to clear up the confusion is so necessary. When Johnson slaps in his gold teeth, dyes and cuts his hair into a blonde Mohawk, dances a jig in the end zone and makes life absolute hell on his black coach, that is fun and good for the game.

But when King James apes King Kong it is a terrible blow to the perception of black men.

Would we be having this discussion if LeBron struck the same pose on the cover of Ebony while holding Selita Ebanks? Think about it. And if we wouldn't be having the discussion, what does that say about us? Are we only bothered by negative images of black men when the primary/sole consumer of the image is white people?

Vogue ain't for us. Tyler Perry's new movie, Meet the Browns, was produced with us in mind. It had a great box-office debut, coming in at No. 2 with a take of more than $20 million. It also broke records for negative black stereotypes and simple-mindedness.

We ate it up, and I've yet to hear much of an outcry about a romantic comedy built around a single mama with three baby daddies, her loud-mouthed, weed-smoking, gun-toting Latino best girlfriend, a deadbeat daddy, a drunk sister and a deceased father who was a pimp-turned-preacher. I could go on. This list is endless.

Rather than reading and hearing universal condemnation of Tyler Perry, the drag-queen moviemaker is being hailed as a genius for recognizing what attracts us to the movie theatre.


I'm telling you we need a handbook. We need something athletes, entertainers, black and white folks can easily refer to when deciding how to react to the images we choose to project. The chapter on rap-music videos could be studied at major universities across the globe. I'd like for Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Exploitation Television, to pen that section when he comes off the Clinton campaign trail.

LeBron James is a kid, and his talents as a basketball player and absence of a father allowed him to "grow up" rather than be "raised." His stated goal is to be one of the richest men in the world. Like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, he is a child celebrity interested in increasing his fame and little else.

He's in very good and very deep company when it comes to being unconcerned with and unqualified for the job of representing black men in a positive light.

Hell, given our current state of confusion, I'm not sure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could handle the job

Deberg_1990
03-28-2008, 10:10 AM
Pic of cover.

Pestilence
03-28-2008, 10:16 AM
That's it.....no more magazine covers.....or TV.....or anything because people are to ****ing sensitive.

Chief Chief
03-28-2008, 10:34 AM
JW compares the image to that of "...King James looks like King Kong clutching Fay Wray..." and, later in the story, writes "...King James apes King Kong...".

If any non-black writer had authored either of those sentences, would they be accused of issuing a racist remark?

I most definitely think so!!

JW shouldn't be allowed to throw these remarks around just because he is black. That would be saying it's okay for blacks to call each other the "n" word all the time and everywhere but if a member of any other race were to utter it just once, even in an innocent comment, he/she would be guilty of racism.

Keep stirring the pot, JW, while looking like you're trying to turn down the heat.

chagrin
03-28-2008, 10:45 AM
I don't get it, it just looks like a typical cover of a magazine; he's not groping her - there's absolutely nothing inappropriate or offensive about that picture.

beach tribe
03-28-2008, 10:47 AM
Yea, Gisele looks scared for her life of the "angry black man".

Looks to me like she wants to be carried off into the darkness.

pikesome
03-28-2008, 10:53 AM
Yea, Gisele looks scared for her life of the "angry black man".

Looks to me like she wants to be carried off into the darkness.

She's thinking "I can't believe I get paid 6 figures for showing up today".

PhillyChiefFan
03-28-2008, 10:55 AM
This kind of thing pisses me off...this shouldn't even be an issue. Is it really THAT offensive? I mean come the f*ck on, are we REALLY still back in the days?

No more nude spreads in Playboy, it degrades women back to the stone ages where it was ok for men to drag them around by their hair.

Guess we really haven't come that fair in society...

Micjones
03-28-2008, 10:55 AM
Can I see how some people think it conjures up the image of King Kong and Fay Wray? Absolutely. That kind of imagery sells magazines. Am I upset about it? Absolutely not. Lebron agreed to do that cover.

Please don't allow Jason Whitlock's self-hating mantra and opportunism give you the wrong impression of Black folks. He speaks in absolutes. And his routine is old hat. He's doing what works. It works for a Black journalist to peddle these self-hating editorials.

PhillyChiefFan
03-28-2008, 10:56 AM
If anything it says, he's coming to your town to score 30 pts and then score your women too, even if you are Tom Brady.

beach tribe
03-28-2008, 10:58 AM
If anything it says, he's coming to your town to score 30 pts and then score your women too, even if you are Tom Brady.

Exactly what i was thinking.

Extra Point
03-28-2008, 11:48 AM
Whitlock was in a King Kong tone when writing this article. What the Hell does "What Will and Won't Piss Black Folk Smooth the **** Off" mean?

Reaper16
03-28-2008, 11:54 AM
Whitlock was in a King Kong tone when writing this article. What the Hell does "What Will and Won't Piss Black Folk Smooth the **** Off" mean?
It seems pretty obvious to me.

Extra Point
03-28-2008, 11:59 AM
If he's seeing King Kong in the pic, that's beyond reaching.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 12:15 PM
http://gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2008/03/Picture%2050.png

Nope... Don't see it.
:rolleyes:

Oblivion: Population YOU.

I'm not at all moved by the fact that Vogue would use such imagery to sell magazines.
Furthermore, Lebron agreed to do this lame ass cover.

When magazines employ such imagery it's not surprising. It's Tuesday.

ChiefGator
03-28-2008, 12:22 PM
The cover looks kinds stupid, if you ask me. What the hell is she doing there anyway? About to fall over? The imagery makes just about no sense. Almost looks photoshoped in fact.

AZORChiefFan
03-28-2008, 12:34 PM
WWTBD????

What Would Tom Brady Do?

Extra Point
03-28-2008, 12:40 PM
Nope... Don't see it.
:rolleyes:

Oblivion: Population YOU.

I'm not at all moved by the fact that Vogue would use such imagery to sell magazines.
Furthermore, Lebron agreed to do this lame ass cover.

When magazines employ such imagery it's not surprising. It's Tuesday.[/QUOTE]


Can't see the similarity at all. Her knockers aren't exposed.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 12:53 PM
Can't see the similarity at all. Her knockers aren't exposed.

Mmmkay...

keg in kc
03-28-2008, 01:21 PM
Once I stopped reacting to the discussion on the thread and actually read Whitlock's article, I have to say it wasn't a bad read and seems pretty on-point to me, which he often seems to be on these kind of racially-sensitive issues.

Of course, what do I know, I'm just an oblivious 'white' man who dreams of the day that everybody starts to take the qualifyers off, and starts thinking of themselves as "people" instead of "black people" and "white people" and "asian people" and "mexican people".

That's the real core of racism. In my humble opinion.

Mr. Plow
03-28-2008, 01:24 PM
Just wait until Lebron starts playing hockey.....gonna smack da puck with his dick! /Chris Rock

chagrin
03-28-2008, 01:30 PM
Her knockers aren't exposed.

and that's a damned shame too

Micjones
03-28-2008, 01:31 PM
Of course, what do I know, I'm just an oblivious 'white' man who dreams of the day that everybody starts to take the qualifyers off, and starts thinking of themselves as "people" instead of "black people" and "white people" and "asian people" and "mexican people".

Racism isn't driven by the fact that we have cultural differences.
It's the failure to appreciate those differences that's the problem.

bowener
03-28-2008, 01:33 PM
I am confused, I liked the article. Basically what I got from it is that the cover isnt worth getting upset over, and that it is the least of his worries when it comes to racism. I got nothing other than that really. I can see why it could conjure up racist thoughts though.

keg in kc
03-28-2008, 01:39 PM
Racism isn't driven by the fact that we have cultural differences. It's the failure to appreciate those differences that's the problem.Racism isn't driven by the failure to appreciate cultural differences, it's driven by the belief that cultural differences must be intrinsically connected to skin color. Such as the idea that Whitlock is somehow self-loathing because he dares to write articles critical of "his own" culture. Because, you know, he's black and he should act black, and not be an Uncle Tom.

Bowser
03-28-2008, 01:42 PM
I hate Big Vogue.

Deberg_1990
03-28-2008, 01:44 PM
I can see why it could conjure up racist thoughts though.


Why?? I see nothing offensive or racist about it. The only reason we are sitting here chatting about it is because the MEDIA has made a big deal over it.

Jenson71
03-28-2008, 01:47 PM
http://gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2008/03/Picture%2050.png

Nope... Don't see it.
:rolleyes:

Oblivion: Population YOU.

I'm not at all moved by the fact that Vogue would use such imagery to sell magazines.
Furthermore, Lebron agreed to do this lame ass cover.

When magazines employ such imagery it's not surprising. It's Tuesday.

Who is that? It's not a King Kong poster. It's like a poster against the Germans. WWI, I think.

bowener
03-28-2008, 02:09 PM
Jenson71, I recently just watched 'Network', well most of it. Awesome diatribes man, awesome. I got mad and wanted to beat shit.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 02:19 PM
Who is that? It's not a King Kong poster. It's like a poster against the Germans. WWI, I think.

It was indeed WWI propaganda, but to pretend it wasn't Kong-inspired is to be disingenuous.

http://jezebel.com/assets/resources/2008/03/voguekingkong032508.jpg

PS. - It so happens to be the 75th anniversary of King Kong.

Pitt Gorilla
03-28-2008, 02:22 PM
I thought the article was pretty good.

Uncle_Ted
03-28-2008, 02:51 PM
I can see how some people with particular exposure to the King Kong image as a racist image might pick up on the racial undertones of the Vogue cover, but I seriously doubt that the people who put together the cover (or Lebron or Gisele) knew about it or intended to convey a racist message. So the editorial board just needs to apologize, say they learned something, and move on.

What we don't need is more of this self-aggrandizing Vivian Stringer "lets make a huge national issue of this and get people fired while generating press for me" type of crap. ESPN contributes to this as well ... now that they fill hours and hours of their programming not with sports but with "talk about sports" they stoke these kind of issues the same way cable news does with insignificant news about celebs or politics. IMO it detracts from and marginalizes the real issues of race which still persist in this country.

mikey23545
03-28-2008, 03:09 PM
It was indeed WWI propaganda, but to pretend it wasn't Kong-inspired is to be disingenuous.

http://jezebel.com/assets/resources/2008/03/voguekingkong032508.jpg

PS. - It so happens to be the 75th anniversary of King Kong.

Looks like blacks are really having to reach to find something to be offended by nowadays...

Jenson71
03-28-2008, 03:09 PM
I can see how some people with particular exposure to the King Kong image as a racist image might pick up on the racial undertones of the Vogue cover, but I seriously doubt that the people who put together the cover (or Lebron or Gisele) knew about it or intended to convey a racist message. So the editorial board just needs to apologize, say they learned something, and move on.

Well said! I agree with this.

BigRock
03-28-2008, 03:17 PM
JW compares the image to that of "...King James looks like King Kong clutching Fay Wray..."
Whitlock isn't the one saying that. Other people made that comparision, he's just writing about it.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 03:19 PM
Looks like blacks are really having to reach to find something to be offended by nowadays...

Looks like the public education system is still failing us.

I said from the outset that I wasn't offended.
Did you miss that part?

And please don't allow yourself to speak in absolutes about Blacks again.
That does your IQ a disservice.

The cover may not have been intended as racist.
Leibovitz may have been alluding to the historical American fear of the African-American male. Who knows how it was intended?

My only point is that it absolutely conjures up images of Kong.
You can't argue that point anymore. Move on.

el borracho
03-28-2008, 03:32 PM
Even without the King Kong connection I can see why it would be offensive. Very disparate messages in the imagery, black man = angry, aggressive and savage, white woman = happy and beautiful.

Crashride
03-28-2008, 04:03 PM
Its all bullshit. Its a black man with a white woman, if you see racisim its because your LOOKING for racisim. Its ok. Get over it.

Guru
03-28-2008, 04:16 PM
Damn this country is full of overly sensitive morons.

Deberg_1990
03-28-2008, 04:17 PM
Damn this country is full of overly sensitive morons.

I honestly dont believe its that widespread. But the MEDIA would like you to think it is.

Its good for business. :)

Guru
03-28-2008, 04:19 PM
I honestly dont believe its that widespread. But the MEDIA would like you to think it is.

Its good for business. :)

It only takes one overly sensitive moron to incite the crowd though.

el borracho
03-28-2008, 04:20 PM
No, look at the poses and facial expressions. How would you describe James' pose and facial expression? How would you describe Bundchen's pose and facial expression? What do the clothes suggest about them?

Guru
03-28-2008, 04:23 PM
That one is an athlete and the other is a model. both are famous. Both are rich.

And both couldn't give a shit about the cover.

Deberg_1990
03-28-2008, 04:24 PM
What do the clothes suggest about them?


IM getting paid millions for doing this easy sh*t?? Hell Yea!!!

el borracho
03-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Which appears more inviting and which more dangerous? Which more friendly and which more angry? Do their clothes suggest equal social status, or does one appear to be more high society than the other?

bogey
03-28-2008, 04:28 PM
It's obvious to me it's a take off of King Kong who is a big ol' gorilla. It was very stupid of Vogue to do this. It may not have been intended to be racist, but, come on. Think before you act. I suspect there was a room full of execs making a decision as to whether this should be the cover. I suspect they new it would be controversial and would get this kind of attention. Every idiot that approved this cover knew it would be controversial and they should not have done it. JMO

Guru
03-28-2008, 04:30 PM
Just put a picture of Big Show and beyonce in the same pose. My god this crap is just stupid.

bogey
03-28-2008, 04:40 PM
Just put a picture of Big Show and beyonce in the same pose. My god this crap is just stupid.

It wouldn't have been as controversial if they had changed roles. That golf analyst that made the lynching comment should have been given a break, it was off the cuff and totally innocent. The golf magazine that had a picture of a noose on their cover did the right thing by firing whoever made that decision. This is the same thing. Anyone that thinks your not going to offend a lot of people by comparing a black man to a gorilla is wearing blinders.

Guru
03-28-2008, 04:52 PM
I have shown this pic to several friends and none of them have seen what you guys are talking about. This is ridiculous. It is a damn pic. People need to stop getting offended over this crap.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-28-2008, 05:05 PM
I see the imagery, and if it wasn't intentional, it was pretty ironic. With that said, Micjones said that he wasn't offended by it, I don't find it offensive, but I'm not black.

The problem that stems from this picture is that by raising a shitstorm about it, people get burned out to stories of legitimate racism, (which this isn't, IMO) and will think that because some overzealous advocate cried "Wolf" here, that the same would apply where a call out of racism would actually have some merit.

bogey
03-28-2008, 05:11 PM
I have shown this pic to several friends and none of them have seen what you guys are talking about. This is ridiculous. It is a damn pic. People need to stop getting offended over this crap.

You've shown the side by side pictures to your friends and they don't see the comparison? :eek:
I've lived in LA for 20 years. At times, when I've told people out here I grew up in the Ozarks, I've gotten comments like, "I'm surprised you have teeth", "what's it like living in a trailer park", and of course the ever popular incest insinuations. I am offended by those remarks and have only had to put up with them for 20 of my 50 years. Imagine what it's like when you spend a lifetime with these stereotypical insults. I don't think black people are being overly sensitive if they get pissed off when they are being compared to a gorilla.

KCGridironBeast
03-28-2008, 05:42 PM
PS. - It so happens to be the 75th anniversary of King Kong.

Wait a second......75 is three-fifths of 125, which is one fewer than the total points scored by LeBron from March 2nd to March 6th. So, the magazine is trying to make a racist reference to the fact that once slaves were finally allowed to vote, they were only granted three-fifths of a vote, and now Vogue is using some bizarre combination of LeBron's sicknasty point scoring abilities and a three-quarter century old movie poster to insult an entire race of people. I can't believe I figured it out...unbelievable! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! Someone get Jesse Jackson on the phone....

Guru
03-28-2008, 06:20 PM
You've shown the side by side pictures to your friends and they don't see the comparison? :eek:
I've lived in LA for 20 years. At times, when I've told people out here I grew up in the Ozarks, I've gotten comments like, "I'm surprised you have teeth", "what's it like living in a trailer park", and of course the ever popular incest insinuations. I am offended by those remarks and have only had to put up with them for 20 of my 50 years. Imagine what it's like when you spend a lifetime with these stereotypical insults. I don't think black people are being overly sensitive if they get pissed off when they are being compared to a gorilla.
I didn't see any reason to forward the king kong pic. If it were as obvious as you want to make it appear to be then showing them that should not have been necessary at all.

You are choosing to be offended as far as the Ozark comments though. Being from Kansas I got my fair share too. I just chose to see the humor and give a little back though.

Living life getting offended at everything is a worthless way to live.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:28 PM
So, the magazine is trying to make a racist reference to the fact that once slaves were finally allowed to vote, they were only granted three-fifths of a vote, and now Vogue is using some bizarre combination of LeBron's sicknasty point scoring abilities and a three-quarter century old movie poster to insult an entire race of people.

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry...

God knows photographers and other such artists never draw inspiration from highly influential images/concepts/ideas of yesteryear.

*Closes IMDB link about said 75 year old film being remade just 3 years ago*

Guess you missed the part where I said I wasn't offended?
:shrug:

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:30 PM
You've shown the side by side pictures to your friends and they don't see the comparison?

They never will.

Because to some, they are the arbiters of what is and isn't offensive to the offended parties. Even when they aren't...you know...the offended party?
:D

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:31 PM
I see the imagery, and if it wasn't intentional, it was pretty ironic. With that said, Micjones said that he wasn't offended by it, I don't find it offensive, but I'm not black.

The problem that stems from this picture is that by raising a shitstorm about it, people get burned out to stories of legitimate racism, (which this isn't, IMO) and will think that because some overzealous advocate cried "Wolf" here, that the same would apply where a call out of racism would actually have some merit.

I think that's lame...
You should never be burned out by legitimate incidences of racism.
No amount of wolfcrying should ever cause us to stop being vigilant.

My question to you Hamas...
Is should we take a look at the reactions that race-related discussions elicit?

This isn't exactly a case that involves a child being harrassed by law enforcement officials. Or someone being denied employment. It's a magazine cover. It's something that is easily forgotten. No way that should ever water down legitimate struggles for equality.

bogey
03-28-2008, 06:32 PM
I didn't see any reason to forward the king kong pic. If it were as obvious as you want to make it appear to be then showing them that should not have been necessary at all.

You are choosing to be offended as far as the Ozark comments though. Being from Kansas I got my fair share too. I just chose to see the humor and give a little back though.

Living life getting offended at everything is a worthless way to live.

When I first saw the cover, I didn't understand the hubbub either. Then when someone on here showed the side by side comparison, I got it. I guess we just need to agree to disagree. I can't make you change your mind and that's cool. I feel comparing a black man to a gorilla, which is exactly what the Vogue cover is doing, is extremely insensitive and insulting to the black race.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:35 PM
When I first saw the cover, I didn't understand the hubbub either. Then when someone on here showed the side by side comparison, I got it. I guess we just need to agree to disagree. I can't make you change your mind and that's cool. I feel comparing a black man to a gorilla, which is exactly what the Vogue cover is doing, is extremely insensitive and insulting to the black race.

Just something to think about...
That image has been around for a long, long time.

bogey
03-28-2008, 06:38 PM
Just something to think about...
That image has been around for a long, long time.

You mean the image of a black man being compared to a gorilla? Yes, it has been around for a long, long time. Sad isn't it.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:44 PM
You mean the image of a black man being compared to a gorilla?

That's precisely what I mean.

Yes, it has been around for a long, long time. Sad isn't it.

It is sad, but I can't say for certain what Leibovitz was trying to convey. She might've conjured up those images to open up dialogue on the state of race relations in America. Which would be a wonderful outcome for a cover that initially brought about discomfort.

crazycoffey
03-28-2008, 06:51 PM
WWTBD????

What Would Tom Brady Do?


A cover shoot wearing a tux and throwing thousands of dollars in $100 bills all while holding a black woman or three. The girls can be dressed to look like crack whores.
I wonder what images that would conjour up, besides the comparisions to Hugh Grant, I guess.....

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-28-2008, 06:51 PM
I think that's lame...
You should never be burned out by legitimate incidences of racism.
No amount of wolfcrying should ever cause us to stop being vigilant.

My question to you Hamas...
Is should we take a look at the reactions that race-related discussions elicit?

This isn't exactly a case that involves a child being harrassed by law enforcement officials. Or someone being denied employment. It's a magazine cover. It's something that is easily forgotten. No way that should ever water down legitimate struggles for equality.

That's exactly what I was saying, dude. Re-read my post.

Micjones
03-28-2008, 06:53 PM
That's exactly what I was saying, dude. Re-read my post.

I just re-read it and I still think we're saying two entirely different things.
I digress...

It's good that we agree on something for a change.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-28-2008, 07:03 PM
I just re-read it and I still think we're saying two entirely different things.
I digress...

It's good that we agree on something for a change.

All I'm saying is that by making a mountain out of this molehill, you risk turning off people to the next mountain that will arise and will deservedly require our attention because they'll just assume that it was another molehill.

bogey
03-28-2008, 07:12 PM
All I'm saying is that by making a mountain out of this molehill, you risk turning off people to the next mountain that will arise and will deservedly require our attention because they'll just assume that it was another molehill.

One persons mole hill is another persons mountain. I suspect a majority of black people would be extremely offended if you call them gorilla.

'Hamas' Jenkins
03-28-2008, 07:29 PM
One persons mole hill is another persons mountain. I suspect a majority of black people would be extremely offended if you call them gorilla.

I don't disagree with that in the slightest.

What I find telling is that you'll heart 10 times more about this than you will the education gap.

Which one is really the bigger problem?

It's just another symptom of our infotainment complex that searches for hooks rather than news.

bogey
03-28-2008, 07:37 PM
I don't disagree with that in the slightest.

What I find telling is that you'll heart 10 times more about this than you will the education gap.

Which one is really the bigger problem?

It's just another symptom of our infotainment complex that searches for hooks rather than news.

This thread isn't about the education gap. Don't get me started on that.:)