Basketball proposal nothing but racism

  • Follow Scott Michaux

The first reaction was that this had to be some kind of sick joke.

What idiot sends out a press release on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day announcing the establishment of an all-white basketball league?

Sadly, it was not a joke. Racism never is.

Don "Moose" Lewis claims his concept of a whites-only basketball league has nothing to do with racism. He's wrong, of course. And his proposal to re-establish a small piece of segregation on the holiday we celebrate the dream and effort of MLK is reprehensible.

Lewis' press release is filled with the vile and hateful stereotypes that condemn an entire race.

"It has come to the attention of the principals of the (All-American Basketball Alliance) that white basketball players are essentially 'shut out' of conventional professional basketball due to the proliferation of non-organized play on the court," he said. "With players on other professional teams carrying guns, attacking fans in the stands, and going through the motions of playing the game, fundamentally sound white players are a vanishing species."

It sickens me to hear this kind of prejudicial garbage given even the smallest iota of credence.

I'm not naive enough to believe that racism isn't alive and well in these United States -- I've read the online comments that pass for civic discourse. But 62 years after the Dixiecrats dissolved, 49 years after the last Caucasian-only clause was stricken from American sports, 42 years after King was assassinated and just more than a year after we elected our first black president, I hoped this kind of ignorance might be on the wane.

Just the fact that someone would consider this kind of venture shows just how far away we are at truly reconciling our society.

"Fans have spoken to the AABA asking to restore on court sanity to the game of basketball," the press release claims. "Their pleas are our mission. Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league."

But Lewis -- a boxing and wrestling promoter by trade who can channel Al Campanis and Jimmy The Greek as well as anyone -- goes on one of those racist rants that can make you weep.

"It's because of the fact that natural athleticism of people of color is different," Lewis said. "They can make up for their shortfall in fundamentals with their natural athleticism. And coaches look for the quickest way to win, so they go for natural athleticism instead of the fundamentals from a white player. Is it a coaching problem? To a certain degree, but a lot of it is the culture.

"I know there's bad apples of every color, but like my wife says, let the numbers speak for themselves. Turn on the local TV news and who do you see on there? Facts are facts. Now, imagine the safety and quality of play at games where there's none of that. Anyone can be a star."

In his conversation with The Augusta Chronicle , Lewis mentioned several white NBA stars as shining examples of what his league would be all about.

"You do have some guys in the NBA, guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash," Lewis said. "Dirk is the last great white hope."

Of course, since Nash and Nowitzki are Canadian and German, they wouldn't be eligible for Lewis' league.

Lewis even cites North Carolina -- you know, the school that helped integrate the Atlantic Coast Conference with Charlie Scott and gave us Michael Jordan -- as his muse.

"At Carolina, the bottom line is they're fundamentally sound," he said. "The guys who buy into the program go 100 percent, and those are the white guys. They have the Blue Team, and every time they come into the game, everybody cheers them on and get behind them. They're the most popular."

The Blue Team, for those as ignorant as Lewis, was a substitution strategy first employed by Dean Smith who would install an entire reserve unit to briefly spell his starters. They are not exclusively white.

"Look at Larry Bird," Lewis continued. "He was a very good player. But if he was a black player, he wouldn't be considered in the same league as Michael Jordan. But he was white and entertaining. That's why people liked him."

This Moose Lewis character is more than a little challenged when it comes to his judgment. An Internet search of his other offerings as chief of this Global Basketball Alliance illustrates that pretty clearly.

In January of 2008, Lewis issued a news release saying that his director of team development, a military veteran, had been in an accident a week earlier and fallen into a coma. "Due to these tragic circumstances, the GBA has no alternative but to seek a replacement." Now that's class.

The only bit of sense Lewis displays is an awareness that this segregationist endeavor wouldn't fly in an arena named after James Brown or any other public facility.

For gyms in which to play, he hopes to find kindred spirits at private white-flight academies that are prevalent across the southern regions he hopes to infiltrate.

Let's make sure that Augusta and its surrounding communities do not become a haven for this kind of prejudice.

If we do, the sick joke is on us.

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219 or scott.michaux@augustachronicle.com.

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TheDeerhunter
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TheDeerhunter 01/20/10 - 08:02 pm
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is ed tarver an example of

is ed tarver an example of affirmative action?

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 01/20/10 - 08:47 pm
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NO. Ed Tarver is not an

NO. Ed Tarver is not an example of affirmative action. Ed Tarver earned his place. He does his job, he does it well, he worked his way up. He treats others with respect and has self-respect. I have never heard him say an unjust or an unkind word to another. He thinks before he speaks. He thinks before he acts. He is generous and does volunteer work. He is a committed husband and father and you can see it in his public relationship with his family. He seems to be one of the most genuine persons I've ever met and I hope he is just as he seems to be. He is the one appointment by Obama that I can approve based on my personal observations.

PeteofAusin
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PeteofAusin 01/20/10 - 08:50 pm
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Le's be nice to the white

Le's be nice to the white guys here. I'm a white guy and I remember playing hoops with my African American brothers and getting schooled regularly. Look, if the white guys want to shrink from the fair competition of an athletic event, wrap it up in a higher purpose, and have fun making fundamentally sound bounce passes, why should we complain. Isn't shrinking away from competition the American way? Isn't that how we became great as a nation? Segregation works for white guys in B-ball. Who are we to deny them their only possible sense of accomplishment on the court. I have nothing against white guys -- being one myself -- but let's pat these little guys on the head, cheer 'em on and let em live out their fantasy in the world of whites-only hoops. And, I think they ought to start an under 5'5" league just so they can beat up on someone. Not to be racist or anything, but I have to agree with their basic premise that white dudes stink at hoops and need a remedial league to have fun. Is this a great country or what?

Harmonielehre
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Harmonielehre 01/20/10 - 08:53 pm
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Am i the only one that thinks

Am i the only one that thinks we should do this simply because of the hilarity that will ensue? Watching a bunch of white people play basketball will be worse than watching the WNBA.

PeteofAusin
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PeteofAusin 01/20/10 - 09:00 pm
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Regarding complaints on the

Regarding complaints on the existence of the United Negro college Fund, please see the following:

Polish Scholarship fund Inc
National Italian American Foundation
United Daughters of the Confederacy Graduate Scholarship
VICKI KAY HEILIG SCHOLARSHIP FUND (confederate studies)
Lakselaget Foundation Scholarship (for Norwegians)

Shall we go on . . . .

Harmonielehre
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Harmonielehre 01/20/10 - 09:04 pm
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Pete, why do you lump all

Pete, why do you lump all white people into one group? I don't think Italians see themselves as Poles. Are Nigerians the same as Ethiopians?

PeteofAusin
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PeteofAusin 01/20/10 - 09:48 pm
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You're right- Italians don't

You're right- Italians don't see themselves as Poles, but both see themselves as white and that's my point. Scholarships and community are regularly defined on a the basis of nationality or race. There are many scholarship funds that are effectively white only, the distinguishing characteristic being national origin (virtually all European nationalities have scholarship funds). I have no problem with the United Negro college Fund (UNCF). The all white basketball league is a racially exclusive idea, but one I think is the height of foolishness. In contrast, the UNCF was created at an appropriate time for an appropriate purpose. Remember, when it came to enslavement in America, there was no selection based on tribe or nationhood. American slaves were Africans - or as our forefathers called them "Negroes". So, when this group of people was finally let up for air, it doesn't surprise me at all that they might start a college fund for "negros." It is ridiculous to me that some "whites" would take offense at such an organization.

mtxbass1
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mtxbass1 01/20/10 - 11:10 pm
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Why did no one investigate

Why did no one investigate this league before reporting it as "news"?

http://www.rantrave.com/Rant/All-White-Basketball-League-Hoax.aspx

CalvinCool
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CalvinCool 01/20/10 - 11:59 pm
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Excuse me, I missed this

Excuse me, I missed this story because I was too busy writing my check to the "United NEGRO College Fund"...

Smada
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Smada 01/21/10 - 12:53 am
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OMG !!!! NOW I remember why I

OMG !!!! NOW I remember why I left the Southern States !!! 20yrs later and you still complaining about black and white !!! Get over it,
the rest of the world has. For the most part. How many of you racist
"White People" have ANY college degree from a REAL college ?
I'm amazed at how we still can't get along today. 2 more years in
this Columbia County is greater than Richmond county, black versus white hatred of a state and I can leave !!! SO much ignorance in this thread. Such a shame. May your god have pity on you.

ps: the Hispanics are coming !!!! Whites will be the minority in 20yrs. Are you gonna be ready ?!?

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 01/21/10 - 01:54 am
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Though I don't really agree

Though I don't really agree with excluding anyone from anything, I do see the need for certain pride groups and possible people being together who just share the same values or interests of something. Its ok to have black only this black only that, hispanic this..etc... you get the point, but oh no.... whites can't have a white anything without being racist. Its called black pride or whatever pride and its ok and not racist, anything having to do with whites can't ever be white pride only racist. Bunch of fricken hypocrites!! Makes me sick!

L.A.1
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L.A.1 01/24/10 - 03:44 pm
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This Moose guy is a disgrace.

This Moose guy is a disgrace. One thing i'd really like to know:
There are lots ot rumors about his connections with white supremacy groups. Are there any articles or documents that could prove those connections?

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