Skip Bayless is a Modern Day Minstrel

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke crowns ESPN talking head Skip Bayless the king of race baiting.

I've got to hand it to Skip Bayless for articulating so well the racial divide in America via the world's most popular cable television sports network. The 60-year-old ESPN commentator is the Rush Limbaugh of sports journalism. He's built a cottage industry playing the role of the angry white guy on the shows First Take and First and Ten, in which he debates other sports journalists and ex-athletes, usually African-American ones, on racially charged topics.

For instance, last January, Bayless caused a ruckus when he applauded the fact L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin is half-Anglo. "Yeah., I'll be the first to admit on national TV that I take a little pride because he came from a white mother," he said.

A native Oklahoman with a degree in English and history from Vanderbilt University, Bayless is a master of manipulating issues about race and ethnicity in professional athletics to make himself millions of dollars. A lot of folks don't know that Bayless started his career with the Miami Herald. He went on to write for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News. Bayless honed his skills relentlessly, attacking African-American players as a young cub reporter. At 25, he wrote a column blasting Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboy running back Tony Dorsett as an "All-pro con man" and opened with the following line: "Before we tar and feather Tony Dorsett..." Obviously, Dorsett was more than upset, who noted that tarring and feathering were acts often associated with the lynching of black men in the Deep South.

But that didn't stop Bayless. In fact, he's become one of the highest paid sports columnists in the country, as well as a recurring face on ESPN, where he's honed his special brand of race baiting.

Most African-American journalists and sports celebrities don't like him. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs called Bayless a "douchebag" to his face during an interview shortly after his team lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game last month. Black columnist Stephen A. Smith recently flipped him the middle finger on air. And Charles Barkley anointed Bayless the "biggest jackass in the history of journalism." But Bayless is just saying what his audience wants to hear. If he wasn't pulling in viewers, there is no way ESPN would keep him under contract.

As sad as his commentary may be, Bayless represents the worldview of most people just like him: middle-aged, middle-class white dudes who despise successful millionaire African American athletes.

Follow Luke on Twitter at @unclelukereal1.

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8 comments
TREY O FIVE
TREY O FIVE

Hey Luke.... The first thing out these folks mouth on the comments is that you're racist. But i think you call it like you see it.  I have no problem with Skip or any other journalist calling out our Black athletes for some of the ignorant things they do.  I do think Skip has a chip (haha) on his shoulder. It may be the non-athlete vs the athlete factor.

I'd rather hear it raw, uncut, and unfiltered like he brings it.  It's what a lot of white's think but won't say but they show it in the comments section on blogs like this and MH.  I give him props for putting out in the open for debate and dialogue.  It's the ones that hide behind the keyboard posting to blogs that i don't respect.

He does give a chance for another voice to counter his own point of view.  They just better be on their A game dealing with SB.

Justin
Justin

As a black man, I respectfully disagree... I'd much prefer open and honest opinions from the "angry white man" perspective than sugar-coating race issues and acting like they don't matter. When Skip speaks, he usually has another, competent black journalist on the other side giving his own opinions. I think the fact that they even bother to discuss some of these issues is a step in the right direction. Regarding the Blake Griffen comment, it actually makes me feel *good* to hear a white journalist admitting that they take pride in seeing white athletes excel in black-dominated sports... it really just confirms my suspicions, but i think to have that out there and discussed is a positive step. I know i'm not going to deny that i root for black QBs, Coaches, etc... I think the more we understand other's perspectives, the more we move forward. Too much racism (or just race conversation) is internal, and that helps no one. 

Smaabs
Smaabs

I think Luke is just writing this article to try to get on First Take and promote his itunes

Sublimeroman
Sublimeroman

Black people need to get over themselves already. Not everything is race motivated. Sometimes people just dont like other people. No matter the color. Luke cant believe you have a column. You think its cause you're black and love speaking that mind of yours, even if you make no sense?

Cmharris10
Cmharris10

Little exaggerated...Skip and Stephen A Smith are friends. Tony Dorsett is a pretentious prick and this is coming from a COWBOYS FAN! You are taking examples of situations that have happened and immediately applying the race card. You, my friend, are just as antagonizing and manupulating as you are claiming Bayless to be. Racism is for the ignorant, no doubt about it. However, your actions are promoting it just as much as those you are claiming Bayless to be.

SEE YAA
SEE YAA

"The pot calling the kettle black".

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