Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sean Taylor and Violence in America

"His heroic action on that tragic night saved both of their lives and is a testament to his humanity and courage. His spirit will live forever in our hearts and through the legacy of his achievements and the family he leaves behind."
--Andy Garcia

"It is one day at a time. "We're getting over a tragedy. . . . You never want to lose a child at a young age. By the same token, I know God don't make mistakes."
--Pedro Taylor, Sean Taylor's father, holding Jackie Taylor, Sean's daughter.

On October 30, 2008, before their game with the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins remembered Sean Taylor, their great safety who died on November 27, 2007, after being murdered in his home. They admitted him into the Ring of Fame, an honor bestowed upon Redskin players who distinguished themselves in their contributions to the game. But did the skins owners, coaches, or fans remember the lesson of his death?

Kansas sports writer Jason Whitlock, who unfairly suggested that Taylor lived a thug life,who even blamed hip hop for Sean Taylor's death, definitely did not learn the lesson. He seemed to have imagined some thuggish brothas, friends or former friends of Taylor, near drunk on 40-ounce beers, crack and self-hate, rollin through his neighborhood and deciding on a whim to break into Taylor's house.

The facts are these:

* Sean Taylor did not live a thug life. He grew up in a middle class neighborhood with his mother and father, who is in the law enforcement business.
* Sean Taylor was a great football player who was highly respected by fellow teammates and players around the league.
* Sean Taylor, according to his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, the niece of famous Cuban American actor Andy Garcia, was a loving partner and nurturing father.
* Sean Taylor, who was only 24, gave back to his community. For example, he helped the coach of the University of Miami (the college he attended) work with troubled players. And he got fellow professional players help in community work, especially the two players on his team, who also attended what they call "The U!"
*Whitlock, a black man, speculated that, by having hung out with thugs in the past, Taylor invited his own death WITHOUT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE.
*Whitlock was wrong. Taylor was killed when people, one of whom used to work at his home, disconnected his security system and broke into his home.

Whitlock should feel ashamed. But what's the real lesson? Shortly after Taylor's death, the daddy, responding to Whitlock's foolish speculations, wrote:

"You see, no matter how this homicide turns out, it is Taylor, the rich black guy, who has been convicted. And of what? Being a rich black man in America? No. A scapegoat? No. If we’re going to get into the conviction business, we need to get real, lay it down in the field and run it straight up: We’re all guilty of being afraid of what Taylor’s homicide represents: That America, the wealthiest country in the world, is also the most violent country in the western world; that this once-great country is in decline, with its middle class sinking into the lower classes and its lower classes becoming so desperate that it’s just about to go out of its mind; and a desperate people will kill not only a strong black athlete in his walled-off home with security—a desperate people will kill us. What we don’t want to come to terms with-- or do anything seriously about-- is the fact that, in this new violent America, we’re all Sean Taylors now. So let’s keep from addressing the larger issue of out-of-control violence in America. Let's focus on Taylor, especially his few “run-ins” with the law. Yeah. Rich black male athlete gets in trouble with the law. That'll sell. Yeah. And let’s not cut a brotha some slack, even in death."

Sean Taylor, the daddy remembers you. And he remembers the lesson of your death: that what happened to you could happen to him, to any of us in America.


rainywalker said...

daddyBstrong I think about these things everyday. My children, grandchildren, my friends, others and I'll be honest myself. It goes way beyond the killers on the street. There are so many reasons America is in trouble. We have lost the long term vision and now concentrate on whats in it for me today. I'm not pulling out the piece unless someones life is in danger and deadly force is needed. But I'll tell you this, I'm not going by myself. Watch your back.

Revvy Rev said...

I didn't know that Whitlock said those things. I usually respect his commentary. It is true, the planet is spirally out of control - as is our nation, race, and institutions.

Somebodies Friend said...

It is a shame what is happening to the great country of ours. There are so many haters out there that don't look past the end of their nose, much less what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.

Then there is the problem of the real haters not doing any time, and people that made a mistake getting the book thrown at them, thus turning them into haters.

It is a cycle that puts us all in danger.

Then there are the haters that spread false information and make things seem much different then they really are, this kind of behavior needs to stop, but I don't have an answer as to how to do it. said...

Hey there Daddy,

Thank you for putting out the truth! There is ALWAYS a loud assumption made when a black man who has financial success has been killed. The news reporters INFER shady incinuations such as "police are investigating any possible drug connections". Pleeeease. How often have we heard THAT?

A brother doesn't even own a pack of Newports and the news wants to toss some shade over his casket about "possible gang related homicide" and "possible drug connections". This is the language that is used CONSTANTLY whenever a high-profile black man has been killed.

You are right.

We can ALL become victims in our own home.

As you know, my mother was murdered in OUR home when I was a child. The reporters were on the scene and NOT ONE dared make any incinuations in their news reports...THAT was only because my father was prominent and well-respected in the city.

Our family was referred to by whites as "the black Kennedys".

I am sure that if we had been a black family in the 'hood, the ENTIRE murder case would have been reported differently. Instead, these white reporters decided to handle the situation as they would have handled it if it had occurred at the home of a prominent white family - with decency and accuracy.

Thanks for sharing this story and for honoring Sean in this way.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

CurvyGurl said...

Amen, MacDaddy. As a lifelong Skins fan, I can honestly say that Sean's death left a haunting lesson on the hearts of those who are not only fans, but who give a damn about young black men.

I've seen several comments about the tribute to Sean being the result of his athletic talent rather than any contributions he made to society. These comments disgust me because they're pure speculation and unwarranted. Who's to say who is 'worthy' of a tribute? Absolutely ridiculous. The way I see it, we should shed a tear for all homocide victims, not just those deemed 'worthwhile'.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, Man, you are right. Things might just get even more bat shit crazy in the next couple years.
Hope is not something you can just give away.

MacDaddy said...

"I'm not pulling out the piece unless someones life is in danger and deadly force is needed. But I'll tell you this, I'm not going by myself."
Rainywalker: My thoughts exactly. I'm protecting my home.

RevvyRev: I was very disappointed to hear a black man (Whitlock) speak so negatively about another black man without evidence-- before the guy has scarcely been laid into his grave.

Somebody: Good analysis. Sometimes you speak with such wisdom. Thank you.

Lisa, you told me about this. I didn't forget.

Safety experts say a home is broken into every 14 seconds. But when it happens to us, or to someone close to us, it's not a statistics. It's a life-long tragedy from which one may never heal, from which one can heal only with the help of strong family support, church support or therapy. I know it must have been hard from you. Thanks for sharing it.

CurbyGurl: I'm sure you know more about this story than I do. But I just wanted people to know I have not forgotten this brotha who was murdered in his own home trying to protect his family...Today, I'm going online to see if I can get a Sean Taylor football Jersey. I liked him as a football player, and I liked him even more as a person.

Sagacious; Due to the loss of jobs and a loss of hope, I think things will get worse as well.

Anonymous said...

Mr. MacDaddy, did you read my message yesterday about Cadillac Records, about saying something about Muddy Waters and Little Walter? told my friends to check your blog.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hi MacDaddy. I hadn't kept up with this case so didn't know a workman was the culprit. The things I vaguely remember reading last year was that he showed signs of fearing someone was after him.

A lot of these companies hire anyone for these work jobs, and in my area the used to literally pick them out of a group of men in a parking lot. Most of them were undocumented and extremely good and had nice manners, but it was always chancey. Other companies put felons, drug addicts and mentally unstable men on their payroll, and again, while many work out, others have no scruples.

As a single woman and homeowner in my younger days, I was constantly hit on for dates by these guys, from the lawn people, to fence company, painters, etc., and had to be diplomatic to avoid some sort of payback.

One guy of a team of two was running his mouth with the other and asked me about my dog, then started joking with his friend (who had been asking me for a date but politely gave up) about a dog he stole on another job. I couldn't believe it. I was so angry, and wanted to complain to the company, but knew he'd come back and hurt me or poison or steal my dog who I'd leave in the backyard while at work. I swear, some of these men can be so creepy.

I've had quite a few experiences with folks and that, and being overcharged or having so-so work done, are the things I don't miss about home ownership.

Of course, this is all nothing compared to what happened to Sean Taylor. He was much too young to die such a senseless death. Very sad indeed.

MilesPerHour said...

There are enough problems in this country as it is and the media promotes these things in many ways, one being by stretching or falsifying the "facts".

Rarely do I see positive stories about the athletes that give back and try to make a difference.

sdg1844 said...

I remember this case and I remember Whitlock's comments. I didn't know much about Sean Taylor, so thanks for the facts Daddy. This is sad indeed. My Grand Aunt says that it is the end of days and sometimes, I believe her.

MacDaddy said...

Anon: I will write a post on Little Walter on Friday.