Apparently, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick thought it was clever to write, in reference to Jay-Z’s work as part owner of the New York Nets:
As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new “urban” home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment? Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N——s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B—-hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!
“I guess I won’t need my color TV anymore now that the Nets will be wearing black and white,’’ writes reader John Lynch. And reader David Distefano now wonders what’s left for the Nets to choose as “their alternate third-uniform to sell during nationally televised games.”
And his editors saw fit to let this get into print, which perhaps says more about their failings. If you can’t see Jay-Z — the guy who made it possible to be viably middle aged in hip-hop, a long-established businessman, a guy with a wife and kid — as anything other than an ignorant thug, you’re willfully blind in the same way as people who look at President Obama and insist on seeing a radical. No one who sees the world through lenses that distorted should be trusted to interpret it for the public. And it’s contemptible to make money off that kind of willful blindness and the pleasure people get out of casual racism. This column may be the consequence of Mushnick’s views being taken to their logical extension. But someone let him off the leash.
Mushnick, in an emailed statement, insists that he’s just standing up against destructive elements in black culture and Jay-Z is the real villain:
Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—ers?”
Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I’M the racist? Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about.
But you know what is racist? Reducing a successful businessman with multiple investments to a crude, thuggish stereotype based on absolutely no evidence. Nothing about Jay-Z’s investments in Rocawear, real estate, casino gaming, or cosmetics suggests that he has any interest in selling products with the kind of imagery or language Mushnick ascribes to him. These aren’t hard truths. This is Mushnick’s pathetic, crabbed imagination.