Did I Miss the Mark?

Frequent readers of my blog have no doubt noticed one of the more popular topics of discussion here in race … and racial issues. It’s not because I’m attempting to stir up the pot or become the on-line alternative to Al Sharpton. I just feel that this forum allows me to cast a light an issue which is not discussed in a frank and public manner. Just like sex, we tend to have a bit of prudish nature as a country when it comes to discussing race.

While I am an African-American, I don’t always have perfect “racism radar” and sometimes the most obvious issues will miss my attention. Case in point, the most recent issue of Golfweek.

As you know, I’m a big golf fan and get several golf magazines sent to my house — and among them is Golfweek which covers the business side of my favorite past time. Yesterday, I got home and found the latest issue in my mail … take a look.

Pretty startling, huh? I did a double take and went right to the article about Tiger Woods and the controversy involving the “lynching” comments of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman. Since she made her inappropriate statements, she has apologized and been suspended – and Tiger has accepted her apology. The article in the magazine talked about the stir her statements caused.
However, the cover photo of hangman’s noose was over the top. Even the editors of the magazine admit the image was “arresting” and would “draw attention to an issue that deserved some intelligent dialogue”. That being said, editor Dave Seaanor actually said he was “overwhelmed” by the negative response.

Hello! Didn’t anybody on the editorial staff see the problem in publishing this cover? I can’t believe a magazine that did a thoughtful piece about the controversy couldn’t see the storm it would create with it’s cover — which they know was designed to sell magazines. To be fair, just last week the magazine had a pill on the cover for it’s story on drug testing in golf. Boy, I long for the days when they actually put golf on the cover of the magazine.

I guess I should have been more outraged as well. While I was startled by what I saw when I opened my mailbox, I should have been angry. I guess being African-American doesn’t mean every racial issue strikes a chord. Maybe it’s because nothing surprises me when it comes to level of insensitivity in our society. That’s no reason to be tolerant of this sort of stuff. There are many ways to get my attention — good writing being one of those ways. However a noose – given the racist connotation it now carries – placed on the cover of a publication I go to for information about something that gives me pleasure is both insulting and offensive.
I will be cancelling my subscription to Golfweek as well as sending a detailed letter to the editor expressing my feelings towards the magazine and the cover they chose. Seanor says he expected some canceled subscriptions. I just wish he had also expected this backlash when he chose this “racist” cover photo – and that is exactly what it is.

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