Look Who's Clubbing Tiger Woods Now

Anyone who hoped that Obama's election would usher in a post-racial American era might have to wait another generation. To see why, just take a look at Tiger Woods' troubles -- the ones he has with some members of the black media elite.

It is likely that after Tiger's facial scars heal, his sponsors are mollified, his shame dissolves, his wife forgives or divorces him, and his fans forget all the dalliances with his ever-growing harem, many black journalists will continue to hold a bitter grudge. 

For Juan Williams, Jesse Washington, and Eugene Robinson, Tiger is not primarily the world's greatest, richest, and most dominant athlete. He is not an individual allowed to live and die by his own code of conduct. For them, Tiger is not a self-determining soul, but a black man who must live by -- and never violate -- their constraining tribal rules. 

They are furious at Tiger -- not because he cheated on his wife, but because his wife is white, and all of his affairs were with white women.  If only Tiger had filled his carnal cornucopia with something other than blondes, they might have forgiven his unrestrained adultery. Apparently, he might have remained in the good graces of some, or might have been completely ignored, if he had been able to find just one black cocktail waitress or porn star to bed during some of his lonely moments on the road. 

Juan Williams, a regular Fox contributor, seemed upset last weekend because Woods had not followed the more politically acceptable model of black marriage as defined by Barack Obama. Egged on by the ultimate racial provocateur Geraldo Rivera, Williams admitted that by marrying an American black woman, Obama automatically earned a special authenticity, since through his wife he could stake vicarious claims on her lineage, which dates back to the slave South. Before marriage, Obama had no link to American race struggles and could lean only on white prep-school elitism and his Kenyan ancestry. So Obama married well, or at least in a politically correct way, according to the prevailing and acceptable racial narratives. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, did not; he chose the Barbie route. For Eugene Robinson, who wrote of the "Barbie-of-the-Day revelations," some racial epithets are more acceptable than others.

If this is the level to which we have sunk when discussing the issue of race, I am almost happy to stand in Tiger's corner, because he, not Obama, is the true symbol of racial progress in America. We will conquer race in America when race becomes irrelevant, even boring. And Tiger has always tried to make his race an invisible component of his career. That is a very admirable thing.

Tiger's ancestry stands as perfect testimony to how absurd racial classifications can become in our spontaneous, fluid, intermarrying culture. Tiger's mother is of Thai-Eurasian ancestry, and he is as adored in much of Asia as he is on the PGA tour. Tiger's father Earl, a Green Beret, was an ever-present guide and mentor. Lt. Colonel Woods was himself a rich amalgam of several ethnic groups, white and Native American among them. (Tiger's half-sister, a decent golfer herself, is named Cheyenne.) Tiger's nickname comes from a Vietnamese officer Earl befriended while in active service. All of this complicated ethnic and multicultural history resulted in what Woods once called, when interviewed by Oprah a decade ago, his "cablanasian" identity: he considered himself part Caucasian, part black, part Asian, and part American Indian.

Race has never defined Tiger's universe -- something resented, it seems, by many blacks who want to claim him as their own. One of Tiger's best friends is the Swiss tennis great Roger Federer. His caddy and course strategist is white. Of course, we know about his Swedish wife who, given the possible gravity of his wounds, might be the actual tiger in the family. Woods does not travel with or associate himself the usual parade of angry parasites -- the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson -- whose entire racial protection racket would collapse if true peace were ever to break out between blacks and whites.

Rather than rely on racial identity, Woods made the decision long ago to focus on producing unequaled and legendary athletic performances and on his cash-generating brand. Jim Brown, the former NFL great, might want Woods to sell racial grievance, but Woods is more interested in selling sports drinks, razors, and cars. Woods has singlehandedly reenergized the sport of golf. Other great players are seeking to share in the sport's limelight, but when Tiger is not on the course, golf is simply not much fun to watch.

All of this is not meant to excuse his deplorable behavior, which was shocking, stupid and dangerous. He has much to work through to ever again win respect as a husband, father, and leader of his eponymous youth foundation. I just hope he never apologizes for being an inadequate role model for blacks, or for any other group, and simply struggles as an individual to regain his family, his dignity, and his reputation.

Claude can be reached at csandroff@gmail.com
Anyone who hoped that Obama's election would usher in a post-racial American era might have to wait another generation. To see why, just take a look at Tiger Woods' troubles -- the ones he has with some members of the black media elite.

It is likely that after Tiger's facial scars heal, his sponsors are mollified, his shame dissolves, his wife forgives or divorces him, and his fans forget all the dalliances with his ever-growing harem, many black journalists will continue to hold a bitter grudge. 

For Juan Williams, Jesse Washington, and Eugene Robinson, Tiger is not primarily the world's greatest, richest, and most dominant athlete. He is not an individual allowed to live and die by his own code of conduct. For them, Tiger is not a self-determining soul, but a black man who must live by -- and never violate -- their constraining tribal rules. 

They are furious at Tiger -- not because he cheated on his wife, but because his wife is white, and all of his affairs were with white women.  If only Tiger had filled his carnal cornucopia with something other than blondes, they might have forgiven his unrestrained adultery. Apparently, he might have remained in the good graces of some, or might have been completely ignored, if he had been able to find just one black cocktail waitress or porn star to bed during some of his lonely moments on the road. 

Juan Williams, a regular Fox contributor, seemed upset last weekend because Woods had not followed the more politically acceptable model of black marriage as defined by Barack Obama. Egged on by the ultimate racial provocateur Geraldo Rivera, Williams admitted that by marrying an American black woman, Obama automatically earned a special authenticity, since through his wife he could stake vicarious claims on her lineage, which dates back to the slave South. Before marriage, Obama had no link to American race struggles and could lean only on white prep-school elitism and his Kenyan ancestry. So Obama married well, or at least in a politically correct way, according to the prevailing and acceptable racial narratives. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, did not; he chose the Barbie route. For Eugene Robinson, who wrote of the "Barbie-of-the-Day revelations," some racial epithets are more acceptable than others.

If this is the level to which we have sunk when discussing the issue of race, I am almost happy to stand in Tiger's corner, because he, not Obama, is the true symbol of racial progress in America. We will conquer race in America when race becomes irrelevant, even boring. And Tiger has always tried to make his race an invisible component of his career. That is a very admirable thing.

Tiger's ancestry stands as perfect testimony to how absurd racial classifications can become in our spontaneous, fluid, intermarrying culture. Tiger's mother is of Thai-Eurasian ancestry, and he is as adored in much of Asia as he is on the PGA tour. Tiger's father Earl, a Green Beret, was an ever-present guide and mentor. Lt. Colonel Woods was himself a rich amalgam of several ethnic groups, white and Native American among them. (Tiger's half-sister, a decent golfer herself, is named Cheyenne.) Tiger's nickname comes from a Vietnamese officer Earl befriended while in active service. All of this complicated ethnic and multicultural history resulted in what Woods once called, when interviewed by Oprah a decade ago, his "cablanasian" identity: he considered himself part Caucasian, part black, part Asian, and part American Indian.

Race has never defined Tiger's universe -- something resented, it seems, by many blacks who want to claim him as their own. One of Tiger's best friends is the Swiss tennis great Roger Federer. His caddy and course strategist is white. Of course, we know about his Swedish wife who, given the possible gravity of his wounds, might be the actual tiger in the family. Woods does not travel with or associate himself the usual parade of angry parasites -- the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson -- whose entire racial protection racket would collapse if true peace were ever to break out between blacks and whites.

Rather than rely on racial identity, Woods made the decision long ago to focus on producing unequaled and legendary athletic performances and on his cash-generating brand. Jim Brown, the former NFL great, might want Woods to sell racial grievance, but Woods is more interested in selling sports drinks, razors, and cars. Woods has singlehandedly reenergized the sport of golf. Other great players are seeking to share in the sport's limelight, but when Tiger is not on the course, golf is simply not much fun to watch.

All of this is not meant to excuse his deplorable behavior, which was shocking, stupid and dangerous. He has much to work through to ever again win respect as a husband, father, and leader of his eponymous youth foundation. I just hope he never apologizes for being an inadequate role model for blacks, or for any other group, and simply struggles as an individual to regain his family, his dignity, and his reputation.

Claude can be reached at csandroff@gmail.com

RECENT VIDEOS