Dana White’s Strange Take on Racism and the Richie Incognito Saga

It’s hard not to cringe anytime UFC president Dana White opens up his mouth about race-related topics, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s head honcho keeps getting worse.

During a UFC 167 pre-fight media scrum, White took ignorance to a completely new level while discussing his take on Richie Incognito’s ban from the NFL for hurling a racial slur at teammate Jonathan Martin.

“My kids right now, they listen to Jay-Z and they listen to these rappers who say this [expletive] every other word,” White said. “We’re in a situation right now with this new generation that’s coming up. That word can go away. When I grew up, it was a different world. It was a different world when we grew up. There’s a chance now for that word to go away — I know I sound like an old guy — but that word needs to go away. And rappers need to stop saying it. There’s this whole ‘we can say it but you can’t’ thing. No. You can’t.”

Interesting isn’t it? Who knew racism would be a thing of the past if rap music didn’t exist.

It’s always hard to tell if White is truly as ignorant as his words indicate, or if he’s simply trying to win over a misguided fraction of the MMA fan base, which we all know exists, but there’s no excuse for such ignorance coming out of the mouth of the head of an organization that continues to fight for a greater mainstream presence.

Obviously, White needs an education, so here it is:

Despite the fact the Miami Dolphins have a unique locker-room culture which seems to accept the use of the N-word between team mates, there’s no justification for Incognito’s actions.

Sure, even some of Incognito’s black teammates didn’t have a problem with his use of the word, with some referring to him as an “honorary brother,” but Richie flirted with a line he should have never crossed.

Nowadays, it’s no secret that the use of anything that can be perceived as a racial slur can quickly get one in a heap of controversy, especially if the offender is a white male, yet Richie felt entitled to use the word simply because some of his teammates didn’t have a problem with it.

That mentality is no different than saying, ‘I once met a racist white person, so all white people must be racist, or ‘I see a lot of black guys on the news committing crimes, so all black guys must be criminals.’

Dana’s declaration that black people have some agreement that it’s okay for blacks to use the N-word, but not whites is proof that ignorance is still a serious issue in the U.S. in 2013.

No, there’s no mutual consensus among blacks on the use of the N-word. Older folks tend to be against any use of the word, younger African Americans are more likely to use it as a term of endearment, while others are only comfortable when the person using the word looks like them or has gone true similar life experiences.

Failing to acknowledge that reality is the very foundation racism is built on: ignorance and denial.

Incognito should have taken the time to figure out Martin’s personal stance on the matter, instead of assuming Martin, who is half black and half white, was okay with him hurling what is typically considered a racial slur at him.

Besides, even if Martin was fine with Incognito using the modernized version of the word, which is indeed used in rap music and by some black comedians, there’s a big difference between, ‘wassup my nigga’ and Incognito’s words: ‘Hey, wassup, you half nigga/nigger piece of s__t.

Somehow trying to equate the two is an admission of a bigoted thought process.

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 8 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.

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