What baffles me about Tiger Woods and the like is how easy it is for them to alienate themselves from or reject the cultural side of their heritage that has persevered as a collective under an oppressive regime of enduring prejudice, just to receive some of the institutional benefits of whiteness. Woods is not even in the top 20 ranking of golfers and he hasn’t been for many years, yet he thinks that the attention he receives has nothing to do with his blackness, he thinks its all about his game?!? I THINK NOT and the Guardian doesn’t either.
But the fact that he was black explained much of the excitement. Golf in the US was never just a game. Long regarded as the bastion of the white, Christian and middle class, it was a gatekeeper to respectability and networking, open principally to local and national elites. Black players had been allowed to compete in the Masters in Augusta only since 1975. Until 1982, all the caddies in the tournament there had to be black. And until 1990, Augusta didn’t allow black members and even then conceded only because, if they hadn’t changed their policy, they would have lost the right to host the tournament.
Tiger even went on to say this in a Nike commercial after his earlier victories…
Yet when they eventually allowed him to play he began to look at the charity of whiteness bestowing onto him as the exception, which leads to cultural betrayal and self- delusion. He never held them accountable for these misdeeds of dehumanization. Its as though he simply thanked them for allowing him to play.
He simply plays into the sincere fictions of whiteness to his own psychological detriment. He is more likely rewarded for his racial etiquette than anything else at this moment.
Thanks for reading and your response to this. I needed to get this off my chest.