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'Champion of the Depressed?'
Crackpot Mailbox: Bob and james discuss the Use of Ethnic Tension in Fight Promotion
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Fri, Mar 6, 4:00 AM (2 days ago)
dear mr. lafond,
you must have seen the introduction to the wilder/fury fight. it was rather amusing to see how the racially-charged wilder presentation contrasted with the nuanced "king of the gypsies" or "champion of the depressed" iconography of fury. given that most of the audience, be it black or white, has not the foggiest about travelers and just sees a white guy, it looks to me a fairly cynical exercise by the fury team to milk racial tension, hiding the repugnant form of white solidarity behind a fig-leaf of plausible deniability.
bob

I did not expect to hear the N-word used in a an African versus Evil fight again after it failed miserably on the lips of corner man James J. Corbett to demean Jack Johnson in his beating of James J. Jefferies a hundred and ten years ago, who returned on good natured wise, "Package bein' delivered Massa Jeff," every time he hit the pale contender.
I can well imagine this miserable rapper in the court of Sir Richard Francis Burton while he was dispensing the Queen's Law back in 1860s Africa. His common refrain after passing sentence was to say, "Throw this litigious negro out of my courtroom..."
The embracing of the phony duality of white and black, with the lyrics "everything black" when the only thing black in the "black" entourage was clothing, costume and microphone, with all of the worthies ranging from hazelnut to milk chocolate was weak. The alter ego of Wilder, is a tragic mark of a weak fighting mind that has to imagine himself something other than he is to do battle.
Adopting the macro-economic zoological identity of economic oppression lacks any specific gravity for the man, as he is ultimately an American mongrel with no real identity, but only false historic narrative he can't plumb and cartoon comic imagery he apparently can't wear without juicing his legs.
The presentation of both players is cynical. They know that the U.S. media will never embrace a heavyweight boxing champion of European ancestry. Wilder played the gross text of the media sentiment and Fury played the subtext, as befits a man with 40 more points of IQ than his foe. Fury at least keeps alive the real, historical definition of race that ruled across the vast span of history, rather than the recent idea of "white" and other. Indeed, in 1727, Tito de Carini of the Italian Race was defeated in Figg's ampitheatre in a boxing match by a man of the English Race. Racial strife in the ring between Irish, English, nativist, Hebrew and Negro would be a regular feature of fight promotion for the next 250 years, even kept alive as "greatest" versus "Gorilla" in the mind and mouth of Ali when he accused Joe Frazier of being subhuman for not being part white in 1974, and solidifying his claim to darling champion status of the Caucasian elite.
Indeed, the birth of modern boxing was largely a case of rural wrestlers fighting urban fencers in London. The parochial point will always exist in healthy prize-fighting, with base fighting style being the parochial point in MMA.
In an earlier age, Aristonikus, an African, was groomed by the Macedonian King of Egypt to defeat Klietomakhus, a Greek, at Olympia. During a rest break which Aristonikus unwisely agreed to, the older, pure European fighter rather then rest, whipped up the crowd in a fervor of racial solidarity which so demoralized the visiting fighter that he was thence easily beaten in the second half of the fight.
Mayweather made millions milking Latino-African hatred. If you want to see some ethnic hate, watch a Rican fight a Mexican in Mexico! The hatred of the other is cultivated by the cagey celebrity fighter who gets a part of the money shares paid out by those who wish to see him defeated along imaginary or real racial lines.
This use of the fighter as ethnic avatar for the spectator goes back to the birth of Aryan civilization as a social vent when various tribes cohabitated behind the same walls, and goes back to deepest antiquity when champions dueling my take the lace of armies slaughtering.
I find it fun and useful and have bantered in friendly wise back and forth with darker fight fans at venues, each of us rooting for the man who looked more like us. I hope this aspect of the fight game remains. The only toxic aspect of this ethno-champion avatar behavior that I find distasteful is the mass media always taking one side rather than being neutral and letting the fighters do the work of representing the repressed identities of their fans.
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