My Dearest Tiger:
Did you know golf was once guarded for the “christians” and “middle class” only? In 1960 the PGA of America still had a caucasians only clause. Until 1975 blacks were not allowed to compete in golf.
The melanin you wear is beautiful, rich and deep unlike its history and wounds. Our melanins’ history has paid a debt and continues to pay a debt, in certain instances, that hasn’t and can never be repaid. To diminish the melanin you wear is to dishonor God as you were created in his perfect image. (Hey, Lil Kim, hey girl, hey).
I initially had Tiger Woods mugshot up and decided not to further dishonor him. So by now everyone has heard of Tiger Woods being arrested. For those that don’t know he was the youngest and first black winner of the US Masters. He dominated the so called “white mans sport” also known as golf. When I saw Tiger Woods on Oprah I was so excited because in my mind – I’m like yeah, we made it – you go boy. He’s kicking open doors that were once signed, sealed and deemed not for us. Then he minimized his blackness by saying he was Cablinasian. In my mind, I’m like what the bleep is that and “WHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING BLACK?” (severe eye roll – and yes there are levels to mine.)
Now let me take you back to a time where my family and I first moved to Park Forest, Illinois. There were still a ton of white people in the neighborhood. I remember overhearing my mom talk and the sadness in her voice when she found out the neighborhood did a petition to keep us off the block because we were black. Again, WHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING BLACK? There were a few white people who did not mind our presence, but there were others who let it be known, we weren’t welcome.
Don’t get me wrong I’m glad that Tiger Woods wanted to honor each of his nationalities. I had an issue with him choosing not to be identified as black. What the world clearly saw him as. I cannot speak on- if it was Tiger’s sole decision to minimize his blackness or a team encouraging him to do so. What was clear to me was Tiger, nor his team, realized that he was born to stand out and not to fit in. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked Luke 12:48.
The officers that arrested Tiger Woods did not care that he was TIGER WOODS! The officers did not care that he was the first black American to break through the golf barrier. Neither did they care that he considered himself “cablinasian”, 12.5% Caucasian, 25 % Black, 12.5% Indian and 50% Asian. We all know the one drop rule. Those officers didn’t check multiracial, cablinasian – they checked the black box for him. Those officers saw Tiger Woods as a black man just as the rest of the world.
The memes have begun and it has been assumed he was drunk – I can’t speak on that. What I saw in those mugshots was a man who looked lost and ashamed. From his many publicized infidelities to his lackluster golf stats lately, I see a man who is broken. I won’t kick a man when he’s down or take pride, but Tiger Woods I ask that you start from within. First, by learning how not to devalue the melanin that you were naturally born with to simply “fit in”. There is NOT a thing wrong with being black!