Friday, November 2, 2007

I hate to be right all the time... :-(

... and lucky for me, I'm not. :-)

But I was this time. I suspected in a post down below that Dog Chapman's son Tucker was the one who publicized the telephone call recording that has engineered the downfall of the Dog empire. Sadly, it's true.

Recall, Chapman was attempting to draw the line with Tucker over his girlfriend. He didn't trust her and didn't like her, and felt his family and his media empire was at risk because of her.

Almost everyone in media, every black public figure with an axe to grind, almost everyone in GENERAL has decided Chapman is a dreadful ugly racist who should be punished.

Remember the context, the actual words of the call, I beg you. Not because I'm defending him over the use of the word-- he should have stopped talking like that 20 years ago, for obvious reasons-- but because Chapman himself explained in the call that he doesn't mean by that word that all black people are inferior, or that he hates them, or that he is a racist.

He didn't say these things clearly or well; he was under immense emotional pressure, trying to draw a line between himself and his son for now and the future. It was difficult, and the words did not come easily to him.

Contextually, though, he was saying "Tucker, I don't dislike her because she's black. She could be any race or color and I would feel the same. I don't trust her not to be an opportunist, to run to the media with stories about how we talk in this house. We don't mean anything by it, but America wouldn't understand. I don't want to risk everything I've worked for, and you should think about your family here and what everyone has to lose. I don't want her in this house. Either break up with her or get a job somewhere else, and I'll help you do that."

So, influenced by a young woman raised in the Sharpton/Jackson generation, young Tucker did what dad thought impossible. He betrayed his family and his father.

This episode does not make Dog evil, and it certainly does not make Tucker the good guy. Doubtless he enjoyed and participated in all the household conversations in which that N word was used, and for other reasons had only recently developed a distaste for it.

Still, the right thing to do would have been to move along to the other job Dog would have helped him find, and encourage his father and family to change their ways, for the right reasons. Had Tucker done this, I could have respected him and given him public credit for being a good person and for encouraging his dad to be better.

What Tucker did instead makes me sick and heartbroken. He is young and unwise, and probably believes at present that he has done the right thing, but that won't last long. I repeat, Dog should have changed his habits decades ago, and was certainly aware of the risks in more recent times. But he was an authentic guy, an honest man, and it was hard for him to really believe that just being who he was in his own private time was so wrong as to require wholesale change.

And perhaps he was right to be confident in his own goodness, but that word was always going to bring him down.

Dog's a bad man who became a good man. Tucker has wrecked everything Dog built, and put an end to the good influence Dog was bringing to the world.

Sleep well, boy, if you can.

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