Jackson falls on his face by calling Rodman a victim

February 01, 1997|By GREGORY KANE

ONE OF THE great mysteries of life -- ranking right up there with the Bermuda Triangle -- is exactly how Jesse Jackson became the country's premier black leader. It couldn't have been by election. I certainly don't remember ever voting for this fool.

But premier black leader he is. Polls show it. But more than the polls attest to Jackson's primacy as a leader. We owe the fact that black Americans now call themselves African-Americans to Jackson's charisma.

It was he who proposed the change years ago. Blacks didn't accept it as a suggestion to be discussed. We accepted it without question as an edict from on high. And there was much to question. Africa is a huge continent, containing such nonblack peoples as Arabs, Berbers, Boers and Tuaregs. So exactly what did it mean to call oneself an African-American? Wouldn't a more accurate ethnic term be one that would indicate that the ancestors of most black Americans hail from that part of Africa known as the Western Sudan?

Black Americans never asked these questions, being afflicted as we are with a passion for Messiah leadership. And you don't ask questions of Messiahs. So we are not supposed to ask why the Great Revvum Jackson has appointed himself counselor for NBA basketball player and part-time transvestite Dennis Rodman.

A brief summary is in order for those of you not inclined to keep track of shenanigans and other assorted tomfoolery. On Jan. 15, Rodman -- a star forward for the NBA champion Chicago Bulls when he's not wearing dresses -- kicked a cameraman seated beneath the basket in the groin. NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Rodman for 11 games, fined him $25,000 and ordered him to get some psychiatric counseling -- as elegant a term for therapy as has ever come down the pike.

Enter the Messiah, who now says he's Rodman's counselor. Jackson could have stopped there, but that wasn't enough for the Messiah of the Moronic. He felt compelled to add the #F following quote destined for enshrinement in the Nincompoopery Hall of Fame.

"It's one thing to punish a man," sayeth the Messiah. "It's another thing to take away his dignity."

Before Jackson uttered this nonsense, most of us familiar with the basketball player's antics would have thought it was impossible to use the words "Dennis Rodman" and "dignity" in the same sentence. First, there's that cross-dressing thing, in which ugly guy Rodman transformed himself into an even uglier woman. Then there was his book "Bad As I Wanna Be," the cover of which showed him exposing his disgusting and inadequate heinie to the world.

Then, of course, there are his on-the-court antics, which included head-butting a referee not too long ago. Rodman was disciplined for that incident too, which is why Stern nailed him with so harsh a punishment this time. In fact, I think Stern let him off easy. Were I in Stern's shoes, I'd have told Rodman to take his wig, his dress and his pumps and get the hell out of the league. I'd tell him to hit the drag queen circuit a la RuPaul.

But Messiah Boy thinks that by making Rodman get some much-needed therapy and then commit himself to a higher standard of conduct when he returns from suspension that Stern is "taking away his dignity." Actually, it's Rodman's dignity that Stern is trying to restore. I wish him luck. Trying to get Rodman to reform his bizarre ways will be as hard as a baseball team trying to bunt a runner home from first base.

Trying to get Jackson to commit to some genuine leadership will be an even harder task. Instead of standing up and publicly chastising Rodman's kicking the cameraman for the despicable

act it was, we have the Messiah trying to portray Rodman as some kind of victim. Jackson's action, while reprehensible, should not be surprising. Liberal black leaders of the 1990s all have advanced degrees in Victimology, a doctrine whose basic tenet is that "victims" aren't really responsible for their bad actions. It is those who criticize such actions who are the real bad guys.

Those wondering from whence the next black Messiah will spring need only look to the NBA players union, which ignored the real victim -- the poor cameraman -- and faulted the league for having too many courtside cameras and photographers at games. The union claimed Rodman's punishment was too severe, according to an Associated Press wire story.

The scourge of Victimology continues apace.

Pub Date: 2/01/97

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