[324] Get Over It
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[324] Get Over It

Now that Creighton’s basketball season is over, it is time to address the woes of its coach, Greg McDermott.  Late in the season, after a Creighton loss, the coach addressed his team thusly. “Guys, we need to stick together…We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”

An unfortunate choice of words in the current hyper-intense, racially sensitive environment.

And that’s all it was.

His statement was about staying together. It was not a sign of overt or latent racism on the part of McDermott who immediately apologized for his use of “plantation.” There is no reference to African-Americans here, and while we are at it, McDermott was also appealing to white players’ unity on his racially mixed team.  In short, to label the use of this commonly used–though now archaic–phrase as such is to demean the viciousness of what racism truly is.

McDermott’s apology should have been sufficient. It wasn’t. The university bellowed outrage at its beleaguered coach and suspended him from all team activities for four days.

Worse, McDermott buckled and obsequiously offered to resign, only reinforcing the university’s overkill.

Creighton University should be ashamed of itself, making an historically common phrase, uttered spontaneously by its coach, the basis for formal punitive action, and McDermott should have shown more intestinal fortitude.  The university’s response smacks of image protection not genuine outrage over racism.  Think about it. How well do you think Creighton would do were it the subject of a withering diversity audit?  Diversity in hiring, leadership, and authority is where racism usually lies.  How do you think this traditional Jesuit university is doing where it really counts?  And how about the Jesuit order in general?  How it is doing?

I am not calling for an attack on the university or the Jesuit order.  I am calling for an end to hypocrisy.  Over and over again we see it.  Some well-known person makes a public verbal blunder and in come the institutional political correctness forces, feigning shock and outrage.  Once the poor transgressor has been ground under with the steel shoes of the image-protecting mob the matter is closed.

It shouldn’t be.  If an institution wishes to deliver the third degree to those who commit verbal foibles it should use the action as a gateway to a more holistic audit of evidences of racism elsewhere in the corporate enterprise, rather than standing four-square for racially sanitized verbiage.

If Creighton wanted to lay the lumber to McDermott, let’s open the books on the entire university environment.  Let it all hang out. If not, get over it and move on.  DC

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