Riffs

I was reading this article on Ralph Ellison and invisibility, and a story about Tiger Woods and Jim Brown, and some thoughts come to mind…

One thing an introvert has to actively fight against is being invisible. We’re quiet and so that leads people to, frankly, ignore us. Part of that is on us–when the time demands it, we should speak up. And when we do, what we say has to count, have meaning. I think the military would call it economy of force–the least amount of words (or weapons or troops) to have the most impact.And when it counts, we need not worry if anyone will be listening.

*******

The Tiger/Jim Brown dustup is about race, and also about generations. Brown came of age in the Civil Rights era, and was (and still is) never afraid to assert his race–he felt like he had to in that time. Tiger grew up in another era, after the big battles had been won. He is a beneficiary of the battles Brown and countless others fought. Tiger is still fighting the battle, but differently, mainly through his foundation, but also by winning majors and being one of the toughest guys on the course.

Two men, two competitors. Two different approaches to social change. Which Tiger understands, but Brown doesn’t seem to understand that. Not everyone can–or should–fight the fight with the stridency and anger he has. Social consciousness is more than militancy.

And one note–Just because Tiger isn’t an angry black man doesn’t make him less valid. But that goes without saying…

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