Friday, August 11, 2006

40 Million Dollar Slaves

The book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden has certainly received some press lately.
Mr. Rhoden was interviewed on Colbert Report among other places.
He makes a case that today's black athlete, while compensated quite generously for his efforts, is just as a slave because the black community does not own the teams who hire the players. I plan to read the book because his comments appear to be so ludicous that I want to know more. I just can't comprehend how someone who makes millions could possibly be considered a slave on any level. Isn't nearly everyone a slave to his employer?
Whether my boss is black, white, or green, I have little to no input in business decisions. I get nothing extra for going above and beyond when I work. My pay is not need based, but simply the amount that it will take to keep me employed. They know fully well that I am only a small cog in a big wheel. If I leave, I will be replaced. I may be missed by some for a short time, but business will proceed as usual.
And I will work until either I am able to save enough money that I can live out my days (highly unlikely at this point in time) or until I collapse at the plow.
If that isn't the modern day description of a slave, what is?


savvy said...

I had a professor in film school, an african american woman, who used to espouse the same principle. She once said that the NBA Players were modern day slaves, victims of the whims of the rich white owners. Hmm? Players making millions of dollars, often based only on potential, with guarenteed money to play a game. I wonder how a conversation would go between Latrell "I gotta feed my family, and 10 million a year ain't cutting it" and Levar, a slave.

Levar " Hello, brother. So you too are a slave?"

Latrell "hell yeah, motherfuckers want me to work for 10 million, sheet, I got groupies who need the bling in order for me to give em my thing, you know what I mean.. plus I used to have this coach who yelled at me a lot, so I choked him, then tried to come after him with a 2X4"

Levar " Yeah, the woman I love was take by the master, who uses her for his own sexual gratification. I work 16 hrs a day in the hot sun and receive beatings on a daily basis, often for no reason"

Latrell "That ain't nothing, those mofos want me to practice hard in the preseason... and one of those bitches is suing me for child support."

Levar picks up that 2X4 and whacks Latrell in the face with it.