In Today's Sports Pages...

As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new “urban” home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment? Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!

It was two paragraphs, less than 90 words, but they survived longer than anything else is Phil Mushnick’s column today. The longtime New York Post columnist called his insensitive and racist remarks an observation on Jay-Z’s artistry, not divisive, racist commentary meant to demean and belittle the man, the borough and the movement that has supposedly help mend some of the divides in our culture.

I’m not surprised.

I’ve never read any of Mushnick’s columns in his near 40 years of service, so I can’t speak of his content, but for his hate to creep into his fingers is no more surprising than I am invisible in Walmart, parking lots or how that cloak of invisibility is raised when I’m rocking a hoodie in a gated community. Mushnick offered up an explanation to The Village Voice in which he attempted to distance himself from being a closeted racist, but never discounts the hateful intent of his words.

By deducing Jay-Z to a common thug that wears “Nigga” on his chest, packs two guns and runs with a gang of bitches and hoes, Mushnick is able to effectively shut out the Jay-Z that has gone from the Marcy Projects to one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, all because of his mastery of an art form that was born to create discomfort in folks like Mushnick. If he was truly commenting on Jay-Z’s artistry, he may have wanted to start at the genius level use of words that has created some of the best music over the past 15 years and allowed Shawn Corey Carter to amass a fortune of close to $500 million.

You and I know that’s not what was at work here.

He claims his family was never exposed to the word “Nigga” until “folks like Jay-Z came along. Outside of his column, he’s told nothing but lies today, unless his family lived in a bubble. I suppose his family never watched Quentin Tarentino films, “The Godfather”, “Roots” or any number of critically acclaimed (read: White approved) works of art. They missed that episode of “All in the Family” when Archie Bunker said “nigger”. If Mushnick wanted to inspect the content of Jay-Z’s lyrics or those that have come before, during and after his reign at the top of Hip-Hop, then he must inspect the conditions that impregnated these voices and suppress the genius of many children in Ghetto, U.S.A. It’s obvious he has no interest in that sort of exploration and even more apparent that his words flowed effortlessly from the tips of his fingertips, because a man who doesn’t say those words, doesn’t use them with such vigor.

I don’t know if Phil Mushnick dislikes or even hates Black people. I know there’s one that he harbors animosity towards and that’s Jay-Z. The jealousy in his ranting was evident; he’s on the attack because Jay-Z has used words to achieve fame, acquire a not-so-small fortune, expand into a near exclusive business arena and that gets Phil Mushnick’s goat! The fact that Jay-Z’s words have given him passage into a world Phil Mushnick felt privy too and parts he’s never knew existed because his way of words probably landed him as far as Long Island and a timeshare in Key West, while Jay-Z and Beyoncè enjoy rarified air. That’s enough to curl the fingers above a keyboard and unmask your hate through dashes in a rant about the new color scheme, location and logo for a basketball team.

By the way, how many dashes are in “nigga”, certainly not the five you added in your article Mr. Mushnick.

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