November 24, 2007

Power salute? Or simple acknowledgment?

Ah yes, the "big" University of Delaware vs. Delaware State University football match-up took place yesterday. It was historic as the two teams had never played each other before. Some believe race has been a factor for that situation; others believe it because DSU just isn't good enough of a football team. The outcome of yesterday's game (44-7, UD won) sure gives a lot of credence to those who hold the latter view. (Of course, however, UD continually played milksops like West Chester year after year, so why not DSU for that "intrastate rivalry," right?) At any rate, today's News Journal has a big write-up about the event. One thing caught my eye, and my first impression was that of many commenters to the WNJ article. Look at the pose DSU President Allen Sessoms is striking in that photo above left. The caption says the following:

DSU President Allen L. Sessoms raises his fist in a salute to the team's fans as the school band plays the alma mater Friday after the Hornets' loss to the Blue Hens.

Is that a ... "black power" salute reminiscent of the late 60s-early 70s? (Recall the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.) It does look like it. However, after mulling it through, I considered:

  • Putting up a fist (and shaking it a bit) like that today is a fairly common gesture meaning something along the lines of "What's up?," "Cool!" or "Yeah, man!" I've done it (and do it) quite often with my friends and my students at school.
  • Sessoms has taken quite a bit of heat in the past, mostly from fellow African-Americans, for his attempts at diversifying DSU.

Thus, I'm sure inclined to give Mr. Sessoms the benefit of the doubt. Of course, if Sessoms did mean it as a "black power" salute, it is highly inappropriate. (But not so inappropriate that the News Journal thought it a good idea to publish the photo, right? But hey, when you're losing readers left and right, why not attempt to stir up controversy where there most likely isn't any, eh?)

Posted by Hube at November 24, 2007 09:16 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Looks like a big old "Sieg Heil" to me -- and that is surely what would have been claimed by the DSU folks were the president of UD have made such a gesture, right? (Right before they demanded reparations and additional race-based graft for DSU, of course.)

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at November 24, 2007 11:22 AM

As opposed to the White graft UD receives?

Posted by: Mark at November 24, 2007 01:29 PM

DSU
STFU

DSU, Play West Chester and beat them first.
Then demand equality.

Posted by: UD alum 1972 at November 24, 2007 07:14 PM

UD alum 1972 and Rhymes with Right:

If you knew Sessoms at all you'd know he'd never make a "Black Power" anything--much less a salute.

The West Chester comment exposes more about UD than it does about DSU; anybody can get blown out--DSU beat every single team in its conference this year. Unfortunately UD couldn't say the same.

As for the "race-based graft" comment, it wouldn't be a racist comment if you could back it up with any data.

Unfortunately, you can't.

Posted by: Steve Newton at November 24, 2007 08:25 PM

It isn't a racist comment -- I'm noting the standard approach for the racial grievance-mongers. You know what I'm talking about. It is the sort of "I'm offended -- throw money at me until I shut up" sort of stuff that made Jesse Jackson a rich man and got separate ethnic studies programs (generally programs with little content or scholarly rigor) on most college campuses around the country.

Besides, I live just a few miles from Texas Southern university, the most corrupt historically black university in the nation. I've seen the game played down here too often.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at November 24, 2007 11:14 PM

So it's not a racist comment because you're making a generalization based on your own experience with another university and the Jesse-Al show? In other words, you know nothing about Sessoms, nothing about DSU, and nothing about any of the specifics about which you are talking, right?

Then I guess my question is: if you make a negative comment based on the idea that "this is always what black leaders and black universities do, even when I don't know jack about the facts," and that isn't a racist comment--what is?

Posted by: Steve Newton at November 25, 2007 12:12 AM

It is called treating minorities just like I treat white folks.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at November 25, 2007 08:41 PM