Black Man With (Possible? Probable?) Hair Plugs Complains That Black People Care Too Much About Our Hair

Screenshot: FS1

Perhaps the most telling aspect of thrift shop fedora repurposed as a strip club daytime shift buffet tray with sentience Jason Whitlock’s continued descent into Take Perdition is that there’s no variance with him. For someone who frequently decries SJW groupthink, he’s as predictable as a burp after a sip of soda.

If a black athlete appears to be activism-minded, Whitlock will doubt their sincerity and question their true agenda. If his precious NFL receives any sort of criticism, he leaps in front of it and capes for the most powerful entity in American pop culture, an act akin to shielding the Death Star from a dart gun. As condemning as he is about virtue signaling, his entire schtick is a virtue signal; a performative effort to prove to the people still paying attention that he’s the opposite of whatever pc-culture demands him to be. He’s a peacock with one feather.

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And nothing he’s done or said articulates this bizarre Whitlockian ecosystem of transparent salt better than his take on the racist letter addressed to Penn State football player Jonathan Sutherland, demanding that he cut his “awful” locs because they’re “disgusting.” While some news stories—even some with a racial context—inspire a justified ambivalence, this ain’t that. The racism here is clear and audacious, and the only reasonable responses to it are either to condemn it or to consider it so absurd that you ignore it. Hotep Cosell, however, had other plans.

You know, if you take Whitlock by his word here, and allow yourself to believe that a big-age-ass black American man sincerely believes that letter was devoid of racism, he becomes, well, quaint. Like a VCR player, or an old couch that’s been sitting on the same curb for a decade. But this is where that signaling happens. He knows—he has to know; there’s absolutely no way he doesn’t know—the letter was racist. But in his effort to brand himself as a truth-teller, someone whose commitment to the hard truths provides a noble immunity to political correctness, he lies.

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And then he circles the rabbit hole of antiblackness by questioning why we (black people) give our hair so much cultural and political weight; an ask that disregards the hundreds of years of answers to that question. It’s a question you’d expect from a Martian, not a middle-aged black man from Missouri. And, well, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also note that Whitlock has made some curious decisions with his hair recently.

He says that the substance currently on top of his head is, in fact, his natural hair. I am skeptical of both this claim and the ingredients of that entity, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But regardless of whether that organism is legitimately hair-based or The Impossible Hair, what’s definitely true is that he, a black person, cares enough about his hair to make the very public effort to ‘change’ it. And again, I’m all for new looks! Everyone’s hair journey deserves the same respect, even if said journey (maybe, possibly) began in a Crayola box! It’s just that in this latest effort to lie, he must’ve forgotten that we can see the truth-like substance on top of his head.

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About the author

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB and a columnist for GQ.com. His debut memoir in essays, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins), is available for preorder.