Vitriol on the Mary Mitchell’s 2002 Michael Jordan Editorial

Back in 2002, Chicago Sun Times Editor Mary Mitchell talks about the Michael Jordan scandal and infidelity in the Black community.  Those articles had generated much vitriol from men and women of all races.

__________________________

By Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times Editor.

“Obviously, I can’t answer them personally.”

“Because I dared dump out this can of worms, you had every right to scream, holler, cuss and fuss. That doesn’t change our reality. Frankly, sexual infidelity is killing many of us emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

“Some readers questioned whether we should be talking about this in the newspaper at all. Most definitely. If you doubt that, consider the skyrocketing HIV infection rates.”

“Unbeknownst to many women (and men, I’m advised), they are sharing their lovers and spouses with strangers. It’s one thing to do so willingly and quite another to do so thinking you are in a monogamous relationship.”

“In the first column–“However painful”–I let a black woman publicly vent about the problem. Hopefully, my guest writer made some women and men angry enough to protect themselves. Besides, can’t a black woman vent?”

“As for the column about Michael Jordan‘s now public affair, I haven’t gotten as many angry responses from white readers, especially white women, since I denounced ex-Bull Dennis Rodman’s bold confession several years ago that he dates only white women.”

“Many readers found my observation that Karla Knafel was white offensive and racist. I found the barrage interesting. A column I wrote about having tea with the late Ann Landers, who advised me that “people should stick to their own kind” when dating, didn’t generate one e-mail.”

“Not surprisingly, men and women are divided over the seriousness of the “playah,” issue, although some male readers pointed out that they’ve been played as well. I was also reminded that this is not a “black male problem.” Given the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, I thought that was understood.”

So, here goes: our great divides.

She said:

“After eight years of being deceived and manipulated, I finally decided to end that relationship. . . . I realized that I had to set examples for my daughters and for other young women who looked up to me.”

He said:

“You [women] are always chasing money. Basketball players, doctors, lawyers, etc. Whatever happened to people building together. Also, all black men can’t make a lot of money. Can you say Corp. America, where black men can never move up, but black women can.”

She said:

“The state of black men and their behavior these days is quite distressing. It makes a sista want to go white. Where are all the strong, faithful, funny and HONEST brothers? Not in Chicago. It’s not just me. Every sista I run into these days has the same sad story.”

He said:

“As an [African American] in this country we have it bad enough. I don’t need to hear that the relationship problems we face as a society now only apply to the AA community. Yes, there are dogs out there, but the dogs come in all shapes, sizes and colors.”

She said:

“Is this really the proper forum for these types of discussions? Why attempt to tell black women something that we already know. Your articles make our community look like fools.”

He said:

“There you go again ‘player hating.’ I want you to write an article and explain why your husband left you for either a young pretty thang or perhaps a WHITE WOMAN.”

She said:

“I’m dating a man approaching his 30th birthday, and we’ve been together 5 years this coming January. He is struggling with commitment. Although he’s a nice guy, I wouldn’t put it past him that he would join the list of violators–men who feel like you’re going to put your entire life on hold to wait for them to grow up, or that you’re going to get desperate or ‘hoe hop’ around because men continue to do you wrong.”

On Michael Jordan and Karla Knafel

Black woman:

“I hope this sends a message to all black athletes who always assume that a black woman is a gold digger. Respect and honor black women. That’s where your roots and rich heritage come from. Obviously, white women can be gold diggers also.”

White man:

“Maybe you should look at the black men and ask yourself why, when they become wealthy or famous, they go for white women? Are they superior? . . . Aren’t you and the fellow black women doing it for ‘your’ men anymore?”

Black man:

“The true issue here is infidelity. I hear all too often that when our black stars reach stardom they search out white women. I think that is more so based on the disparity of women of color being in that atmosphere.”

White woman:

“Your title boldly and blatantly suggests that a white woman is not worthy of MJ. You should be ashamed of yourself for adding fuel to that fire and insulting white women all over Chicago at the same time.”

Black woman:

“It is bad enough that MJ never had any intentions of being a good husband, but to tell his lovers that he considers his wife ‘hired help’ is the pits. Why is it when white women sleep with married men and then tell their stories, they are considered victims?”

White woman:

“Let’s treat [Mary Mitchell] like the world would treat a WHITE woman if she wrote an article like that about a white man dating a black woman. She would be posted on every news channel in the country as the ‘World’s Biggest Racist.'”

Black woman:

“I have always admired Michael Jordan because he appeared to be a strong black man who was totally devoted to his family. This latest disaster has shown the dark side. Now that Michael has decided to take this to court, it still doesn’t alter the fact that he had an affair, and he had an affair with a white woman.”

Black man:

“The bottom line is black women must relearn the game when it comes to getting that millionaire athlete. White women have learned what it takes to get the money and the man, and they start early in college. Look at a lot of the black NFL players. They met a lot of their white wives in college. Where were the black women?”

White man:

“Are you saying Michael Jordan‘s dishonesty and infidelity are perfectly acceptable to the Black Community if he sleeps only with black women? Now if that doesn’t smack of racism or twisted logic.”

Black woman:

“It is a shame that an overwhelming majority of African-American male athletes always feel that they have to have a white woman on their arms in order to ‘keep up appearances’ or to ‘climb the ladder’ of success! Kobe Bryant did the same thing. When he became really well-known and successful, he married a white woman.”

White man:

“You state that black women basically forgive almost anything. Maybe that’s more the problem than a black man having an affair with a white woman and getting caught. Black women need to get over their attitude toward black men dating white women or vice versa.”

Black woman:

“I’m not surprised this infidelity was with a white woman. White women and wealthy Black men is nothing new. In fact, it’s old news. Why would Jordan be any different from those before him and those that will definitely come after him in choosing to sleep around with a white woman?”

White man:

“Do not discount the many instances in which the white women get what they deserve for associating with black men. Get involved with a young black man and murder, violence, sexual assault, armed robbery and other crimes are likely to become part of your life.”

White woman:

“Trash is trash, and infidelity is infidelity no matter which color, belief, ethnicity or gender is specific to you. I think it is amazing that Mrs. Juanita Jordan has been quiet about all of this mess. She is the classiest lady around.”

Anyone’s guess:

“You should stop being so colorphobic. Contrary to the belief of many black women, black men do NOT belong exclusively to black women. They are free to cohabit, love, marry, have children and just plain old fornicate with ANY woman of ANY race they choose. Black women sound like the old slavemasters.”

White woman:

“I for one am sick of this reasoning, in this day and age, of how everyone must be categorized Black, white, Hispanic. Whatever race, women are saying to each other: ‘Don’t take OUR men!’ Since when does anyone become sole property of his/her own race because of the skin God gave him.”

White man:

“The greater issue should be teaching young women not to be used as pieces of meat. Teach young women to stand and expect respect and equality in this world. To know that they are worth more than a frolic with a famous athlete!”

Black woman:

“I hope she gets the $5 million. Maybe this will teach men to think with their brains and not with their …. Thank God he cheated with a white woman and not with a white man. Now that would be something to talk about.”

Black man:

“If you don’t have the high salary, the fabulous clothes, the high-end job and the condo, most sisters won’t give you the time of day. When you acquire these things, you have to beat them off with a stick. The brothers know this when they hook up with a black woman and use them before they are used.”

White woman:

I assumed from [Karla Knafel’s] picture that she is a black woman wearing a blond wig. I am a white woman, but I can understand how you feel. Anyway, if she is white, she’s just a bimbo, and Juanita, the really classy woman, is black.”

Black woman:

“Here he is globe-trotting and catting around with a white woman, no less. No wonder he is never home, the cheap XX@#S.”

Black man:

“Black women should learn from the white concubine. Don’t whine. Instead, benefit from her tutelage. If you’re going to chase after millionaire star athletes, learn how to get paid!”

Black woman:

“This woman is a gold digger and trying to get money any way she can. It puzzles me how men get involved with these types of women and are taken by them. All the other women who cheated with Michael need to be asking where is their $250,000.”

White woman:

“Your first BIG problem is that you forgive anything black men do. So please don’t sit there with your attitude and be shocked because the shoe can easily go on the other foot. Black women need to stop worrying so much about stuff like this and focus on the other things like family and careers.”

Black woman:

“This latest episode has ramifications for more than just Michael and Juanita. They have children who can read and are suffering this public airing of their father’s private low-lived misbehavior.”

White woman:

“Good for Karla that she used this situation to her advantage. It’s not white privilege. ALL the black women that have slept with Michael Jordan have the same options available to them! They could have asked MJ for some cash to keep quiet.”

And the final word:

“I would look a little closer at the picture of Karla Knafel. She would seem to have Michael Jackson’s original nose.”

  • Caption: A column about Michael Jordan’s cheating on his wife, Juanita (left), with Karla Knafel spawned impassioned responses from readers.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s