View Full Version : What Venus& Serena could do to help by Toineefa

May 25th, 2002, 09:19 PM
While I did read the original thread entitled “"What Venus and Serena could do to help working class blacks" by Toineefa) practically at the moment it was first posted, I had chosen not to comment on it and really hoped that it would drop to the bottom, be removed or referred to the Non Tennis Section at worst.

Yet his/her comments came up again in the (now closed) thread entitled “Why was Heavyhitter suspended?” A poster asked why was his/her thread was allowed to remain open and was told by a few posters that the thread was non offensive..

Try as I have to dismiss the comments, and not voice my thoughts, can no longer hold back

Let me began by quoting Toineefa's opening comments re what he/she feels Venus and Serena should do and what is clearly his opinion of working class blacks...

They're not my favourite players but I do see them as role models cos they're not only black they're successful. I think cos they came from the ghetto they could help other blacks in the ghetto. I realise this is a sensitive topic but I do think it's important so please don't take offence especially you Dawn and Jakeev.

Venus and Serena could not only have tennis seminars but they could serve as mentors so to speak to underprivileged blacks. Venus and Serena could teach these blacks the importance of work ethics, social etiquette, birth control and discipline. This cycle of being victims needs to stop cos it's the mentality of victimisation that has ruined the lives of many working class blacks.

I know Venus and Serena do loads of charity work but I think they need to focus on poor blacks. They can emphasize the things that gave them the strength to succeed in tennis and get out of poverty and the ghetto.

I apologize if anyone takes offence but I believe this is important."

Being that the above is considered non-offensive, then if I were to create a similar thread perhaps entitled " What Jennifer could do to help poor whites” it also would/should prove acceptable/non offensive to those same posters and others who agreed but chose not to comment.. It would begin like this...

She's not my favorite player but since some do see her as a role model cos she's not just white and successful and a person familiar with taking drugs, she could help poor whites to do the same. I realize this is a sensitive topic but I do think it's important so please don't take offense....

Jennifer could not only have tennis seminars/donate to charities but could serve as a role model for recovering addicts, speak to underprivileged/poor white people. Jennifer could teach these poor white people ( you know the type cigarette buds, empty liquor bottles, black eyes, tangled dirty hair, child in mom's arms and one or two pulling on her shorts, daddy/daddies of the children who spend their leisure (which is 24/7) kicking mom and child/ren’s behinds, drinking etc) the importance of work ethics, social etiquette, birth control discipline and how to seek decent housing (give up the trailer parks). As this cycle of being victims needs to stop since it's the mentality of victimization that has ruined the lives of many poor whites.

I imagine that Jennifer does loads of charity work but I think she really needs to spend more time speaking at AA/NA, Battered Wives/Children Programs, yes she really needs to focus on these poor whites.
She can emphasize the things that gave her the strength to succeed in tennis and get off of drugs, teach them that booze/drugs/illegitimate children is not the way. Emphasize the importance of cleanliness, good work ethics, birth control, not to use abortions as a means of birth control, etc... etc.)

I apologize if anyone takes offense but I believe this is important

Of course the description I have used for poor whites has been exaggerated in the extreme and this is what I think Jennifer should do at all but my point/question is why can't some see that the thread created by Toinfee was/is offensive, well I guess they can't especially if they are not black and/or are just prefer to close their eyes and hearts to what the intent (I feel) was for creating it. ****btw what the heck does it really have to do with tennis anyway****

Also when/if you really do some research and just take a good look around, you will most likely find the following:

Some underprivileged/poor people of all races and colors had/continue to have difficulty with self discipline, drugs, family planning, physical abusive, social etiquette … it is not limited to one race of people.

You know… We all are responsible for trying to help make the world a better place, yes this should be the case regardless of whether we are "among the successful" (per world standards), come from poor families/the ghetto/trailer park/ huts or whatever… and the best place to start is in your own backyard/community/HOUSE.

Really we should be more careful how we treat each other as we are all more the same than different and tend to respond quite similar when placed in similar situations.

Also Venus and Serena are involved in Tennis & Learning Centers in a very large way. These centers are made available not only to blacks but other races as well. They are interested in Educating Our (Meaning Yours and Mine) Young People .

May 25th, 2002, 10:33 PM
Althea, I certainly understand where you are coming from.

I don't know what Toineefa's idea what with that thread, but it did sound as related skin colour with bad life conditions.

And it singled them out within a race, forgetting that they are first human beings, not different from whites, or asians, or whatever race.

The only positive part I can get from that post (and again, I don't know the author's intention) is that Venus and Serena, being black, can appeal more to the black community as role models. It can show people that feel discriminated and think that because of their race and environment they can't achieve success that with talent, and hard work that is possible.

Of course, the above is true for all races, I only think that the "message" would be better assimilated by blacks and they would tend to follow their lead more than people of other races. And the opposite, Venus and Serena would have a message better delivered to people of their own race than other players such as Monica, Jennifer or Martina.

This of course has nothing to do with their abilities or their value as human beings, only with a sociological fact that people that share something, whether it's race, nationality, political beliefs, sexual preferences, etc, tend to communicate better among them than people who don't. It is, oversimplifying, as to say that it would be better to deliver a message to German people in German than in English, as it would reach more people, more people would understand it, and more important, more people would be willing to listen.

May 25th, 2002, 11:02 PM
You know what Althea :), when I originally read that thread I just assumed that the thread I was so astounded by the ignorance it implied that I just assumed that it was written by some kid who was trying to be serious but just failed miserably.

This message board is full of people of so many ages that I usually cut some slack to people I disagree with but are probably just acting their ages. I couldn't believe that any adult would write something like that, unless they were deliberately trying to be obnoxious or have no common sense.

I just looked up his/her profile and found out that it's no kid, in fact someone within a year's age of myself :eek:. So I've reviewed my opinion ...

I agree that people can find that thread offensive. However, I think there is always some value in asking whether a poster meant to be offensive before reacting. After all we are all allowed opinions on this board and much as I disagree with many I can't tell someone that I think they're a moron just because I don't share their opinion (well I could and do but anyway that's beside the point).

Toineefa's post was full of apologies for offending anyone. That doesn't mean he/she cared about whether they did or not. I guess we really need Toineefa to answer that. I think that arguing that the post was unintentionally offensive is the only way of attempting to defend it (the 'I'm only a kid' excuse is now not applicable) and perhaps the reason why some people can say it's not offensive.

In the end however I think there are only three ways to react - either ignore it, get angry or just point out to someone that they're wrong. All three are acceptable in this case I think.

This is of course an opinion from a non-African American/ non-caucasian so I guess I probably don't quite appreciate it from your point of view.

If the thread had been entitled 'what can Monica Seles do to help Indians out of the slums of Bombay ?' I'd imagine that I probably wouldn't have been able to ignore it so calmly :rolleyes:.

Good post of yours BTW :).

May 25th, 2002, 11:22 PM
Fingon: and I too understand what you're saying...

I do prefer for people who have shared my experiences (be they regarding race, business, gender etc) to offer me suggestions as they can "most likely" better understand where I'm coming from.

That said there have been "successful" people who have been able to reach across the "borders" of humanity to touch their hearts for the message they relayed affected us all in some shape, form or fashion.

I repeat What the poster has talked about affects not only blacks but people of other nationalities/color etc. Yes, those situations are occurring (sp?) worldwide.

Why single out Venus and Serena and black people... ...:confused
Why not talk about what all of the players or a few more of the "successful" ones could do to help their fellow Man/Woman based on there experiences. :confused:

HI Kart -initially I ignored but after it was mentioned again in another thread, I just felt the need to voice my thoughts.

I doubt the sincerity and that's just my take on the matter. Still mean all the other comments mentioned above. It seems that in a way you are saying that since it wasn't about your fav or
*cough* your people it is really no big deal. Mind you I always (90%+of the time) value and respect your opinions...

May 25th, 2002, 11:34 PM
Althea, you are right of course and other player could do the same.

However, the reason why you could single out Venus and Serena would be

1) They did come from a poor environment, so, they can understand it very well and are the living proof that it can be done.
2) There is a general perception (I don't know if it's true or not, it's just what I believe the perception is) that poverty conditions are more common within black people, or said another way, black people are more likely to be poor (and you know better than I do how blacks are often accused of crimes just because they are black).
3) they are part of a visible minority that no doubts, has suffered discrimination and has been relegated in the US (and other places).
4) They are succesful, you could say that hispanics in the US suffer the same kind and live (in general) under the same conditions as black, but there are not flagship hispanic players in the US

May 25th, 2002, 11:40 PM
No Althea that's not what I'm saying - what I'm saying is that it's easier to react calmly and not fly off the handle when the thread doesn't hit closer to home - surely you see that ?

Also, it's not about 'my people' it's about what I think I'm qualified to pick people up on. I don't live in the states and frankly have limited knowledge of race relations and the economics of ethnic minorities there apart from what I see in movies and see on the news.

I couldn't come into a thread like that and come up with details about self discipline and family planning etc amongst different racial groups in the US because I don't know them. Nor can I provide specific details about Venus and Serena's involvement in tennis & learning centres for similar reasons - I'm not a fan so I don't follow them that closely.

What I can comment on which is what most of the non-US people on this board can comment on is the general principle that the thread is offensive because it makes it makes it sound like Venus and Serena are the only people who should do something etc. Claiming to know more only makes me a hypocrite.

Best I can offer I'm afraid ...

May 25th, 2002, 11:53 PM
Kart, the "my people" was just a pun... :-)
thanks for your view, it has been well received.

Fingon... note underlined

"There is a general perception (I don't know if it's true or not, it's just what I believe the perception is) that poverty conditions are more common within black people, or said another way, black people are more likely to be poor (and you know better than I do how blacks are often accused of crimes just because they are black.

If I go there we'll be here all night... for it is another can of worms or just more worms from the same 'STEREOTYPING CAN'

Crazy Canuck
May 25th, 2002, 11:55 PM
I have to be honest- maybe I"m missing the point -

But if someone posted a thread that stereotyped poor white people, I really dont think I would care.

I'm poor, and white, and don't feel the need to defend myself against someone who is obviouslya little misinformed.

But perhaps, that is just me.

May 26th, 2002, 12:47 AM
Thanks Althea--I was shocked and amazed that Toineefa's offensive post was allowed to remain on the board. I was more shocked and amazed that a few posters found "nothing wrong " with the post or that poster was just "a little misinformed". Continue to speak out against racial ignorance. Also, continue to blast those who continue to accept or "not care". Maybe one day, they'll really get it!

May 26th, 2002, 02:03 AM
There is a presumption that people who are disadvantaged in society just need to take a little pride in themselves and work hard and they can change their circumstances. It is a huge lie constantly reinforced by the people who have done well.
Venus and Serena changed their circumstances because they can play tennis better than other people.
Many factors contribute to people's achievements. It is naive and misinformed to attribute success to "pride" but there are many who want you to.

May 26th, 2002, 02:18 AM
Of course it would be naive to think that because Venus and Serena achieved success by playing tennis, people should just take a racquet and play tennis.

The message is not "if you work hard you will be making like me", the message is that through hardwork it's possible to achieve success to different degrees and depending on each person's skills and circumstances.

It's clear that Venus or Serena, no matter how good athletes they are, could have followed very different path in their lives, they could have worked in McDonalds, they could have been lawyers, they could have been anything.

The message is: find your way, use your skills, work hard don't expect to have a huge success, but if you do it, you life can certainly improve.

Dawn Marie
May 26th, 2002, 02:55 AM
Great post Althea, and Amanda:)

Venus and Serena rule!:)

May 26th, 2002, 02:56 AM
"The message is: find your way, use your skills, work hard don't expect to have a huge success, but if you do it, you life can certainly improve."

To whom message do you refer "Toineefa" if so and even if not

That message should be applied to people of all races who are struggling or have given up the struggle to improve themselves due to the obstacles that they may face internally, externally or externally and internally.

Following not directed to you personally Fingon:

Does it really make you feel better to blame poverty, illegitimacy, crime, lack of social etiquette and what ever other negativity this world is experiencing all on black people?? Are some you really so blind or live in such sheltered lives that you have not seen what is going on, is happening thoughout our society/the world?

one reason we can't come together is instead of trying to help each other, some would rather spend that precious energy pointing the finger of other races and doing nothing more than pointing the finger... If it is within your power to help your fellow man/woman be he/she black/whiteor whatever... don't spend your time talking about what others can do to help these ones improve theirselves ... get off your butt and lend someone a helping hand.

May 28th, 2002, 10:25 PM
Althea I apologise to you and other Willi's fans that took offence. I suppose I could've explained myself better. :o I read an article that analysed black players and Billy Jean King said she hoped that more black youths followed Venus's and Serena's example. Loads of black youths want to be the next basketball star yet they don't realise that they may not necessarily have the knack for basketball and perhaps their talent would actually be better suited for tennis. I agree with Billy Jean King cos I've seen that to be true myself in the volunteer work that I do at uni. The working class black youths who attend the tennis seminars will relate more to Venus and Serena cos they are both black and come originally from the ghetto as well. Venus and Serena would inspire hope as well as be able to encourage education and ambition. Althea I apologise for not explaning that well but I genuinely meant no offence. Regards, Toi

May 29th, 2002, 12:09 AM
Thanks for responding... :D
Would say more but time to let this one drop

Regards to you as well ~Althea~

May 29th, 2002, 06:23 AM
Thank you Althea! :D