Monday, December 18, 2017

You Can't Teach an Old Southern Dawg New Tricks

The sexual harassment scandals involving old white men in power just keep on coming.  Now we have Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson offering to sell the team now that an NFL investigation involving his workplace behavior is coming to light.  Not only is he accused of sexual misconduct but he is also accused of using racial slurs on at least on occasion.  And thanks to an investigative reporter with Sports Illustrated, we now know there were several payouts over the years, also known as "hush money."

When it was learned that the NFL was taking over the investigation that was initially started by the Panthers internal investigative team, Richardson immediately announced he would be selling the team at the end of the year.  How convenient for him.  His value has skyrocketed to over $1 billion since he first bought the team in the early 90's for a little over $200 million.

The sports world is stunned.  Say it ain't so Joe!  Oh, but it is and probably a lot more prevalent than we know.  Let's look at what we do know in this case.  Jerry Richardson is 81 years old, which means he was born in 1936 and he was raised in a tiny town known as Spring Hope, NC (outside of Fayetteville).  Heck, they were still lynching black folks so he grew up in that type of environment and the only exposure he had to blacks during that time period were as maids and other slave labor.

As Richardson was climbing the ladder of white male privilege, he became CEO of a company known as Flagstar, which just happened to own the Denny's chain, which had been sued by the Justice Department for refusing to serve black patrons.  In 1994, Flagstar agreed to pay more than $50 million to settle lawsuits filed by thousands of black customers around the country.  All under Richardson's helm.

Now I know there are people who will say that was a LONG time ago we should judge him on his merits now.  After all, he's got a black quarterback and a head coach who is of Puerto Rican descent.  Richardson had a chance to be a shining example of what it means to be an owner who values diversity but these allegations just goes to show you, you can't teach an old southern dawg new tricks.

Furthermore, here's what else we also know about Richardson.  When black NFL players were taking a knee over racial inequality, Richardson threatened to punish anyone on the team who participated and he made it clear that he didn't want to see any of his "boys" on the team wearing dreadlocks.

Publicly, Richardson presents himself a Traditionalist---a conservative Christian man who stands for moral values but behind the scenes we are learning about a different side.  Much like the "behind the scenes" comment made by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair when he said "We can't have inmates running the prison!"  While he swears he wasn't referring to the NFL players, they majority of people who heard about it took it that way.

We all know the NFL owners are the Good Ol' Boy Network and they pride themselves in being an exclusive white male privilege club.

How will scandal impact Richardson's legacy or will it have an affect at all?  We'll let the Football Hall of Fame committee tell us.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday Social Media Tips for Baby Boomers

With the holiday season upon us, more and more people are looking for ways to connect with loved ones and old friends if they can't be with them in person. Social media sites like Facebook have seen an influx of baby boomers in recent years and with the holiday season here, more and more of us are looking for ways to connect with loved ones and old friends if we can't be with them in person.

While it's wonderful to use social media to make connections, it can have a downside. Here are holiday social media tips to keep you relatively safe:

1) Do not make public announcements about where you're going. No one needs to know you're leaving your home to go away to visit your children in another state. As a matter of fact, no one ever needs to know when you leave your home because that means it could be unattended and an open invitation to thieves.

2) Don't tell people where you are. On Twitter, people are known to post where they are while they're there. Once again, that's an open invitation to burglars.

3) Don't announce your shopping expenditures. Why brag that you've spent several hundred dollars on Christmas gifts this year? That's a signal that you HAVE money and could become a target for a robbery---or something far worse.

4) Advise your children and grandchildren not to go public with your business. While the family may be excited that you're coming to visit, it isn't necessary to put the information on their Facebook page or "tweet" about it. You don't know who they're connected to that might be interested in such information.

5) Finally, don't click on links from people you don't know. People may try to send you a holiday greeting in disguise---which could actually contain a nasty virus. You may be connected to the friend of a friend of a friend but if you don't know they personally, don't click on the link. Instead, just go their page and post a personal greeting and thank them for thinking of you. If they didn't post the link, you'll be doing them a huge favor.

By following these tips, baby boomers, their families and friends can enjoy the holidays and stay safe at the same time.