barbarahowardweb.gifNormally I write about politicians or political policy,  but there is another set of politics that rarely gets looked at: the politics of winning.  Let me explain. 


Saturday, I went to watch my great-grandson play one of the seemingly most exciting community football games in our area.  These games are run by the Optimist Clubs and these kids in different weight classes, most with dreams of becoming NFL superstars one day, played their hearts out.

So what seems to be the problem?  Well, first we set up tent next to what we found out were the men making book and taking bets throughout the entire day.

But all the big money was on my great-grandson’s game.  And it looked like that game was fixed.

We had witnessed what seemed to be some really bad officiating during the last quarter because a few calls caused the other team to score twice, to win. It broke my heart when my great-grandson said that the referees had been cheating during his entire game.

It’s one thing to lose a game; it’s entirely another to have the game stolen from you. But what’s worse is that it seems this same thing happened last year against the same team.

My angry granddaughter, his mother, told me that, after last year’s game, the bet-makers or the bank, if you will, had a $20,000 loss because someone wouldn’t pay.  The shortage resulted in a full-fledged shootout, like at the OK Corral or a regular weekend in the heart of the Death Zone in Liberty City.

The $20,000 was just the tip of the iceberg.  These guys do this on a regular basis, just like on The Wire.  So we’re talking millions of dollars a year bet-making on our children while grown men, acting as referees, steal games from the kids just to make a few extra bucks.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a serious criminal enterprise going on right under our noses and our children are the pawns/victims.

So what do we tell our children?  My family seemed to be the only ones upset over this.  Everyone else knew what was going on and thought it was not worth getting upset over.  Someone said it only taught the kids that life is not fair.

Life is not fair?  No, the politics of this is not just a small life lesson, because it has become a way of life in our communities across the country.

Little boys, many from the inner-city or a single-parent household, don’t learn that life is not fair; they learn that the only way to win is to cheat. So we get high school jocks taking money under the table from college scouts, while their coaches help them cheat their way through their exams.

This becomes a way of life so that when they go off to college on the sports scholarships, they continue the cheating – on their exams and with lots of money coming in under the table from all kinds of people who want to manage their lucrative careers when, and if, they get called to the pros.

And, finally, when those who are good enough to be signed for multi-million dollar contracts get these wonderful paydays, they spend it all on nights on South Beach with Cristal, at the strip clubs, on large houses, expensive cars, gaudy jewelry, fancy clothes and, let’s not forget the best of them all, drugs, lots and lots of drugs.

And we continue to say nothing.

Then when they get hurt, lose everything and go back to being broke and become petty criminals, we scream racism and say they didn’t have a chance at life just because they are black – which we all know is just another lie.

And, with the lying, cheating and stealing they see regularly, who cares about lying, cheating and stealing politicians?  That’s just the politics of blackness.

So what do we tell our children?  That while life may not be fair, cheating is wrong and they must have the courage to stop it.  And my great-grandson will learn this lesson, because he will see his Nana do her best to stop the theft of another game.

Somebody needs to protect our children.  Seems the men have forgotten how.