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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sports Illustrated and Melissa Segura Prove Why They Should Stick to Bats and Balls and Leave Civics to the Less Politically Prejudiced

I read Sports Illustrated because I like sports. I don't read it to learn about civics or politics. An article in the November 28, 2011 issue entitled Sport In America: In My Tribe reminded me why.

The premise of the article was a group slap on the back to all of the magazine's staff writers disguised as a re-telling of their favorite sports stories. It was okay, a little bombastic and self-serving, but that's how sports writers are sometimes.

Everything was cruising along nicely until I got to staff writer Melissa Segura's attempt to mix race, soccer and the inherent evilness of America. Here's what the article, and Segura, had to say about how superior Ms. Segura's political views are:
"To staff writer Melissa Segura, soccer in the U.S. had always been the sport of the suburban upper crust, with its pricey youth travel teams, shiny Umbros and halftime oranges cut by mothers who didn't have to work to make ends meet (or by their help)."
This statement helps us to understand Melissa Segura's prejudices against her fellow citizens. I don't know where Ms. Segura grew up, but I do know from reading her work that she grew up disliking and resenting a lot of people. Ms. Segura should realize that most moms in America cutting cut up oranges for their kids are struggling to get by and raise their kids to the best of their abilities, just like pretty much everyone else. The inference of course, is that soccer is a white, middle-class sport, and that those white people are living on Easy Street and their Hispanic maids do all the hard work -- like cutting up oranges for Dakota and Jeremy.
"But a month before the 2010 World Cup, Segura toured the predominantly Hispanic trailer parks of Nacogdoches, Texas, where Clint Dempsey, the most inventive player in U.S. soccer history, grew up learning his moves from Latin American players who lived in those double-wides."
"It is not lost on Segura that in the same week she reported Dempsey's story, she also wrote about professional sports leagues' response to Arizona's controversial immigration bill, which targeted the same people Dempsey credited as his soccer influences."
What is lost on Segura and the editors of Sports Illustrated (published - not surprisingly by Time, Inc. which only has one political view) is that the Arizona law is based on current Federal law -- and was put in place to protect the citizens of Arizona -- regardless of race -- from lawlessness.

The article then goes on to say that Segura watched a U.S. World Cup match and "saw her country reflected like never before," as she described the multi-national faces of the men comprising the team. That this was a surprise to Segura illustrates how out-of-touch she is with the daily lives of the American people. It also shows clearly the journalistic prejudice of Segura and her magazine. Because of their politics, Segura and her editors view America as a monolithic Right Wing white mass of hatred, which is silly, naive and insulting to those of us who actually live here.
"[players] placing their hands over their hearts during The Star-Spangled Banner even as the Obama Administration announced plans to use drones along the southern border that the relatives of U.S. players Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez had crossed."
What Ms. Segura implies then is that laws are of no consequence. We don't know if the relatives of the players mentioned came over legally or illegally, but that distinction doesn't seem to matter to Ms. Segura. What matters to her is that there are people in this country who demand that immigrants follow the laws of their country, and that is insulting to Ms. Segura and her magazine. In Ms. Segura's world, we should not protect our borders or enforce our laws because a good soccer player might not get a shot, or, so I surmise, a person of the ethnic background she approves might not be able to move here. Her naive and poorly informed opinions wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for the fact that she had the power of a major magazine -- a willing supplicant to her prejudices against her country -- at her beck and call.
"While politicians in Washington argued, 23 men from backgrounds as diverse as the country they represented showed what an inclusive America could be."
Laws about immigration, or the fact that it is people like Ms. Segura who view people first through the lense of race long before viewing their hearts and actions, notwithstanding.
"'It was sports prefiguring politics,' Segura says. 'The team never addressed issues of immigration or inclusion; it simply played the game -- together -- with regard not to abilities..."
She's talking about athletes, so why does that surprise Ms. Segura? It doesn't surprise her one bit, but it does give her a launching point to explain her politics to her readers while she remains cloaked in the false clothing of a journalist. I was personally insulted that I paid for a magazine that was merely a forum for Segura to spout her distaste for the people in America who think respecting the rule of law is a good thing.
"...the way Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson demonstrated decades earlier how much better we can be when we see America's differences as a bounty instead of a burden."
What she says here is correct, except her comparison is specious, and she obviously has no understanding of the country she lives -- and earns quite a nice living -- in. She attempts to compare true heroes and pioneers like Robinson and Owens with people who may or may not have come here legally. That is an incredible insult to Owens and Robinson and men and women who fought alongside them for equality. Owens and Robinson were natural born citizens fighting for their rights in a nation that was blind and deaf to the wrongs it was committing. Ms. Segura would have you believe her cause is a parallel to their struggle when it is in fact the struggle of people to do whatever they want, anywhere they want with little or no regard to the rule of law. That is not racism Ms. Segura, and you need to drop your personal prejudices and put some effort into understanding the world outside of your tiny little sphere of experience.

In conclusion, I wonder if Melissa Segura thinks her magazine's objectification of women is okay, or does she just pick and choose who is wrong strictly based on her own political misconceptions?

Melissa Segura bio.

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