Today, NY Post columnist Phil Mushnick decided to unleash the full force of his edgy satire on the Brooklyn Nets—in particular, he raged against owner Jay-Z's new designs for their branding, wondering why the team didn't just rename themselves the "Broolyn N****s." Mushnick has now defended himself against the swift internet backlash: "I don't call black men n****s; my kids never heard the word until folks such as Jay-Z came along. I'd suggest you talk to him about it. What I wrote today was on Jay Z's artistry, and only the wishful and foolish would so badly misinterpret and mischaracterize it," he told the Village Voice.
While Mushnick wouldn't return our calls, he told the Voice he was "far more surprised that Jay-Z's form of artistry has been so quietly indulged for so long!" Mushnick also talked to Bob's Blitz, and wrote them an even longer response defending his brand of humor:
Bob - Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don't call black men the N-word; I don't regard young women as bitches and whores; I don't glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand.....Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N***ers?"
Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I'M the racist? Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about.
(Same column I provide support for Amar'e Stoudemire at a time when everyone in town is ripping him to shreds. That was my LEAD, too, but what does that matter?)
Just to be clear, this is far from the first time Mushnick—whom Will Leitch has called"the nattering old guy constantly yelling at the kids to get the hell off his porch"— has walked this very controversial line: he's previously ranted about ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith, saying, "Could it be that Smith's urban street-hip brotha yak which he seems able to turn on and off with the drop of a Kangol is supposed to appeal/pander to young, urban, street-talkin' sports fans?" He's criticized Jose Reyes in a patriarchal manner for his fashion choices—but hey, he was probably just a member of the Crips at the time anyway (see, THAT'S satirical).
For years, Mushnick accused Don Imus—along with staff members Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg—of crossing the line with their attempts at humor and satire. And yet, Mushnick seems completely oblivious to how his column today came across, and why people are so upset by his failed attempt at satire:
As long as the Nets are allowing Jay-Z to call their marketing shots — what a shock that he chose black and white as the new team colors to stress, as the Nets explained, their new “urban” home — why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment?
Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----hes or Hoes. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!
Meanwhile, according to Bob's Blitz, the NY Post editors had no issue with the topic. Hey, whatever happened to that "diversity panel" the Post was supposed to be hosting (after the editorial cartoon in 2009 that featured a dead chimpanzee) to prevent racially insensitive incidents like this from occurring?