Tiger Woods, probably the World’s best golf player joins the long list of super stars who have become victims of capitalism or racism or both. In the last category, he joins OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson. What is common between these three? All are blacks married to white women. Tiger Woods never admitted that he is black instead he calls himself mixed. His father was black and his mother was from Thailand, therefore a person of Asian descent. Michael Jackson also tried to get rid of his blackness. He probably tried to bleach his skin or had procedures to change the color of his skin.
OJ Simpson was a super star of football. He was in all high paying commercials. It may not be an exaggeration to say that he was the most famous and commercially successful football player of all times. Then he was accused of murdering his wife. Even though he was acquitted by the court but a vast majority of white people still believe that he murdered his wife. He received financial punishment and finally ended in jail. His career has been completely destroyed.
Michael Jackson became the most famous star of pop music in the whole World. He was accused of having sexual relations with children. He was acquitted by the court but in the process was financially destroyed. All the stress took its toll and he finally died of overdose of the medication he probably took to cope with the stress.
Tiger Woods became the World’s most well known golf player at the age of 22. Many big corporations showered him with millions of dollars advertisement contracts. He is probably the youngest sportsman to become a billionaire. He married a well known Swiss model, has two children and a lavish life style which millions can only dream of. Then suddenly hell breaks loose. A tabloid exposes that he has an extra marital relation. Next he is found in the early hours of morning (about 2:30am) to be involved in an automobile accident and ends up in the intensive care unit of a hospital with facial injuries. His wife is supposed to have rescued him from the car when it hit a fire hydrant, hedge and a tree.
Later on we find that the windows of his car were smashed with a golf stick and probably the same stick was used to smash his face also. About ten to twelve women have come forward to tell about their sexual relations with Tiger Woods. Finally, Tiger Woods has decided to stay away from golf for undetermined time. Many of the corporations are cancelling their advertisement contracts with him. It is very unlikely that Tiger Woods will recover his lost glory. His career may end at the age of 34.
The capitalist system encourages these stars to become fabulously rich in the shortest time possible but at the same time sets in motion the forces for their decline. The media starts looking at them with a big microscope while they are encouraged to have multiple sexual relations because directly or indirectly that behavior is promoted as a representative of success. The media is always looking for scandals and sensational news to promote its circulation. For some media it has become an issue of survival that they expose scandals of the rich and famous. Similarly these stars face a contradiction between the public and private life as far as family values are concerned. The capitalist system sets in motion the process of family disintegration however; publicly it promotes the image of family togetherness and harmony. The capitalist system promotes one track mind, a linear approach of acquiring material wealth alone without worrying about its social consequences When people have to face the consequences of their actions then the system abandons them.
All people are facing these inherent contradictions of capitalism and are suffering but the minorities have to suffer more from the dual effects of racism as well as of capitalism.
Dr. Sawraj Singh is Chairman of Washington State Network For Human Rights, and Chairman of Central Washington Coalition For Social Justice.