Black: Daniel Negreanu Probably Not Racist

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Daniel Negreanu

Gambling911.com's Tyrone Black has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Daniel Negreanu's comments about Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the subsequent article by San Francisco Chronicle and Gambling911.com contributing reporter, Thomas Somach, that has been the talk of the poker world over the past 36 hours.

Forget the fact that Gambling911.com just won a landmark decision against the US Government to have online poker seizure warrants unsealed, the Daniel Negreanu controversy has gotten about 10 times the reads.

Black, who is African American, says "Not so fast" when it comes to the notion of Negreanu being a "racist".

"Misguided, maybe, Racist, I doubt that very much based solely on the comments he made in his blog," Black asserts.

"I say he is ‘misguided' because he suggests that he gets "the double standard when it comes to the N-word, not really cool for a white dude to use that in any context really' whereas I would argue it is not cool for ANY race to use the N-word.  Myself and others find it incredibly offensive regardless of whose mouth it comes from."

Much of the Negreanu controversy stems from his comments about the Black Entertainment Television network (BET) where he writes the following:

"The thought came to me, because I wondered-what would happen if a guy from Alabama tried to create a channel and call it the White Entertainment Television network. My guess is that people would go absolutely ballistic. What is that supposed to mean anyway? A network with white entertainers catered towards white people? I just don't think that would be acceptable in the least. So why then is BET considered OK?

"The arguments include-Fox News is basically just for white people, blacks have been shut out of television for so long they deserve their own channel, CBS and the majority of networks cater mostly to white people so it's only fair and white people already do have their own channel, it's called CMT (Country Music Channel).

"The arguments don't make much of a difference to me. As I said, I watch BET and don't think there is anything at all wrong with having a channel catered towards blacks, but the name is just bad. Calling it the Urban Entertainment Television network would still be accurate, but less separatist."

"Why not have a White Entertainment Television network?" asks Black.  "I would argue that the Black Entertainment Television network is no better in its current form.  Spike Lee, among other prominent African Americans, have protested BET's programming and actions.  Much of the hip hop videos that air on the network are degrading to people of color, especially to women."

Scholars within the African American community maintain that BET perpetuates and justifies racism by affecting the interpersonal beliefs others may generalize about African Americans, and also by affecting the psyche of its young viewers through its bombardment of negative images of African Americans.  BET has also been boycotted many times by numerous people who claim that the network is an awful portrayal of African Americans. An online poll says that BET is "the worst" basic cable channel.

Negreanu also discusses the subject of calling a Black person living in the United States an "African American".

"Why can't a black kid who was born in Chicago, with a mother from Philadelphia and a father from Queens, just be considered an American, without the need to hyphenate it with his ancestry?"

"These are valid points Daniel raises," says Black.  "We may not all agree with him but he can hardly be deemed a ‘racist' for making such comments."

Payton O'Brien, Gambling911.com Senior Editor

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