Saturday, January 12, 2008

Marian Jones

The Olympic track gold medalist who took performance enhancing drugs to win... subsequently found out, lied to Feds, and was convicted. Judge gave her 6 months, which Jones' lawyer argued was too harsh.

Brings up an interesting question. Should race and societal impact influence a judge's decision?

Understand, she lied to the world, stole 5 gold medals and the glory of victory from the second place runner (who has been given the gold, and my isn't that joyful for her?), tainted the Olympics and lied to the Feds to cover up.

Had she been white, I would say she should have gotten a lot more than 6 months. That would send a clear message to athletes to get their act together.

But she's black, and one must wonder if that mixes the message. Black youth, especially those in poverty, require as many role models as possible. People they can look up to and see that success is possible.

Do I think the Jones verdict is just and good? Yes. BUT, how many people in poverty (and out) are telling themselves that if a black person raises themselves up, whitey's going to knock them down (the fact that she brought it on herself won't matter at all).

Ultimately, these are things Jones should have been thinking about, but she was teenager when she "won" and how many teens really think about what message they're sending -- not to mention what joy in victory if it's obtained by cheating...

I guess that raises another question: Should minorities consider the racial impacts of their every action? Britney Spears or Tom Cruise go bonkers and few generalizes that whites are messed up; should Jones have to be concerned that her actions can induce unfair generalizations?


Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, this is an old story. no offense dear mr. swanson. You should get world mag if you don't already. Can't let the kiddies read though.

Hmmmm. I will answer when I actually feel like reading the entire post!

yours fatally~

Rob said...

The conviction isn't. That just happened. The investigation and trial have been going on for awhile, true.