The Atlantic Monthly: “Pro Wrestling Is Fake, But Its Race Problem Isn’t”
The once-venerable Atlantic Monthly was founded in 1857 by “Francis H. Underwood; … Ralph Waldo Emerson; Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Harriet Beecher Stowe; John Greenleaf Whittier; and James Russell Lowell, who served as its first editor.”
But in recent years, its web version was one of the first to discover that politically correct race-baiting articles draw more clicks the stupider they are. Thus, an enormously long article entitled:
Don’t laugh: WWE has been trying to show some social consciousness lately. So why does it still insist on making its minority wrestlers into grill-wearing, thuggish B-listers?
I went to a couple of WWE (or back then WWF) shows a dozen years ago and the racial demographics of the audiences were pretty much blue collar SoCal to a T. By the way, it was a real friendly audience — people who like professional wrestling like other people who like professional wrestling.
Here’s the heart of The Atlantic’s complaint:
In its 62 year history, WWE has never chosen a black wrestler to hold its world championship.
Uh, what about the most famous wrestler since Hulk Hogan: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? The 2001 match I attended at the Staples Center was set up as a sort of launch party for Johnson’s Hollywood career. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the front row to publicly bless The Rock’s transition to the movies.
(Now, it’s taken longer than expected for Johnson’s action hero career to get full traction with the public, even though he’s made a number of decent movies. But he’s recently revitalized the Fast & Furious franchise, and he’s got a heavily publicized Hercules movie coming up.)
True, but in the brave new world of Clickbait Economics, a glaringly stupid mistake can draw more clicks than an intelligent article. Thus, The Atlantic had to go back and add this paragraph to their already long article:
The only person of African descent ever named world champion was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a special case. Half Samoan and half African-Canadian, Johnson identifies as Samoan and comes from a line of famous wrestlers. As WWE’s first third-generation fighter, he was allowed a narrative that reflected his specific family history, not the mere fact of his race.* …
*Update: This paragraph was added for clarity.