By Philip Kim, Assistant Editor at the Kirwan Institute
Ben entered quiet and reserved in his usual manner, with a giant smile on his face, twirling his keys around his index finger. I knew he had some fantastic story to tell, and most likely it was from his day at work (he works with children at a childcare facility in downtown Columbus). So, I put down the book I just began reading, The Sound and the Fury, the very beginning part where Benjy and Luster are watching the golfers and Benjy thinks of his sister Caddy, when my roommate, in a very serendipitous moment, began to tell this story:
“You know that golf tournament yesterday? Well yeah, Tiger [Woods] was almost guaranteed to win; he was in the lead going into the final round and he’s never lost a major tournament when he’s done that. So yeah, he’s playing with Y.E. Yang, a Korean guy, a relative unknown. Yang is pretty cool, and seems nice, and can’t speak English (but the crowd still loved him anyway).
But yeah, no one expects Yang to display such incredible golf execution under all that pressure, let alone beat Tiger and win the tournament; it’s a big one too, it’s a major, it’s the PGA Championship, and he’s not from America, and he’s an international player – so yeah, it’s a giant deal.
Anyway, there’s this kid in my classroom, Brady. He just started playing golf and he’s only like six years old. So I ask him, did you see the tournament yesterday? And he looks up with incredible puppy eyes, nearly to the brink of tears, exhaling a long and extended, YESSSSS.
Then Brady, upper-class and privileged, tiny little French-American, blonde hair, blue-eyed chubster in denim overalls, with thick black rimmed spectacles simply states: I’m so sad the white guy won.”
That kind of blew my mind into a million tiny bits of brain confetti and left me speechless. I wondered to myself, what does Brady see when he looks out into the world? What colors does he view all these lonely people? I wonder if it is, for him, simple: black or white. I still can’t understand it completely, but I know that this vision of the world, this either/or dual split, will undoubtedly affect us when the day comes for Brady to begin carrying a briefcase and start using Bluetooth technology – when he controls millions of dollars of American money.