Slammin’ Sammy Sosa!
Boy, was I on the bandwagon when he was smacking balls out the park left and right on his road to 66 homers back in '98 in a race for the home run crown against Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds. When those performance-enhancing drug rumors started boiling over, I was one of a few among my friends who gave him the benefit of the doubt.
But, man, about a decade ago when he was spotted looking like a Count Chocula vampire who'd had the melanin sucked out of his body, it was just too much to take.
Sammy Sosa then, and Sammy Sosa now, don't look like the same human being. They don't even look related to each other.
Sosa’s apparent case of self-hating colorism is a close cousin to the mindset of many of his Black American cousins who believe that white is right, and the whiter the better.
The story of the Dominican Republic is rife with a history of race-based oppression, a color-based societal caste system, multiple wars against its culturally African neighbor Haiti, and even a government sponsored campaign to rewrite the island nation’s history and decentralize the importance of African slaves to the creation of their entire culture. It wasn't until recently that they even started giving the option to categorize oneself as Black on various government forms.
As is the case with most Caribbean countries that suffered under the reprogramming effects of colonialism, people are held in higher regard if they can trace their roots to Spain.
However, in the event that you cannot trace your roots to Spain, then LOOKING like you might be more Spanish than not suffices for many.
as a dominican, the sammy sosa pic is a sad reminder of the self-hate and psychological damage of white supremacy that still exist among us.
On the low, many know that Sosa's homeland is the capital of low cost cosmetic surgery in the North American hemisphere. If your nose is too black, you get it shaved down. Eyes too almond and native looking, go under the knife and get them rounded out. Hair too nappy, get it processed and straightened out. If your skin is too dark? Well, that’s where Sammy Sosa comes in.
Early this week the Chicago Cubs all-time great made an appearance on ESPN dressed in a pink suit looking like a mascot from a cereal box, or Snagglepus from those old '70s cartoons. He looked ridiculous.
However, it wasn’t the color of his clothing that made the Internet wanna holler and throw up both their hands. It was the color of his skin. He looked so pale, I thought I was watching American Horror Story. So ghastly, so lifeless, so artificial.
The psychosis from which he may be suffering is prominent among black people across the globe. And while many Dominican people would vehemently deny any African ancestry, 10.9 percent of the nation’s population is black. But you can find this type of behavior in Nigeria, the United States and throughout portions of western and southern Africa as well.
White Slammin' Sammy Sosa spotted in Paris https://t.co/Jupd2jxFrF
It is an unfortunate mental byproduct that haunts the descendants of those who have been oppressed or conquered. You can even go back to ancient times and see it. Roman culture spread across the world by sword, spear and fear. However, that didn’t stop individuals from regions that were conquered from embracing Roman culture and Roman gods.
Many would come to love those who killed the heroes of their ancestors and would clamor for Roman citizenship. Some would fight harder for inclusion into the Roman Empire than they would for independence for their homelands. At the end of the day, what did the "barbarians" really want? To be Roman. It's not a black thing or a minority thing, but it is a sad thing.
i talked to a makeup lady once who said sammy sosa asked her to make sure not to make him look "demasiado negro" https://t.co/lIzzYcMdE8
In Japan, eye-rounding is all the rage. Many Europeans from ethnic minorities changed their names not long after gaining citizenship in the United States and individuals of many cultures embrace cosmetic surgeries to look more stereotypically European.
Given that perspective, Sammy Sosa isn’t an anomaly and not as big a freak as you think, or as he looks. His behavior is a common yet sad reminder of how oppression and white supremacy can be a generational curse in more ways than one.