WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2022
Roxane Gay knows why: Brittney Griner is a major star in the WNBA.
Or possibly, and horribly, she used to be such a star. On this very day, Griner is being held in a Russian prison—and she may be facing years in a Russian penal colony, unless some way can be found to free her from her plight.
Griner is facing a truly terrible plight. For the record, her plight has received a large amount of press attention, in both the political and the sports press.
Just yesterday, to cite one example, we happened to see the last few minutes of Jalen & Jacoby, a daily half-hour discussion show on ESPN. At the end of the show, Jalen Rose asked viewers to remember Griner's plight.
He does this every day, Monday through Friday, as the program reaches its end.
ESPN is part of the world of sports, but Griner's plight has frequently been reported and mentioned in mainstream news sites too. This morning, though, her deeply unfortunate plight isn't on the front page of the New York Times.
On the typical morning, Griner's plight hasn't been on the front page of such major newspapers. Let's try to think of some of the reasons why this might be so.
First, a bit of background:
Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport, a major airport serving Moscow, on February 17. She was arrested as she attempted to enter Russia to play in the Russian professional league.
An initial report about her arrest appeared on page A12 of the New York Times on March 5. To read that report, just click here.
Since that time, the Times has published dozens of news reports and / or opinion and analysis pieces about Griner's struggle within Mother Russia. In the month of July alone, you'll find links at this New York Times site to sixteen different articles about Griner. They feature such headlines as these:
July 2, 2022
Brittney Griner’s Detention in Moscow Is Latest in Hostage Diplomacy
The United States believes the charges against the basketball star are spurious and tied to American support of Ukraine.
July 4, 2022
Brittney Griner to Biden: ‘I’m Terrified I Might Be Here Forever’
July 5, 2022
Brittney Griner’s wife says the White House is not doing enough to secure the basketball star’s release.
July 6, 2022
How Brittney Griner Became a Political Pawn
Growing public pressure to free the W.N.B.A. star, who has been detained in Russia for months, comes with risks.
July 6, 2022
Biden Speaks to Cherelle Griner About Her Wife’s Detention in Russia
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris told Cherelle Griner they would pursue “every avenue” to bring her wife, Brittney Griner, home from Russia.
July 7, 2022
Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges in Russian Court
“There was no intent,” the American basketball star told a Russian judge, as any resolution of the highly politicized case appeared to shift toward the diplomatic arena.
Those are just the Times' submissions for the first week in July. On July 8, the Times' report about Griner's guilty plea appeared on the front page of the newspaper's print editions.
That said, Griner isn't on the front page today. And we're not sure how many times her plight has been afforded such prominent placement.
Brittney Griner's ongoing plight is deeply unfortunate. That said, it's very, very, very hard to say that her plight has been ignored by the mainstream press. Her plight has been widely covered elsewhere, not just in the New York Times.
That didn't stop the New York Times from publishing Roxane Gay's recent guest essay about the shameful way Griner's plight is being ignored, almost surely by people like you.
Sure enough! Because Gay is deeply devoted to our blue tribe's current Storyline / Novelization frameworks, she offered the following thoughts right at the start of her essay. The Times chose to give this material prominent display in its Sunday Opinion section:
Brittney Griner Is Trapped and Alone. Where’s Your Outrage?
When unspeakable tragedies occur, people often call for unity. They’ll say, “We are Boston Strong” or “Je suis Charlie” or “We are [insert wherever or whomever the unthinkable has happened to].” It’s a laudable instinct to claim solidarity with those who have suffered, to imagine we truly understand the ways we are all connected, to proclaim that what affects one of us affects all of us.
With the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner wrongfully detained in Russia for more than four months because a small amount of hashish oil was allegedly found in her luggage, I’m wondering why we haven’t seen more of a groundswell of demands for her release. In the attention economy, Ms. Griner’s predicament seems as if it’s being somewhat ignored.
The media is, at least, covering the story, and some rights groups and athletes have spoken up, but that isn’t enough. More public pressure for action is necessary. “We are B.G.” should be a viral rallying cry, but it isn’t—and why? Is it misogyny? Racism? Homophobia? The unholy trifecta?
Gay is willing to note the fact that the media is covering the story. Inevitably, though, she says that isn't enough.
Bowing to the Identity Gods—working from the Identity Rules—Gay quickly asserts that You The Amerikan People aren't rallying around Griner with sufficient zeal. And by her third paragraph, needless to say, Gay is telling you why:
It must be your racism that explains your lack of interest! Either that, or it's your misogyny—or it may be your homophobia.
You get to choose from those three sins. But by the end of paragraph 3, Gay has bowed low to the gods.
Brittney Griner deserves to be free of the terrible situation into which she's been thrown. At the same time, our rapidly failing Amerikan nation deserves to be free of the deeply unintelligent work of hopeless tribal adepts like Gay, and of hapless newspapers like Times which wave such work into print.
In fairness, the Identity Gods roared with approval when they read that third paragraph. Working from the Identity Rules, Roxane Gay had reminded Us The People about how deplorable we are.
Elsewhere, red tribe voters were gaining their wings as Roxane Gay, a good decent person, continued the deeply unintelligent conduct which now defines our rapidly failing tribe.
What makes people behave in such ways? Tomorrow, some experts explain.
Tomorrow: Like Jesus, logicians wept
Friday: Wat sacred Nietzsche once said