So, I’m not posting links to any stories about these jerks, but I just read in the news that Floyd Mayweather Jr., the famous boxer, has been utterly savaged on social media over the past few days after trying and failing to read a promotional blurb during a radio interview. I don’t know the first damn thing about Mayweather–maybe he’s a Grade A dick himself, as a lot of people seem to attest–but is this how we are, making fun of a guy because he can’t read?
I’m here to say that it isn’t funny. Not at all. As Americans, when we hear of something like this, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves regardless of whether the illiterate person in question is a some guy who can’t navigate the sandwich menu at a convenience store, a kid who gets passed from grade to grade in school because administrators don’t want to degrade their progress statistics, or even a celebrity and champion boxer. It is our collective failure as a community and as a nation, given the wealth and resources that we have.
This story isn’t over yet, either. Gentleman and scholar 50Cent (just call him “Fitty”), who once called Mayweather a friend, couldn’t help himself from piling on and shitting all over Mayweather on his Instagram account. Really, Fitty–you’re a grown man. Of course, this isn’t the first time ol’ Fitty has distinguished himself as a true gentleman on social media. He established his cred as a douchebag years ago with his famous “grandmother” tweet. The irony is, I had the, uh, pleasure of being an extra in a movie in which Fitty was a co-star, being part of a scene that required me to be in a relatively small room with him, and let’s just say this: the dude didn’t exactly strike me as an articulate genius. Not by a freaking long shot.
Even a local newspaper, The New Pittsburgh Courier, namesake of a legendary and historically significant paper, onetime home of journalism giants like George Schuyler, Joel Rogers and William Gardner Smith, jumped on the bandwagon by running a syndicated column collecting the “Funniest Floyd Mayweather Memes on His Reading Difficulty”–again, you’ll have to find a link yourself, though I encourage you not to give these tormentors a hit. How far from greatness the Courier has fallen–once the mightiest African-American newspaper in the nation, they’ve reduced themselves to mean playground bullies.