RSS
Tiger's 'post-racial' sex scandal?
Tiger Woods seemed to have transcended race issues — but his alleged string of exclusively white mistresses is triggering debate
 
Has the Tiger Woods sex scandal ruined his 'post-racial' icon status?
Has the Tiger Woods sex scandal ruined his 'post-racial' icon status?
(Reuters/Corbis/Mike Blake)

Tiger Woods famously describes his mixed ethnicity as "cablinasian" — Caucasian, black, Asian, and American Indian — and has long been regarded as a case study in how Americans can move past divisive race-based identity politics. But, for some commentators, the fact that all of Woods' alleged mistresses are white has thrown his "post-racial" credibility into doubt, suggesting that he is rejecting the black part of his heritage. Rush Limbaugh has even speculated that the American "black frame of mind" will only get more "depressed" due to "Tiger Woods' choice of females." Are opinionmakers reading too much into the golfer's alleged extra-marital affairs, or is race a meaningful — if uncomfortable — dimension in the Tiger Wood's scandal? (Watch a Fox News segment in which black panelists discuss Woods' sexual preferences)

Tiger's post-racialness has never been more than a marketing ploy:
Woods has never really transcended race, says Janice Min in The Daily Beast. His "Swiss-style neutrality on all issues — including race" was more about endorsement deals, as big a selling point as his family-man blandness. But that's all it is: A "fairytale marketer’s dream not just of domestic Utopia but of a racial one, too." So if Woods ever presented himself as "the ultimate post-racial poster boy," it was only because he knows that's where the money is.
"Shattering the Tiger dream"

Wood is post-racial — and this scandal only strengthens that image: On balance, America's reaction to the scandal is "a ringing indication that we’re well on our way" to a post-racial America, says John McWhorter in The New Republic. Unlike "the O.J. business" 15 years ago, "nobody really cares" now that Tiger's women are white. We see him as "a golfer who has turned out to be a philanderer," not "a Black Athlete who has turned out to be a philanderer." That's "big, big news."
"Tigergate isn't a black thing—despite what some would prefer"

The "Black media elite" won't let Tiger be post-racial: The African-American media won't let it go, says Claude Sandroff in American Thinker. They're "furious" that — unlike President Obama, also half black — Tiger violated "tribal rules" by going "the Barbie route." That's not smart. Tiger is the "true symbol of racial progress in America," because his mixed-race heritage is "an invisible component of his career."
"Look who's clubbing Tiger now?"

"Post-racial" is a white luxury: The black outrage over Tiger's white women is "mildly hilarious," says Jonathan Pitts-Wiley in News One, but the white outrage over the black outrage reveals short-sightedness. Only "white people have the luxury of being race-less."
"Tiger likes white girls … So what?"

.................................................

SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST ON TIGER WOODS:
Tiger Wood's mistresses: A complete guide
Can Oprah save Tiger?
Will Tiger's sponsors dump him now?
From Taiwan: A CGI 'reenactment' of Tiger Woods domestic dispute
Who is Rachel Uchitel? A timeline of the alleged mistress's life

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week