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Whitlock: Baseball player Lewis Brinson is a dead ringer for racial gold miners Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace

Op-ed
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Lewis Brinson, the Florida Marlins center fielder, absolutely loves the little pot of racism fool's gold he discovered Sunday in Colorado.

The marginal fifth-year player is intent on passing off pyrite racism as the real thing. Despite the Rockies acknowledging that they wrongly accused one of their fans of shouting "n----r" behind home plate, Brinson isn't ready to let this situation go. He's yet to milk it for its potential riches.

"I personally — this is again my personal opinion — I personally keep hearing the N-word," Brinson claimed Tuesday. "I watched the video at least 50 times in the past 15-16 hours. I watched it a lot, especially when I heard that he said Dinger instead of the N-word. It's not that I want to hear it. I never want to hear it."

Oh, Brinson wants to hear it. There's no other explanation for a 27-year-old healthy person listening to the audio 50 times.

In case you missed it, Brinson was up to bat when the Rockies fan turned in his seat away from the field and began waving his arms in the direction of Colorado's mascot, whose nickname is Dinger. The fan was seated with his grandkids and claims he shouted for and waved at the mascot because he wanted his grandkids to take a picture with the mascot. His explanation makes perfect sense. It's backed by video and audio proof.

But, as I explained in yesterday's column, racism is a new form of gold. Like gold, allegations of racism have a super high value because of the difficulty in finding racism. Its shiny, attention-grabbing, image-enhancing impact is nearly impossible to match. Think of this: An allegation of racism turned career criminal and drug addict George Floyd into the second coming of Martin Luther King Jr. Had a black police officer kneeled on St. George's neck and shoulders, no one would know Floyd's name. There certainly wouldn't be murals and statues commemorating his last nine minutes of life.

That's how transformative racism gold is, even when it's fool's gold.

Lewis Brinson wants to turn this controversy into his brand-building moment. No one outside Miami knew who Brinson was before this controversy. Brinson realizes racial victimization could make him a household name. He went as far as suggesting the Rockies should change the name of their mascot because "Dinger" sounds too similar to the N-word.

This is the second coming of the Bubba Wallace noose incident. Wallace is the NASCAR driver who, in 2020, claimed someone hung a noose in his garage at Talladega Speedway. The noose turned out to be a simple rope with a knot used to pull the garage door shut. The "noose" had been on the garage door since at least 2019. Wallace leaned into the "racial" incident and landed television interviews across cable news. He significantly increased his popularity.

Brinson is panning for the same racism fool's gold that worked for Wallace.

Brinson admitted he was completely unaware of the shouts during the game. He never reacted to the shouts because he never heard them. Why would you hunt for them after the game? It makes no sense unless you understand the value of racial victimization. Brinson does. He bragged about the attention he's receiving.

"I'm getting a lot of love and support on Instagram and I'm sure on Twitter. And I appreciate that wholeheartedly 100 percent," he told reporters.

What are people supporting? Nothing happened. Brinson admits he never heard the shouts when they happened. Brinson says no one has ever called him the N-word to his face. Brinson is in his mid-20s earning $587,000 for playing a game. He's not oppressed. He's not in need of some special level of support. He claimed he had sympathy for the Rockies fan. No, he doesn't. He wants to exploit the fan and the situation for his own benefit.

He's a high-class Jussie Smollett. Brinson is manufacturing racism because he can't find it anywhere else in his life.

With cameras, microphones, and smartphones everywhere, what kind of idiot would sit directly behind home plate and shout the N-word at baseball players? It makes no sense. If the Rockies fan was the Grand Dragon of the KKK, it would make no sense for him to attend a Major League Baseball game in 2021 and shout the N-word.

Brinson and the other racial gold miners love to pretend it's 1821. They pray for racism the way miners prayed for gold during the California Gold Rush. It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing that we tolerate it.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how former ESPN host Maria Taylor, in a desperate contract push over the last year, smeared Saints quarterback Drew Brees and ESPN co-workers Dave Lamont and Rachel Nichols with allegations of racism. Taylor bolted ESPN for NBC after her negotiating tactics failed.

It's all a money-grab for elites. No one is fighting for equality or equity. It's public relations in pursuit of power and riches.

Yesterday, I ended my column referring to the San Francisco 49ers. I was subtly trying to make the point that the nickname of San Fran's football team is taken from the 1849 California migrants who, in the pursuit of gold, pillaged, plundered, and slaughtered Native Americans. The Washington Redskins had to scrap their mascot, which many people believed celebrated Native American culture, because it was allegedly offensive. Baseball's Cleveland Indians scrapped their mascot, too, for the same reason.

But celebrating the 49ers who took advantage of and bullied Native Americans? That's positive. That's a good thing. The men of the California Gold Rush were as greedy and unethical as Lewis Brinson, Bubba Wallace, and Maria Taylor.

Brinson, Wallace, and Taylor reflect the values established in Northern California during the gold rush because today's Silicon Valley social media companies are imposing those secular values on the rest of America.

Those of us who are believers in God must loudly object and push back.
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