In my opinion, the term racist gets tossed around a little too liberally. And while I, personally, would stop just short of calling Dan O'Neill's column in the Post Dispatch - the one dealing with Steven Jackson's comments that the Dome needs to play hip hop or do something better to get the crowds fired up - "racist," his tone bothers me.
For starters, take the title, "Lil' hip-hop would be music to Jax's ears, Dawg"
Clearly, he's being sarcastic, but even doubting any sort of racist undertone the title forces a reader to do a double take. It's a poor choice of words to say the least. The point of his column is that the Rams troubles on the field do more to take the crowds out of the games than the music does, and he goes on to highlight this point by suggesting a few song titles that speak to the Rams play. He also seems to imply that the Rams players, including Steven Jackson since he directly calls him out in the column, don't seem to care enough about their play either, a disputable notion to say the least.
Throughout the column O'Neill the comedian continues to embrace his inner snark with the tired old middle aged white man appropriating hip-hop jargon gag to ask the rhetorical questions that he feels make his point. The headline writers can't be blamed; the poor choice of words are O'Neill's own.
Is it racist? That's probably subject to your interpretation. His point is a valid one (although I have to agree that the atmosphere at the Dome stinks, regardless of the team's record, just compare it to a Blues or a Chiefs game), but his poor choice of words unfairly attack Steven Jackson and African-Americans and demonstrate O'Neill's poor ideas about what's acceptable and what's not acceptable. His words also reflect poorly on our city and our fan base, not to mention the Post-Dispatch itself. And this is clearly not acceptable.
I'm writing the editors and O'Neill to register my complaints. I've included the appropriate email addresses below if you chose to do the same, and if you feel that O'Neill's remarks were inappropriate, I encourage you to do the same.
Dan O'Neill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commentary Editor: email@example.com
Managing Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org