Trinidad and Tobago

Terry's beach banner

Seeing Woods, not Trees

By Terry Joseph
December 05, 2003

Normally, narrow-minded people cannot see the woods for the trees but a letter appearing in yesterday's newspapers indicates that the reverse may also be true.

Signed by Liz Williams of Curepe, the letter takes a powerful swing at champion golfer Tiger Woods, with what sounds like a nine iron, accusing him of no greater crime than getting engaged to Elin Nordegren, his girlfriend of many years.

Interestingly, Woods himself is angry (according to the Associated Press) over the news coming out, calling it a breach of confidence on the part of the owner of a South African game reserve who, he said, alerted newspapers to his making this particular cut and used pictures shot at the event to promote their website.

But Mr Woods can be teed off if he likes, since it is his business and unless this whole betrothal was some kind of trap, or his action resulted from being found in a bunker with Ms Nordegren in an uncompromising position, he may take offence at untimely release of the information.

Ms Williams can make no such claim and in fact, doesn't seem to mind Mr Woods getting engaged, or married, for that matter, as long as it is not to a white Swedish "birdie".

"It is like spitting in the sky and having it falling back into your eyes," screams Ms Williams, in a clear misunderstanding of the parlance, she seeking only to take a lag in Tiger's tail for hooking a white woman which, she said, really hurt her heart, Now, nothing in the letter indicated that Mr Woods may be guilty of breach of promises made to Ms Williams, or if the two ever met but the tone of her missive seemed personal, until it got to the crux: "I am a black woman," she said, "who really felt rejected and scorned."

Evidently, hell hath no greater fury, given the combination of scorn and rejection, either condition singularly capable of summoning up the clawing bitch in an otherwise demure woman. "So much for Black Power and African pride!" she exclaimed.

"This intermarriage douglarisation thing is doing us more harm than good.

When superheroes like Tiger Woods marry outside their race it is a blow against black women and the already fractured African family," she wrote.

Ms Williams does not clarify the use of the pronoun "us" but her tirade suggests that all black people should now rise up against this kind of "blow", since it may well be responsible for perpetuation of global divisiveness in the African diaspora.

And she continues with comparable ire: "No wonder so many of our Afro-Trinis in the 17-24 age group are without male role models and resident fathers," squarely blaming Tiger's choice for deadbeat dads and the extant COSTATT argument that, some say, helped fuel Dr Keith Rowley's demotion in Prime Minister Patrick Manning's Cabinet; a fact we previously thought had more to do with internecine political warfare.

"And to think that all of Woods wealth will go to another group of people," she went on, exposing betrayal of some private covenant the golfer may have had with, well, a different group of people, to whom he should have bequeathed his fortune.

Nor does it end there: "When these black men become successful and rich, they go looking for other women. From CEO to president to commissioner, they all do the same thing. Lord help us! Dr Rhoda Reddock, Merle Hodge, Hazel Brown, Jennifer Baptiste, please put a hand on single-mother black women,"

Ms Williams concluded.

Now at the 18th hole, one is left to assume that Mr Woods had another woman, one pleasing to Ms Williams' perspective, when he began his ascendancy but switched to Ms Nordegren after his first PGA victory.

Even so, she has limited faith in supernatural assistance to reverse the condition, calling on Brown, Hodge, Baptiste and Dr Reddock to "put a hand" even after asking: "Lord help us."

All of this merely would be mildly amusing if it didn't enjoy widespread publicity, as several readers may have come away with the feeling that Tiger Woods is some kind of Uncle Tom or other variety of social climber, either description having potential to devalue legendary achievements and consequently his fan-base.

What best demonstrates Ms Williams' embrace of misinformation is the fact that Tiger Woods never claimed to be black and worse, has almost always been described as a man of "mixed race", clearly imbued with oriental genes and other indicators of the cosmopolitan mix.

But to hold the poor fellow responsible for all that has gone wrong with black people throughout history is truly demonstrative of a fresh plateau of persecution complex, that may be responsible for more divisiveness than the indiscretion of which she accuses Mr Woods.

We are to assume Mr Woods and his lady are in love so, on behalf of all logical black people, may I wish Tiger and Elin a happy and fruitful marriage and, by the same opportunity, hope that Ms Williams finds herself professional help for what appears to be an insidious but debilitating difficulty.

Terry's Homepage