|Not exactly how I'd have dressed if I were Truth...|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Like I said last night on Instant Feedback, I very much enjoyed the opening segment to RAW. The promo work from everyone involved was good, even Cena being in smart-ass mode worked as he didn't get too smarmy. Every part of the segment worked except for one. R-Truth's wardrobe was really, really galling to me. I get the reason why they had him dress up in the grey jacket of the Confederacy, or why he himself volunteered. I don't know whose idea it was.
I do know it was a terrible one though.
There are certain things associated with the Confederacy that come to mind to anyone who is reminded of the Civil War. While they seceded from the union over states' rights, and the Civil War itself wasn't fought with the freedom of the slaves in mind as a primary focus (a common fallacy held by many today), it's still an undeniable fact that each one of the Confederate States was a slave state. It's also an undeniable fact that a vast majority, if not the entirety, of slaves at the time of the Civil War were black.
It'd have been in poor taste for someone who wasn't black to wear the uniform. It was not only borderline racist, but obliviously stupid to have Truth, or another black wrestler, wear it. Whether or not you thought the writers and Truth himself, by acquiescing to the request if he wasn't the one whose idea it was anyway, were being racist, and I fully believe they weren't, the actions still don't speak well of the intent, especially today. So much groundwork has been laid to try and create a post-racial society, but at the same time, you're never going to eliminate bad feelings between races, or ethnic groups or any kind of division. It's human nature to be somewhat exclusionary with people who don't look, talk or behave like you.
SO yeah, even if they didn't mean to do so, they offended some of their fans last night with that gesture. The sad part was, Truth could have cut the EXACT same promo last night without wearing the grey jacket and still had it come across as effective. That's where the idiocy lies in this situation. It's not like the Confederate uniform could be chalked up to "heels being heels" like, say, the Piggie James angle or other things that heels do that could be considered edgy. The lone exception would be if he was maybe feuding with another black wrestler, but even then, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one to find it in poor taste.
The WWE put a huge blemish on their opening segment last night, a segment that otherwise might have been pitch-perfect, by the absolutely braindead blunder of outfitting R-Truth in a Confederate uniform. While they may not have intended to come across as racist, well, sometimes intent can be garbled within action. It's not especially wise, especially for a company that is already on thin ice with one minority lobby in the gay community.
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