Where I’m at: DC, but moving apartments soon
What I’m doing: getting ready for first softball game of the season!
Why I’m posting: to lighten things up
First off, I want to extend a warm hello to my new colleagues in Brazzaville, including my new bosses, Ambassador Alan Eastham, and Deputy Chief of Mission, Jonathan Pratt. I’m honored to have such distinguished readers of such an undistinguished blog.
Besides trying to obviously ingratiate myself, I also mention the Brazzaville force for another reason. One thing that diplomats are supposed to do is represent American culture to those in their host nation. And yes, it’s not always easy to grasp the subtleties of White House gate crashers or even Tea Party protesters from half-a-world away, but it’s considerably harder to stay up on the (coughcough) “lesser” stories.
One such story that has caught my particular sports-attuned attention during the last week has been the drama with former OK State wide receiver Dez Bryant.
For those needing basic facts on the “story,” the GM of the Miami Dolphins reportedly held a pre-draft interview with Bryant in which he asked whether Bryant’s mother was a prostitute. This made big waves because it seemed irrelevant, too personal, and possibly racist. Bryant shouted to the media about this unfair treatment, seemingly for good reasons….
…Until the facts came out. Just like whenever a diplomat makes an official phone call, there are “voices” listening in, recording for posterity. In this case, the record of the conversation went like this:
Ireland: Did your father work?
Ireland: What was his job?
Bryant: He was a pimp
Ireland: Did your mom work?
Bryant: She worked for my dad.
Ireland: So was your mother a prostitute?
(end conversation topic)
Ummm, well…yeah, that was a lot different than Bryant retold the story. I’m pretty sure the prostitute question was a logical follow-up question to “my mom worked for my father, a pimp.” As what then? His accountant? His tailor?
It turns out that there is an answer: Dez Bryant’s mother sold crack for his father. Ohhhhhh…much better. I could see how he would be upset about the mistaken impression. Apparently his mother was also upset because she gave a statement today that she was still angry (even after Dez himself said he was dropping the issue) because she felt she was being portrayed inaccurately based on her drug conviction 12 years ago. Fair enough, except that she was just convicted of drug possession and sales in September 2009, too.
I gotta say, I love this woman’s conviction…err, I mean her conviction to stick to her guns, which I’ll note she has never been convicted of possessing. So take THAT, Plaxico Burress!
Hey, it’s our job as diplomats to stay up on this stuff!