Crystal Wright is an occasional contributor to The Root DC and is the editor of the political site “Conservative Black Chick.”.

Radio personality Tom Joyner (right) presents Song of the Year Award to Tyrese Gibson during the Soul Train Awards 2012 at in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken/GETTY IMAGES FOR CENTRIC)

I get tired of writing about vapid, racist comments made by people of so-called fame or political importance. One would think in this day and age, individuals would know better.

But my sensibilities are particularly offended when the mainstream media doesn’t apply the same standard of fingering wagging  to blacks when they utter racial obscenities, as members of the press do when whites make offensive remarks.

Black syndicated radio host Tom Joyner of the popular Tom Joyner Morning Show thinks Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is a modern day slave owner. Yes, you heard me correctly. During Joyner’s broadcast on Monday morning, Joyner expressed displeasure at Shanahan for keeping Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III in Sunday’s playoff game against the Seahawks even though the star player seemed hobbled by an injured knee.

 Laughing throughout the discussion with his sidekicks,  Joyner compared Shanahan to the Mississippi plantation owner Calvin Candie, who Leonardo DiCaprio plays in the movie Django Unchained, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

“He’s as bad as the mean white man in Django,” declared Joyner. Mr. Candie is a cold-hearted slave owner with a lust for Mandingo fighting, where slaves were forced to fight to the death like dogs or roosters used in animal fighting. “If you saw the movie, just like DiCaprio had the Mandingos fighting in the room. That’s what he did. That’s what he did to RGIII,” said Joyner.

Let’s be crystal clear. What Joyner is saying is Shanahan looks at Robert Griffin III (also referred to as RG3) as nothing more than a piece of “black property” he owns and is willing to quite literally “play to his death.”

One of Joyner’s sidekicks on the program said Shanahan may as well have told Griffin “Keep fighting, negroes!” Joyner laughed and added that by putting Griffin back in the game after his knee injury, Shanahan was saying “you did a good job N-word.”  

When I did an  Internet search for Joyner’s comments, I was stunned to see how little coverage there was of the conversation between host and co-hosts. It seems like, at least in this instance, that Joyner is getting a bigotry pass.

All I could think about when I heard the audio of Joyner’s comments is how incensed the media would be if an equally popular radio host such as Rush Limbaugh said something like “Wow, Robert Griffin III acted like Django the way he tore up that field.” I can assure you the mainstream press would have howled for an apology from Limbaugh, demanded advertisers pull their support from his show and so on.

I wonder what Tom Joyner would say if Mike Shanahan joked “When Joyner told blacks they should re-elect Obama because he’s black, Joyner reminded me of Mr. Candie’s dutiful head slave Stephen in the movie Django.” Seems to me we, including the media, should apply the same standards of decency to all Americans regardless of race. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

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