European Reckoning – Black ‘Greco-Roman’ Wrestler victimized for his hair

Go Lean Commentary

We did a reckoning of the European eco-system – called to account their prior actions; demanded they fulfill their obligations – as it relates to the past, present and future of Caribbean relations. We started this reckoning with a look at economic motivations of European society … at the time of the New World exploration and conquest. We wanted to start at the beginning and we assessed that would be economics, not religion.

Pray tell …

The Original Sin of the New World was not slavery, but rather Crony-Capitalism – where private-short-term profits are made at the expense of innocent people, moral values and/or long term benefits. This was the past; we have supposedly “come a long way, Baby”. But have we?

This commentary concludes this 5-part series on European Reckoning. This entry is 5 of 5 in this series from the movement behind the Go Lean book in consideration of White-Christian European interactions with the Caribbean; (White-Christian Europe includes the culture of the North American countries of the US and Canada). Previous submissions in this series addressed both the economic eco-system and the religious reality (hypocrisy); now this entry posits that modern Western society has not reformed as much as advertised. There continues to be racial inadequacies in the West. It raises the question: “when will European, African and Native American people truly live together in harmony?” The answer is not “Today”. But maybe, if we do the reckoning now, the answer can be “Soon”.  At least, this is our quest for the Caribbean.

The other commentaries in this 5-part series are cataloged as follows:

  1. European Reckoning: IMF Apologies
  2. European Reckoning: China seeks to de-Americanize the world’s economy
  3. European Reckoning: Settlers -vs- Immigrants
  4. European Reckoning: Christianity’s Indictment
  5. European Reckoning: Black “Greco-Roman” Wrestler victimized for his hair

A consistent theme in this series is that there is both an Old World and New World theater to the European actuality. We now consider that even the Old World was new compared to the previous societal influences – Greece and Rome:

The Greco-Roman worldGreco-Roman culture, or the term Greco-Roman, when used as an adjective, as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to those geographical regions and countries that culturally (and so historically) were directly, long-term, and intimately influenced by the language, culture, government and religion of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is also better known as the Classical Civilisation. In exact terms the area refers to the “Mediterranean world“, the extensive tracts of land centered on the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins, the “swimming-pool and spa” of the Greeks and Romans, i.e. one wherein the cultural perceptions, ideas and sensitivities of these peoples were dominant.

This process was aided by the universal adoption of Greek as the language of intellectual culture and commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and of Latin as the tongue for public management and forensic advocacy, especially in the Western Mediterranean.

In the schools of art, philosophy and rhetoric, the foundations of education were transmitted throughout the lands of Greek and Roman rule. Within its educated class spanning all of the “Greco-Roman” eras, the testimony of literary borrowings and influences is overwhelming proof of a mantle of mutual knowledge.
Source: Retrieved January 21, 2019 from:

There was only one race that comprised that ancient world: White European. The Greco-Roman influences are not just ancient; there are a lot of cultural references in our modern world that derived from the formal Greco-Roman eco-system; sports too. There are many people in White European world that would like to keep it “White”. In fact, the purpose of this commentary is to report on the case of a Black (African-American) New Jersey teenage athlete who was participating in his school’s athletic program as a Greco-Roman wrestler.

Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practiced worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908.[2]This style of wrestling forbids holds below the waist; this is the major difference from freestyle wrestling, the other form of wrestling at the Olympics. This restriction results in an emphasis on throws because a wrestler cannot use trips to take an opponent to the ground, or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing the opponent’s leg.

According to United World Wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling is one of the six main forms of amateur competitive wrestling practised internationally today. The other five forms are Freestyle wrestlingGrappling/Submission wrestlingBeach wrestlingPankration athlimaAlysh/Belt wrestling and Traditional/Folk wrestling.[3]

Source: Retrieved January 21, 2019 from:

How far has the New World evolved away from the mono-racial Greco-Roman Old World? Plenty. The New World (in this case the US and Canada) is a pluralistic democracy now, home to Europeans, Native Americans, Asians and Africans. But still not evolved enough; there are many segments in the North American population that would dissuade this pluralism.

See this reality portrayed in the news article here:

Title: N.J. wrestler forced to cut dreadlocks still targeted over hair, lawyer says
Sub-title: Video of Andrew Johnson’s haircut during a match last month led to a firestorm of criticism and accusations of abuse of power and racism.
By: Erik Ortiz
Video of a black high school wrestler in New Jersey who was forced to cut his dreadlocks at a match last month led to a firestorm of criticism against the referee and accusations of abuse of power and racism.

But following outcry from the community and the opening of a state civil rights investigation, an attorney for wrestler Andrew Johnson claims officials and referees are still giving him grief over his hair and have an “unrelenting fixation” with him.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the Johnson family’s lawyer, Dominic Speziali, wrote that Johnson initially took a break from competing with his team at Buena Regional High School in Atlantic County so he wouldn’t be a distraction after the Dec. 19 match grabbed national headlines.

During Johnson’s first match back last weekend, the 16-year-old varsity wrestler went through a routine weigh-in and check of his hair and skin. But then, Speziali said, a referee informed a Buena coach that Johnson would have to cover his hair before he could wrestle.

After Johnson’s mother questioned why, she was told “that there was some confusion and it was another wrestler that would have to wear a hair covering, not Andrew,” Speziali wrote.

“However, no wrestler for Buena or Buena’s first opponent wore any type of hair covering,” he continued. “Andrew wrestled in four matches without wearing a hair covering and without any referee raising an issue about his hair.”

Then, on Monday, an official with the state association that regulates athletics and conducts tournaments sent an email to state wrestling officials detailing which hairstyles require the hair to be covered. One image, according to NJ Advance Media, which reviewed the email, was of an unidentified black person with short, braided or dreadlocked hair and closely shaved sides.

But Elliott Hopkins, a director with the National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes the rules for competitions, told NJ Advance Media that the hair shown in the images would not require a covering despite what a state athletics association official had indicated. In general, if a wrestler’s hair “in its natural state” extends past the earlobe or touches the top of a shirt, a “legal hair cover” must be worn, the rules say.

Finally, Johnson’s team was set to compete again Wednesday at a home match. Speziali wrote in his letter that a day before, a referee had already warned Buena’s athletic director that he “planned to require Andrew to wear a hair covering if he intended on wrestling.”

As questions over hairstyle came up again, the match was abruptly canceled just hours earlier without reason.

Now, Speziali said he wants an explanation.

“Yet it appears, for reasons that the Division can hopefully soon unmask, that certain officials have a desire to unnecessarily escalate and prolong this ordeal due on an unrelenting fixation on the hair of a 16-year-old young man that asked for absolutely none of this,” he added.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced it was also opening an investigation alongside the state to determine whether national rules in regard to hairstyle had been properly enforced.

The initial incident in December was condemned by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Olympic wrestler Jordan Burroughs and film director Ava DuVernay, among others.

The referee at that match, Alan Maloney, who is white, had told Johnson that his hair and headgear did not comply with rules, and that if he wanted to compete, he would have to immediately cut his dreadlocks — or forfeit.

Maloney, who was once accused of calling another referee a racial slur during a March 2016 social gathering, has been suspended pending the outcome of the state investigation. He has not commented publicly about the incident, but his supporters say he was merely enforcing the rules.

David Cappuccio, the superintendent of the Buena Regional School District, has said the district “will continue to support and stand by all of our students and student athletes.”


Erik Ortiz is an NBC News staff writer focusing on racial injustice and social inequality.

Source: HuffingtonPost Online News – Posted January 10, 2018; retrieved January 21, 2018 from:


VIDEO # 1 – School Board meets over Wrestler forced to cut dreadlocks –

Published on December 27, 2018


VIDEO # 2 – Community speaks out after wrestler forced to cut hair during match –

Published on December 26, 2018

This is not just a story about sports.

It is not just a story about dreadlocks hairstyle.

It is not just a story about multi-culturalism.

This is a story about racial intolerance, and how some people of the White European persuasion are slow to accept “common ground” with people not of that racial alignment. The reality that we have to reckon with is that the European people have always been slow to accept non-Europeans as Brothers. Some of the people will cooperate all the time, and all the people some of the time, but never all the people all the time.

This is why the standards of right and wrong must be color-blind and enforced at all times. This is the quest for the new Caribbean, to embed this post-racial standard in all societal engines: economics, security and governance. We have always been pluralistic in population, though not pluralistic in power or economics.

The movement behind the Go Lean book has addressed this issue – pluralistic democracy – previously. Consider these prior submissions: Naomi Osaka’s recipe for success: Caribbean Meld for Sports Racist History of Loitering still Valid in US Today – ‘Time to Go’ One Woman – Viola Desmond – Helped Canada become Pluralistic Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Multilingual Realities Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Respecting Hindu Festival of Diwali Respect for Minorities: ‘All For One’ Street naming for Martin Luther King unveils the real America

Say it with me:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness …

This premise from the Age of Enlightenment is valid and true on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Old World of Europe and the New World for Europe. Everybody know this (mentally), but not everyone practices this; there are even some that feel that the White race is superior – even some non-White people: White is Right – This fallacy is the consensus view for many people! Jamaican Poll: ‘Bring back the British!’

In the New World, most of the political leaders reflect White European ancestry, even in countries that are majority Black-and-Brown, i.e. Brazil and Mexico. Even when a non-White person becomes “Head of Government”, the international focus is only on the fact that a “minority” is leading the government, rather than the  governing policies or principles. See this conveyed in a sample archive from one Caribbean country:

The act of “Reckoning European” history needs to be done on both sides of the Atlantic, and by all the ethnicities. There is Good and Bad in every population, Black and White. So our societies simply need to do the heavy-lifting to practice being a pluralistic democracy.

There are people in society that do not want pluralism. We must work to foster a society that respects everyone as equal. This is not the America of today, but we can facilitate this more in the Caribbean. The book Go Lean … Caribbean provides a full roadmap of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to elevate the societal engines of the Caribbean homeland.

Yes, we can … make the Caribbean, our homeland, a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xx. Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

xxii.  Whereas the heritage of our lands share the distinction of cultural tutelage from European and American imperialists that forged their tongues upon our consciousness, it is imperative to form a society that is neutral and tolerant of the mother tongue influences of our people to foster efficient and effective communications among our citizens.

xxxi.  Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism – modeling the Olympics.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *