By Raynard Jackson
Former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once said, “To every man there comes a time when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a great and mighty work; unique to him and fitted to his talents; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the moment that could be his finest hour.”
Zakiya Randall has been tapped on the shoulder and has proven that she is woefully unprepared and unqualified for the moment that could be her finest hour. Randall is a 20-year-old, Arlington, Va. native, now residing in Atlanta. She is supposed to be an up and coming golf prodigy. But this column is less about her golf and more about her person.
Randall is a very attractive girl, who definitely has great potential. Unfortunately, I would be very surprised if this potential is ever realized because she seems to want to be a sex object more than a golfer.
Her arrogance is astonishing and very repulsive. She is young and brash, with none of the hardware (winning titles) to back up her bravado. In some ways, she reminds me of Michelle Wie, the former teenage golfer who was pushed too hard and too fast by parents who wanted to live vicariously through her. But, at least Wie’s parents refused to let their daughter be used as a sex object.
Wie has a very well done Web site filled with Fortune 500 companies as sponsors (http://www.michellewie.com). Her photo pages feature very tasteful, beautiful pictures of her, both on and off the golf course. Wie went from a highly exposed teenager with lots of money and fame, to a seemingly classy adult who will receive her degree from Stanford University this month with a degree in communications. Wie has accomplished all this without being sexually objectified.
You may now be asking, what I am talking about? Please view this video and you will understand my rant very clearly (http://www.golfchannel.com/media/big-break-atlantis-zakiya-bio-041012/)
When I saw this video, I was totally disgusted with Randall, and even more so with her parents. Why would parents allow their daughter to be so sexually objectified (I am assuming the parents knew this was going on. If they didn’t, why did they not demand that the video be taken down)? But more importantly, what was it about Randall and her parents that made the Golf Channel comfortable shooting a video showing various close-up shots, in slow motion, of Randall’s private parts? Her being fully clothed does not diminish the hyper-sexuality of the video; the Golf Channel clearly was sexualizing this 20-year-old for ratings.
None of the other girls in this video were shot in this manner. Randall is the only Black girl in this video and on this particular Golf Channel TV show. Why are Black women content to allow themselves to constantly be debased in the most public of manner? Why am I seemingly more upset at this constant sexual objectification of Black women than some Black women?
Randall is managed by her mother, so ultimately they both agreed to let this be done. Randall thinks she can make money by being sexually exploited. Correction, sexually used. Exploitation indicates coercion. Well, obviously, it’s not working. When you go to her Web site, it is clumsily put together and cluttered with the most egotistical verbiage I have ever seen. There are no major corporate sponsors. I wonder why?
Randall is just another in a recent string of Black women who bring shame on themselves and women in general. Last year, I wrote a piece titled “Black Women No Longer Have Their Essence.” This piece was about the “Basketball Wives” craze and the “Housewives of Atlanta” craze. As if the shows weren’t bad enough, Essence magazine honored some of the women involved in both shows.
Please, I don’t want to hear anything about Randall being young (20). Wie was young also, but no network ever showed close-ups of her private parts. The only difference being that of parenting.
Wei’s parents emigrated from South Korea to Hawaii, where Wei was born. Asians typically raise their children in a very conservative manner, with a clear delineation of authority within the home. They are taught that education is the key to their future. Thus, Wei will be receiving her college degree from Stanford University this month and Randall is not even in school.
Randall and her parents need help. Beautiful, she is. Talented, she is. Smart, she is not. She is old enough to know better, but if she was reared in an environment to believe that being sexually objectified is OK, then, I blame her parents.
Randall either has no professional PR people around her or she simply is not listening to their advice. In either case, she is embarrassing herself and Black women.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.