Finebaum believes race lingers as issue in Alabama, but Alabama and Auburn football have made progress; Cam Newton a symbol of progress

Race is a frequent topic on the Paul Finebaum Show. Finebaum says race remains an issue in Birmingham and everywhere else including Columbia University; Finebaum says race issues are "significantly" better at Alabama and Auburn today.

Paul Finebaum answered several questions about his radio show, football and today’s media during an interview with the Capstone Report. This is part of our series on the important voices in college football. We’ve already posted the first segment of our interview with Finebaum on the state of today’s media, and we’ll have more on that topic tomorrow. Here is what Finebaum had to say about race.

Q: One regular feature of your show is that callers have a forum to express their views. You make an effort to allow every opinion on the air. Race comes up very often within the context of Alabama politics and sports. Two questions arise from this. First, Why do you think it comes up so often. Second, What do you think your show contributes to the dialogue on race in Alabama?

Paul Finebaum: “I think race is the deep, dark secret that nobody wants to act like it is still going on, but it is still there and when it comes up it comes up with vengeance. It came up the other day talking about (former Alabama quarterback) Phillip Sims, and it came up a couple of weeks ago.

“I do respect when an athlete calls in and says, ‘I played twenty-five years ago and I was told I couldn’t be a quarterback at this school or that school.’ I have to respect that and believe he knows what he is talking about.

“And then you get the predictable, well, ‘Why don’t we have a Miss White Alabama?’ It is always predictable, and you know where it is going. You rarely get a surprise in it, but it lets you know it is still there,” Finebaum said.

“I love people who say, ‘It is all in the past and we all need to come together and we are friends and we have a black president ,’ but I just kind of laugh because it still exists and it still exists in Birmingham and it still exists everywhere else.”

“One of the most hostile environments I’ve ever had was four years ago this weekend believe it or not at Columbia University. Our show won an award involving race, and I was invited to give a presentation at the bastion of journalism in this country. In that room were leaders from the New York Times and the Washington Post, The Boston Globe and the people you would think would be the most understanding and liberal and forgiving people in America, and when they introduced me from Birmingham, Alabama, the hostility went up.

“I anticipated it. I started off telling a story about having racist thoughts during a phone call in the post-Don Imus-Rutgers controversy. I could see that room. They were gritting their teeth. They were holding their palms, and they were hating me. My story was about enduring all this and engaging all this and how I think even in Alabama we have honest dialogues. The room finally turned, but I don’t even know how to describe what I felt other than there was a bias against me because of where I was from. The immediate thought was, ‘Who is this rube, hillbilly, redneck, racist from Alabama?’ If it happens at Columbia, it can happen at a lot of other places.

“Not to sound like many other southerners, but I think it is better here than it is other places.”

Q: Do you think racism is better at Alabama and Auburn, or does it remain a systemic problem?

Finebaum: “I think you will always have some systemic problems. But, yes, things are significantly better than they have ever been. Sometimes I think that depends on who is in charge and the events that happen around a program. People believe what they want to believe and they see what they want to see.

“The one thing I will say in terms of Alabama with Nick Saban, whatever happened before him, no one believes he looks at it the same way because we know what he is about. He is about success and he is about becoming successful anyway under the sun that is legal.

“I think Auburn has had the same number of issues as Alabama, but Cam Newton, like him or not, was a symbol that helped bring some of those walls down as Jason Campbell was , as Reggie Slack and others.

“Your history does indicate who you are to a point, but also your leaders indicate it more.”

Tomorrow we’ll post more of our interview with Finebaum. You’ll see what Finebaum has to say about the state of journalism in America. Finebaum has an important view of journalism since he worked as a reporter covering a beat in a newspaper, was an investigative journalist, columnist and radio talk show host of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. This is part of our series of interviews with important journalists who cover college football. Our first interview was with the TCS College Football Insider and Chicago Tribune journalist Teddy Greenstein.

35 Comments

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  1. 1
    RC

    If Cam Newton is a symbol of positive race relations in Alabama, we’re still at least 15 years behind the curve. I’m an African-American, but I want to be segregated from that lying, cheating scoundrel

  2. 2
    FBJ Lives

    May 5th at 9:am, roll on up to Alabama Adventure in that pink cadillac of yours, with the fuzzy dice hanging on your mirror, and I will grant that wish for you, Huggie Bear.

  3. 4
    RC

    I’m going to beat FBJ into submission to keep him from prowling. What kind of person would rather get his ass kicked at an amusement park?

    • 5
      ITK

      He’ll never show. FBJ personifies all web browsing vaginal discharges that talk a big game online but in person wouldn’t make eye contact with you for fear of what might happen. The internet was the greatest thing that ever happened to him.

      • 6
        FBJ Lives

        Actually if you want to throw one of your posters that threatened rape in there as well, you might have a valid point. The internet helps them as well.

    • 8
      finebammer

      just remember when you’re enjoying those national championship replays, we’d all be suffering through an alabama program trashed by rich rodriquez had it not been for “springer” lampooning rita on his show.

      hate on finebaum all you want, nick saban wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him and his show.

    • 10
      FBJ Lives

      I will be there. As far as ITK goes, my problem isnt with you. Think what you want. RC….my choice of place is a hell of a lot better than your Jim nNicks bullshit you have been hollering about. You told ME to pick a place and I did. Show your dumbass up and see what happens boy. Bring you a change of drawers son, cause the ones you will be wearing will be covered in shit stains. Show up, and you wont be going back. Believe dat.

  4. 11
    RC

    Dude you’ll be shitting yourself just at the sight of me. Your pussy ass better be alone too, and you’ll be patted down for weapons before I kick your ass. I’ve been relishing this opportunity to make a man out of you for over a year, queen. Only you can screw this up by not showing.

  5. 13
    RC

    In 12 hrs, FBJ, you will learn how to properly speak to people on a forum. You will gain some respect if you even show up. This should motivate you to do the right thing and accept my challenge. Forewarning: you will be patted down before we commence, and you better be the only one inside & outside the immediate perimeter. DO IT

  6. 15
    bamatruth77

    why alabama adventure? fbj is that where you work?? hell im coming too this i gotta see!

    • 16
      FBJ Lives

      Come on down bamatoothless. No I do not work there, but I know every nook and cranny in that part of the state there is. Your boy is about to find out he just booked his own ass into an ambush.

    • 18
      FBJ Lives

      For starters, you just try and put your hands on me asshole. I will leave your punk ass laying and answer questions later. Hug your family jack off.

  7. 19
    FBJ Lives

    You can count down the hours all you want, just make sure you bring your ass to the location agreed upon. Talk time is over……..I will be waiting on you RC. You will be in my old stomping grounds, if anybody will be watching anything, its me…and you will never even know it. See you Saturday BOY.

  8. 20
    RC

    Hey PUSSY FBJ, only PUSSIES who CAN’T DEFEND THEMSELVES threaten ambush. If I get ANY sense of that, I will leave. BE A FUCKING MAN, FBJ. I have scouts that will be surveying the area. FIGHT LIKE A MAN.

  9. 21
    RC

    I will continue to skull fuck your redneck piece of trash ass, FBJ. I know Redneckville as well too loser. I’ve lived in this area longer than you. People who threat ambush in a non-war scenario are weak ass faggots. BE A MAN

  10. 22
    RC

    DUMB ASS, Internet rape??!! You can’t threaten a nameless person that doesn’t exist! Even blow up dolls

  11. 23
    bamatruth77

    lmao fbj you couldnt beat your way out of a wet paper sack!!! ambush??? really? are you that big of a pussy really???? RC just go ahead and shoot him he has treatened u enough on here im sure you could get aquitted lmao!!! jk dont shoot him youre supposed to be kind to dumb animals!!!

  12. 24
    RC

    I’m not going to be ambushed. What a dumb ass! He has already shown his cards. Hey FBJ, YOU FUCKING PUSSY, what kind of car you drive? I’m warning you, I’ll have my scouts who include a local attorney ready to make your life a living hell if you’re not man enough to fight like a man

  13. 25
    bamatruth77

    yall let us know how it goes ive got to go to awbarn in the morning to make surevthe trees are still dead!!! lol damn harvey put tge mojo juice onto em good!!!

  14. 28
    RC

    Well, I sent my scouts out, FBJ NOT HERE. I’m outta here. I will not be ambushed from some WEAK ass sissy. U a punk ass bitch FBJ. I’ll just have to continue to berate you in here since you won’t participate in a fair fight

  15. 29
    RC

    Bamatrutj,

    I actually got here early, drove around the perimeters twice and he was NOWHERE to be found. Just like I thought!

    • 30
      FBJ Lives

      LMFAO, I WAS THERE YOU COWARD PUNK BITCH!!! You drove the perimeters twice huh? Gates werent open jackoff, its a straight road that runs in front of those gates. I was by myself, nobody else with me. Face it RC, you talked that shit for months brother, and just like I thought, thats all it was…talk. I sat outside those double gates till 9:36 before I said screw it. You can tell everybody in your life that you did this and that, but as for this morning RC, you and I both know what happened. Bamatruth……you are a pretty funny guy. Did’nt someone else in here give you directions to Texas to get your butt beat? Handle ya own sh*t.

  16. 32
    bamatruth77

    lol aint nobody gave me directions anywhere fbj my name is brandon hornsby i live in tallassee alabama at 220 friendship rd apt 19 i drive a gray nissan pick up with a tool box and i work on maxwell air force base in monthomery for ITT i work monday thru friday from 7-4 i drive highway 229 from tallassee to i 85 south onto day street and reverse that coming home! ambush me PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAASEE DO!

  17. 33
    bamatruth77

    btw tallassee aint but about 20 min from awbarn as i do recall i offered to meet u on 280 at the tiger citgo where harvey supposedly got jumped just let me know big boy

  18. 34
    RC

    FBJ,

    YOU WERE NOT THERE BITCH BOY!!! I never said I drove inside dumb ass, and I, my scouts, and my attorney SURROUNDED that area AFTER your cowardly ass threatened an ambush. Read your prior posts, you dumb fuck. YOU THREATENED AN AMBUSH, YOU PUSSY!!!! As tough as I am, I’m not Superman and I can’t outrun a speeding bullet. I take threats of ambushing seriously, which is why I had a posse and attorney waiting in the wings. Your coward ass threatened an ambush to TRY to keep me away, but your COWARDLY Punk ASS was NOT THERE. You LYING FUCK. I’m going to do more research on you

  19. 35
    RC

    What kind of FAGGOT ASS PUSSY threatens an ambush, is racist, and doesn’t even show up to get his ass beat after running his cock holster for months???!!! FAGGOT BLOW JOBS (FBJ) THAT’S WHO!!!

    You LYING punk ass bitch. I’m not wasting another Saturday morning or any other day of the week on your ass. I’ll just continue to call your cowardly ass out for the sorry lying sack of shit you are EVERY TIME you post on here

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