SOMETIMES the news cycle gets crowded, and an incident you really want to write about loses out to events that are more timely to your readers.

Often, the time element changes and things have changed, so your original thoughts become outdated and just go unsaid.

But there are other things that just can't be left alone until you've had your say.

Last Thursday, ESPN commentator Rob Parker went on a rant about the "blackness" of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on ESPN's "First Take."

On Friday, after Parker's comments blew up amid outrage in the social-media sphere, ESPN released a statement saying that Parker had been suspended "until further notice" and that it was "conducting a full review."

On the show, Parker was asked to respond to comments Griffin made when asked about his status as an African-American quarterback in the NFL.

Griffin said: "For me, you don't ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic. That's what I strive [for]. I am an African-American, and that will never change, but I don't have to be defined by that."

Griffin gave an eloquent answer, describing one of the core principles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

Parker had a different take.

"This is an interesting topic," Pahe rker said. "For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag."

Parker then began saying he reportedly heard from nebulous unnamed sources about Griffin III being a "black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people."

After stumbling through some more dribble, Parker spat out this gem of a thought, "But my question, which is just a straight honest question, is he a brother or a cornball brother?"

It seems Parker decided he was the guru of all things black and questioned whether Griffin III was "down with the cause," because, among other things, he has a white fiancée and reportedly may lean Republican in his politics.

Oh, my sweet Lord in heaven, here we go again.

It's 2012 and some African-American pundit is using a national forum to spew old bull that has boxed black people into a singular image for generations.

"Down with the cause."

Ever since I became cognizant of my place in the world as a Negro, then a black and now an African-American, I believed that "the cause" was supposed to be striving and achieving, so that we would tear down the entrenched societal perceptions that forced Griffin III to have to answer a question like that in the first place.

So if "the cause" is not a place for us to be judged by the content of our character and actions instead of our skin color, I'd ask, what exactly is it?

Is "the cause" of the African-American really a call for revolution, revenge and reparations? Are we really fighting a battle to make the sons and daughters of whitey pay for all the sins of the past?

Black folks will be pounding their heads on concrete until eternity, if that is the true endgame.

Our heritage is born out of slavery, so it is inherently convoluted, confusing and controversial, but it is not singular as so many people, including ourselves, want to make it.

I'm tired of society defining the African-American race by one standard. We did not all grow up in the city. Our life experiences are all not defined by an "urban" culture.

Like every other race or creed in America, we are a diverse and multifaceted society. We exist in all social classes - yes, even among 1 percent we've had so much discussion about.

Together, it all makes up the black experience.

So I find it particularly troubling when an African-American pundit such as Parker goes on the air to promote ignorant stereotypes.

Next week, we'll be the first to scream and shout when someone from a different race repeats the things we just said.

That's what bothers me the most about Parker's comments. Parker did his graduate work at Columbia University and has been a successful presence in sports journalism for decades.

He knew exactly what the response to his comments about Griffin II would be. Yet he said them anyway. It was an attention-grab.

"First Take" is ESPN's "The Jerry Springer Show." Bombastic hosts Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, plus their guests, unleash controversial opinions, always aimed at pushing things to the limit in the name of entertainment.

Many times, they pass it. I'd bet no sports show in TV history has had more corrections, clarifications and apologies than "First Take." But it sells, and the higher-ups at ESPN generally turn a deaf ear unless the outrage gets white-hot, as it did with Parker. The producers want the hosts to push the envelope with over-the-top statements screamed at high octaves.

In an expression of its true goals, ESPN thought Parker's comments were so out of line, it repeated them on two reruns of "First Take" on Thursday. Parker just played along. The irony of Parker's questioning the "blackness" of Griffin is that he did, in a calculated move of "shuckin', jivin' and yes-y'alling" to his network master.