LeBron James, Racism, and a Missed Opportunity

 

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the NBA Finals, LeBron James soberly addressed what many blacks believe is the ongoing presence of racism in American culture.

The reason James was discussing racism instead of the upcoming series against the Golden State Warriors? Someone spray-painted a racial epithet — the racial epithet — on the security gate in front of James’ Los Angeles residence.

Coincidentally, the incident involving James happened the same day a noose was reportedly found at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. According to a US Park Police account, tourists discovered the noose inside the museum’s Segregation Gallery, Wednesday afternoon.

The general and redundant pattern following reports like these is for blacks — and white sympathizers — to reflexively point to such incidents as “proof” that racial discrimination is still pervasive, despite the considerable progress made in marginalizing its influence to the periphery of American society.

And LeBron James did exactly that.

Responding to reporters, LeBron James said, “[I] look at it … to shed a light and keep the conversation going … it just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America.” James went on to say, “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is tough. And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”

There’s so much to unpack here.

First, the disclaimer that in saner times would go unmentioned. Racial discrimination still exists, and will continue to exist in some form, on this side of heaven. But in America, racism is no longer the omnipotent, omnipresent, prohibiting force that members of the racial and black grievance industries would have the country believe.

That said, in both situations — the vandalization of James’s home and the noose found at the African American history museum — caution in assigning blame should be strongly advised. At this point, no one knows who committed either incident. Instinctively presuming the guilty party is white and the actions were racially motivated, especially in the age of racial hoaxes and fake hate crimes (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, I could go on), has been shown to be demonstrably imprudent.

As many of these and other racial hoaxes demonstrate, the perpetrator of either incident may be black. Consequently, both acts should be condemned in the strongest possible terms because they’re wrong and immoral — on their own merits — but also because of what these acts signify and the division intended by them, despite the assumed color of the culprit.

As for James’ response to the situation — I can only groan in disappointment. This is where I believe blacks never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and they never miss a chance to play the victim.

As a friend rightly noted, being black in America isn’t tough for LeBron or anyone who plays professional sports. This also applies to those who’ve earned success in the entertainment industry. The multimillion-dollar home vandalized by graffiti in Los Angeles is a second home; his primary residence is in Cleveland. LeBron’s salary is more than $30 million per year (not including endorsements). He’s worth almost $400 million, and has made almost $500 million since entering the NBA 13 years ago. He accomplished all of this despite only earning a high school diploma. Essentially, LeBron James has it exactly backward when it comes to being rich and black in America. Believe me, if earning half a billion dollars in slightly over a decade is what’s considered ‘tough’ for a black man in America, sign me up.

Twice.

Being black is much easier where he lives literally, and financially speaking, than it is to be black where I live, literally and financially speaking.

And it’s easy for me.

Unlike LeBron — who owns a house in Brentwood, CA, one of a number of liberal/leftist enclaves in the state — I live in a middle-class area in California that was once designated a sundown town. For those unfamiliar, a sundown town is a place where blacks aren’t permitted after sunset. Though the place has changed, old habits and perspectives die hard. One can still count the number of black residents on two hands. Additionally, the consistent (racial) resentment is still palpable.

Nevertheless, I maintain that it’s easy being black — even in this regard — particularly when black life today is placed in context and juxtaposed to what blacks once endured as normal, everyday life.

However, there are ways in which being black in America is tough, just not in the way LeBron James thinks. In my estimation, the tough part of being black in America comes much, much more from the unforced errors — the self-debasing, self-limiting, stigma-inducing actions and behaviors of other blacks — than it does from the caricature of the white racist. Or even a real white racist.

Imagine a black person who has rejected self-sabotage and who is desperately trying to overcome the stigmas such as violence, incompetence, inferiority, aberrance, the crutch of affirmative action, and other racial stereotypes that precede that person as a direct result of the culture of chaos that far too many blacks have cultivated, and that far too many other blacks have refused to forthrightly, consistently, and publicly reject and condemn. Despite the open-mindedness and good nature of many people, regardless of color, the black reinforcement of these degrading stereotypes oftentimes seems insurmountable.

This, LeBron James, is tough. Indeed, it is the black person’s burden.

I wish LeBron James had used the unfortunate incident as a “teachable moment,” downplaying what happened to his home but at the same time putting it in proper context.

James should have urged people not to jump to conclusions. He should have acknowledged that though the epithet is a relic and a lamentable part of our history, he wouldn’t allow the action, or intent behind the action, to be an obstacle to his family continuing to enjoy what was once referred to and celebrated as the American Dream. He should have encouraged blacks to follow his lead — not letting racial insults impede their aspirations and dreams.

Instead, he used the opportunity to reinforce the false narrative that blacks, no matter what, are still never-ending victims of white racism.

There are 37 comments.

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  1. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    All the more reason for me to cheer, “Go Warriors!”

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Any security camera footage?

    • #2
  3. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    That was a really fine essay Derryck, a very unique perspective. You noted the sundown community in your essay. Do you feel there are different barriers put up based on race and socioeconomic considerations? Say, being treated ‘black’ by white people and being treated ‘white’ by black people?

    I’m probably to the point of genuinely not knowing how to act or not how to act, to care or not care. Seems a damned if you do, damned if you don’t environment so I’ve just removed myself from the situation (which I realize isn’t good either) – just don’t know what to do/how to act anymore. Try and just treat people like people.

    • #3
  4. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    All the more reason for me to cheer, “Go Warriors!”

    As an Ohioan myself, who has watched too many years of Cleveland never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, I have to pull for the Cavs to follow up last year’s championship with another.  Heaven only knows the Browns won’t deliver.  Or receive.

    Do I wish Lebron would have said something better here?  Definitely.  But he’s also done a lot for his community and hasn’t (from what I’ve heard anyway) been overly political, and that in itself is telling.

    • #4
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    @skipsul I go back with the Warriors since I was a kid, from the Rick Barry championship through many years of drought. James is a truly great player and does much to be admired. And, admittedly, Stephen Curry has been quite chummy with Barack Obama, but I love his outspokeness about his Christian faith and geniune good character. In the end, it is just a game, but a really great game.

    • #5
  6. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Fine post. The only thing better than your recommendations would have been for King James to ignore it, get it painted over and forget it.

    • #6
  7. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Fine post. The only thing better than your recommendations would have been for King James to ignore it, get it painted over and forget it.

    When will people realize that this kind of thing only has power because of the reaction to it?  Every time a noose is encountered, it makes national news and is used to tar  all white people as racists. Every time some idiot paints a racial slur on a wall, it is publicized and reacted to with fear, hate, and recriminations.

    If we just ignored it, it would happen far less often!  I don’t mean we shouldn’t investigate and prosecute the perps, but is it really a threat to all African Americans that someone tied a rope in to a noose?

    When we were kids, and my big brother teased me, my mother always said ‘If you didn’t react he would stop’.  Good advice?

    • #7
  8. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    PHenry (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Fine post. The only thing better than your recommendations would have been for King James to ignore it, get it painted over and forget it.

    When will people realize that this kind of thing only has power because of the reaction to it? Every time a noose is encountered, it makes national news and is used to tar all white people as racists. Every time some idiot paints a racial slur on a wall, it is publicized and reacted to with fear, hate, and recriminations.

    If we just ignored it, it would happen far less often! I don’t mean we shouldn’t investigate and prosecute the perps, but is it really a threat to all African Americans that someone tied a rope in to a noose?

    When we were kids, and my big brother teased me, my mother always said ‘If you didn’t react he would stop’. Good advice?

    In the mostly white, mostly retired neighborhood where my parents live, there is a basketball court that no one ever uses, except for some black guys who come several times a week in the summer. Once, as I was driving by, I was appalled to see a racial epithet written on a nearby building; I immediately called the police, and in less than 24 hours, it was painted over. I probably wasn’t the only person who alerted authorities, and that was the end of it. It never happened again. I don’t think it even made the news, it was just immediately taken care of. I don’t know if any of the black guys who use the basketball court saw it, but they still come every summer :)

    • #8
  9. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    There are always some sad sacks on the wrong side of history.   One of my patients was the first Black basketball player at Louisville in 59 or so.  Change happens, often slowly, and I’m happy as all get out it’s not 1959 race relation wise.

    I’ll cut LeBron some slack since he just got hard R N-worded.    Go Cavs ;-)

     

    • #9
  10. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    Great piece Derryck. I’ve been a LeBron fan for some time now  (and I don’t even like basketball) and am willing to give him a bit of a pass on this. Given the mood of the country, and his most ardent supporters, pushing too hard against the current narrative in the middle of the finals is a bit much to ask. I’d love it if he just didn’t want to talk about it, but I’m not sure that’s really an option.

    That said, your overall perspective is spot on. I’m just not sure we can expect the messengers to be NBA stars.

    • #10
  11. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Thanks for your perspective. I think LeBron was put in a hard spot here. I’ve read the good things he’s done in the Cleveland area. I’ll cut him little slack. It will take several of his stature to buck this all at one time to make an end rode.

    Still a Steph Curry fan, though. I have to be. Parents Va. Tech grads and both kids played at North Carolina schools. Practically watched him grow up.

    • #11
  12. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    FightinInPhilly (View Comment):
    That said, your overall perspective is spot on. I’m just not sure we can expect the messengers to be NBA stars.

    To achieve and sustain a career like LeBron’s you not only have to have athletic gifts in the top 0.1% (or higher, really,) you have to be very intelligent and tremendously disciplined.

    To expect someone so blessed to be, at the same time, a social leader with rare perception and courage is expecting too much. It’s wonderful when someone is all that, but it’s too much to demand.

    That said, I can’t help but wish he had acted differently.

    Derryck Green:As many of these and other racial hoaxes demonstrate, the perpetrator of either incident may be black. Consequently, both acts should be condemned in the strongest possible terms because they’re wrong and immoral — on their own merits — but also because of what these acts signify and the division intended by them, despite the assumed color of the culprit.

    Yes! when an act is despicable, to baselessly impute it to an innocent individual or group is also despicable.

    I’m white and in my 60s. I had a high school teacher who told us about the Harlem Renaissance and brought it to us in class not only in what we read, but in the recordings she played on the phonograph she checked out from the school’s AV department. She’d play part of a Caedmon recording of whatever Greek play we were studying, and then if we were behaving ourselves she’d play one of her (own) Billie Holiday records. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mrs. White was a black woman; there was also no doubt that she was a citizen of the Commonwealth of (Arts and) Letters (reading Silverlock helped me understand what Mrs. White was trying to do) and that she was offering us the opportunity to join her there.

    She saw a lot in her day: she was a 1938 graduate of Berkeley High School, and went on to chair its English department. Racially restrictive covenants in property developments, while illegal and unenforcible at least since the Fair Housing Act (actually I think since California’s own Rumford Act of 1963), were still part of property owners agreements throughout the Bay Area at least into the late 1990s:

    HUD announced last week that it had reached an agreement with the Lakeside Property Owners Association, which covers about 450 single-family homes across from the San Francisco State University campus, to remove a racial covenant that had been in its bylaws since 1939, when the development was built by the Stoneson brothers.

    Although the federal agency found no evidence the restriction was ever enforced, its very existence is illegal.

    HUD said it is looking into covenants in San Francisco and Daly City – especially subdivisions built by the Stoneson brothers, who also built the Stonestown shopping center.

     

    • #12
  13. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Do you feel there are different barriers put up based on race and socioeconomic considerations? Say, being treated ‘black’ by white people and being treated ‘white’ by black people?

    I’m probably to the point of genuinely not knowing how to act or not how to act, to care or not care….

    Difficult to say. I know that I’ve experienced both treatments, so to speak, and I’m not sure how much class had to do with it. Often times whites pre-judge, resulting in being treated as the racial other, before words are spoken or actions observed. OTOH, blacks listen to the content of what I have to say and have judged me as acting/thinking ‘white’.

    Your last point really concerns me. We’re literally to the point that treating people based on content, or how one wants to be treated (Biblically speaking), is wrong, offensive or some sort of microagression that causes further division and encourages proactive segregation to prevent potential fallout. It’s sad because of the obvious moral but also cultural consequences- such as increasing racial resentment. Discourages civility and brotherhood (commonality)…

     

    • #13
  14. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    FightinInPhilly (View Comment):
    Given the mood of the country, and his most ardent supporters, pushing too hard against the current narrative in the middle of the finals is a bit much to ask. I’d love it if he just didn’t want to talk about it, but I’m not sure that’s really an option.

    That’s my point as well. He could’ve shot this issue down very diplomatically by downplaying its impact on him, his family and the country. Instead, he doubled down on how tough it is to be black *and* raised the issue of Emmett Till, which I think was disingenuous, and wrong.

    • #14
  15. Jerome Danner Inactive
    Jerome Danner
    @JeromeDanner

    Derryck Green:

    There is nothing that I can say or add to your piece.  It struck me as dang near perfect.  James’ comments about the vandalism done to his house really got under my skin when he brought up Emmitt Till’s death to make it seem like we live that same kind of hate and evil today.  I kind of rolled my eyes and thought you just said what many African American folks wanted you to say.

    Mr. Green, would you ever be willing to be interviewed for a podcast?

    • #15
  16. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    LeBron needs an advisor to convince him that something like this might work a little better:

    “I make $30 million a year and can afford a can of spray paint to cover this up.  There isn’t enough money in the world to buy the idiot that did this a new brain.  I’m cool.”

    Had he done that, everyone would love it.  As it is, the only people who are impressed are the usual collection of grievance mongers.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The first company that I worked for after college hired a black engineer at the same time. We started the same day. At some point during the first week there was a company meeting. Part of the agenda was to introduce the new faces; what department we were in, where we were from, which schools we had attended. For me, that was all there was, but while they were introducing Alan, the presenter mentioned that the company was on target in its effort to hire minorities (“diversity” hadn’t been invented yet).

    I never got a change to talk to Alan about that. I couldn’t really think of a way to broach the subject. What I know is that he was one of the best guys working at that company. He clearly put in a lot more effort than some others did, and I always wondered if he wasn’t trying to prove to the rest of us (and maybe, subconsciously or otherwise, himself?) that he was more than an affirmative action hire. If I needed a pin-out checked or a board’s functionality verified I would take it to Alan first.

    • #17
  18. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Concur wholeheartedly with the post as written.

    Also, seeing video footage of the estate–it’s too big to call a house–made the depth of the milk in the cup of human kindness run a little shallow.

    There are enough data points on faux hate crimes that maybe waiting until an investigation was complete before making a statement would’ve been prudent.

    Oh, and if you’re the preeminent star of the NBA and you don’t have CCTV of the front gate of your estate, 24/7 and backed up off site real time, with a private Special Response Team that would have the guy hemmed up and flex-cuffed before he got to N-I-G, then you’re doing it wrong.

    • #18
  19. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Derryck Green (View Comment):
    Your last point really concerns me. We’re literally to the point that treating people based on content, or how one wants to be treated (Biblically speaking), is wrong, offensive or some sort of microagression that causes further division and encourages proactive segregation to prevent potential fallout. It’s sad because of the obvious moral but also cultural consequences- such as increasing racial resentment. Discourages civility and brotherhood (commonality)…

    Me, too. One of the things I like about Prof. Weinburg, of Evergreen University fame, is that he is steadfastly insisting that he isn’t a racist. I’ve been told that for a white person to say “I’m not racist” is, itself, racist: I emphatically disagree. But even as we speak, earnest white liberals all over the land are wasting time anxiously examining their every thought and feeling for signs of bias. Indeed, my denomination is actively encouraging this solipsistic behavior.

    The exercise will do nothing whatsoever for anybody—certainly not for people, black white or other, who actually need help. It’s selfish and therefore sinful (if I may wax theological for a mo’).

    And in the meantime, little kids in Chicago are getting shot because the city government can’t be bothered to provide them with adequate protection–why did no one invoke Emmet Till when little Levontay White was murdered?

     

    • #19
  20. GingerB Member
    GingerB
    @GingerB

    Derryck Green (View Comment):

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Do you feel there are different barriers put up based on race and socioeconomic considerations? Say, being treated ‘black’ by white people and being treated ‘white’ by black people?

    I’m probably to the point of genuinely not knowing how to act or not how to act, to care or not care….

    Difficult to say. I know that I’ve experienced both treatments, so to speak, and I’m not sure how much class had to do with it. Often times whites pre-judge, resulting in being treated as the racial other, before words are spoken or actions observed. OTOH, blacks listen to the content of what I have to say and have judged me as acting/thinking ‘white’.

    Your last point really concerns me. We’re literally to the point that treating people based on content, or how one wants to be treated (Biblically speaking), is wrong, offensive or some sort of microagression that causes further division and encourages proactive segregation to prevent potential fallout. It’s sad because of the obvious moral but also cultural consequences- such as increasing racial resentment. Discourages civility and brotherhood (commonality)…

    Thank you for this. Since I’m over 65 I was educated in the “universality of man”  schools, and (even though I’m a woman :) ) I still think it does more to promote harmony.  I tend to treat individuals as individuals, and I don’t like all this division. Great post, by the way.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Derryck Green (View Comment):
    Your last point really concerns me. We’re literally to the point that treating people based on content, or how one wants to be treated (Biblically speaking), is wrong, offensive or some sort of microagression that causes further division and encourages proactive segregation to prevent potential fallout. It’s sad because of the obvious moral but also cultural consequences- such as increasing racial resentment. Discourages civility and brotherhood (commonality)…

    Me, too. One of the things I like about Prof. Weinburg, of Evergreen University fame, is that he is steadfastly insisting that he isn’t a racist. I’ve been told that for a white person to say “I’m not racist” is, itself, racist: I emphatically disagree. But even as we speak, earnest white liberals all over the land are wasting time anxiously examining their every thought and feeling for signs of bias. Indeed, my denomination is actively encouraging this solipsistic behavior.

    The exercise will do nothing whatsoever for anybody—certainly not for people, black white or other, who actually need help. It’s selfish and therefore sinful (if I may wax theological for a mo’).

    And in the meantime, little kids in Chicago are getting shot because the city government can’t be bothered to provide them with adequate protection–why did no one invoke Emmet Till when little Levontay White was murdered?

    It  was a gang hit on his uncle, according to the police.

    • #21
  22. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    And in the meantime, little kids in Chicago are getting shot because the city government can’t be bothered to provide them with adequate protection–why did no one invoke Emmet Till when little Levontay White was murdered?

    It has to do with in groups and out groups. Stalin killed about as many Russians as Hitler and Mao killed more Chinese than the Japanese but since Stalin and Mao were part of an in group, their murders were overlooked. Also, blacks have power over whites if they have the ability to shame them. American mainstream white society gives a sort of holy status to victims.

    Also, addressing the rising rates of murder in Chicago means facing the reality that black men who are young poor and fatherless have a cultural problem with violence. It is psychologically easier for many blacks to complain about racism and not talk the most serious problems in the black community.

    • #22
  23. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    And in the meantime, little kids in Chicago are getting shot because the city government can’t be bothered to provide them with adequate protection–why did no one invoke Emmet Till when little Levontay White was murdered?

    It has to do with in groups and out groups. Stalin killed about as many Russians as Hitler and Mao killed more Chinese than the Japanese but since Stalin and Mao were part of an in group, their murders were overlooked. Also, blacks have power over whites if they have the ability to shame them. American mainstream white society gives a sort of holy status to victims.

    Also, addressing the rising rates of murder in Chicago means facing the reality that black men who are young poor and fatherless have a cultural problem with violence. It is psychologically easier for many blacks to complain about racism and not talk the most serious problems in the black community.

    Sure, but there is a way to protest this and even call it—possibly not completely wrongly—racist: it is the government’s job to protect citizens from violence no matter the cause. Levontay White had the right to be protected from murder. If it isn’t racist to allow black Americans (including children) to suffer this fear and violence, what the heck else can it be? When little (mostly) white kids get shot by white men with white-male-problems (see  Sandy Hook, for instance) liberals don’t ignore it. Okay, granted, the proposed remedies are useless, but at least remedies are proposed, on the reasonable grounds that it is the government’s/society’s job to protect children from murder. All children?

    • #23
  24. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Great post, Derryck.

    As far as the possibility of hoax goes, I’m particularly suspicious about the noose, as that has become one of the favorite hoaxes.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve heard about a noose being hung in the last 20 years or so that didn’t turn out to be a hoax.

    Regardless of whether the perpetrator is white or black, it should be pursued vigorously.  Too often, upon discovering a hoax, any thought of punishment evaporates, on the theory that it’s more important to ‘raise awareness’.

    • #24
  25. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    DocJay (View Comment):
    There are always some sad sacks on the wrong side of history. One of my patients was the first Black basketball player at Louisville in 59 or so. Change happens, often slowly, and I’m happy as all get out it’s not 1959 race relation wise.

    I’ll cut LeBron some slack since he just got hard R N-worded. Go Cavs ?

    Great post, Derryck. Thank you.

    Sorry DocJay (and others), but I cut LeBron no slack. I have no patience with this wallowing in victimhood, which is itself racist.   He’s a game-playing billionaire whose gate MIGHT have been vandalized by a white person; but more likely not, if you look at the ratio of hoax “hate crimes” to real.  His wealth and his ability to earn it by doing well in a children’s game are derived from the pockets of people, most of them not black, who do actual useful work.  I’ll trade his victimhood for my alleged privilege any day.

    Man up, LeBron.

    Emmet Till died.  LeBron was not harmed in the least.

    • #25
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    Great post, Derryck.

    As far as the possibility of hoax goes, I’m particularly suspicious about the noose, as that has become one of the favorite hoaxes. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve heard about a noose being hung in the last 20 years or so that didn’t turn out to be a hoax.

    Regardless of whether the perpetrator is white or black, it should be pursued vigorously. Too often, upon discovering a hoax, any thought of punishment evaporates, on the theory that it’s more important to ‘raise awareness’.

    I don’t know, JM. I have heard that some of the hoaxers have faced the prospect of prosecution for filing false police reports. If they plead guilty — and especially if it is a first offense — I suspect they face nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The media will not display any interest even if there is a prosecution. It wouldn’t fit the narrative. It’s far more important to cover Trump’s latest Twitter outrage anyway.

    • #26
  27. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Derryck Green: This, LeBron James, is tough. Indeed, it is the black person’s burden.

    I can’t believe you missed such a great opportunity to say “black man’s burden.”

    • #27
  28. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Derryck Green: LeBron James, Racism, and a Missed Opportunity

    I woke up thinking: “Missed Opportunity” is exactly what this is. And it’s part of a pattern of missed opportunities in which something wonderful could have been done for all of us, especially black Americans.

    One of the great tragedies of the Obama administration—in itself a giant missed opportunity in this area—is that, as a group,  black Americans not only did worse they felt worse. Under GWB, most Americans and most African Americans felt pretty good about racial progress. They now feel terrible about racial progress. There is no reason whatever to think that white Americans mysteriously became more racist over the past decade; indeed, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    So how on earth can Lebron or Barack or any of the rest of these rich, powerful people, in good conscience, keep working to persuade young black Americans that they live in a world that hates them? That all around them ordinary white people are secretly conspiring to victimize them in ways they will not be able to to endure no matter how rich and powerful they (paradoxically) become?

    This is profoundly disempowering and cruel besides. LeBron may get what my mother used to inelegantly call his “jollies” from pretending that some schmuck with a spray can can hurt him, but there are kids out there who really do not need more reasons for despair. Indeed, they really needed LeBron (et al) to say “you know what? The guy who wrote the N word on my gate, all these people who do dumb sh** like this? They’re pathetic, wormy little nobodies. Ignore them. You are surrounded by people of all colors who want the best for you, and there are a thousand opportunities to do meaningful, interesting things with your God-given life and talents. Life is good and life is short, so don’t let the nobodies waste your time.”

     

    • #28
  29. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    Jerome Danner:
    James’ comments about the vandalism done to his house really got under my skin when he brought up Emmitt Till’s death to make it seem like we live that same kind of hate and evil today.

    First- thanks for the good words, Jerome. I appreciate them.

    Second, Like you, James invoking Emmett Till made me cringe. There are simply NO parallels to what happened to Till, and the America of that age, and what happened to James- or any other blacks, and the America of this age. Warts and all. This irrevocable marriage between blacks and victimhood has and will continue to be our undoing, until we recast victimization as something to be overcome rather than managed. And sadly, I see very little that encourages me that the possibility is upon us.

    As for the podcast, absolutely.

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  30. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    Percival:
    He clearly put in a lot more effort than some others did, and I always wondered if he wasn’t trying to prove to the rest of us (and maybe, subconsciously or otherwise, himself?) that he was more than an affirmative action hire.

    Probably a bit of both. This is yet one more reason affirmative action as a quota system must be ended. The stigma of aa on black achievement almost never goes away and it reinforces a racial inferiority complex in blacks that’s already difficult enough to deal with on its own.

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