Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jason Whitlock Reveals His Own Ignorance By Attacking LeBron James

You may have missed it but a few weeks back someone wrote racial slurs on Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James' offseason Brentwood home. As far as I know the perpetrator hasn't been identified. Thanks to a demanding Day Job I didn't have a chance to write on it when it occurred. As you might imagine, as anyone would have been, James was upset about the violation of his home.

On the eve of his seventh straight NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James’ Los Angeles-area offseason home was vandalized with a racial slur, according to multiple reports. Los Angeles Police Department detectives are investigating an alleged hate crime after someone spray-painted the N-word on the front gate of James’ house in Brentwood, Calif. TMZ Sports first reported the incident, which has since been confirmed by the LAPD through the local NBC affiliate. Police were called to the home around 7 a.m. local time, and the racially charged graffiti was painted over within hours of its discovery, according to reports. 

In a news conference in Oakland, James told reporters, “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.” “It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America,” James added. “And, you know, hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. And even though that it’s concealed most of the time, even though people hide their faces and will say things about you, and when they see you, they smile in your face, it’s alive every single day.”

James compared modern day racism to that of the tragic story of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy from Chicago who was brutally attacked and killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman during a visit to Mississippi. His mother insisted on having an open casket at the funeral, so attendees could see what race-based hatred had done to her son.

Some bigots claimed that this didn't happen or even more ludicrously that LeBron did it himself in order to drum up sympathy. Not to be outdone in his desire to show his disdain for all things black, sports analyst and professional troll Jason Whitlock took it upon himself to chastise, not the unknown person or persons who vandalized James' home, but James himself.

The people that murdered Emmett Till got off, an all-white jury let them off; there was no real investigation, the whole town was against him. LeBron’s $20 million Brentwood home gets vandalized and I see two or three police cars trying to get to the bottom of it,” Whitlock said Thursday. “LeBron’s staff, I’m sure, cleaned up the spray paint within hours. This ain’t Emmett Till.”
Whitlock said the racist vandalism was simply “a disrespectful inconvenience” for James, who he said had “fallen into the far-left trap of there’s value in embracing your victimhood.”
“Racism is an issue in America but is primarily an issue for the poor. It’s not LeBron James’ issue,” Whitlock said. “He has removed himself from the damages and the ravages of real racism.”

Now maybe Whitlock, who has famously failed in both athletics and media, is simply jealous of James, who is prospering at the highest level of athletics and successfully making moves to build up a post-NBA career business and media presence. Perhaps Whitlock simply had a low blood sugar moment and was irritable. But the most likely explanation is that Whitlock is a willing and well paid puppet for white racists. He says ugly things that are no longer fashionable for them to say out loud. And he does that for a lot more than 30 pieces of silver. It's not the first time that Whitlock has turned his ire on black excellence. But let's be fair and not attack the man but review his argument, such as it is. It is true that James is a wealthy man. Supposedly his net worth is somewhere between $300-$400 million. With the right moves he may become a billionaire before he leaves this world. Not bad for a kid from Akron. Wealth and success allow anyone to reduce the stress and problems they experience. 

But the whole point of racism is that racists don't care about how much money you make, how important your job is, what your education might be, how well dressed or well spoken you are or any other characteristics. In fact, some racists really seem to enjoy showing wealthy, successful or powerful blacks that none of their worldly power means as much as their race. 

The tennis player James Blake is worth $8 million or so. That didn't protect him from being assaulted by the police. Oprah Winfrey is worth around $3 billion and change. That didn't mean anything to a white boutique employee who assumed that Oprah couldn't afford an expensive handbag. Professor Henry Louis Gates is a world famous intellectual who's worth over $1 million. His intelligence and urbanity didn't prevent him from being seen as suspicious by a white neighbor and arrested for entering his own homeFormer NFL Houston Texans player Ryan Moats is worth around $6 million. His wealth was irrelevant to the white police officer who purposely prevented Moats from visiting his dying mother-in-law, pulled a gun on him, and snidely lectured him as if he were a child in a transparent attempt to antagonize Moats so that the cop could use deadly force. 

So racism is much more than an inconvenience. And your money won't necessarily protect you from racism. Whitlock would know this if he had ever bothered to read Ellis Cose's "Rage of a Privileged Class" or Lawrence Otis Graham's "Member of The Club" which each explain in gory detail exactly how racism can limit the life choices of black Americans with high six, seven, or eight figure household incomes. Since the time that Whitlock vomited forth his belief that "racism is primarily an issue for the poor" there have been studies released which show that police are more disrespectful to black drivers than to white ones, blacks in the military are more likely to be found guilty and face harsher punishment than whites, blacks pay more for worse health care, and of course that that there are still significant racial disparities in employment, housing, pay and wealth. Blacks of all income and wealth levels are caught up in that. This is all going on today, right this instant, across the US. It's not just something from 1957 or in states where everyone speaks with a drawl.

If the police decide to assault me they won't hesitate and ask for my W2 or most recent 401K statement before proceeding. If someone doesn't want to sell me a home because they don't like blacks, the fact that I could pay cash won't change their mind. If I am walking or driving in what someone considers to be the wrong neighborhood they will not be mollified by me waving $100 bills around. That's not how it works. It's not how any of this works. It's almost like the universe is trying to tell us that Whitlock doesn't know what he's talking about. Whitlock certainly didn't bother to talk to other wealthy or noted black athletes about their experiences. He must not have talked to C. Nicole Mason, scholar, author and professor, who likely has more than a few nickels to rub together, about her recent arrest.

And that's not even mentioning the Philando Castille murderer, police officer Jeronimo Yanez walking free, black high school students being placed on a kill list, or a mentally challenged pregnant black woman, Charleena Lyles, being shot by police. In all of those situations, wealth or income was not relevant. Race was. Obviously it is better to be black in 2017 America than in 1917 America or 1817 America. And it's better to have money than not. But let's not pretend that race doesn't make a difference in your life opportunities. Lebron James saw the Tamir Rice video just like we all did. That could have been his son. And the black girl brutalized by police at the pool party could have been his daughter. Whitlock is attacking James for the sin of recognizing that he is Black in America and that racism still exists. Whitlock makes a good living attacking other blacks and downplaying racism. This "always class, never race" approach is inaccurate, whether it comes from the left or the right, from people with good intentions or from those with malevolent ones. I don't care that Whitlock thinks of himself as a brave contrarian or holds more conservative ideas. Plenty of black people have conservative ideas. Bully for them. Nothing wrong with that. I have conservative ideas on some issues too. Do I get a cookie?

But when you spread false ideas and only attack other black people, that's a problem. Whitlock would never dare aim his so-called "tough love"  truth telling at whites. He'd be out of a job if he did. Whitlock uses his media platform to spew bigotry at blacks and other minorities like a modern day real life Archie Bunker. However unlike the late actor Carroll O'Connor who made the Bunker character famous, Whitlock doesn't realize that he's a joke. He doesn't deal in facts. Whitlock deals in resentments and hatreds. He trades on his skin tone to regurgitate anti-black poison. Whitlock evidently thinks that a black man with money should be silent about racism. No. It's the very black people who have made it who have the opportunity and ultimately responsibility to speak out and where possible make changes so that the next generation has a slightly easier time of it.

But ultimately NFL Packers Tight End Martellus Bennett put it best

blog comments powered by Disqus