“It’s a delicate situation. Racism, we know, exists. You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is going to be. But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much and then they have to go out and live it themselves”.
– Lebron James
Click below to watch video and then I have some thoughts on the matter below that.
Posting this on the heels of my submission earlier this week entitled: “Race vs. Class”. The video above vividly illustrates in many ways the point I wanted to make in that blog post, which is that the issues surrounding our racial divide in America supersede class. If class were truly the nexus of this aged issue – LBJ would surely qualify as someone who would escape the type of scenario that transpired at his home in Los Angeles over the course of the last 24 to 48 hours.
Here is a young man who has by all accounts been as stellar off the floor as he has been on it (which is a mouthful). Here is an individual who was simply minding his own business and taking care of his responsibilities as not only a world-class basketball player headed to the NBA finals – but more importantly as a husband and a father. And, yet, here we go again with another malicious act performed against a black person in America (“the home of the free and the land of the brave”) for no good reason, whatsoever.
Now, despite this blatantly disrespectful and wildly uncalled for derogatory act in which someone spray painted the word “N@&$er” on the front entrance of his home – we all know the inevitable reaction that will come from the apologists among us. “This was just a bad apple”. “Probably some idiot on drugs”. “This was just someone who wanted to get attention or who wants to stir up racial tensions”. And that load of crap right there is exactly how America has managed to avoid the truth about race since its inception. It’s how America avoids engaging in legitimate discourse regarding the truth that racism is in fact alive and well in this country. One has to ask their-self how many so called “isolated incidents” have to occur before someone finally stands the hell up and says “we got ourselves a problem”??
While this incident was disturbing – and it to put it plainly: it just really sucks – Lebron James will be ok at the end of the day. He is wealthier than most and undoubtedly wields untold power by way of his influence and prestigious position upon the national and international stage. But, there are countless other black folks whose names and stories are not going to trend on social media when they encounter far worse scenarios than the unfortunate event Lebron experienced. And when they face their nightmarish dilemma – and at this rate they certainly will – it will be for one reason and one reason only. They are an African-American.
Money or no money – educated or uneducated – black people in this country cannot curtail the depravity of the racist heart that beats in the chests of far too many Americans in every state and in every city across this nation. However, if America will finally, as a whole, come to terms with its long-standing issue of racism. If we will – each of us – be willing to participate in an open and honest discussion (as LBJ admirably did in the video above – was not concerned about his “brand”) – we CAN change the narrative together. We can deconstruct the stereotypes…we can recognize the vicious legacy of white supremacy and meet it head on…we can decide to set the record straight regarding the predicament we face and how it came into existence.
I look forward to celebrating that day despite the odds stacked against us and will not give up the fight. But, make no mistake, in order to get there we must first diagnose the problem for what it is. Without an accurate diagnosis it will be impossible to recommend an effective treatment plan. Which means that a complete and thorough examination of our corporate body will be necessary. America needs to allow for an MRI to be performed and in doing so I think she will find what many of us suspected all along. Unfortunately a cancerous mass of racism has formed in her soul over time. Not only that but it has gone undetected for so long that it has spread throughout her body and treatment must begin immediately. Then and only then can we go into remission and the healing truly begin. And if and when we are able to come to grips with the truth about the gravity of our current circumstances – THAT is when equality in America can finally become a reality.
Oreos to go: Incidents surrounding race in America are not the exception – they are the rule.
*Adding full video of Lebron’s comments to Double Stuff Oreos in main menu*
More than a blog. It’s a movement.
Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.
And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos.