Cuban’s Wrong, ‘One Size Prejudice Doesn’t Fit All,’ And Why Does It Take Cuban, a White Guy, for Other Whites to Admit Prejudice?

Mark Cuban, SterlingBy Walter L. Hilliard III –

 

So Mark Cuban’s at it again, defending the racist, beleaguered Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who made all sorts of racist comments about Blacks and demanded his girlfriend, V. Stiviano (the artist formerly known as Maria Vanessa Perez), who was secretly recording Sterling, not bring Black people like Earvin “Magic” Johnson to Clipper games.  Here’s what Cuban’s saying now:  “We’re all prejudiced in one way or the other . . . . If I see a Black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of . . . . While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it’s an issue that we have to control . . . . It’s part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road because it does my company no good, does my customers no good, does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism or bigotry is to say, ‘It’s not right for you to be here, go take your attitude somewhere else . . . . We’re a lot less tolerant of different views and it’s not necessarily easy for everybody to adopt or adapt or evolve. ”

 

So Cuban’s logic is no different than George Zimmerman’s, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, because Cuban, like Zimmerman, says he would react in a racist manner to a Black kid in a hoodie and cross the street. Cuban sees Martin as a threat like Zimmerman does, so what if Cuban happened to have a gun and didn’t have the time or desire to cross the street? Obviously, he may have also shot Martin.

 

Geese!

 

Okay, a quick lesson on race:  Black people call out racism all the time because we are born, bread and raised to develop and sharpen our instinctive survival skills as victims of anti-Black racism, especially the racism coming from White folks, the dominant American culture, who’s history we are taught, banks we deal with, TV shows and movies we watch, teachers we’re taught by, and they, Whites, are the bosses we deal with.  Thus, Black people live in a predominantly White country and understand Whites very well.

 

On the other hand, White people can go their entire lives and never have to deal with a Black person face to face for a bank loan, in the workplace, or otherwise.  But even for those Whites that are around Blacks, they don’t have to focus on those Black people’s feelings because they’re White, they have power and/or White privilege.  And it’s funny that it apparently takes Mark Cuban to confess that he is prejudiced, really racist (“racial prejudice,” same difference), for White America to “come out of the closet” and support Cuban and admit to their own racism. But, again, Black people have been telling White America they are racist — and that they need to do something about it — for 400 years.

 

If it walks like a duck . . . .

 

Yes, Mark Cuban is a racist because he said he’d cross the street if a Black kid was coming towards him in a hoodie, and he is committing another racist act by repeatedly defending the racist Donald Sterling because, I believe, he himself has “racial skeletons” in his closet – and Sterling, who has been a mentor to Cuban and others when they purchased their NBA teams, may have the dirt on Cuban and some of the other owners talking in a racist manner or practicing racist acts. This is why Cuban, who is a brilliant business man but not so smart when it comes to issues of race, is trying to get out ahead of any negative information regarding his own history so he can say, “Well, I told you I was prejudiced, too, all of us are.”

 

And the media is buying Cuban’s “we are all prejudiced” comments, calling him “candid,” “honest,” and “open,” as if he’s doing America a favor.

 

I agree that some racist deserve a shot at being rehabilitated, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be rehabbed, so we have to ask ourselves what is the risk of letting a racist have a second shot in the workplace or as an owner of a team? What checks or criteria will we have in place for an individual who may or may not be able to be rehabbed?

 

Sterling has too much power to allow his racist views to run amok and destroy more minority lives, such as he was able to do in the case of Elgin Baylor, a former Clipper executive who lost his discrimination lawsuit against Sterling. But let’s also not forget the threat Sterling and his racism is to his Clipper players, to Black employees in his team’s administrative offices or even minority contractors who may lose out on getting his business because of his racist views.

 

But subtle racism – whether the individual is conscious of it or not – is more widespread but harder to identify. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said as much: “But we ought not find contentment in the fact that these high-profile expressions of outright bigotry seem atypical and were met with such swift condemnation. Because if we focus solely on these incidents — on outlandish statements that capture national attention and spark outrage on Facebook and Twitter — we are likely to miss the more hidden, and more troubling, reality behind the headlines.

 

“These outbursts of bigotry, while deplorable, are not the true markers of the struggle that still must be waged, or the work that still needs to be done — because the greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines. They are more subtle. They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.”

 

Cuban has established a negative pattern of supporting Sterling and has even had to apologize to Trayvon Martin’s – the teen wearing a hoodie gunned down by George Zimmerman – family, saying he should have used a different example. I agree because any Black man should be able to wear a hoodie and go wherever he wants to, just like any White man should be able to do.

 

The other problem with Cuban’s comments is that he’s using an old defensiveness tactic – “We all can be racist, we all can be prejudice” – that most Whites use when Blacks bring up racism because they don’t want to hear it and don’t want to feel guilty. “You’re playing the Race Card,” they tell Blacks. But the problem is that there is a living, breathing history of racial discrimination that costs Black people their jobs and lives everyday.

 

No, Mr. Cuban — Black people cannot be racist.  They do not have the power, including a history of institutional racism, to carryout any prejudice they may have and discriminate against White America on any significant level.  And Blacks are the victims of racism, not the perpetrators, so they should be angry, and some may hate Whites — but that’s because they’ve been abused.  Anyone being abused has a right to be angry.  And when you start denying a people, Black people, the right to be angry, well, that’s just inhumane.

 

 

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