I’ll Take Racism for $1000, Please

Two wonderful examples of today’s more covert form of racism:

Dan Gilbert’s tirade against the recently departed LeBron James.

The man may have every right to be disappointed that LeBron didn’t take him up on his offer to give him The World, but the type of invective and completely illogical rambling that he was spouting in his letter says volumes to those of us who remember why free agency was put in place in the first place.

Anyone who reads that diatribe cannot fail to see that Dan Gilbert may be the team owner, but in his mind, he owned LeBron James.  Take this back 150 years and he would be calling LeBron a runaway slave and hunting him down, because to him, LeBron and his efforts and his skill belonged to him.  Never mind that LeBron honored the 7 years of his contract.  Never mind that there are actually few players in the NBA that are actually playing in the markets they grew up in.  Never mind that Gilbert loved LeBron’s competitive spirit when it was being put to use on Gilbert’s behalf.  Now, he is accusing him of being a spoiled brat whose behavior has bothered him “for a long time”.

Uh, right.

LeBron couldn’t say it because David Stern would probably have slapped him with a huge fine, but Jesse Jackson said it, and Spike Lee said it, and although neither of these men is among my favorites, they’re right: Dan Gilbert has the slaveowner mentality.  Yes, LeBron could have certainly chosen a more tactful way of announcing his decision, knowing as he must have that THE DECISION (both the decision itself and the show) would hurt his hometown fans, but at the end of the day, smack in the face or otherwise, he had the right to leave and he left, and that is what is chapping Dan Gilbert’s ass.   The slave has left the plantation and neither whips nor chains nor shackles can bring him back.  Sorry, massa.  If you, dear reader, disagree with me, do some research on how free agency developed, and the attitude to the predominantly Black players that owners of ALL teams, especially in the NBA and the NFL, have had over the past 50 years. Then get back to me on that.

Still with the Obama birth certificate

Really?  I mean, really?  I have no problem with people disliking him for his politics, because I don’t agree with everything he’s done either,  but when they start trotting out the birth certificate, or making great note of his middle name as was so often done during his campaign, it gets ridiculous.  Fight with him on the issues and keep it relevant.  The birth certificate issue has been answered over and over and over, and yet certain factions keep harping on this with such certainty that one has to wonder: why?

Well, here’s why, people.  Newsflash: President Obama happens to be, in case you didn’t notice, Black.

This is why I completely understood what Michelle Obama meant when she talked about finally being proud of her country, and people hopped all over her because the take-away from that comment was that she hadn’t been proud of it all along, and how dare she not be proud of the good old U.S. of A?  Well, if you were Black you would know; it has not been, nor is it necessarily any walk in the park now, to be Black in this country.  Study some fucking history and think to yourself how easy it would be for you to be at the receiving end of some of this crap and still walk around thinking this country is the cat’s goddamn meow.  Because this is the stupid shit that Black people in this country have to deal with, where you can have a president dealing with oil spills and Afghanistan and Iran and an economy that still stinks, and what these idiots choose to focus on is, was he really born here?  Do you think this would be happening if it were John Edwards up there? Or any other pink-complected person?

What kills me is that some of these people are the same asses that wanted to change the constitution to make it legal for Schwarzenegger to run for president.  How convenient.  We all know he wasn’t born here but he’s sitting on the right side of the fence for some people and of course, he’s Caucasian so – whisper whisper – he’s one of us.

I rarely get up on the racism bandwagon but that’s not because I delude myself into thinking it doesn’t exist.  It’s because I thankfully don’t have to deal with it personally very often – although I have dealt with it, make no mistake – and if I made myself regularly consider it in my mind I’d be angry all the time. So I try to get along in my nice diverse life and just live.  But today I read about the birth certificate yet again, and with Dan Gilbert acting like a throwback to the 1800’s late last week, I just had to vent.

Racism.  It’s what’s for breakfast.

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