I just listened to Jason Whitlock‘s talk with Colin Cowherd about Lebron James and racism. The Atlantic says the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that LeBron James was the victim of an apparent hate crime Wednesday morning when a racial slur was written in graffiti on the front gate of his L.A. home.
Lebron James had a couple things to say about the vandalism:
“No matter much money you have. No matter how famous you are. No matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.”
According to the Atlantic, James also said “one of the first things that came to his mind when he saw the graffiti was the mother of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American teenager who was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955.”
Jason Whitlock was talking to Colin Cowherd and had plenty to say about Lebron’s comments.
Here are the most noteworthy things that I heard from Whitlock…
“Lebron James has fallen into the far left [philosophy that there] is value in embracing your victimhood.”
“[Lebron’s] comments analogizing any part of this to Emmit Till is preposterous.”
“Racism is an issue in America, but it is primarily an issue for the poor. It’s not Lebron James’s issue. Lebron James, whether he likes it or not, or whether people close to him are telling him or not, he has removed himself from the damages and the ravages of real racism.”
“Lebron’s staff, I’m sure, cleaned up the spray paint within hours. This ain’t Emmit Till. And we need to quit. And Lebron needs to quit embracing his victimhood, because he is not a victim. And it’s a terrible message for black people.”
“I’m 50 years old. I’m grown. I get when I was young person, some people called me a bad name, the N-word, whatever, it hurt my feelings. But did it stop me from rising? Hell no.”
“Lebron’s comment about, uh, no matter how rich you are or no matter how famous you are, it’s tough being black in America. That is a lie. It’s not tough being Oprah Winfrey. It’s not tough being Lebron James. It’s not tough being Jason Whitlock.”
“When I leave here today, I am going to drive to Wilshire Boulevard, get out of my car, and throw the keys to my car to some white or latino man whose going to say, ‘Mr. Whitlock, anything I can do for you today?’ I’m going to go into my building, the concierge, probably black, is going to say, ‘Mr. Whitlock I got a package for you. Anything I can do for you today?’ And then I’m going to go up to my fourth floor apartment and continue to do whatever the hell it is I want to do. And I ‘m not nearly as rich as Lebron James. And so to sit here and act like Lebron, Oprah, me, and a bunch of people in between have some miserable life . . . . That’s not our existence. That is a lie.”
“Where the real impact of racism is, is among the poor.”
“This message that we are constantly pumping out to young black people . . . that we are just victims . . . and the worst thing in the world is to be black in America is just not true.
“The worst thing to be in America, and anywhere on the planet, is poor. … If you are poor, regardless of color, you are catching hell in America and on this planet. Lebron has risen above poverty to that special elevated place we have in this society where pretty much nothing can bother him.”
Many people and media outlets disagree with Jason Whitlock’s thoughts about Lebron and race. The Root published an article with the following headline: Jason Whitlock, Please STFU About LeBron, Racism, Everyone, Everything Forever. Deadspin’s headline proclaims: Coworker, Athletes Give Jason Whitlock Shit For Criticising LeBron On Racism.
I think Jason Whitlock is wrong about his belief that Lebron James has removed himself from the damages of racism. I also think he is wrong in his assertion that racism is primarily an issue for the poor. However, I think Jason Whitlock is right to speak out against the victim mindset. Also, I think Whitlock is right to push back against any attempts to create connects between the vandalism that occurred with James and the crime that was committed against Emmit Till.
What do you think?