Does Hard Work Pay?

Yesterday, San Antonio Spurs Basketball coach Greg Popovich declared that “if you work hard and lace up your shoes, you can have the American dream, that’s a bunch of hogwash.” He was opining that this sentiment does not apply to black Americans living in this country. Many applauded his “courage,” for “telling it like it is,” for “speaking the truth.” So, if we understand Mr. Popovich correctly, black people are doomed to failure because “the system” is there to keep them down. Mr. Popovich’s statement is not helpful to any black person living in America, and it reeks of the stench that emanates from too many rich, white liberal elites who condescend to black people by making statements like these, and in the process set themselves up as heroic figures that black people need to represent their cause. They then soak in all of the admiration and praise from like minded elitists, and too many black people who then become even more entrenched in a victim mentality.

The irony is that the National Basketball Association with whom Mr. Popovich is employed is dominated by black players. Their demographic makes up almost seventy percent of the league’s members despite being only fourteen percent of the nation’s population.

Career counselors know all too well that making it to professional leagues like the NBA and NFL requires a lot of hard work, and the chances of success in achieving the goal of becoming a professional ball player is very low.  It is tougher than making it to, or in most professions, yet still so many black people make it.

In essence, the message that Mr. Popovich is giving (intentionally or not) to black people is that the many black athletes in the league he represents either did not make it on their own merit and hard work, or he is saying that the only place where hard work can pay off for black people is in the world of sports, because that is one arena where black people have proven to be successful overall. Black people are also some of the most successful people in the entertainment industry, but that probably does not count because becoming, and being and entertainer is easy…no hard work required there either.

According to Mr. Popovich’s world view, if a young black man or woman wants to become a lawyer, doctor, engineer, banker, or businessman, hard work is not enough to get that person to his goal, in fact; getting to those goals are mostly pipe dreams because “the man” is going to be there every step of the way doing everything in his power to ensure that he is not successful. So if a black person was to follow the path of President Obama or any of his Attorneys Generals in pursuit of his dreams, he’d better be prepared to not make it. If a black person emulated the course that Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson took to reach the pinnacle of their career field, it is near impossible for that black person to achieve what she sets out to. Doing what Michael Jordan has accomplished as a businessman was a sheer stroke of luck that simply is not probable for any black person who laces up his boots and works hard, because you see, that person is not white. So there you go! Thanks Greg Popovich.

So what are black people to do? They have to realize that they are incapable of being successful on their own, and they must look to self-appointed saviors of the black community. These saviors will reinforce the theory of black victimhood and feed them the narrative that they are disadvantaged. Many black people will continue to waddle in this victimhood while also continuing to look to others for handouts, because after all; they just cannot do it on their own.

The truth is that the only hogwash being told is Mr. Popovich’s nonsensical statement that hard work does not pay for black people, and this insistence on treating black people like incapable victims in a system that by large rewards those who follow a certain path. No one (especially black people) should view Greg Popovich as any kind of courageous straight talker who knows how to “speak truth to power.” He is a great basketball coach who happens to be a leftist hack that continues to live in a state of constant outrage, and perhaps a measure of white guilt that he must assuage no matter how much things have improved in the United States. Any black person who hears this foolishness should reject it for what it is and refuse to accept this notion that he/she is anyone’s victim. Reject the idea that white people have any inherent advantage over you simply because he is white. Instead, try to pattern the things that most successful white people do, or any other successful group of people for that matter, and you will immediately increase your chances of success.

Call out Mr. Popovich for the liar that he is and refuse to play into his game. See yourself as American as any other person, cast off the shackles that people like Greg Popovich attempt to place on you. Walk around as free men and women with your head held high and follow the rules of success that many have followed to find success.  These rules are the same for everyone. Of course there is no perfect system that exists anywhere in the world, and sometimes bad things just happen. There are issues that black people have and that need to be addressed, but the answer is not simply in he notion that the nebulous “system” is holding them back. Do not walk around with your head hanging down thinking that life is one big litter box simply because you are black. Do not play into that trap!

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