Lebron James was recently the recipient of racial targeting at his home. Someone painted the word ni**er on his front gate, and the police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. There is no one who would receive this kind of treatment, and not be negatively affected by it, especially parents of young children. How does a parent explain these expressions of what may be unwarranted hate directed at ones family explain this to their children? It is not an easy thing to digest, but it is the reality of the world that we live in. It is an imperfect world, and bad things do happen, including racist acts. Lebron James was clearly affected by this act. In a subdued and heartfelt interview he expressed how difficult it was for him to be away from his family during this difficult time, and you got a sense that Mr. James is a really committed family man who wants to protect, and be there for his family to comfort them.
As difficult as these things are to absorb, it is important to keep the big picture in mind. Perspective is important, and it was disappointing to hear him talk about difficult it is to be a black man in America. Why does it always have to come to that? Unlike many people on the left who seem to rejoice so they could say I told you so whenever something like this happens, Lebron James appears to be genuinely disturbed by this incident, and it is difficult to believe that he is just riding the “oppressed black man” train. His view of America though has no doubt been colored by the negative brush that many who thrive in the race industry have used to paint a picture of the country.
How refreshing would it have been to hear LeBron James talk of how blessed he is to live in a country like this where he is allowed to thrive, be successful, that despite setbacks, obstacles, trials, and tribulations, America is a place where people by and large respect each other and do not behave this way. It would have been great to hear him say that the life he lives, the stature he has gained and enjoys in his profession, the respect he has garnered in his community, and the many opportunities that continue to be opened to him is more indicative of America than one racist incident directed against him and his family. It would have been pleasant to hear him say that his opinion of the country would not be swayed by the foolish actions of any one individual or group of people. Instead of pointing to the testimony of his life that speaks volumes, he pointed to the action of an individual(s) whose motive for committing the act, and whose identity we do not know as the example of what America is. It is immediately assumed that this act was committed by a white person who hates black people. Are white people the only ones who call black people the N word? Listen to one of LeBron’s friends: “It’s ignorance, that’s what it is.” “Unfortunately in 2017 people still think the way they do. I can’t say it’s surprising given what’s happened in this country the last eight months.” He went on to say “You can be a titan of industry, you can be a community leader, you can be the best at what you do, and they can cut you down to just, ‘You’re black.”
Let’s examine the latter statement first. Is someone painting the word ni**er all it takes to cut someone of Lebron James stature down size? If that is the case then I’m afraid that Mr. James has bigger deeper internal issues to worry about. Second, just as he said; “it is ignorance, he is a titan of industry, a community leader, and he is the best at what he does.” By painting such a fragile picture of Lebron, casting him as some type of victim who is immediately cut down to size by some idiot who painted the word ni**er on a gate, he is not doing his friend any favors. Are you kidding? The man is a rich, privileged, black man of influence who has access to people, places and things that most of us can only dream of. Please spear us the river. On the first statement, yes people still think that way in 2017. It is unreasonable to expect that in a country of almost four hundred million people of so many races, cultures and attitudes that we could somehow get rid of racism. It will never happen! And no one group in this country has a monopoly on racism. Last of all, when his friend talks about what has been happening in the country for the last eight months, have civil rights been rolled back? Are black people the victims of predominantly white violence? do they no longer have access to the courts? Have they lost the franchise? Can businesses no longer be sued for discrimination? are human resources departments no longer protecting the rights of black workers? do they not have access to loans if they show they have the means to pay? Have the whites only sign gone back up. This is not to meant to minimize what happened or to Mr. James or anyone else who has experienced something similar. Perspective is important. What exactly has been happening the last eight months?
Black people in America who insist on playing this silly game, trying to cast yourself as the most oppressed people in the world, it is time to free yourselves of these chains that you have used to fetter yourselves. Emancipate yourselves from the prison of your own making. Stop seeing yourselves as victims supreme and walk as free men. Pay attention to this enlightening statement from Mr. James himself (though he did not intend for it to be enlightening in this way) when he said “It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is with them every day. Even though it’s concealed most of the time, people hide their faces, say things about you. When they see you, they smile in your face. It’s alive every single day.” Observe that he said that it is concealed most of the time. In other words he has no proof, but he does not believe what he sees and experiences. So there is either one of two things going on here. Either Lebron James, and the others who think the way he does have the mind of God, and know what is in the hearts of men when it comes to racism despite what they actually experience everyday, or maybe there nothing that is being concealed, and what most black people experience every day in real terms is the true manifestation of the type of country we are. Maybe, just maybe, the incidents like that happened to him are really the exception of the way people feel.