With NBA owners excpected to vote 29-0 to oust racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sat down for an interview with Inc. Magazine at the GrowCo convention on Wednesday in Nashville, and in typical Mark Cuban fashion, he spoke candidly about the topic of racism and bigotry where is freely admitted to having his own prejudices. The Internet doesn't really like when people speak their truth.
“In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it’s toward. We’ve come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We’re a lot more vigilant and we’re a lot less tolerant of different views, and it’s not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve. 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. In my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical,” he said. “I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it’s not appropriate for me to throw stones. When I run into bigotry in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I’ll work with people, send them to sensitivity training, I’ll try to give them a chance to improve themselves. … [I]t’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, it does my customers no good, it 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.’”
Chill. Seriously, everybody chill the fuck out. Instead of focusing on the "black kid in a hoodie" comment and losing your shit over it, how about taking in the whole context of the interview. Granted, that imagery is still fresh because of the senseless death of Trayvon Martin, but please keep in mind that he was killed because of stereotypes. Stereotypes we all have. If you're reading this and say you don't stereotype, you're full of shit. Sorry. Stereotypes and sweeping generalizations are real and aren't going away. For instance, if I see a guy wearing a polo shirt and boat shoes, I assume he's a date rapist. If I go to a diner and I see an elderly black woman in the kitchen, I assume the food is gonna be fucking amazing. I don't even think about it. I grew up in a black neighborhood and nobody ever bothered me. My best friend wears a camo hat and blares country music, but he would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it. What you wear doesn't define you as a person, unless you're in an actual uniform. Which is why when Jalen Rose tweeted this, I was the one who was confused, because this is same Jalen Rose who called Grant Hill an "Uncle Tom" for the simple fact that he went to Duke and had wealthy parents. His views have since changed, because he's not a bigot, he was just misguided. And that's the entire point Cuban was attempting to make. Why be hypocritical? Why ostracize when you can change a mind? Because there's a big fucking difference between being just plain ignorant from living a sheltered life and being a raging bigot. Anybody who possesses any amount of critical thinking can differentiate between the two. And as much as I take every word that comes out of Bomani Jones' mouth as gospel, his point here is flawed. You don't think people use their fear to justify their biases? Tell that to a rape victim who sees a man when she's alone in an empty parking garage at night. Or you when you see a Middle Eastern man board your plane. Stereotyping out of healthy fear is intrinsic, but if you find yourself wanting to wipe your fears off the face of the Earth instead of being self-aware enough to understand that the problem is with you, and not the personification of your fear that you see walking down the street, then you're beyond help and should be cleaved from the herd because you're a mustache away from being Hitler. And to those believing Cuban's comments will help Donald Sterling's case, wrong again. Cuban's comments have nothing to do with Donald Sterling, and any attempt to find a connection between the two will be seen as a desperate attempt to garner sympathy for man who deserves none. In conclusion, if you're unable to understand what Cuban is saying here, then recognize that you're part of the problem and probably always will be. Also, I just realized this post doesn't contain the word "boobs", so let me go ahead slip that in here. Happy Friday.