Thursday, December 11, 2014

If Lebron's #icantbreathe T-shirt bothers you, you are probably a racist

From Daily Kos:
Yet, on sports talk radio all across the country, you'd think Lebron did so much more than this. White fans in droves are calling in with outrage and frustration that Lebron, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, and others are "ruining the experience," "abusing the privilege of being the NBA," "making sports political," and serving as a "distraction from what sports is really all about." If Lebron's T-shirt bothers you that much, you are probably a racist.

Does it bother you when players wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer?

Does it bother you when players wear American flags on their jerseys in tribute to fallen soldiers?

Did it disturb you when Washington Wizard point guard John Wall wrote "RIP Miyah" on his sneakers in honor of a six-year-old girl who recently died of cancer that he had befriended?

More here.

You know, the term "racist," as an epithet to describe an individual, has become extraordinarily problematic as far as getting down to discussing the nitty-gritty details of the politics of race in the US goes, so I'm not going to call anybody a racist for getting angry with these athletes making relatively quiet and subdued symbolic statements about the disturbingly high number of black Americans killed by police in this country.  But it's definitely worth asking why some white people get so incredibly angry about this.

I mean, really, it's no skin off your back.  Big deal if an athlete has a different opinion from yours.  You really think that's going to change the way the country is run?  Are you in danger or something?  I mean, sure yeah, disagree if you must.  But why the hell is this pissing you off?

I hear profound bullshit from the right wing on a fairly regular basis, day in and day out, and from time to time I do get pissed off, but not that often, really.  People are entitled to their opinions,
after all, no matter how ill informed and f'd up.  It's just pointless to be angry with people for disagreeing with me, generally speaking.

So I ask you, if these athletes piss you off, what's REALLY going on here?  For that matter, do Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson piss you off?  And what's up with that?  It's not like old school civil rights agitators are going to change your life or anything.  It's not like they're Sister Souljah talking about killing white people. But those two guys piss off white conservatives just when their names are mentioned.

Like I said, I'm not going to call you a racist.  But there's some weird shit going on here.  White people getting angry just because they hear stuff from black people they don't like.  It kind of doesn't make much sense.  So what if black people disagree with you?  What do you care?  I don't get it.