Monday, July 12, 2010
This past weekend, Cleveland cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted a blog and gave a subsequent radio interview criticizing the actions of former star LeBron James. While somewhat over-the-top, Gilbert was emotionally conveying the feelings of the community that surrounds his basketball franchise.
Naturally, because Jesse cannot let a white guy speak his mind with impunity, he decided to pipe up and call Dan Gilbert more than simply a racist, but claimed that he had a slave-owner mentality and was treating LeBron like a runaway piece of human property. .
Sure, Gilbert slammed LeBron for being cowardly and narcissistic, and LBJ's self-indulgent hour-long special proved those assertions to be correct. A real man would have taken his boss aside and then had a little open press junket and been on his merry way. Wayne Gretzky knew he pissed off most of a continent when he requested a trade to L.A but didn't hide. He stood up to Peter Pocklington, a man known for bullying and underpaying players, and told him the facts before respectfully announcing to the rest of the world that he was getting out of Dodge.
Dan Gilbert exposed to the world that LeBron petered out during the playoffs, something all of us witnessed. LBJ tanked the last few games and in my mind didn't really show the desire to win. Number 23 did not play like a man who wanted to be there because he knew that he wasn't going to next season. He also expressed his city's heartbreak at the lack of effort and sudden departure. The fine folks of Cleveland are upset and Dan Gilbert is in such a position that any statement of his will be noticed by the press. If you or I did not do our jobs, we would be called out for it regardless of our ethnicity or traits.
Jesse Jackson claimed that the Cleveland Cavaliers are a "plantation", which I'm sure is news not only to the multi-ethnic team, but the citizens of one of the most diverse cities in America. It is also news to those who pay high ticket prices and to the financial professionals who manage the multi-million dollar salaries of Ohio's gifted athletes. It is a vicious insult to Dan Gilbert and his family, folks who have done nothing wrong outside of the horror of being born with a skin colour that Jesse Jackson sees as inherently evil.
Mr. Jackson hurled a slew of horrendous epithets at another man simply because of his race. Had Michael Jordan insulted a white player (not saying he would) , there would be no discussion, no complaints. While racism is indeed alive and well, there has never been anything to suggest that Dan Gilbert holds such views, in fact evidence speaks to the contrary. Jesse Jackson's mistaken interpretation of non-existent bigotry is not only polarizing, but slanderous. Not only that, but Mr. Jackson volunteered LeBron James to represent a divisive cause that he may not even believe in. There has never been any suggestion that LeBron James holds any ill will towards white folks and it is safe to say that he considers himself to be a slave to nobody .
Jesse Jackson needs to focus on the true injustices that exist in the world instead of embarking on defamatory fame-seeking missions like this one. There are people discriminated against for their innate traits, but they simply don't have NBA-sized incomes. Poor people do not matter to Jesse Jackson as individuals but are reduced to collectives and political catch-phrases. Jesse Jackson is guilty of the same classism that he used to rally against, and that is a shame because before he started going on anti-white and anti-semitic rants he was a pretty decent guy. The Baptist minister has been caught up in the disease of fame and abandoned his principles. Moreover he has become the kind of man he once found repulsive.
Bigots come in all shapes and sizes, and while Dan Gilbert, LeBron James, and the city of Cleveland are not racist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson most certainly is.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 09:36