Maria Aspan, senior editor for Inc., conducted the interview with Mark Cuban for GrowCo Conference held in Nashville this year. Since then, whirlwind does not describe the conversation over the subject of bigotry. Let us put this in perspective.
“We are all prejudice one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie, its late at night, I’m walking to the other 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 the stereotypes that we all live up too and we are fearful of. And so in my business try not to be hypocritical. You know, I know I am not perfect, I know that I live in a glass house and it is not appropriate for me to throw stones. And so when I run into bigotry in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I work with people, I’ll send them to training, I’ll send them to sensitivity training. I’ll try to give them a chance to prove themselves….” Mark Cuban.
Let us get our definitions straight
When discussing intolerance, it is important to define these words properly. Bigotry is the intolerance of others who hold a different view from your own. Prejudice is an imaginary opinion not based on fact. Racism is thinking your race is superior to another. Hypocrite is an individual who pretends to be moral but is not. In addition to that, that individual may act one way in public but the opposite in private. Stereotype is when we place wrong ideas on individuals. Judgment is making a decision or voicing an opinion without emotions or prejudice.
Mark Cuban is correct.
The key to approaching bigotry, prejudice, and racism is the ability to address it within yourself. We all have “stereotypes we live up to and we are fearful of.” We do not address them out of fears of how people will perceive us or we are in great denial about ourselves as a human being. He sends his people to sensitivity training. Not only does education break the cycle in that individual, the power of institutionalized racism is broken.
Umm, Remember the First Amendment?
The First Amendment clearly states, we have freedom of religion and individual expression. Our government cannot control our freedoms in any way. As long as those freedoms do not incite a riot, those rights belong to United States citizens. Freedom is freedom whether you agree with it or not. The Klu Klux Clan. Need I say more?
I am just like Mark Cuban. I am not perfect. This nation is not perfect. The Civil Rights Act is 50 years old. Intolerance is even older. Look at the definitions in the first paragraph again. What do you really see?