The week has been pretty exciting huh?
No matter which part of the country you’re from, there’s something steaming up the windows–and it ain’t the kind of sum’n-sum’n you enjoyed in that black, ’86 Lincoln Continental you borrowed from your parents on prom night.
Believe it or not, this stain would be too embarrassing even for ServPro.
Race. Let’s talk about it.
Nah. Nevermind, we can’t.
If we can’t say anything nice, we can’t say anything at all. It’s easier fogging our glasshouses into gas houses than actually opening the windows to fresh air to speak candidly with our neighbors.
Just because good fences make good neighbors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t peek through the knothole once in awhile, even if you get your eye poked.
But poking hurts. And nobody likes pain, even temporarily.
Which is why a real discussion will never happen. Just ask Mark Cuban’s latest sacrifice at the Altar of Fear. (WATCH)
The multi-billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks imitated a sketch from Chappelle’s Show: “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.”
Cuban’s thoughts are the same thoughts this writer and millions upon millions of white Americans have thought. Often.
Instead of praise for his honesty, many derided him for his remarks, using words like “ignorant” to describe the entrepreneur’s candor.
Hey, what’s that old saying about three of the five fingers on your hand?
(No, not the joke from the Rick James-Charlie Murphy Chappelle sketches. The one your mother and teachers recited when you ‘cuzed somebody of sum’n.)
Instead ex-NBA “star” and ESPN spoon-feeder, Bruce Bowen, sounded more like Louis Farrakan than he even looked, criticizing the owner and even casting stereotypes himself, missing the entire point of Cuban’s comments.
However, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back, Ryan Clark–also on the dais–actually supported Cuban. Perhaps football players are smarter than hoopsters.
(Can we say that?)
Can we ask that???
Doesn’t matter. There are too many Bowens out there to make a difference and not enough Cubans and Clarks. Too many Bowens to scare off the Cubans. Too many Bowens intimidating those who think like Cuban to come to grips with the idea that YES AMERICANS, WE ARE INDEED PREJUDICED, so they can continue to hide behind the white clothesline of guilt and throw stones in support of guys like Bruce All-Righty rather than break the glass and admit they have a problem.
You may know these Bowens by other names. Like Sharpton. Or Jackson. Or they may be your grandparents who shared stories of neighbors’ spousal abuse and recall how they did nothing because “back then, you kept your mouth shut.”
Maybe because back then your grandparents had their own issues and didn’t want help either. Yeah, it’s much easier that way, isn’t it?
Instead of honest racial dialogue on a platform that most of America enjoys (and more importantly, understands–sports) we get brought back into the house by an overzealous plurality who preys on the fears and threats of the majority simply because all it takes is one.
One pissed-off black dude. And a few white guys to support him to prove they’re not racists.
In America, the dirtiest word is the N-word. No doubt. No excuse. It is.
The second dirtiest word is the R-word.
Though, those trying to read this through the fog of steam brimming from their bathrooms might think it’s the “other” R-word. Maybe it is. But we’ll never find the truth, which is what Cuban tried to convey. We’ll just get force-fed a line-of-thinking from an angry mob.
We’ll never get anywhere dealing with race in America. We’ll just keep telling ourselves that having a black President and pulling the plug on an octogenarian owner living in the 1800’s will put the issue away for awhile like your grandparents’ neighbors, or that credit card balance recurring like the Ghost of Christmas(es) Past.
Keep steaming up the glass, Americans. Like the Amish, you’re too used to the stench to acknowledge it doesn’t smell too good here.
(Can I say that?)