Mark Cuban has gone where not many white dudes have gone before: he actually admitted that he harbors some “prejudices and bigotries”. The most baffling part about that is there are some black folks – namely people I respect such as Bomani Jones and Dr. Boyce Watkins – who misread that into something Cuban should be excoriated over.
Let’s examine Cuban’s quotes CAREFULLY. Here it goes:
“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.
“I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. 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. So in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. 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.”
This has led to the following reactions in the Twitter-verse. Let’s start with the aforementioned Jones:
While I felt he was missing Cuban’s point, at least Jones sounded more intelligent than this Mensa candidate:
Look, I get my fellow black peeps’ gripes about Cuban using the “black kid in a hoodie” example. We are not that far removed from the Trayvon Martin murder, and even Cuban himself apologized to the Martin family over that poor choice of words.
However, I think that all Cuban was trying to do was acknowledge that everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – have some inherent preconceived thoughts about all types of people. That means me, you, Bomani Jones, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Cuban himself – EVERYONE. I am ashamed of thoughts I’ve had about certain groups of people – including my own.
Bottom line: Cuban was CLEARLY condemning racism, while pointing out that we all are still struggling to eradicate our own biases and stereotypes. For those who say otherwise, they are frankly intellectually dishonest.
Again, why black folks are going in on Cuban for OWNING HIS OWN PREJUDICES AND BIGOTRY is beyond me.
The problem is many of us in the black community are still not ready to have a conversation with White America (and other ethnic groups) concerning race. That, to me, is very disappointing.
As for me, given my childhood experience in North Carolina (after moving there from my birthplace of Brooklyn, NY when I was five) I’d rather know who I am dealing with. I’ve been racially blindsided too many times to think that “ignorance is bliss”.
Cuban said it best in a re-tweet:
UPDATE: I explored this subject some more on a podcast last night. I hope y’all enjoy…