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Friday, June 2, 2017

LeBron's statement on race and my comment...

LeBron (l) said he thought about Emmett Till (r) when his home was vandalized. Afterwards, his team lost the first game in the 2017 NBA finals.
(Photos by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA and Mamie Till)

RACISM CONTINUES BECAUSE IT IS ALLOWED TO EXIST and "promoted" in every institution around the globe.

Recently I was asked to comment on LeBron James' remarks about a hate crime perpetrated on his Los Angeles home.

Here are my first thoughts:
Some things remain the same. They will cheer us on at the game because we're their best entertainers, and they get a kick out of seeing us throw balls through hoops! No matter what we achieve, we still don't get the respect we deserve, even from our own people sometimes. If we exchanged the slave, rapist, uncivilized, thief image for an image of entrepreneur, scientist, moralist, etc, it still doesn't "trump" the image of us being low, stupid, lazy, and hated. 

One thing we have to be careful of is speaking in absolutes. When James said, "Racism will always be a part of the world," that tends to make one feel hopeless against injustice. What we CAN do is try everything possible to live our lives as good people who realize that all of us, regardless of race, are headed for the same death call when we will all be judged.

I was recently castigated by a white priest who said that I look at everything through a racial lens. It reminded me of the ministerial response to MLK's activism in Birmingham, Ala. which prompted him to write his famous letter from jail. ( This priest seems to pay no attention to the fact that only three Blacks attend his church and that some whites in his church have REDNECK tattoos on their necks! There's a reason why Blacks don't attend HIS church! I must admit, though, that many religions hint at racism in the United States,  and possibly the most segregated places in America are churches and synagogues!

Now, we have LeBron saying, "Being Black in America is tough, and we have a long way to go for us as a society and us as African Americans, until we feel equal in America." My glasses are not rose colored, and I know the reality of race and power in America and the world. They need to release the video of them defacing LeBron's crib!

LeBron went on to say that he thought about Emmett Till first when his home was vandalized, and that the  most important thing to him is the safety of his family. That is the dread we live with everyday - that our loved ones will be harmed just because they are Black.

Neither WE nor LeBron can end racism; only the racist can end racism. Trump needs to tweet that! Those folks who vandalized LeBron's home (who were probably young and unemployed with nothing better to do) need to be caught and made to take a de-racism class! 

It appears hate crimes are increasing, and Attorney Gen. Sessions is too busy trying to save himself instead of prosecuting hate crimes. Political and religious leaders must ACT against injustice before it can ever be solved, or it will be resolved that they want racism to continue.

I was told by a lawyer last week that they don't take on cases where they know they can't make money... when ending racism becomes profitable, maybe we will get some movement towards justice.


  1. J says:Excellent article!
    On the racist ending racism, you are correct. However the sickness of racism, is similar to that of the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years. Racist culture has been, and is still transmitted from one generation to the next... and absent some form of miraculous reconciliation, many generations will have to die off before the stain is removed. Republicans, for example were able to stop President Obama from nominating a SCOTUS Justice, due to the Strom Thurmond rule. It's amazing that such a thread of hatred is still woven into the fabric of our political system, and it's not the slightest bit frayed.

  2. (Edited because over character limit)
    D says: I agree with everything here, and it's sad to think that our differences may always be a source of division.

    You may not know this, but we have a lady in Church, a Greek lady raised in a state bordering Georgia. She remembers growing up with signs on public bathrooms that read "no Blacks or Greeks." They were different and spoke another language. Some of the behaviors they brought with them were noticed, but neither understood nor appreciated. She said they just kept moving along, learning and built relationships and businesses and became "less different."

    Regarding our uniqueness's, the need for power notwithstanding, we are preprogrammed to survive by being aware and wary of the differences in others, especially the physical and cultural differences we perceive. However, the world has become so small that we need to gain control of, and get beyond these inherent survival instincts. Our programmed behavior needs to be balanced by education and personal experience in order to foster a higher sense of self respect and trust so we can move forward. I believe we need to keep working to get it behind us, even though there will always be those who, to achieve their ends, incite and inflame by exploiting our differences. I believe, the vast majority want to coexist but they can be whipped around by the few who don't want things the way it's set up. They use our differences to gain leverage for change and to gain power. They want it their way, and they take advantage of our nature to attain their goals by pitting one against the other. This is exactly why I believe MLK is a true model. I believe however, that even though highly respected, he still does not get the full credit he deserves as being a true leader of all of us, and not only the black community.
    I believe our children are being exploited because of the confusion that can be instilled. Any college that allows a no whites on campus days, is trying to create something for some gain, not just allowing free speech. I believe it demonstrates and instills division. I doubt MLK would approve. I feel bad for these kids, because unless they are strong, it's going to be division their entire life.

    My point being, that we're all Americans, but our differences are constantly being exploited for power and politics. Not always for altruistic reasons.

    How does this relate to Lebron? As a citizen, he has conducted himself as a strong, self confident, and understanding person since coming out of high school. Very tough on the court, but has not entered into the division and hostility game. For that he has to be praised and highly respected. However, there are those who would, for political purposes, exploit his blackness as a tool to incite and inflame others who are weaker and in need. It also put Lebron in very difficult position. How does he respond? If it was an act of racism, it needs to be identified and action taken to expose it. If it was not an act of racism, which I suspect it could be, but a deliberate paid political act, we need to know that and expose it as well. Unfortunately we may never know for sure. Even if it were possible, I doubt much effort would go into finding the perpetrator or motive, or that we'd hear much if it was a paid political act. It's much more useful as a racist act.

    I can somewhat relate to your difficulty as a minority, I get Greek jokes all the time; however, I don't think I could ever fully comprehend the difficulty of a minority so easily singled out as different.

    All I can hope is that we keep MLK in mind, and how much he achieved, and how much we still need to be achieved over time.

  3. Wow! The conversation continues.

  4. G says: Hey Tomi , I do agree with LeBron that racism will be with us for generations, however , I feel that confidence, perseverance and determination will move you forward in life...never give up!


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