Bigotry and Ignorance Knows No Color
Los Angles Clippers forward/center Montrezl Harrell cannot have “Equality” on the back of his jersey and then call Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic a “b**** a$$ White boy” and not come across as a hypocrite.
African-Americans have endured inequality and hatred because of the color of our skin since Jamestown, Va. in 1619.
We know what it feels like for someone to judge us by the color of our skin.
We know what it feels like to have more talent, intelligence and qualifications than someone of a different hue but still get passed up for a job or a promotion.
We know what it feels like to endure stereotypes based on our skin color.
We know what it is like to demand equality, and that is why so many of the police brutality protests have unfortunately turned violent.
That has happened because we are no longer asking for equality.
America has no choice but to give us what we demand.
However, if we demand equality from others, how in the world do we look treating people of a different race with as much animus as Harrell’s insults showed?
If we express anger that a White boy is embarrassing us on the basketball court, how can we get mad that a White person is mad that we are showing them up in corporate America?
That anger and frustration comes from stereotypes, which comes from racism, bigotry and/or ignorance.
In some White people’s minds, African-Americans are not supposed to be smart enough to attend Ivy League schools.
In some White people’s minds, some African-Americans should not have enough money to buy a Rolls Royce.
In some White people’s minds, this neighborhood was great until all of the Negroes moved in.
In some White people’s minds, America was great until it elected former President Barack Obama as the first African-American Commander-in-Chief.
That anger, that always comes when African-Americans make advancements, led to the election of President Donald Trump.
That same anger exists sometimes on the basketball courts, from the playgrounds of New York to the NBA bubble in the Orlando area.
Ever since Texas Western University upset Adolph Rupp and the Kentucky Wildcats to win the 1966 NCAA championship, basketball has become an avenue for many African-Americans to escape poverty and literally become billionaires.
That Texas Western Miners team started five African-Americans and beat an all-White Kentucky team that featured future coaching legend, Pat Riley.
Rupp had refused to recruit African-Americans to Lexington, Ky., despite the success of African-American college standouts like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, K.C. Jones and Oscar Robertson.
All except Chamberlain led their college teams to the national championship.
Nevertheless, in many aspects basketball remained segregated with unwritten quotas about the number of African-Americans allowed on a professional or college basketball team.
But after that momentous night in 1966, college basketball drastically changed ushering in talented African-American champions like Lew Alcindor, David Thompson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson and Grant Hill to name a few.
That college success led to success in the professional ranks, making instant millionaires of African-American teenagers like the late Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Zion Williamson.
Throughout the decades, White star players sometimes got the side-eye from their African-American peers.
Many in the NBA did not believe that Larry Bird could really play when he entered the league in 1979.
Even his teammate Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell had his doubts until he got on the floor with Bird and realized the rookie was already the best player on the Boston Celtics.
Maxwell often tells the story of how an African-American opponent asked him, “he really isn’t that good, is he?”
The former Celtics star told him, “you are about to find out.”
Bird lit up the NBA from the moment he played his first game with a swagger that proved he more than belonged.
The “Hick From French Lick” even had the nerve to talk trash to the brothers while embarrassing them in “their domain,” the basketball court.
Bird won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1980.
He followed that up by winning the 1981 NBA Finals, beating Moses Malone and my beloved Houston Rockets for the championship in six games.
Bird became so good, that Julius “Dr. J” Erving could not accept the butt kicking he received on the court one night, and the usually mild-mannered and regal Erving started a fistfight because he was losing the “fight” on the court.
That is the same hatred that Doncic received from Harrell.
Like sports commentator and journalist Stephen A. Smith said, Doncic is the baddest White boy he’s seen on the court since Bird.
I do not know Doncic, so I do not know if he is a female dog like Harrell called him.
But I can say that he is White because his skin tells me so.
And I know Doncic is better in his sleep than Harrell is on his best day because my eyes tell me that also.
Doncic is just better than Harrell and better than most of the players in the predominantly African-American NBA.
Get over it.
To Harrell’s credit, he did apologize to Doncic.
But what was in Harrell’s heart came out during the heat of battle and an apology cannot change that.
If Black America has a problem with God blessing Doncic with all of that basketball talent then I do not know what to tell them.
Likewise, if White America had a problem with a Harvard University educated “genius” running the country for eight years; they should have gotten over it.
If some in White America have a problem answering to an African-American boss, get over it.
If some in White America have a problem with African-Americans moving into an affluent neighborhood, get over it or move expeditiously.
And if African-Americans have a problem with a White boy dogging them on the basketball court, play better.
But do not be a hypocrite and demand equality if you do not want to treat your peers of another race equally.
That’s the opposite of equality and tolerance.
It’s hard to ask for equality when you talk to someone or treat him or her with the same hatred that bigots treat you with.