Why Jesse Jackson is Wrong Bringing Race Into LeBron’s Decision
“His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.” Jesse Jackson on Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert.
It shouldn’t be ignored and when it presents itself, it should be acknowledged.
We have come a long way in race relations, but we still have a long way to go. I still get funny looks in certain stores, people still lock car doors when I was walk by, people still tell me I “speak well” as if that is unusual for a black man in our society, and those are only a few things that I deal with on a daily basis.
That is why when someone brings race into a situation we shouldn’t take it lightly, because it is a serious issue, and if it is being used in non-serious situations it devalues the argument when it really applies.
When Jesse Jackson uses terms like “Slaves” and “Slave Master” in regard to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, it is the slap in the face of those who struggled to make it possible for a black man to sign a $100+ million contract.
The facts are clear.
Dan Gilbert owns the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James was his prized employee, and like many employees who excelled in what they do, LeBron was afforded certain privileges. In return, he was paid handsomely and Gilbert reaped the benefits of that financially.
When LeBron’s contract was up he decided to take his “talents” elsewhere, and Gilbert, realizing the money he was about to lose, lashed out angrily (in creative font). For seven years Gilbert gave his “employee” whatever he wanted and whatever his friends wanted. He mistakenly thought those privileges bought him loyalty, but this is a “business” and there is no loyalty in business dealings.
Gilbert’s reactions are much more like a lover scorned than a “Slave Master.”
Last time I checked, slaves didn’t have options. Slaves weren’t allowed to become “Free Agents.” Slaves didn’t get hourlong specials on ESPN. Slaves didn’t make more money than some 3rd world countries.
Do you know what happened to “Runaway Slaves” if they got caught? Let me just say they had to worry about more than an angry letter, some Delonte West jokes, and being booed at Carmelo’s wedding.
I understand Jackson is using the terms “slave” and “slave master mentality” as an analogy, but some words are not to be played with.
When Mel Gibson told his girlfriend she was dressed like she wanted to be raped by a “pack of n*ggers,” he was using an analogy, too.
Some words carry more power than others, so you need to be careful when you leisurely throw them around. There is a big difference between a “pack of n*ggers” and a “pack of thugs,” and “Slaves” and “Employees”.
LeBron James is a basketball player.
To even compare him to a slave is ignorant, self serving, and blasphemous on Jesse Jackson’s part. As a person who was right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, to even interject himself in a discussion about NBA Free Agency is just attention whoring at the highest level.
This so-called “slave” had billionaire owners coming to his “house” to present their “partnership offers.” The pitch to this so-called “slave” had more to do with business than basketball. When this so-called “slave” was too busy to meet with the so-called “slave masters” of the NBA, he dismissed them and let them talk to his crew. Billboards, videos, Powerpoints, lapdances … all were thrown at the feet of this so-called “slave.” This so-called “slave” controlled and manipulated the entire free agent process like a King on his Throne, to the point that millions tuned in to an hourlong “Decision” that was produced worse than “Cool as Ice.”
So excuse me if I am not crying “Tebow Tears” or using pathetic analogies for attention like Jesse Jackson, because Dan Gilbert wrote a “Single White Female” letter (no pun intended).
When we have people getting less time for killing unarmed black men than a black man shooting himself, I think Jesse’s time and energy can be spent better.
As I said on Twitter, the only color Dan Gilbert is concerned with is “Green,” and by trying to make it a black and white issue it only takes our focus away from the real problems in the black community. Problems that go far beyond a billionaire’s lover’s quarrel with his former millionaire employee.
If Slaves only had it so lucky.