The New Yorker did a profile on Kobe Bryant that will be coming out on March 31st. In the piece he was asked about the Heat’s support of Trayvon Martin by posting this photo.
Here is what Kobe had to say via Colorlines.
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
Opinions can’t be wrong, this is how Kobe feels on the situation, so I won’t just say he is wrong. What I can say in my opinion is that his overall point has validity, but in the specific Trayvon Martin case, it was pretty clear to me that regardless of your race, we all should react.
It doesn’t matter what happened once George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin got into an altercation, the problem will always be Zimmerman profiled a black kid in a neighborhood Zimmerman didn’t think he belong in.
That is something as African-Americans and Americans in general should be outraged about. Part of progress is when a young black male is seen in an expensive store or nice neighborhood isn’t automatically seen as a criminal, suspicious or dangerous. I am in my 30’s and I still get followed around stores even though I can afford to buy whatever I like.
I agree with Kobe at times black people just hop on certain bandwagon causes because it is the cool thing to do. The outrage isn’t sincere, but more so for Twitter RTs and Facebook likes. We do need to make progress in not seeing every single thing as a racially motivated, but in this specific case we can.
That could have been LeBron’s son or Wade’s son or a younger version of Kobe himself, that was just walking down the street minding his business. So, while I think Kobe’s overall point is valid, knocking the Heat’s show of support wasn’t the progress Bryant is searching for.
Here is what Kobe had to say as the story made its way around the internet.