I’ll say it upfront, I believe that almost everything Mark Cuban said about humans being prejudiced and bigoted in some way is accurate. It’s just human nature.
Before going forward, here are his comments when he was asked about the upcoming vote to remove the Los Angeles Clippers from Donald Sterling’s ownership:
“You can’t keep that ugliness out of the league. There’s no law against stupid–I learned that a long time ago.
The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I think I might have to be. Being a hypocrite bothers me more than anything, after my family, so it won’t be fun.”
Then he was asked how he would be a hypocrite:
“I think we’re all bigots and I don’t think there’s any question about that. I know I’m prejudiced and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways. There’s a part of me that always takes into account race, gender and age.
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.
I know that I’m not perfect. While we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it’s an issue that we have to control, that it’s part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road.”
The one part where Cuban made a huge mistake was when he said, “If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street.”
Which, of course, is the quote that led many of the headlines for stories relating to his comments. And naturally that quote was going to lead to people saying he was referencing Trayvon Martin and he clearly had to be a Zimmerman sympathizer.
It’s complete nonsense.
By the way, he has since apologized to the Martin family.
Should he have used a better example? Probably. But to say that he’s no different than Donald Sterling is preposterous. In my opinion, to even be upset by his comments is absurd.
The gist of what Cuban said was that we’re all guilty to some extent of stereotypes, prejudices and perhaps even being bigots now and again.
And while the “PC police” might have a problem with it, he’s absolutely right.
That’s one thing that ticks me off about debate nowadays. As a society we’re becoming so damn politically correct and overly sensitive to everything that we can’t have candid, honest discussions anymore.
Hell, I recently criticized Michael Sam for being a hypocrite after agreeing to do a documentary because he’s gay, after saying shortly after he came out that from that moment on he wanted to be treated as “just another football player.” Except, “just another football player” would have never agreed to do a documentary like that. My unbiased criticism got me labeled a homophobe by some.
Why? Because I treated him equally? I’ve supported Sam. I’ve written quite a few articles professing my support for gay rights and I’ve had my work featured on prominent LGBT rights websites. But now to some I’m suddenly a “homophobe” because I dared criticize his hypocrisy by agreeing to do the now “postponed” documentary about him being a gay football player in the NFL, after he told the world he didn’t want to be treated any differently.
And now the “PC police” are going batshit over Mark Cuban’s comments, essentially because he said “black kid in a hoodie.”
By all means let’s ignore the very real truth behind the context of what he said and let’s focus on the headline grabbing “black kid in a hoodie” part. Because out of everything he said, that’s the only part that matters, right?
His point was that we all harbor some kind of prejudice or habit of stereotyping people.
Oh, I know, but you don’t – right? I love when people say they harbor no kind of prejudice or tendency to stereotype within them. The greatest lies we often tell are those of which we’ve even convinced ourselves.
Though I’ll admit he could have phrased that part differently, what Mark Cuban said was absolutely right.
We’re all prejudice in some way. But that doesn’t mean we’re racists, or homophobes or any other negative connotation people can label one another.
I’ve seen people who are prejudiced against their own race; people with tattoos; certain hair styles; clothing styles; hair colors; piercings; body weights; height; and all sorts of other ways in which people can be stereotyped.
It’s just human nature.
And if you really don’t think you stereotype any group of people in any way, I hate to break it to you – but you’re lying to yourself.
The only issue I’ve really had concerning Cuban’s comments were those who saddled up on their high horse to bash him for honestly just speaking the truth. Especially those websites and blogs who took one small part of his entire comment to drive traffic to their sites because they knew that would really get people’s blood boiling.
All Mark Cuban really did was say something honest and try to advance a real conversation we should be having on these issues. The only real “crime” in any of what he said was his poor choice of examples he used while trying to make his point.
But of course people will focus on that, instead of the context of what he actually said. Because evoking extreme emotion for the sake of outrage or cheap clicks to a website is so much more important than exploring these issues and having a real conversation about them, right?