Mark Cuban Gives Honest, Nuanced Comments About Prejudices, PC Police Lose Their Minds

mark-cubanI’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?

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • JudgeX X

    Debate is a game, and politics is the spectator sport version of it. I don’t want it to be that way, but it is. Choose the wrong word once in front of the wrong audience and you can lose it all.

    The crowd will pick someone else who hasn’t made as many mistakes yet. It’s a very callous game.

    • Judge XXX

      I’m sure he will change his ways knowing that an uneducated dork like you is “done with him”
      Get a life

      • JudgeX X

        I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings by insulting your favorite business magnate, but I don’t think that coming here to metaphorically swab his schlong around in your mouth is going to net you any of his money.

  • John Masters

    Thanks, as usual, a well reasoned thought. I agree completely. Had I heard Cuban make the hoodie remark, I would have cringed, but I know it’s the truth. I don’t know anyone, myself included, who doesn’t harbor some prejudice against all kinds of people.

  • Brian Purcell

    I think Mark Cuban made an error in judgment by being publically
    candid about his reactions to “a black kid in a hoodie” and I think he tried to
    offset the implied racism by balancing the equation with “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.” While it was a PR disaster for him, I do believe
    that his candor reflects most people’s prejudices. I have a preconceived notion
    about biker clubs because I’ve found myself in threatening situations involving
    them. If I see choppers parked outside
    of a bar or restaurant, I’m not going in.
    They may be very nice people if I got the chance to know them but my
    experience tells me there’s a good likelihood I’ll find myself being assaulted.

    By the same token, people who dress in a certain
    way: biker club jacket, gang apparel and even a hoodie on a dark street, are
    dressing in a way that instils fear in others.
    Do they not gain some kind of psychological advantage by proving to
    themselves or others that they are tough guys and shouldn’t be messed with?

    • Sandy Greer

      I think being candid – especially publicly – is best: It enhances communication.

      I’ve known, personally, two Hells Angels. One was the father of a friend in grammar school. He kept it away from the house, but eventually it hit the papers. And they moved to Hawaii.

      Another was a man I babysat for, in HS. I’d go over early, and he helped me with my Algebra. Only reason I passed, that year.

      I understand, seeing them en masse. But individually – yes; they’re just like you, and me.

      I don’t mind some (minimal) piercings, and rather like tats (arms, legs) But once saw a girl (way back, before they were fashionable, 70s-80s?) with 12-15 all over her face. It hurt to look. And recently, saw a guy (bald) whose entire head, face, and neck were covered. I wondered what sort of work he could do.

      ^^^Both cases, I almost couldn’t stand to look. But couldn’t not – look. If that makes sense.

  • Sandy Greer

    I posted author’s other article about Michael Sam. NOBODY called the author a homophobe.

    He was called a Hypocrite. For professing support of Michael Sam – while
    pointing fingers at him – and calling Sam a Hypocrite. Pot met Kettle in that article, and that’s the truth.

    Author can misconstrue all he wants. IT’S STILL THE TRUTH. Don’t think we’re stupid enough not to know, and speak – Truth ourselves.

    Anybody who follows the blue link provided will see for themselves.

  • Edward Krebbs

    One problem I have with what Cruz said is the difference between saying we have predjudices so we are going to act on them and spread them (a la Sterling) and we have predjudices that we need to constantly re-assess and work on.

  • MLR

    What Mark Cuban said, in my opinion, isn’t being prejudiced, it’s being careful. I’m sorry, but on this one I’m siding with Mark Cuban. As a woman, I don’t trust ANY stranger, I don’t care what he looks like. But I wouldn’t be honest with myself if I said a hoodie or a bald guy with tattoos doesn’t add to my fear. The only problem I see with Cuban’s comments is that he chose to use “hoodie” and “black” in the same sentence at a time when a lot of us (including myself) are still outraged over the Trayvon Martin case and the Jordan Davis case. There’s nothing wrong with being honest, but I just think he should of been more careful with his choice of words.

  • politically correct

    i totally understand what everyone is saying but my problem is dies it have to be a black kid in a hoodie? people lets not white wash racism with these cheap excuses, its funny that the same people who call other people names are the same people who now talk about politically correctness, whats wrong with politically correcting an injustice that has affected some people for centuries????

  • Melanie Collins Pennock

    I agree with what Cuban said, and I respect the honesty he used to admit the way he, and most of us, feel. He showed a great deal of integrity, something sadly lacking in today’s world!

  • John

    Black, white, brown, yellow….. if you look like you can beat me up and run off with my wallet, I’ll avoid you.

  • Bud

    Yea. There’s a difference between being prejudiced for a reason, i.e; being cautious when confronted by a possible threat, be it real or perceived, and being prejudiced totally based on skin color. In other words, anyone walking toward me late at night, on a dark street, in a hoodie, black, white or hispanic, might be a threat. It would be prudent to avoid that meeting/confrontation. I would tend to think that Magic Johnson is not a threat. To ask someone not to be seen with him, not to bring him to my venue for the sole reason that he is black, is the definition of racism.