Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is accused of racism because of a pointed statement he made. On Wednesday Cuban shared, what many perceived to be, a bigotry laced opinion using the terminology “black kid in a hoodie” which caused an uproar across multiple media platforms. His remarks were, no doubt, magnified in light of the Donald Sterling scandal which recently blew up in the media. In an interview with Inc. Magazine at a business conference this billionaire entrepreneur shed light on his own prejudice issues. Does that make him a racist or a cautious observer?
Cuban is known for being brass and very direct, especially when dealing with contestants on the hit television show Shark Tank. On Thursday the usually unapologetic Cuban issued a five-part tweet apologizing to Trayvon Martin’s parents for his hoodie reference. However, true to his style, he stands by the context of his statement where he said,
If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it is late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. However, if on that side of the street, there is a guy that has tattoos all over his face – white guy with a bald head and tattoos everywhere – I’m walking back to the other side of the street.
He has also has called for more tolerance because everyone has some type of prejudice. The billionaire said the list of stereotypes goes on; the ones people are fearful of as well as the others people try to live up to. Cuban says in his business he tries not to be hypocritical because he is not perfect. He lives in a glass house and as such it is not appropriate for him to throw stones at anyone. Instead Cuban wrote,
I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it is an issue that we have to control, that it is part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it.
Many are upset that Cuban seemed to believe the tattooed white man typecast carries the same stigma as the hoodie stereotype. One has impacted history while the other just does not have the same emotional connection. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012. The case started a nationwide debate about race and Florida’s “stand your ground” law that escalated once the neighborhood watch captain was exonerated from the penalty of killing the unarmed Florida teenager.
Is Dallas Mavericks Owner a racist? Probably not, his comments just came at a very sensitive season for the National Basketball Association. The NBA has already banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from attending any games. Now, the league is trying to force him to sell the Clippers as a result of the racially charged comments which were recorded and shared with the world.
Cuban called the comments Sterling made about black people abhorrent. He also thinks forcing the Clippers owner to sell his team is a very slippery slope. When questioned about methods of keeping racism out of the NBA, the Mavericks owner said, “There’s no law against stupid. I’m the one guy who says do not force stupid people to be quiet. I would rather know who the morons are.”
Mark Cuban has been accused of racism because of direct statement he made on Wednesday. Cuban shared his opinion on bigotry using the terminology “black kid in a hoodie.” His statement unintentionally stirred up painful emotions surround the killing of the Trayvon Martin. Does that really make him a racist?
Opinion By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)