This week during a press conference after the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Denver Nuggets, Lebron James briefly touched on the Tamir Rice shooting. There was once a time when athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and Jim Brown all played a pivotal role in the civil rights fight. So quite naturally as racial tension grows in the country, and a 12 year-old Black child was killed in Cleveland (the home of Lebron James), people were expecting to hear something other than what they actually heard.
In the statement Lebron said, “I caught a little bit of it from my folks on the side saying that you guys might ask me about it, but I have no knowledge,” James said. “I’m not much of a social media guy. I’m on it, for sure, but I’m not always looking at what’s going on in it.”
I did not know if I should burry my head in the sand, or to start crying. How is this happening in your own back yard, and you don’t know that it’s is going on? Come on Lebron! You have two sons who could one day be pulled over by the police. We all know that you have a big beautiful home, a lot of money, a recognizable face, and privilege beyond the normal Black man, but what does it all mean? This is what bothers me about when Black folk feel that they have arrived. All of a sudden we begin to believe that it is not my problem. I have worked with many privileged Blacks, and for some odd reason, these are the people who begin to say, “I don’t see racism, and you should really stop speaking on it!” These are the gatekeepers. These are the people who receive limitless promotions, because as long as they get paid, all the other issues don’t matter to them.
We need to rid ourselves of gate keeping athletes, politicians, and leaders. These people play a major role in keeping things at status quo. We need people who are not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Being the “Jackie Robinson” of your office or company is no longer acceptable. You are not the smartest Black person on the face of the earth. You are not the most qualified either. Maybe you are the one who they know won’t open the door for other Blacks. I would urge you to either step aside, or get into the fight.
We were purchased a long time ago, and then set free (supposedly). Why in 2015 are we placing ourselves on the auction block? The dollar is not worth your silence. Furthermore, understand that if you stay on a job for 20 years, in a leadership position, and you do nothing to bring equality, then you are part of the problem. You are setting us back 20 years. What happens when new Black men and women come into that company, and you have built a standard that says we don’t fight for equality? What will happen is they will be terminated for standing up for what is right. Do us all a favor, and don’t let this happen.
Lebron James does a lot of good in the community. He needs to add social awareness to his attributes. It is so necessary to know what is going on with your people. Don’t allow the NBA, Nike, your gated community, gobs of money, and all the other possessions you have keep you from your people. Knowing that a young, Black, unarmed, 12 year-old male was killed in your kingdom is important. Having the ability to speak on it, and bring about change is paramount. By doing this, you will show the community the difference between Lebron James, and King James, because a great king cares for His PEOPLE.