Ok. So recently there was this dustup between NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and NBA great Kobe Bryant. Apparently Brown was doing an interview on the new Arsenio Hall Show where he basically made a gross value judgment about a person’s “blackness,” depending on where they were raised. Mr. Brown said that since Kobe had been raised in Italy, and not the United States, that he was confused about culture. This led him to argue that if he was to organize famous African-Americans to discuss any kind of social justice movement or questions – the way he did in the 1960s — he would likely not invite Kobe Bryant to take part.
Needless to say, Kobe felt slighted.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 12, 2013
This debate in the black community is interesting enough on its own. It seems terribly problematic that someone would be judged by skin color or birthplace to begin with – but it took a slightly different turn a few days later on ESPN.
Popular African-American columnist, reporter and TV host, Stephen A. Smith, took on the controversy in his own famously acerbic style.
He used the Brown vs. Bryant confrontation to point to another area where American blacks have been mistreated by other African-Americans.
When it comes to the African-American community, you have a plethora of individuals. For example, the black population hasn’t given the Republican Party more than 15% of its vote since 1964. And anybody who is deemed a black conservative, I am not one of them — I’m a registered Independent, just to get that out of the way — but those that I know who are black conservatives are considered pariahs and are ostracized in our communities and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
But this is how — this is a problem that exists within our community. Because you are from our community, everybody believes that everybody is supposed to be identical to one another and we can’t display or exercise any kind of versatility, alright, or range in our thinking. It’s a problem that we have to deal with.
What an amazing thing to say. He’s absolutely right of course, and it is something the black community has got to deal with. Too often conservative minorities, not just black but of all colors, are ostracized and abused for our conservative beliefs. We need more folks like Stephen A. Smith to stand up for us and tell their fellow liberals that what they are doing is not right. It’s time the left notices their hypocrisy on race and politics.