Neutral is rarely my color, which is why I don’t do “Switzerland” very often.
*The only thing I appreciate more than the truth is YOUR truth. Pick a side, any side and serve it up to me freezing cold, piping hot or along with crudites on a silver platter… I don’t care, as long as you do it with respect. As opposed to keeping one eye on a “wishy-washy” person, knowing where one stands allows me to know your position, and even if I don’t agree with your sentiments, I know how to categorize you in my world.
Mark Cuban‘s xenophobic remarks in his Inc. magazine interview got my attention, and ultimately my esteem for his courage in being forthright. The “Shark” stood strong on his
wallet own two feet, unafraid to admit his prejudices. As painful as it is, many people agree with him. I, myself, have had to question why I’ve crossed the street, or locked my doors in certain neighborhoods, threatened by someone who fit the misfit profile in my mind, but shared the same skin tone as I do. It’s a shame that we’ve all developed preconceptions that don’t apply to an entire race or genre. In other words, everyone’s a little bit racist.
Where Cuban loses me is the tweet he sent out a few days after the uproar his comments made apologizing to Trayvon Martin’s family for his “black kid with a hoodie” reference. Wishing he had opted for another reference–because he has binders of stereotypes to choose from–he felt that this particular one lacked sensitivity considering all they’ve endured, but he stood firm on his overall statement. Humor me…why do you feel bad about that being the first stereotype that popped in your mind when posed with such a question? It’s the go-to image when we think of a Black man being up to no good, isn’t it? It was the same conclusion George Zimmerman jumped to when happening upon, stalking and murdering Trayvon, so why is it insensitive now? How is it that you are prideful in the catalyst for the bigoted act, but not the end result? You don’t think that admission hurts the Martin family as well? And lastly, why are they the only ones deserving of an apology? You don’t think every black man that has seen you do an about face on the street deserves a mea culpa?
Ultimately, I am glad that you apologized, but I hope your oversight became an eye-opener for you. Will we just bask in our right to remain prejudiced, or will we start taking the steps to change our misaligned way of thinking? Either way, I’m glad I know where you stand. On the opposite side of the street.
Tanya Tatum is the outstpoken host of “The Tatum Talks,” a live Blog Talk Radio show focusing on African-American interests. Feel free to join her for every Wednesday from 9-10p EST at www.blogtalkradio.com/thetatumtalks. You can also join her for a daily discussion at www.facebook.com/thetatumtalks and follow her @TheTatumTalks on Twitter.