Follow me on this one. So long as you haven’t been living under a rock for the last month or so…then we’re all aware of the uproar that Donald Sterling’s comments caused. When the infamous phone conversation leaked, I posted something on Facebook…to the likes of…”we all have a little Donald Sterling in us…”. I deleted the post shortly after for a few reasons. I didn’t feel like debating the issue with anyone who objected without any logic because I knew the issue was going to explode quicker than I even cared for. I also didn’t want to pander to the “hype” that was going to be caused as a result of Sterling’s comments.

I’d be foolish to think that we…as a nation…as the greatest Nation…have turned the corner on such a subject. We’re actually far from it.

Let me clarify…that by no means do I condone any of the views expressed by Sterling. Was I surprised that people…in this country still thought…and felt the way Sterling does? Hell no. I’d be foolish to think that we…as a nation…as the greatest Nation…have turned the corner on such a subject. We’re actually far from it.

I titled this article Disappointed but not Surprised. Believe it or not…the message behind this piece is in no way intended to take shots at Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Why should I? Because in a completely neutral and nonthreatening manner, an extremely intelligent and successful business man expressed some accurate views on a society that most of us are still in denial about?

Mark Cuban made a comment…that was so full of truth…that it had the general public on the verge of rage.

Let’s talk about the surprised portion of this issue. Mark Cuban made a comment…that was so full of truth…it had the general public on the verge of rage. He said…and I’m paraphrasing…that if he saw a “black guy late at night on the street with a black hoodie on, he’d cross the street…in the same way if he saw a white guy with tattoos all over his face…”. Why does that statement upset us? From a reasonable perspective…it’s not hard to see that Cuban was in no way…expressing his views in the same manner Sterling did. But whether his views are based on truth…like Sterling’s were…or simply just a high level example..the fact still remains that an ugly truth was still addressed.

We all have our prejudices…whether we like to admit them or not. Sure you may not clutch your purse…or check for your wallet if you’re in close proximity to someone whom you believe has a greater likelihood to steal it from you. You may not even lock your car doors from the inside if “questionable” people are within your proximity, but we’re all guilty of it.

If you’ve ever laughed at a meme on social media then you’re guilty…and believe me I am most guilty. “Niggas be like”….and “white people be like”. The moment you read those words…almost immediately you’re continuing the cycle of keeping prejudices alive. Sure you made no out of place comments…but your mind is almost pre-programmed to understand the relevant and often hilarious stereotypes. If you saw someone on the street of Middle Eastern decent in the airport…or on the elevator with you…what are the first thoughts that pop into your head? God forbid if they are wearing some sort of religious head wrap. Thankfully…that’s one corner I’ve personally been able to turn…or have I?

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To be frank…especially in the corporate environment where I work…when I see someone of Middle Eastern decent…I immediately assume they’re IT. Seemingly harmless, that perspective, regardless of how true or false my assumptions are…originated from the image our society has created of…let’s say…non threatening Middle Eastern people. IT…corner store owner…or gas stations. Obviously any Middle Eastern person who’s not found in an office setting or behind a cash register has almost got to be a terrorist of some sort…idiots! Stereotypes like the aforementioned leave no race or creed unscathed, whether they’re in the form of a racist business man’s private conversations…or watered down in the form of a meme. It’s time to stop denying this shit folks.

How do we really move past this? I don’t have the answers…but if I were genie for a day…I’d wish…that every person on this planet…saw their fellow people for who they really were…and moreover learned to appreciate the good in everyone. It sounds cliche and corny…and so damn simple that sometimes I do wonder why we haven’t moved past this.

In a society where we’re literally groomed from birth to be mindless drones…it’s no wonder these stereotypes continue to perpetuate themselves into our everyday lives. It’s 100 times easier to click that little “thumbs up” like button..than to scroll past a meme…yet alone try and unsubscribe from the person or page that helped get that meme into your feed in the first place. It takes effort to stand next to that Middle Eastern person wearing a head wrap and consider that they probably possess higher academic achievements than you could ever imagine obtaining…yet alone affording. Any of this starting to make sense?

If I were genie for a day…I’d wish that everyone…everywhere…everyday could make one extra effort…to really appreciate one another for who they really were. Special shout out to ESPN by the way. I regularly zoom to the crib for my lunch break and like to catch up on some good ole fashioned highlights. Instead of being able to recap the most recent ass whipping my Heat gave the Pacers…I was bombarded with over analysis of this brief except from an interview that Cuban did with INC Magazine. Appreciate that ESPN…way to stay relevant. I figured before this one blew up for all the wrong reasons…I put a foot in that ass regarding racism. Check out the interview below…and let us know your thoughts on the matter. Till then….wear as many black hoodies at night as you like…while getting your entire face covered in tattoos…while visiting CLPNation.com.

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