Last week, Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown ripped into Los Angeles Lakers future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, stating that Bryant didn’t understand black American culture because he grew up abroad. On Friday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith singled out Brown for criticism, stating:
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.
This is not the first time that Smith has courageously stepped outside the mainstream to defend free speech. Mark Levin interviewed Smith in 2009, and Smith said he was “disturbed” by charges of racism against the Tea Party: “As an African American growing up on the streets of New York City…I understand what trials and tribulations mean, but at the same time, I’m looking at what we’re witnessing from our president, a man I voted for…and I’m looking at what I consider to be a government takeover, and I’m quite alarmed.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.