If memory serves correctly, Mark Cuban was one of the people made a bit uneasy by the Donald Sterling auto-da-fe, wondering where the crusade against impure thoughts would end. Well, now he knows it doesn’t end with him. Reuters reports:
Outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban fended off social media criticism on Thursday for his “bigoted” response when asked at a business conference to address the controversy over banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Overcoming bigotry requires acknowledging internal prejudices, Cuban said in a video-recorded interview shown on Wednesday at the GrowCo convention hosted by Inc magazine.
“If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face – white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere – I’m walking back to the other side of the street,” he said in the interview that was posted on the Internet.
Alas, Cuban forgot that the hoodie has been transformed into an icon of political religion:
Critics said his “hoodie” reference recalled the 2012 shooting of unarmed, black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was fatally wounded in a struggle with a man who said he feared for his life.Cuban defended his views on Twitter, saying that his quotes were not meant to advocate racism.
“The point was that before we can help others deal w racism we have to be honest about ourselves,” Cuban wrote in a tweet.
Anyone who thinks anything Cuban said has the slightest connection to Trayvon Martin is deranged. But that’s the point of these thoughtcrime crusades: littering our public discourse with landmines, making us afraid to speak or think in ways the political collective disapproves of. We’re not allowed to talk about the ominous appearance of young people wearing hoodies late at night any more? Is it illegal to cross the street to avoid them, or merely illegal to talk about it?
I presume Cuban thought tossing in a tattooed white skinhead as another reason for crossing the street would insulate him from racism charges. Guess again! Common sense went out the window long ago; now it’s clear the Speech Police cannot even be held at bay with ritual genuflection to their neurotic obsessions.
Some years ago, Jesse Jackson made essentially the same observation as Cuban, saying it pained him to “walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” Is he still allowed to say things like that? If not, how does anyone imagine that a society terrorized out of discussing difficult topics is ever going to improve?