Complex CityguideTwo Blacks Discuss this Month in Racism
By Lauretta Charlton, Julian Kimble | Mar 31, 2014 | 8:57 am
City Guide's Lauretta Charlton and Julian Kimble tackle the most controversial headlines about race that made the news. This month's discussion includes Lord Jamar, Kobe Bryant on Trayvon Martin, interracial dating and Kanye West's Vogue cover story.
[NBA star Kobe Bryant told the New Yorker that he "won't react to something just because I'm supposed to, because I'm an African-American," referring to the Trayvon Martin case. Critics argue his comments are out of touch with reality and downplay the existence of racism.]Lauretta:
Okay. One thing: If you are going to chime in about people making judgements too quickly, you'd do well to at LEAST spell the kid's name correctly. I'm referring to his follow-up tweet, in which he misspelled Trayvon's name. Really, Kobe?Julian:
That shows you how much of a shit he gives. Cue "These Are Our Heroes."Lauretta:
I mean, it's not like he's known for being the most empathetic person. I did not know he once said during a Newsweek interview that he doesn't believe in happiness. Maybe he's not human?Julian:
You know, I take that back. Kobe Bryant is an interesting case. I met him when he was a teenager, and he exhibited no signs of self-loathing, though there's something dark beneath the surface with him. He's experienced racism, though.Lauretta:
I'm guessing that was a long time ago when is ego wasn't the size of a small nation.Julian:
Yeah, he was cool back then. But, like I said, he has a dark side that's always been there.Lauretta:
Now everybody loves to hate him.Julian:
He just embraced it following the sexual assault allegations. I started hating him in 2000 purely off of basketball shit.Lauretta:
I feel like I started hating him when I realized that Phil Jackson had to go to therapy.Julian:
I hated how he was exalted as this "Golden Boy" while everyone talked about Allen Iverson like the Devil's Son. When people started to hate Kobe and realize he wasn't a saint, I actually started to like him better. Once he just embraced the dark side, he didn't really bother me. Don't get me wrong, I still think he's an bleep, I'm just OK with it. However, I wasn't OK with his comments in the New Yorker.Lauretta:
Right. And I think that speaks to the fact that he feels he's above all of us.Julian:
In some respect, he's right—we shouldn't just defend someone because we're black and they're black without all of the facts. I just wonder if he'd say that to the people who rushed to his defense when he caught a case.Lauretta:
But that is not what this is.Julian:
Exactly. Now, he's come out and said that Trayvon Martin was wronged and that the system didn't work.Lauretta:
You mean "Travon."Julian:
LOL. You're an bleep for that.
Part of the reason why his comments bothered me so much is because the subtext is "we live in a post-racial world," when we don't.Julian:
But saying "I won't react to something I'm supposed to because I'm an African-American" suggests that he knows he's supposed to react. That part also bothered me. Trayvon Martin was dead at 17, whereas Kobe was taking Brandy to the prom and on his way to the NBA, but Kobe Bryant was eventually treated just as Trayvon Martin was—even as a celebrity. He should know he's not above the microscope.Lauretta:
Part of me thinks the editors at the New Yorker are rubbing their hands together, like, "YES, let's get black folks riled up over this one. CHA-CHING."[Outspoken rap artist Lord Jamar is a self-proclaimed "conservative." His goal is to preserve the culture of hip-hop, which he argued in a recent interview is being diluted by artists such as Kanye West and Macklemore.]
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