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Posted: May 24, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Why I agree with Mark Cuban

Race is a sensitive subject, but the conversation needs to be had

Before we all get our pitchforks, make a fire and burn Mark Cuban on a stake, actually think about what he said.
For those of you who aren’t aware of Mark Cuban’s comments, here’s what USA Today pulled from his interview with inc.com:

“I know I’m prejudiced and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” he said. “If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos, I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”

We all have to think about the bigger picture regarding Cuban’s comments. What I believe Cuban is trying to say is that we all know the stereotypes and we feed into them because we’re human. That part I agree with.
Everyone has a preconceived notion about something or someone. We all buy into stereotypes because they’re engraved into our thoughts like tattoos. Consider that when you hear a joke linking minorities to a social stereotype.

Every group, black, white, protestant or catholic all have stereotypes we are aware of.

There’s a meme on the Internet that shows Snoop Dogg — black “gangsta” rapper, who fits some of those predetermined stereotypes — cooking with Martha Stewart — stereotypical image of an older white lady. The caption hilariously reads, "Only one of these is a convicted felon ... guess." Of course, you guessed that it’s Martha Stewart, who’s the convicted felon and not the guy who rapped, “rolling down the street smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice,” right?

I’m sure the thought never crossed your mind that Snoop Dogg has never been convicted of a felony, but that clean-cut white lady next to him was a criminal, right?

Point being, we all have those little thoughts when you see someone who possibly meets that stereotypical image and we apply it in our everyday lives. We must rid ourselves of these thoughts, and that starts with talking to one another.

When did a hoodie become the go-to clothing for black guys that commit crimes? I’m pretty sure they don’t wear hoodies in the summer, when the crime rate usually goes up. So what do you do when a black guy in a Polo tries to rob you? Will you be so in shock that he’s not wearing a hoodie you’ll laugh it off and think it’s a joke?

I’m not quite sure when black kids in hoodies became dangerous or “threatening”, so needless to say I don’t agree with that aspect of Cuban’s analogy. The same goes for white guys with bald heads and tattoos.
That’s not to say that a black guy wearing a hoodie can’t be dangerous or a white guy that’s dressed like a Neo-Nazi won’t approach you in attempt to do harm or worse, but let’s be open-minded regarding someone’s appearance. If you fear for your life then by all means, please cross the street.

The moral here is not to judge a book by its cover. I was reading a magazine one day, and in it was a photo of a white bald guy who was covered in tattoos. Can you guess that man’s occupation?

You got it. He’s a doctor. Not a doctor like Dr. J a.k.a Julius Erving, the legend who played basketball for the 76ers, but a doctor as in he has a Ph.D and he treats patients.

Cuban is the victim of a terrible analogy here, one he has already apologized to Trayvon Martin’s family for.
In his column from thedailybeast.com, Joshua Daniels summed it up best when he said, “Conversely, the way we get the Donald Sterlings of tomorrow is by shutting up the Mark Cubans of today. If the misguided views that each of us hold about other groups are allowed to fester in the dark, they will become more caustic, bitter.”

As I'm sure your girlfriend always tells you, communication is the key with any relationship. Conversations about race need to be had so thoughts won’t fester and give birth to the Sterlings of the world. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation.

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