Jeff Crouere

The arbiters of race relations believe that no person of color should dare possess an independent thought or take a contrarian position. Thus, all African Americans must believe in the Democratic Party and liberalism. If not, you are demonized and harassed; for evidence, witness the treatment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or Dr. Ben Carson.

In the great cultural debates of the day, all African Americans must support “justice” for Trayvon Martin and believe that George Zimmerman was fueled by racism when he shot the Florida youngster.

This type of warped thinking extends to celebrities, especially African American celebrities. They must hold firm to the liberal line and emphasize the racial injustice and discrimination that exists in our country today.

Fortunately, not all African American athletes subscribe to this type of racial poison. In an interview with The New Yorker, future NBA Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant discussed the Trayvon Martin incident.

He said, “...if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society; then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

As an independent thinker, unlike the Miami Heat players, Bryant did not wear a “hoodie” to support Martin. While he did not support George Zimmerman, Bryant refused to join the chorus of athletes publicly praising Trayvon Martin. He insisted that the behavior of the Heat players showed not racial solidarity, but a lack of “progress.”

This stance is not revolutionary or “conservative,” it just displays plain common sense and fairness. Sadly, Bryant’s interview has unleashed a torrent of criticism from civil rights activists and other guardians of racial animosity. Bryant has always been viewed with suspicion by some African Americans because of his upbringing in Italy. According to NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, Bryant is “somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country.”

Oh really, when did being exposed to a foreign country lead to confusion? In reality, such experience helps a person become well rounded, educated and cultured. In this instance, Bryant is not confused; he just wants to judge situations on the basis of the facts, not race.


Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com
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