22 Nov Why We Should Hold Rich Black people Accountable?
Last year, the basketball player Stephon Marbury was promoting his shoe brand and in the process he made some huge accusations against Michael Jordan. He called him greedy, blamed him for contributing to black on black crime and even accused him of “robbing the hood.”
Jordan has been robbing the hood since. Kids dying for shoes and the only face this dude makes is I don’t care. The time will change!
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) October 5, 2015
Most people took these tweets as jealous rants but I took this as a call for discussion because he was telling the truth. Michael Jordan has always sidestepped any discussion of racism. Yes, he contributes financially but advocacy should go beyond money. The only time that Michael Jordan speaks out or gets involved is when his income is directly affected. At other moments, he is a centrist only playing the part of the entrepreneur.
Since the civil rights era, Black athletes have been afraid to speak up about civil right issues. Part of the reason why they were and are so afraid is because they are dependent on white opportunity, white endorsements and white validation.
If you watch the documentary, O.J. Made in America, O.J. Simpson talks about this very topic. He distances himself from being black during a time when people were being lynched and killed by officers. It was the mesmerizing world of the elite that made him turn his back on his people.
When you look at the world today, it appears nothing has changed. Black athletes are still staying silent during these trying times. This can be extended to Black celebrities, in general. They’re donating .001% of their income to charity but very few of them are advocates for black people and even fewer have created opportunities for black people to thrive. I could go a step further and exclaim that some of them are more of a contributor to the regression of black people rather the progression of our community.
It’s crazy how much they lose their connection to the black community. It’s as if they are no longer prideful to be black. In fact, it is shame that leaves them silent and disinterested to contribute to the discussion.
Dr. Umar Johnson talked about this last year and he brought up some great points. As public figures, they have a huge hold on the youth. They can persuade members of the community to make goals and become productive citizens but instead they endorse negative generalizations and demean women.
They would sell their souls for corporations but very rarely speak out about atrocities against their own people. Even those who started in poverty, they become successful and distance themselves from their roots.
It is obvious that their need to maintain the support of the dominant group (white people) is far more important than their need to be honest about our broken social structure. It’s funny how outspoken O.J. Simpson became when he was a victim of racism after decades of avoiding the topic. You’re not a black man when white people are paying you millions of dollars but when they want to throw you in jail, you want to use the race card.