when he said ‘more whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism’ during an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and as usual this statement brought out the worst in America and underscored his point. One only need to look at remarks overwhelmingly negative made on the comments section of any media source that reported on this story to see he touched a nerve. Abdul-Jabbar was on the show to talk about the latest example of American racism…unsolicited by him but for which he was asked to comment, the Donald Sterling affair, where the former owner of an NBA franchise made some extremely salacious, racist remarks about African-Americans and how they are not welcomed at his team’s basketball games, despite the fact more than half of his team’s members are black themselves.
The Donald Sterling fiasco happened shortly America was given another example of its racist nature when lectured by one Cliven Bundy about the Negro when he wondered
are they(African-Americans) better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.
Bundy made these remarks during the stand-off with an administration of an African-American president over land rights in Nevada. Why and how is it that Bundy can make such outlandishly stereotypical, nonsensical, erroneous statements is a study in ‘white privilege‘ that is steeped in and indistinguishable from racism itself.
Even earlier than the Bundy example during the news media continuum, there’s the Hank Aaron story where Aaron, a baseball Hall of Famer who was the first person to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record during the days when steriods weren’t a factor in sports achievements, was vehemently castigated by unknown people for merely pointing out that
We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts…..
It’s sad Aaron, successful on and off the baseball diamond has had to relieve vile racist insults for merely pointing out the obvious…..from his own experience, just as he had to have such insults hurled at him for being merely a record breaking athlete. This is the nature of racism in America. It is insidious, raw, ugly and meant to hurt and demean an entire group of people. Merely keeping quiet or turning a blind eye to it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Just ask Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hank Aaron, or any other African-American you may know. Chances are they unlike white America get it and believe in racism’s efficacy more than they believe in ghosts.