The New Yorker has published a profile of Kobe Bryant which, since I am not a subscriber to the magazine, I don’t have access to. However, Jamilah King at Colorblind.com has given us some interesting stuff:
Throughout his career, Bryant’s been talking about as an outsider, specifically when it comes to being the most famous in the world in a sport that’s overwhelmingly black. It’s given him a politically moderate stance on things, which was on display when McGrath brought up the subject of LeBron James posting a photo online of the Heat players dressed in hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin.
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, 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.”
There are two reactions to Bryant’s statement that deserve our attention. The first reaction was the predictable and boring outrage for refusing to bow to the Trayvon Martin racial enlightenment litmus test. According to Newsone.com, Bryant responded in two ways. One was to mention via twitter that he did believe that Martin was a victim of injustice.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 27, 2014
So Bryant’s objection was to the premature way he believed others acted for racial reasons. There was no reason to attack him for having the alleged “wrong view” of Martin.
His second response was via Instagram.
Well played, Mr. Bryant!
The other reaction to Bryant was in the initial colorline.com story.
The profile goes on to quote former NFL running back Jim Brown, who at one point said, “[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country.” Bryant then defended himself on Twitter, writing, “A ‘Global’ African American is an inferior shade to ‘American’ African American?? #hmmm. that doesn’t sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir.”
But Jamilah King is on Brown’s side. She writes a sentence that gets its point across even though it is literally nonsense:
What sets Bryant apart is his stingy insistence on clinging to a “post-racial” identity, this very old, conservative notion that black people should not be treated differently in this country — despite all of the evidence, like Martin’s death, that they are.
But no matter how much black people are treated differently, the fact remains that they should not be. King pretends she is offering a counter argument but it is devoid of logic. And since slavery ended because of the “old conservative notion that black people should not be treated differently in this country,” one might ask King whose side she is on.
And “stingy”? Or take Jim Brown’s claim that Bryant is “somewhat confused about culture.” No, Bryant is generous and he is liberated from cultural blindness. Perhaps precisely because Byant’s upbringing was international, exposing him to other cultures, he has grown up to be cosmopolitan. He strives to be, whether one agrees with him or not, a critical and independent thinker.
But that has no value to the racial grievance industry.