“If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street,” Mark Cuban said. “And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street.”
I for one, as an African American male, did not feel offended by Cuban’s comments. Not when I read them out of context or when I watched them in full context. As a matter of fact he voiced things that a lot of people may unconsciously feel about their own people and others when it comes to race, age and gender. However a few things did stand out from his way of showing the world’s prejudices.
First off, some of his feelings felt geared towards trying to get people to give Donald Sterling another chance because he didn’t feel like an owner should lose his team for something said in private. He’s made that clear in numerous reports.
But his real mistake was made when his description of the “black kid” was exactly that of Trayvon Martin. It was insensitive and probably would have been hard to explain to potential hood wearing free agents. Which is why he rightfully apologized to the family of the murdered 17-year-old.
However, he never retracted anything said about the description that he backpedaled into.
It’s a totally different circumstance for a completely separate situation, but that does not mean that he didn’t alienate a group that resembles the Miami Heat‘s Chris “Birdman” Andersen — a man who once fell victim to a Catfish extortion scheme so big that it resulted in his Colorado home being raided and his computers being seized.
He was labeled a child predator with no proof and people believed it because he had the look — “white guy… tattoos everywhere.” But when he was found innocent no one heard a peep about it.
It’s sad to say, but many people would be lying — to the world and themselves — if they said that appearances did not often dictate their thoughts — ink work, hoodies or otherwise. It’s the plight of the misunderstood.