Tag Archive | basketball

Equal Attention Discrimination

donald_sterlingAs soon as TMZ released the alleged tape Donald Sterling’s racist remarks towards his girlfriend V. Stiviano for posting pictures of herself hanging out with Magic Johnson on Instagram, the African American community immediately issued statements requesting Sterling be removed as the Los Angeles Clippers owner. All of this coming at a very bad time during a playoff battle against the Golden State Warriors en route to a possible NBA championship run for the Larry O’Brien trophy that now, very few people want to see the players on the Clippers earn for Sterling to hoist.

First I must say the African American community has always responded quickly to ignorant, divisive, and racist remarks towards these types of social issues. They are incredibly cohesive, organized, and collaborate so well. When Trayvon Martin was shot to Rodney King, and even towards the reactions of OJ Simpson and the jury’s verdict, the African American community always reacts fast and shares their opinions on sensitive social issues regarding other high profile African Americans or affiliates.

But the teamwork and cultural awareness didn’t happen overnight. People paid in blood sweat and tears for centuries as dignity was hard won and fought for before others were able to arrive at equal treatment, to eat at the same table at restaurants and attend the same schools.

Even now there still remains ignorance and hidden discrimination amongst the American population. But at least backlash is immediately imminent when people voice their discriminatory views.

Yet, if this were a transgender situation with the same backstory except the one minor difference of substituting a famous transgender woman in place of Magic Johnson, I assure you the results would have been quite different: muted, ignored, and dismissed.

I could have guaranteed there would have been very little comparative public outcry.

Why is that?

Is it because people erroneously assume w are making a sinful choice when we present our true selves in a gender non-conforming way? Is it because we are fragmented as a community? Is my friend Callan correct in saying our disconnect as a community is because we lack allies? Because we are so busy pinpointing who we aren’t instead of focusing on who we are, finding out actual presentation and identities?

I think it’s a combination of all of these factors, and the fragmentation really hurts us as a community. In addition to having no default group of individual to represent us, we have so many in the community who play crabs in the barrel with one another. Forget the fact that drag queens, transvestites, crossdressers, and transsexuals pick on each other and segregate themselves. Transsexuals are very ticky tack amongst themselves. It’s very common to hear comments as “That’s not her real hair” or “She isn’t fulltime, what does she know” in sneering and condescending attitudes.

And finding a group or individual to represent transgender people is very difficult, if not impossible, due to how fluid the nature of gender really is and the many ways on the continuum in which we can authentically choose to express ourselves.

So what are some steps we can take to increase acceptance and inclusion within our own community? I think it is very important to stand up for other transgender people. But in order for us to do that successfully we must first learn to stand up for ourselves and embrace our own individual differences. If I can’t accept, love, and stand up for myself, then I certainly can’t do it effectively for others in my community.

We must also show inclusion for those who fall on different parts of the gender spectrum; empathy for those who face ostracism from family upon coming out; and patience for those who are at a different stage of transition than we are.

We must embrace our queerness, and reject the binaries and judgments associated with being different and, rather, see ourselves as who we truly are: unique.

We must start forming alliances of allies where, through our cohesion of loving self and other transgender people, we then start being heard.

And then, and only then, will we hold enough clout and attention for respect when discriminated against in a similar situation by the Donald Sterlings out there.

LeBron James’ Comments toward John Amaechi Still Taints His Ring Ceremony Celebration for Me

LeBron James getting his second ring as the 2013-2014 NBA season is about to start reminds me of his inappropriate comment in 2007, when he said he was unsure how he would react if he knew one of his teammates was gay.  “We’re on the bus together and we talk about a lot of things and if you’re not trustworthy, like admitting you’re gay, you can’t be trusted. It’s a trust factor,” he was quoted as saying, in reaction to former NBA player John Amaechi coming out.lebron-james-crying

I didn’t just root for Dallas a few years ago because I wanted LeBron James to lose in the finals and be denied a ring.  I realized the prick needed to do some self reflection and show some empathy and understanding towards a highly marginalized and stigmatized portion of society.

He needed to (and probably STILL NEEDS TO) realize other people’s life decisions and actions don’t necessarily revolve around his narrow minded and balding ass point of view.

People don’t just come out because being gay and knowing they are gay is a crime and should be confessed or revealed due to trust factors.  People have to time when and how they come out, and if they should come out.  Situations vary widely, and people come out for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because it is to finally acknowledge who they are, despite the pressures and ramifications of doing so in a society geared towards keeping the status quo and rigid binary of old outdated traditions.

The way he said it was very similar to equating coming out and being gay to being an ex-con or criminal.  As if on your first date, you are supposed to tell someone about all your personal details, otherwise you aren’t deemed “trustworthy.”

Absolutely retarded.

Then LeBron said, recently after Jason Collins came out, that “I think it’s very strong of him. I think it’s very noble of him. I got the utmost respect for Jason and for whatever he wants to do.”

Although it’s nice to see someone of his star power give Jason Collins and the GLBT community a big push in the right direction, I doubt he truly felt sincere about what he said.  It just seems like he’s saying that to please the crowd and masses, and I don’t truly believe he feels that way in his heart.  He’s too full of himself and his beliefs.  And although it’s merely speculation, I think his comment stems from the direct consequence of being booed so hard and despised by many when he made his decision to go to the Miami Heat, that he realized it was better this time around to say something much less controversial.

Someone who scoffed and laughed at Dirk Nowitzki when he had a cold in the NBA Finals and refused to shake Dwight Howard’s hand after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals isn’t someone who embraces differing viewpoints with open arms, especially if those differing viewpoints don’t coincide with his own agenda and judgments.

Go work on your free throws, and shut the fuck up LeBron.  No one cares what you think.