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Black Elite Establishment Coddling Lebron James and Mocking Slavery

Oh dear. Its been a banner week for the Civil Rights Industrial Complex. Let's chat about the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Of the members of the CRIC, Rev. Jackson is the least annoying.  Sure he says wild and crazy things on mics, goes to the White House to counsel the POTUS about infidelity while bringing along his mistress, speaks frequently about single mothers while giving his own baby mama  grief, but of the CRIC, he's probably my least annoying.  My Daddy still squeezes himself into a 88 t-shirt and likes to talk about being a Jackson delegate.  So Rev. Jackson gets bonus points in my book on account of sentiment.

However, at a time when Black unemployment is running almost double that of the average, do we really need to coddle a multimillionaire narcissist that treated his former employer pretty darned shabbily?  At least Lebron has a ding dang job. Rev. Jackson on the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers's embarrassing rant at being scorned by Lebron James.
He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.” Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jackson are you seriously comparing a multimillionaire professional athlete to a slave? Seriously?  There was a time when Black leaders did not rush to the aid of Black people behaving badly. They understood that they had a finite amount of moral authority and they wouldn't expend it on just anybody.

What would really be impressive would be if Jesse Jackson and all these other Black pontificators cared to comment regularly on behalf of actual SLAVES as much as they do about Lebron James.  Give me a holla when y'all start speaking out about "Pimping" equalling sex slavery. Give ma a holla when Y'all start speaking out about Russell Simmon's and Bob Johnson's prepaid debit cards equalling  financial slavery. Give me a holla when y'all start speaking out about all of the women in "civil rights" organizations or churches that work their little souls out and get NOTHING in return.

Lebron was a spoiled little snot who played with people's emotions. He earned his  public tongue lashing.  But don't worry. He'll be okay he can wipe his tears with $100 bills.

Reader Comments (21)

as always, you are right on point.

let's talk about the real slavery that is still in effect today.

let's talk about unemployment amongst the rest of us.

that man has lost his mind, again. lebron doesn't need his support...support folks who need it jesse - or shut up.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthefriendraiser

I am not the least surprised by Jackson's statement. And alot of people agree with what he said. Many site the book "Forty Million Dollar Slave" when discussing the Lebron bruhaha. I haven't read the book so I will in no way attempt to analyze or speak on it. But personally, I have a hard time comparing a pampered multi-million dollar athlete to a slave. To me it's like apples and oranges.

As for Lebron's decision- I would rather he stayed in Cleveland. I'm from Northeast Ohio so maybe I'm biased, but I think it's sad that the economically strapped city will no longer benefit from the positive energy, not to mention the steady revenue stream, that Lebron was able to generate with the Cavaliers. The fact that it is his home (well, close to his home) makes for a great "feel good" story if he would have eventually brought a championship there. But he was in no way obligated to stay. He fulfilled his contract, so I can only wish him well.

My one problem is that I did not think it was necessary for him to have an hour-long TV special to tell the world he's leaving Cleveland. Apparently Gilbert was hearing it for the first time along with everyone else. That's kinda like your spouse getting on the local news to tell you he/she wants a divorce instead of telling you alone, face to face. So I can really understand why Gilbert was so pissed off. However, that does not excuse the extremely unprofessional way he handled it. He can rant and rave all he wants in private to friends and family, that's what friends and family are for, but he needs to take the high road in public. Instead he came off looking like a psychotic scorned lover. It's going to be very difficult to attract good talent to Cleveland after that. Who wants to play for some clown with such a vindictive spirit?

Lebron will probably never be able to "go home again," but he'll be alright, especially if he wins. We have learned, time and time again, that if you are a pro athlete you can act a fool all you want, and do whatever you want. The public will eventually forgive you as long as you win, and keep winning.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

Jesse Jackson really needs to get priorities in place. In major cities BM unemployment is like 50% and BW not that far behind. Dozens of black folks get shot in his home base of Chicago on the weekends regularly, yet he is worried about a millionaire like Lebron James? Not only is Lebron very rich and has people taking care of him, he seems to be a guy with a good head on his shoulders. So why is Jesse worried about him and not the countless other lost souls on the streets of Chicago.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

When the Oscar Grant shooting trial was going on, I was wondering where is ole Rev. Jackson; black male, white cop his type of drama. The week after the verdict, he speaks about the Lebron situation and then it hit me "money" and "media attention".

As far as Lebron James, I think he could of a least informed the coach, general manager and the rest of the Cavaliers organization before going on ESPN to take a hour to say "I'm going with Miami Heat".

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Lebron's contract was up. He can do whatever he wants. I don't think James owed his former employer a damn thing. If he wasn't producing his former employer wouldn't have had any qualms about kicking him to the curb. I read that kids in Cleveland are selling lemonade to raise moeny so a billionaire can pay his 100k fine to the NBA for behaving like a jackass and writing a stupid letter criticizing a man's right to change his job if he wants to.

Jesse Jackson is a media whore no doubt, but I think he has a point. The owner paid James a lot of money, but James made that man way more money than he paid him.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Why are people of color the only people who have to be, "loyal," to employers? Lebron James made a business decision. Perhaps we should speak about the Chinese entity that planned to buy a 30% share of the Cavaliers if Lebron stayed on. They walked on the deal when he decided to leave. Maybe, just maybe that is what fueled the owners' outrage..the thought of losing millions. I say Lebron James has what many of us lack - the ability to choose between jobs. He made a choice, it's over, already.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWomanofColor

Hey - interesting write-up. So I have finally processed this entre ridiculous Lebron James situation. What a horrible plan! 1st, Lebron fakes an injury and purposefully chokes in the playoffs so he can leave without guilt. Then they create a total media circus out of it all to the point of annoying the entire country. Then this fool goes on national TV to stab his hometown in the back, simultaneously pissing off all other big cities except Miami, so that he can try to win on D-Wade's team! Talk about BAD marketing! Anyhow... nice blog... I'm subscribed to your RSS feed now so I'll be checking in regularly!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUSPLabs Pink Magic

That letter chiding LeBron, was completely unprofessional and very childish. In this day and age, particularly with the capricious and SELFISH nature of employers, NO ONE IS ENTITLED to employee loyalty. Legally, Lebron's contract ended, hence the reason he entered Free Agency.

There was no loyalty to be had, because legally Lebron was no longer employed by the Cavs. Not sure why Jesse needed to get himself involved, but I supposed its par for the course for him.

P.S., when did Jesse travel to the Whitehouse to counsel the POTUS? Was it Clinton? After Lewinsky? After Paula?

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

Rev. Jackson may have had a point regarding Cleveland and Lebron James, but he could have kept that to himself; Lebron was a free agent and the media choose to hype it. PERIOD.

Rev. Jackson loves media attention more that bees love honey, but he is the most annoying to me; why hasn't he said anything about the cop basically getting off for killing Oscar Grant? Why has he not said anything about the numerous increasing incidents of sex trafficking by young Black men in the 20s and 30s of young girls, some as young as 12? Where's his voice about other very important issues?

BTW Blkseagoat, Rev. Messy Jackson went to the WH while Slick Willie was there to counsel him on, among other issues, his affair with Monica "devil-ette in a blue dress" Lewinsky." What's that phrase pot calling the kettle Black . . . . ? :)

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika.com

Jay leno made a joke, that he is surprised it took Jackson 48 hours to play the race card.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArnold touch

. . . . and if my "mother" was kickin' it with one of my Cleveland teammates AND my contract is over AND I'm a free agent, heck yes, I'd leave too! :(

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika.com

The letter was ridiculous, but Lebron is not a victim.Yes, you can leave employment, but how you leave is just as important as leaving. I used to see so many files of the world's most ridiculous resignation letters. And TRUST that all that bridge burning comes back to haunt you.

Leave with grace and dignity and make life for your boss as easy as possible, even if they are jerks.

This isn't about the decision to leave. Its about the way he left.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpopular erectile pills

My thing is this, we see the letter. What does it say about Gibson the owner? How do we think he behaved.

Also, Cleveland needs to get a grip. If you're local economy is so influenced by one athlete, you've got bigger problems than him leaving.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

The interesting contrast was the near blackout of the Mehserle verdict by the corporate media to focus on James.

You have to notice how the value of these black males is related to their income/asset generating potentials for their white masters.

James doesn't get that his usefulness has a shelf life and he should always make nice with his future employers or business partners, but he's young and not so bright about these things.

Between Rev Baby Daddy & the do-nothing NAACP and their tea party throwing rocks session it's been a stellar week.

Oh and the Gov't worker who got axed for admittng she didn't go out of her way to help a white farmer. Obama dumped her before the ink was dry on her resignation too.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFaith


"This isn’t about the decision to leave. Its about the way he left."

ITA! Even though Gilbert has revealed himself to be an azz-clown (and something tells me that Lebron knew he was an azz-clown) he was still Lebron's employer. Even if you don't respect the person, you respect the position. Gilbert should not have found out that Lebron was leaving on national television with the rest of the country. Lebron's "brand" took a hit behind all of this, and his popularity will slip for a while. Hopefully he will win a ring, and soon. As I stated earlier, a pro athlete will be forgiven anything as long as he wins and keeps winning.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

1. James' contract is up and he could do what he wanted.
2. Coach could be upset but his letter was over the top and he has paid for it by looking foolish.
3. Just becasue it involves a black man and a white man doesn't make it a racial issue and certainly not one of national proportion. Take a chill Jesse.
4. Wrong on one thing Gina, Jesse don't spend whatever authority they have on anyone. They reserve it for situations that can bring them the most money and publicity. Let you or I get some sort of scathing letter from our employer, that might actually be racist in nature, and see if Jesse comes to bat.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBee

The job market is in the toilet. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suck up trillions of dollars that are needed here; kill, maim, and mentally screw up soliders; and don't do one damn thing to keep us "safe." WMD-like lies about Iran swirl 24/7 to justify attack on that country. Foreign policy on Africa continues to be war-centered and exploitive even with a president with an African parent. Wall Street gets billions (or is it trillions by now?) in bailout money while homeowners get a hard way to go. The White House crows about a health care reform bill and now a financial reform bill - both of which are so influenced by industry that they are ineffective shams. Public education is under attack (an attack sanctioned by the administration) by privatizers looking for quick profits via the charter school industry. The White House names a deficit reduction commission whose sole purpose it to gut Social Security and invest SS money in stock market. Civil liberties and the Constitution continue being shredded just as they were in the BushCo years. The president nominated two Supreme Court justices - neither of whom will ever be mistaken for strong people's advocates, something's that's sorely needed on a Court filled with corporatists and reactionaries.

Given the above-mentioned crapload of problems that affect not just black folks, but the nation in general, Jesse Jackson's plate should be full of things to protest about and mobilize the people to fight against. And instead of going off on the Cavaliers' owner, Jackson needs to start his going off on and calling out at the White House. The Obama administration is carrying out a corporatist and warmongering agenda that is the same as BushCheney - just delivered with a biracial black, smooth talking face for the US empire.

The "woes" of LeBron are small tater tots compared to the mess millions of people are facing today and it's past time for so-called "leaders" like Jackson to stop remaining silent and complicit in the pillage and destruction wrought by our own govt.

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBricer

I agree with you Bricer, but the solution is for justice-minded people to be active in an organization, to be involved, that's the solution.

So, what organization are YOU in? :)

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika.com

RMA~ I disagree to a certain extent with your last point. Justice-minded people only need act.

The next post handles "organizations"

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

I truly adore this post; as usual you're spot-on.

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBewick

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