With all the (alleged) social justice activism recently, we are supposed to be living in a nirvana of racial equality. We are supposed to be sensitive to anything that could be perceived as a racial bias, as it could offend others. We were warned that what some find humorous, others may find hurtful and insulting, and we must curb our speech. And, in an effort to treat everyone fairly, we have been told we must stop the aggression in our speech — both micro and macro. Yet all of these guidelines get completely ignored when it comes to one specific group: white people.
Consider the most recent comments made by basketball player Andre Iguodala on an episode of Point Forward, a podcast hosted by former basketball player Evan Turner. Iguodala marveled over the skills of Luka Doncic, a basketball player of Slovenian origin for the Dallas Mavericks.
“Luka Doncic, this white boy is a problem, and it’s getting to the point where I don’t think he’s white anymore,” Iguodala said.
While Iguodala meant this as a compliment, it still came with the implication that white people are inferior when it comes to basketball — and other athletics. Iguodala was surprised at Doncic’s skill level because of his white skin color and couldn’t believe a white person could be so good at basketball.
Believing a particular race is inferior — isn’t there a word for that?
Moreover, ignoring the negative profiling and stereotyping in Iguodala’s comment, would this kind of comment be allowed if it was about a person of any other skin color? No, of course not. Yet Iguodala’s remarks didn’t cause any frenzy. This is because it is socially acceptable to mock and criticize white people in ways that, if the same comments were said about minorities, would be condemned as racist.
Consider that Iguodala’s comments come days after a white baseball player, Josh Donaldson, was criticized and punished for making “racist” comments by calling a black baseball player … Jackie Robinson. Donaldson commented facetiously toward Chicago White Sox baseball player Tim Anderson in reference to his self-absorbed and narcissistic remarks in a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview. Donaldson was branded a bigot and forced to apologize. There’s been zero outrage over Iguodala’s comments.
Iguodala’s negative stereotyping of white people’s athletic abilities is nothing new. Many commentators, athletes, celebrities, comedians, etc. have insinuated or joked that white people are inferior athletes. It’s permissible to ridicule based on one’s skin color, just so long as the butt of the jokes is white people.
After all, as I am sure Iguodala knows, there is a movie titled White Men Can’t Jump, a personal favorite of mine, released all the way back in 1992. And, as further proof of this lack of racial sensitivity toward white people, they are even remaking this movie.
Consider comedian Chris Rock’s statements from the 88th Academy Awards in February 2016. When talking about the movie Creed, Rock made a joke about how the character Rocky Balboa couldn’t exist because he would never be able to defeat black boxers routinely.
“We’ve got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed. I call it ‘black Rocky.’ And that’s an unbelievable statement, because Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes,” Rock said. “Rocky’s a science fiction movie.”
Rock’s joke caused the entire audience to laugh. It was even considered one of the night’s best jokes by the Los Angeles Times. But had Rock incorporated a negative stereotype about black people into his comedic routine, especially if Chris Rock were white, the response would have been much different. He would have been branded a racist bigot, forced to apologize, and his career would most likely be over.
Furthermore, if it was ever true, this negative stereotype is being shattered by white athletes in sports all over the world — even more of a reason to find such athletic profiling offensive and racist.
Consider some of the most recent dominant athletic performances. The best wide receiver in the NFL, a position long thought to be dominated by black players, is Cooper Kupp, a white man. In boxing, we must be living in the alternate world Chris Rock was referring to, because white athletes Tyson Fury and Vladimir Klitschko have dominated the heavyweight division for most of the last decade. And, in Iguodala’s NBA, Nikola Jokic has been voted the league’s best player the past two seasons.
Simply put, white people are held to different standards when it comes to comments made about people’s race. They are supposed to remain quiet and accept whatever ridicule they receive — even if the same type of ridicule would be deemed offensive if said about people of color. And then, if one protests this double standard, many on the Left dismiss their objections as white supremacy.
In their eyes, the only socially acceptable response to this racial scorn is submission. This is wrong, and it must stop. Either racial jokes are universally accepted, or they should not be made at all. But this double standard, in which making comments about other races is bigotry but acceptable when done to white people, is wrong. It is not acceptable anymore. And it should have never been acceptable in the first place. We should be striving for racial equality of all people – not just the preferred races of the Left’s political agenda.