Alright, so now that the most hectic ministry season of my life so far is behind me, I think I can pick up some of the thoughts I was working on before late April/May/June fell on me.
One of those trains of thought was concerning racial issues. I wrote some recently (here and here, to be exact) about these issues and why they’ve been on my mind lately. To be honest, with all the craziness over the last couple of months, this whole issue had been pushed out of my mind. Then LeBron James announced that he was going to Miami…
James’ decision was met with many tears (for different reasons, depending on where you live) and much rejoicing or anger (depending again on where you live). No one seemed angrier than Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His open letter to Cavalier fans was met with quite a bit of disgust, actually, from the sporting community – and deservedly so. In case you haven’t already read it, or don’t intend to read it, just know that it more or less sounds like the rant of a middle school kid whose girlfriend broke up with him with a text message. (It is funny, however, that fathead.com, which is owned by Gilbert, lowered the price of the LeBron James wall mural from the usual $99.99 to $17.41, apparently in honor of the year that Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold was born.)
Then Jesse Jackson got involved. Seriously. I’m not kidding. In a press release from his Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Jackson accused Gilbert’s “slave master mentality” of being the source of his outrage. Really?
Listen, as someone who has lived his entire life in the south, I fully understand and recognize that racial issues still exist in America. And as someone who has lived in that reality his entire life, I have absolutely no patience for people who exacerbate those issues, or who create racial issues where none exist. And that seems to be just about all Jesse Jackson is interested in doing. I don’t know of a single person, in the sports community or otherwise, who would have created a racial issue out of LeBron James leaving Cleveland for Miami.
So, ironic and insincere kudos to you, Reverend Jackson. You have, once again, managed to create another battle to fight and kept yourself in business for at least a little bit longer.