Let's clear the air on the topic of Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban addressing Donald Sterling and racism. He is getting a lot of heat for an interview he did with Inc. Magazine, talking about his view on things. The media has taken a few lines from an almost 3 minute answer he gave during a video interview to make it appear that Cuban is possibly racist. Or at least that Cuban is saying that some racism and prejudice is okay. While I do think there is a modicum of truth to their insinuations, hopefully when I present the quote in full, contrasted to what the big news outlets are running as headlines, it will be clear that CNN and the like are blowing this quote out of proportion so they can continue to have the heated debate over racism and Sterling. (The title of this forum is an example of what I'm talking about; I copied it from The Young Turks to prove a point.)
Here's the partial quote from the Cuban interview that CNN and the like are debating (if its racist or not):
"I know I'm prejudiced, and I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways... If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I'll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos (on the side he now is on), I'll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses."
And here's the quote in full he gave in the interview to Inc. Magazine, on the question of what he does to combat the bigotry and racism he comes across as a manager and an owner:
You know, in this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless who it's towards. Whether it's the LGBT community, whether its xenophobia, fear of people from other countries.. We've come a long way, and with that progress comes price. We're a lot more vigilant and a lot less tolerant of different views. And it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adopt, or adapt, or evolve.
I mean we are all prejudice in one way or the other. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and its late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. 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. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. And so, in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. You know, I know that I'm not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it's not appropriate for me to throw stones.
And so when I run into bigotry, in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I'll work with people, I'll send 'em to training, I'll send 'em to sensitivity training. I'll try to give them a chance to improve themselves, because I think helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all have our prejudices and bigotries, we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control. That it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road because it does society, it does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism or bigotry is to say "It's not right for you to be here. Go take your attitude somewhere else."
While you may gravitate to the part of the answer that CNN and the like did (and I don't blame you), it's unfair to only focus on just that part, and not the answer in its entirety. But I guess that's the shortfall and problem with 24-hour news sensationalism; they have to blow things out of proportion to get viewership, and to give their guys and gals something to have heated debates over. Racism is always good for heated debate. Dissecting a comment ad nauseam, even if sort of out of context is another thing these big networks do.
Cuban was honest. And while I think there is somewhat of a story here, it really annoys me to see something so obviously twisted for the sake of headlines. You know, for a 24 hour news network to not run the full 2 minute and 43 second Cuban response is irresponsible, if you are going to engage in legitimate debate. You have 24 hours! Run the whole damned clip guys. Be fair. Did Cuban make you uncomfortable with that comment? Do you not agree that we all see the world with our own prejudices? While its not a popular thing to say out loud, it is mostly true. The word prejudice distilled down to its dictionary definition (void of connotation) means to pre-judge. We all pre-judge. That is a fact. I believe that was all that Cuban was attempting to point out here. Although, like Cuban always does, he stuck his foot in his mouth and gave the media just enough of a headline to run with. ...It's up to everyone to rise above our base nature to pre-judge everything, and be open-minded. I think that was the sentiment he was going for.