First of all, let me say that I run no risk of being labeled an “Uncle Tom” for writing this. I will be labeled an “Uncle Tom” for writing this. But that doesn’t bother me for a couple of reasons.
First, the majority of people that use the pejorative “Uncle Tom” have never read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Second, the truth, whether it is popular or not, should always be told. And the truth is, Dan Gilbert did the right thing.
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Yes, he did describe LeBron as “narcissistic” and yes, he did describe LeBron’s leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat as an act of “cowardly betrayal”, but if anybody were to put themselves in Dan Gilbert’s shoes for even a moment, they’d realize why he must have felt that both that letter and those words were absolutely necessary.
Think about it: you own the team that just lost the most marketable player in the sport and you’re going to have to try to sell season tickets next year.
What do you do?
Well, you identify an enemy and you give the hometown folks a rallying point. You give them a reason to come out to the game and spend money. You give them a reason to show love and loyalty to the city of Cleveland and especially the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And hate is just as good a reason as any.
The only mistake that Dan Gilbert made was that he expected everybody to be conned by his so-called “emotional” response, when most of us could see straight through his “passion” and into the financial motivation behind it.
I knew, sadly, that some Black people were going to react some kinda way over the fact that a white billionaire had just insulted a Black soon-to-be-billionaire, but I didn’t expect the good Reverend Jesse “give that bloody shirt to my baby-mama before I cut your balls off” Jackson to get all up in the mix.
Not with Oscar Grant so freshly denied justice and some real Civil Rights Champion-worthy work to be done.
But Jesse probably knew that talking about Oscar Grant wouldn’t get him in the news.
So I can’t even knock him.