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PART I: When you see me, what do you see ? - Is Kyrie Irving a Good Guy or a Bad Guy?
43) Jewish people and Black people might have different opinions on this. But, what about people who are both Black and Jewish? <79th OP>
This is PART ONE in a FOUR Part Series. Enjoy!
Before I give my take on Kyrie, I first want to share something else. One of the best movies I have seen over the last eight years is this movie called “DOPE”. It is an odyssey of a young Black male from Compton California, who is a Senior in HS trying to get into a prestigious ivy league University. He’s a kid from the projects, going to an underfunded school, yet he’s a geek who always gets picked on. The movie shows this young man having to go through a series of some very difficult choices, which depending on how the situation goes, will most certainly define him and his future, (especially if things turn bad).
Even though I have seen this movie half a dozen times, and while, on the surface I have very little in common with this young man’s odyssey, the truth of the matter is, that his story resembles everyone’s story in some way shape or form. Every human being living in a society deemed “free” meaning living under a government that is chosen by the people - IE a “Democracy” - has a choice. Even humans living in oppressive regimes have choices. Those choices might be much more limited, and are forced to be a certain way, but human-beings since our existence have had “freedom of choice”.
Not to spoil the movie, but “DOPE” is an incredible story, that obviously is a movie with the intention of having a feel good yet profound ending. But, again everyone in life has a choice. When I think of someone like Kyrie Irving, I think of the choices he has made, even from last year in how he chose not to get vaccinated.
But, more recently Kyrie’s choice of using twitter to promote a movie with antisemitic tropes. Or his choice of words in regards to how he wants to explain charges of antisemitism against himself. Or how Kyrie chose how to react or not to react to all these Black Israelites coming in peaceful assembly after Kyrie’s first game back from suspension at the Barclays Center. (Even how I’m describing these events is a choice).
We as a society get to choose how we react to Kyrie and his actions. Is he completely lost, and undeserving of playing professional basketball for a living? Is he really antisemitic? Or is he (quietly) one of the most philanthropic basketball players/professional athletes we have ever come across, who has donated large portions of his salary to various African American causes, and Black communities, and Black people in need?
The recently deceased “Sands Casino” Mogul - Sheldon Adelson, (worth over $40 Billion Dollars) donated more money to the Republican Party than any other individual https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2020/10/adelsons-set-new-donation-record/ . He also was a staunch supporter of Israel and a huge backer of AIPAC. While some Jewish liberals, might have wished he supported the Democratic Party instead of the Republican party, it’s hard to say that he wasn’t a force for good in the Jewish community - https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/sheldon-adelson-pledges-200-million-annually-to-jewish-causes.
If you look at how much money Adelson has compared to Kyrie Irving, Adelson dwarfs Kyrie in money. Yet Kyrie has donated way more money (and way more of his money) to Black causes then Adelson has https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/casinos-gaming/sands-donating-400k-to-local-groups-to-fight-systemic-racism-2186988/ . And that isn’t unexpected. People want to take care of the community they most identify with.
One person that I am loath to mention, since he has been such a frequent presence in the news, is Kanye West. I feel guilty in the fact that even mentioning him is just more fuel for the fire, and just creates more attention this (mentally unwell) man so clearly craves. Our country and culture’s obsession with celebrities I think often creates bad actors like Kanye (I’m saying actors more so in a political science sense, than in the celebrity sense in this situation) https://www.infocore.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Def_Political_Actors.pdf.
I honestly have no desire to speak of or read about Kanye. I think the best thing I and others can do to combat such ignorance from someone who other than his celebrity status is largely impotent (with regards to his influence over decisions made in government and society) is to just ignore him. Would some dare say “CANCEL HIM”?! I mean, we throw that term around as loosely as we throw the term “Racism” around. I’m going to leave this piece on that note.
Speaking of which… Be sure to check out the next installment of “When you see me what do you see” on “Hershel Walker” and on “Race relations in America”.
Until next time!
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