The injured Los Angeles Laker told the New Yorker’s Ben McGrath that the Miami Heat collectively taking Trayvon Martin’s side in the George Zimmerman case represented a reflexive racial reaction. The team posed for a provocative picture in hoodies in homage to the slain Florida teenager two years ago.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” Bryant told the magazine. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well… then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
If you are a normal intelligent person, listening to the facts and coming to your own conclusion might seem like common sense. That may even be what you expect everyone to do, about pretty much everything. You may even take it for granted that in a life or death situation, people would take extra care to examine the facts before acting. You would be wrong. Still, you might think it would work that way.
Jim Brown tells the New Yorker, “[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country.” Jamilah King at Colorlines lambasted Bryant for this “stingy insistence on clinging to a ‘post-racial’ identity, this very old, conservative notion that black people should not be treated differently in this country—despite all of the evidence, like Martin’s death, that they are.”So Kobe doesn't get "it" because he wasn't brought up here. Ok. Somehow that makes Kobe less than "American". Somehow that makes him less fit to take part in the American experience. Somehow that makes him and his views suspect. Ok, I'll go along with that.
Kobe not growing up in America reduces his ability to authentically participate in this country. In the view of some, he should not be playing basketball, and people shouldn't buy his promotional. stuff. So why is it automatically racist to say the same thing about Barrack Obama? He likely wasn't born in this country. In any event he is not a natural born citizen. He spent his formative years outside the US. For what its worth, as far as I can tell Kobe is blacker than Obama.
The difference seems to be that Kobe thinks "that black people should not be treated differently in this country". I guess that makes him a bad man in the eyes of Jim Brown.