As I heard folks say that they hated the Miami Heat (and some people decided to tell me about basketball who I didn’t know even followed the game), I couldn’t help but think that we could sure use this amount of “hatin” and passion on some real pressing issues.
And let’s keep it real, LeBron James hasn’t laid off anybody’s parents, or caused your cousin to be locked down for 20 years, ’cause he had a little weed on him. Chris Bosh didn’t cut off unemployment benefits when people needed them most. The Heat didn’t have anything to do with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Heat didn’t drop any bombs on anybody from a drone and then not even acknowledge the fact that people were killed, that they weren’t aiming at them, or call them collateral damage as if their lives meant nothing. Dwayne Wade didn’t bail out the banks or foreclose on your mama’s house. And if we are honest the real reason folks hate the Heat is because the bosses told them to.
When LeBron James and Chris Bosh took matters into their own hands and chose to decide their own fate, rather than let management decide where they should play (as it is usually the case when players move from one team to the other), they became the objects of hate by the bosses. James’ former owner, Dan Gilbert, acted like LeBron was a runaway slave. And the bosses’ well-paid talking heads — the sportswriters — parroted their line.
James and the Heat, on the other hand, actually showed solidarity with the parents of Trayvon Martin and the tens of thousands of others who were demanding justice in his case. Speaking of Trayvon’s murder, there are some things folks really ought to hate, and that is evil. We ought to hate the fact that over two million people are locked down in the U.S. and many have been given draconian sentences as a result of the war on drugs.
Blacks make up about half the prison population while only 15 percent of the population and are nearly seven times more likely to be locked up than Whites, an offshoot of racial profiling in policing and sentencing. We ought to hate the fact that over 3,000 of our countrymen (65 percent of them Black) have been locked up for life for non-violent crimes.
We ought to hate the fact that actual ghettos still exist and that in them dwell folks whose hope has been short circuited. We ought to hate the drug scourge and the forces that cause our young people to feel like pulling up their pants “ain’t even worth it.” We ought to hate the conditions that have been foisted upon them and show disdain to those who try to blame the victim, while their bellies are full and pockets are fat.
We ought to hate what has happened to Detroit. Detroit doesn’t have the ability to make democratic decisions for itself. It has a manager that makes the decisions on what should happen in Detroit, not the people.
Ultimately, we ought to hate a system that has created all these wrongs and continues to take more than its fair share, while pretending that if they give back what they stole, it won’t make things better for everyday working people. We ought to hate a system that preaches division and racial animus — yes it does!
We ought to hate a system that can’t seem to deliver justice, or treat all of its citizens equally and fairly. We ought to hate a system that produces thousands of multi-millionaires, but can’t find a way to educate its children or house and take care of its elderly, or provide decent jobs and decent wages to its citizens. No doubt there are plenty real things that deserve our hate, so let’s get to hatin’ on them!
“Love that which is good, hate that which is evil.”
Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to firstname.lastname@example.org.