Mark Cuban: I'll cross street if I see "a black kid in a hoodie" or "white guy with a shaved head
Mark Cuban spoke at the GrowCo conference in Nashville earlier today, and The Tennessean’s Shelley Dubois transcribed some snippets that are sure to be recycled in the news cycle:
It would be pretty useful to see the full context behind these quotes. Beyond that, the instinctual voice inside one’s head can be quite impure before getting defeated by the more reasonable portions of the brain. That being said, it goes without saying at this point that the bigoted voice inside Donald Sterling’s head manifested itself in the Clippers owner’s sustained behavior.
While it’s not as though Cuban displayed lopsided racial prejudice — he explicitly mentioned being scared of a certain brand of white appearance — the “black kid in a hoodie” quote elicits imagery of Trayvon Martin, and the connotations of that could be a sticking point in the way that these quotes spread.
[UPDATE]: Sporting News’ Mark Burns adds a little bit more context to the end of the last quote: “If I see anybody that looks threatening, and I try not to, but part of me takes into account race and gender and image. I’m prejudiced. Other than for safety issues, I try to always catch my prejudices and be very self-aware.”
[UPDATE II:] This is the video of Cuban’s interview; his tone is very measured and calm. He comes off as honest and candid:
[UPDATE III:] Cuban has apologized to Trayvon Martin’s family: