Saturday, November 26, 2016

LeBron James Needs to Stop Being Such a Posse

It seems that another innocuous word has now found its way into the left's rolodex of racist code language in the past weeks.  This time, it's due to LeBron James's having taken issue with Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" to describe LeBron and his business associates. 

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about how the left was insisting that "socialist" was a racist term to identify Obama in 2008 and beyond, even though "socialist" identifies adherents to a specific economic theory of redistribution, not anyone of a specific race.  It was silly of me, I suppose, to do anything other accept the fact that when someone else happens to take a word in the wrong context because it is politically expedient for them to do so, that the word must then become verboten in the PC lexicon.

Take the word "thug," for example.  I'd wager that those who claim it's a racist term never once used their finger muscles to google the etymology.  (Hey, I grew up having to read about it in a book, Dewey Decimal, card catalog, the whole nine yards.  I don't think I'm expecting too much here.)  But the term, in fact, dates back to identification with the "Thugee" cult, a group Indian brigands and thieves.  (That's the Indian subcontinent, not Native American.)  Devotees of the cult were branded "thugs," and hence were eradicated by the British in the 1830s.  The word became part of the lexicon to describe what they were -- brigands and thieves.

But then the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman encounter occurred in 2012.  When accusations occurred about his having been a thief (for his having stolen things from other students' lockers) and a violent fellow who engages in the act of theft (i.e., a brigand), all of a sudden the fact that he was a young black man must have been the impetus for the use of the word to describe him, not those other things.

But let's just assume I go with all of that nonsense, and all the nonsense that came before.  "You're right, PC police -- thug, socialist, personal responsibility, pickup trucks... all of the stupid shit you've offered over the years as racist code words are actually racist code words.  You've got the cipher, and you're right!  You cracked the code, congratulations!"

Even if I did buy all of that, I'd still refuse to buy the nonsense that Phil Jackson's use of the word "posse" in describing LeBron James's professional clique is racist.  When I hear the word "posse," I think of western movies, or those eclectic clown rappers that my suitemate in my first year in college loved.  When anyone, anywhere hears the word posse, they don't think of it with racial undertones.

But LeBron James did.  "It just sucks now at this point," he said,  "having one of the biggest businesses your can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter's that's done so many great business [deals], [sic] that the title for a young African-American is the word "posse."'

Oh, dear God, LeBron.  Let me say this in a manner you might understand, and note, I'm being very careful in how I say this.

#SMFH

First of all, Jackson didn't suggest that the "title for a young African-American is the word "posse."" The word refers to a group of people, not a single person.

Second, the word "posse" has its roots (again, this is just a Siri question away, fellas) in the Latin term "posse comitatus" which loosely translates to "force of the county."  It has historically been used as a term to describe a group of law enforcement officials.  It's common, modern use in language is in describing "a group of friends or associates."  There is little, if anything, negative associated with it.  You are inventing these racist undertones.

To think that the legendary Phil Jackson, all of a sudden, after a long career of having worked with the greatest basketball players ever to play the game (most of whom were black), meant to throw a snide racist snub LeBron's way?  To believe that requires a level of stupidity that registers way beyond any scale of any acceptable scale of stupid comments I've heard in recent months.  And I've been watching this past election closely, so that's saying something.

So I'll just close with something simple: LeBron, grow up.

William Sullivan

1 comment:

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