Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban should not be vilified by critics who believe his comment about hoodies is disrespectful to slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, African-American radio host Kevin Jackson says.
"Mark Cuban was exactly right," Jackson, author of the book "The BIG Black Lie,"
told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Cuban, speaking about the racial controversy that enveloped Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, admitted he had his own prejudices.
"I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways … I’ve said this before. If I see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the same side of the street, I’m probably going to walk to other side of the street,” Cuban said at Inc. magazine’s GROWCO 2014 conference in Nashville, Tenn., The Tennessean reports.
"If I see a white guy with a shaved head and lots of tattoos, I’m going back to the other side of the street," Cuban continued. "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.''
"Hoodies," became a national buzzword in the racially charged Martin case, in which the black teen was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder and manslaughter during a criminal trial.
Cuban has since apologized to Martin's family, announcing on Twitter that he should have used another example.
But Jackson believes Cuban has nothing to apologize for.
"I know racism. As a black kid, having grown up in American, recognizing it firsthand and being observant … and to actually say it harkens back to Trayvon Martin, the street thug, and say that Mark Cuban is using the hoodie based on that is ridiculous,'' Jackson said.
"Let me tell you something about the hoodie. In the black community where I live, which is a gentrified part of where I life, it's kind of coming out of its shell. There are many stores that say, if you're wearing a hoodie, you can't come in here.
"So what do they think? Do they think Mark Cuban just came to this idea of the hoodie? The hoodie is used to obscure your view from a camera. That's it and that's what Mark Cuban is referring to.''
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Jackson made his comments during a Newsmax panel discussion about Cuban with Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a non-profit, free-market research organization.
"This is just getting completely out of hand and dominating our societal life,'' Turner said.
"What could we do to move on?''
Jackson accused liberals of blowing up what are inconsequential comments for political purposes.
"The problem is the left wants to seize on every little comment that comes up and then they want to racialize it and radicalize the person who says it," he said.
"That's their way of making sure that they maintain that political correctness. That's the thing that we've got to dispel. We've got to have these discussions, as painful as they may be for some.
"I happen to enjoy them because I can make the left squirm in every situation where they bring up race because they can't use it against me. I was a poor black kid who grew up in a poor black neighborhood and I know what the black people did to the other black people in my neighborhood."
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