• Dwan L. Hearn

Had To Be Said...

So, I'm scrolling Facebook and I see a meme. I read it and glance at the comments. I look to see if I have time and I have time.


The meme in question shouldn't be a controversial one. It was simply titled "Black Head Coaches Hired in NBA Coaching Cycle". It listed 7 of the 8 open positions that have been filled by Black Men. Congrats to them. But, of course, it was the comment section that got my attention.


Haven't you learned not to read the comments?


I have, but then what would I talk about? The comments are the battlegrounds for all the people who have something to say despite not knowing what they're talking about.


Two comments stood out and I'll address both. The comments, paraphrased, were: 1. Why didn't they list and picture the one White coach? 2. Who cares what color they are. Stop seeing color.


This needs to be said and fuck it, why not by me.


To address number one - Why didn't they list and name and picture the one White coach? Because the header was "Black Head Coaches..." - and Rick Carlisle, of the Indiana Pacers, doesn't fit that bill. Are we going to get mad at not including Usain Bolt on the list of Fastest Women in America? Why would we? One, he's from Jamaica. Two, he's not a woman. So we wouldn't list him on a "Fastest Women in America" list. If it was a "Fastest People on Earth" and we left him out, yeah, that'd be an issue. If we had a "Newest Head Coaches in the NBA" and left Carlisle out, that'd be a reason to speak up. It just wasn't his list. Chill.


*Sidenote- There was a follow-up comment that said "let's see how many last two years." Now, I don't know a lot about the average tenure of an NBA coach, and maybe it's a common issue with new coaches, but to the commenter, and I'm sure you'll see this, The way your comment appears in the context of the post, in relation to the comment you were replying to, it would appear to a layman that you are implying that Black coaches can't do the job. Now, to be clear, and to ensure that I am clear I'll turn on the bold print, I am not calling you nor implying that you are a racist, however, the context doesn't paint what I would consider an accurate picture of your character. This should be a notice to EVERYONE what we say and how we say it, context and all, EVERYTHING should be considered before we speak. This is important to the GROWTH of ALL of American Society, so sayth The Moon!


This really does apply to everyone. The other day, my wife was picking up pizzas for dinner. While in her work scrubs, she felt that she should go into the restaurant with her mask. More for the aesthetic, because she was wearing scrubs. Some guy saw her and decided to harass her, yelling to her, "You should get vaccinated, whore!"


Both my wife and I are completely vaccinated. Both shots, Pfizer. My wife has been vaccinated since the end of January. This guy had NO right to, first of all, yell that to any woman. Secondly, yell that out to anyone at all, and thirdly, had no right to yell at someone who was probably vaccinated before they were! I tell this story to make the point that we easily misjudge people on the regular and this isn't a Black/White thing or a Democrat/Republican thing or a Man/Woman thing. This has become an American thing and it needs to stop!


STOP HATING! STOP JUDGING! STOP OVER-REACTING!


To address number two - Who cares about color? People of Color care about color! I care about color. Cody Rhodes, a White man, once told a press conference that his wife Brandi, a Black woman, said to him that, "If you don't see my color, you don't see my experience." Listen, I'm a Black man. My mother is Black. My father is Black. Both of my grandmothers? Black. Aunt? Black. Brother? Black. Grandfathers? Black. My family is Black and they have history. They have experiences that are uniquely Black.


My grandmother was a singer in Tennessee. She wasn't allowed to sing just anywhere. Only in Black-only clubs. That is a uniquely Black experience. My grandfather was one of the first Black members of the U.S. Navy to be considered a "Seamen" just the same as his White male counterparts. That's a uniquely Black experience. These are part of my history, my story. Learn my story.


What I think people need to understand is that "Seeing my skin color" and "Judging me because of my skin color" are NOT the same thing. You can see me and not judge me. See me as a man, but don't judge me because of my gender. I can see a woman and see her as a woman and not judge her because of it. I can see a White man and not judge him. It can be done. We should ALL .... you know what? Let's kick that bold type again...


We should ALL be proud of our families, our history, our heritage. Be proud of your space in Human History. If you're Mexican, be a proud Mexican. If you're Black, be a proud Black person. If you're White, be a proud White person. If you're a woman, be a proud woman. If you're a _________, be a proud ____________!


"If we stop talking about race, our race problems will go away" - Listen, I've heard or seen White people (and some Black people, I'm talking to you Morgan), say this, thinking that it's the discussion that's causing the issue. Let's look at other issues and see if this helps: (this could be triggering)


"If we don't talk about toxic masculinity, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about drug addiction, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about sexism, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about police brutality, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about cancer, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about rapes and sexual assault, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about child abuse, it'll just go away" - Nope.

"If we stop talking about human trafficking, it'll just go away" - Nope.


Do you see the pattern here? Silence gets nothing done. We MUST discuss the issues in our world. Playing coy and silent just gives space for these issues to grow and fester. We don't need this. Racism is real. Face it. Period. We must call it out and work towards fixing it THE RIGHT WAY!


The bottom line is this: The World we live in is imperfect. It'll never be perfect. Because we can work towards making it better. Some groups haven't had the opportunities that others have. The NBA was founded in 1946 and black people were banned from playing until 1950. Only one Black man has been US President and he was only half. No US President has been Female. Only one US Vice-President has been female. As the gaps in our history slowly, but surely, begin to close, we deserve to celebrate those who are paving the roads that future generations will travel. We will make the differences so commonplace that it will become unnecessary to highlight. Until then, let these beacons of change - all beacons of change - shine as bright as they can.


- The Moon





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