I know we’re not supposed to have a bias in media, and we’re certainly not supposed to admit it if we do. But I’ve got to tell you, Dez Bryant is my homeboy, and I’m a little biased. I mean, he’s literally from my hometown.
Dez isn’t perfect, but he is the perfect example of the American dream in all it’s living breathing football crushing glory. He was born to a 15-year-old teen mother who was later arrested for dealing crack cocaine when Bryant was eight years old. He lived in eight different homes while attending Lufkin High School and beginning his football career. He went on to play football for Oklahoma State and was a round 1 draft pick in the NFL 2010 draft. I could go on, but I’m sure you know how to use Wikipedia.
As you can see, Bryant’s early life was in no way privileged, and yet he’s still making a stand against those of his race who decide to wallow in whatever ill feelings they think others have, instead of picking yourself up and doing the right thing. He shared this sentiment on his social media.
Here’s what he had to say to America:
First and foremost I would like to say I do a great job minding my own business but it’s pressing on my heart to share my thoughts about white Americans & black Americans (racism). I saw a person quote Charles Barkley when he said, “We as black people we’re never going to be successful not because you white people but because of other black people.” I hate to admit it but I understand that quote.
I’ve been racially profiled on numerous occasions but not once has it influenced an ill feeling inside me about anyone outside of that issue. REAL SLAVERY is different from what’s going on in our world now.. we all (every ethnicity) have the opportunity to lead by EXAMPLE. Instead of making videos about the history of racism that get applause or people with influence merely doing things to post for social media we should focus on individual accountability to be better as a whole.
Real question what is wrong with being sophisticated and black? Why do we associate those who chose the straight and narrow as not being “black enough.” … We focus hard on fighting the realities that exist instead of creating our own reality. The ones who came before us (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X…) paved a new path for us to follow. The struggles and hurt they endured created new life for us today. It is not our job to carry the burden but it is our job to lead by example.
That, my friends, is what’s known as personal responsibility. This was a kid with the odds stacked against him who made a life that he loves and refuses to be shamed into doing what he doesn’t see as right. Is he a beacon for all things true and just? Well, I couldn’t tell you, I only know of the guy, he’s not my best friend or anything. But if he keeps talking like that it sounds like he could be (both the beacon part and the friend part).
According to Young Cons, not everyone is supportive of Bryant’s opinion of where responsibility lies:
Former tight end and current co-host of ESPN’s Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe, responded by questioning Bryant’s racial education:
“I think Dez’s heart was in a good place, but because he hasn’t read up enough on the race relationship and the history of racism in America, it came out totally wrong… Dez, when you say personal accountability—okay, so I’m supposed to hold me accountable for slavery? What about Reconstruction? What about the Jim Crow South? What about segregation? What about the violation of my civil rights and my voting rights? So who do I hold accountable for that?… Dez, I can’t get ahead if someone is constantly keeping me behind.”
I don’t know anything about where Sharpe grew up, but I can tell you, being a young black man in rural East Texas was no picknick. If you don’t think there was segregation and racism in Bryant’s background, let me be the proof you need in order to know, that even those not affected could feel it like a thick cloud over our quiet town.
Despite all that, hear him here talking about what his signature X means to him.
If a black kid from the projects with a 15-year-old drug dealer mom can figure out social morality, what’s your excuse?
(H/T: Young Cons)