Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mark Cuban Admits He Has Some Racist Prejudices and Bigotries

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Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks has admitted in an interview that even he harbors "prejudices and bigotries." The Inc. interview was focused on many societal issues, and the vote by the NBA on banning  Donald Sterling because of his racist comments also came up. Mark Cuban says that while he condemns racism, he won't be a hypocrite and say he is above some stereotyping himself.

"In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it's toward. We've come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We're a lot more vigilant and we're a lot less tolerant of different views, and it's not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve. We're all prejudiced in one way or the other."

"If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there's a guy that has tattoos all over his face -- white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere -- I'm walking back to the other side of the street," he said. "And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. And so in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritcal. I know that I'm not perfect, I know that I live in a glass house and it's not appropriate for me to throw stones."

"When I run into bigotry in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I'll try to give them a chance to improve themselves, because I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control, that it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road,"

"Because it does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it does society no good if my response to somebody and their racism and bigotry is to say, 'It's not right for you to be here. Go take your attitude somewhere else.'"

Cuban's reaction when news leaked of Donald Sterling's racist comments, in an audio secretly recorded by his girlfriend was to condemn such racism. He said the comments were "abhorrent and obviously racist" but cautioned banning an owner by forcing them to sell was a "slippery slope." In the interview, Cuban said he is addressing his own weaknesses and has hope many others, like Donald Sterling, will do the same if they are not treated as pariahs by the society.

I think I agree with him. Forgiveness is important and learning to engage with people who are either too old school or too scared by one or two personal experiences to relate well with different races. And to be honest, we all do have our stereotypes we regard other people through. True or false?


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