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Michael Jordan: ‘I considered myself a racist’

May 7, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

Michael Jordan Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, in Roland Lazenby’s, “Michael Jordan: The Life,” discussed his upbringing and his views on race as an elementary-school student. An excerpt (hat tip: Natalie Finn of E! Online):

Earlier that year, a girl at school called Michael a “nigger.”

“I threw a soda at her,” he recalled. “It was a very tough year. I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at that time. Basically, I was against all white people.”

I know where this is going: What’s the difference between Jordan and Donald Sterling?

For one, Jordan was a kid, someone with a narrow worldview due to lack of experience. Sterling’s hate comes despite a lifetime of opportunities to see the world differently.

Secondly, Jordan has changed. At that time, he was upset about the treatment his great grandfather – who had recently passed away – had received from whites throughout his life (Lazenby talked about that in his interview with PBT). Jordan’s anger was understandable, based on repeatedly seeing and hearing about whites establishing power over blacks and exercising it to do harm. Sterling came from a place of power, and he used it through housing discrimination and workplace harassment to keep minorities down.

In another excerpt from the book (full disclosure: I receive a free promotional copy), Jordan discussed the aftermath of that incident at school:

“The education came from my parents,” Jordan recalled. “You have to be able to say, OK, that happened back then. Now let’s take it from here and see what happens. it would be very easy to hate people for the rest of your life, and some people have done that. You’ve got to deal with what’s happening now and try to make things better.”

Jordan’s grade-school attitude wasn’t healthy. Jordan the adult knows that, and that’s what matters.

Nobody is perfect, but we should all try to learn and be better. Jordan did.

  1. peddealer - May 7, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Wow…. I absolutely know when a “white apologist” is writing, and I must say, many of you disappoint me as fellow white men.
    No wonder we are losing our grasp on this country

    • ranfan12 - May 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      ” No wonder we are losing our grasp on this country”
      really man. really…

    • jwats1973 - May 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      “many of you disappoint me as fellow white men.” If my not being a hateful bigoted supremacist disappoints you, good. We are “losing our grasp” due to demographics shifting and the fact that America is and has always been a melting pot. Don’t worry one day we whites WILL be a minority. I wonder how “disappointed” you will be then. LMAO ..!.. ..!..

    • urodaddy07 - May 18, 2014 at 12:48 AM

      Wow you got a lot of thumbs-up. That is sad.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Your ill-gotten grasp, yes. and it’s a good thing that it’s happening.

  2. peddealer - May 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Reese… Who are those statements too?

  3. kamauthabiti - May 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    so, you turned into a Black white supremacist, totally abandoning (as most Black athletes do) the Black community for your new white sanctuary.

  4. peddealer - May 9, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Yes we are losing our grip on this country….

    How about an organization to make sure white Americans rights aren’t infringed upon?

    But noooo, thats racist

    When trying to make a student union for white kids. ( which also accepted other races ) I was denied at UT-Austin, but every other race gets one…

    How much more do white people have to pay for perceived wrongs that our ancestors did? 100 more years? 1000?

  5. peddealer - May 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    I don’t care about being a minority you seemingly uneducated retard. Read what I said above

  6. peddealer - May 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Why is it that every new immigrant comes to America and wants us Americans to celebrate their heritage?

    Didn’t they come here cause their country sucked?

    So why celebrate other peoples heritage when it sucked enough to leave?

    How about trying to learn English and celebrate the positive parts of our culture and fit in, rather than forcing your ideas and culture on us…

    BTW, I am far from a racial supremacist… No race is supreme in my eyes, but when I try to start a group thats for protecting the rights of Angle Saxons and other Caucasians, I am a racist bigot..

    So is the ACLU,
    NAACP and others racist?

    Also, I have no problem posting my instagram and proving that I have a masters degree and have a very successful life…

    Just tired of white people being in the wrong and taking the blame for things that they never did and for other races wanting reparations for things they never suffered from…

    Mr. Tate…

    Professor… Wont name the school because one of you idiots would likely love to make me lose my tenure!

    F-ing cowards… Some of my fellow Caucasians make me sick…

    Oh yeah, my son in law is black…. Daughter in law is Latino… And we are all very close…

    Just because I notice broad characterizations of races doesn’t make me a racist… Now if I believed that being white was superior to other races then I’m a racist….

    But I’m not, I dislike white more than anyone… As a race we are cowards in large part, scared of saying how we really feel, and while our bellies and bank accounts stay full its not a problem..

    Even as the moral fabric of our country dallas apart, and it all started with the decline of family’s and an increase in single parent homes who make a ton of kids and don’t properly supervise them, generally speaking.

  7. peddealer - May 10, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    America began as a melting pot of hardworking Europeans who came here for a better life and embraced this new land, and its traditions…

    Now people want free handouts… Don’t want to work hard and want to have everything without having to work hard for it, for the most part…

    • bryanconcep - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      Lol those hardworking Europeans sure did embrace the natives culture and traditions

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