Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
This is a foolish and immature tweet on many levels. It would be bad enough from some random, unknown person. But in that it was sent by the most powerful person on the planet, it takes on an entirely different level of bad.
People, including Trump’s own staff, tell us that we should just ignore Trump’s tweets. We should separate his actions from his words. His tweets are simply opinions that we should not take seriously.
If there is anything out there in the public domain that gives us an accurate description of who Trump really is…it’s in his tweets. These are the only messages from Trump that are coming through to us without any filters. His speeches are written by others. His official executive orders and statements are written by others. His “policies” are written by others. Yes, he muddles all of those up as he ad libs and contradicts parts of them, but for the most part, they are not his words.
But his tweets…this is where we see the real Trump in all of his glory.
Many of his critics want him to quit tweeting. I disagree. I think it’s very important to see exactly who he really is, and we’re only getting that through his tweets.
This specific tweet about Don Lemon and LeBron James is an example of Trump lashing out because somebody said something negative about him. But instead of addressing the negative thing that was said, he goes directly to hyperbolic personal attacks that, frankly, lend credence to the idea that he is mentally unstable.
The context of the interview (CNN) between James and Lemon was in discussing James’ foundation that has just created a new school within the Akron Public Schools system for at risk kids. James has contributed millions of his own dollars as well as time and effort to this cause.
How dumb is James, right? Seriously, using his own money for something like this? What an IDIOT!
Alright, all sarcasm aside, I’m confident Trump was not referring to that part of the interview when he was describing how dumb Lemon and James are. It was when they started talking about politics (CNN), and specifically about Trump, that got Deplorable Don all worked up.
“He’s trying to divide our sport, but at the end of the day, sport is the reason why we all come together,” James said.
James is right in this and far from being “dumb”, it’s a very smart analysis. James explains that sport was responsible for his first experience in being around white people and for many white people the first time they were around black people. This enabled them to learn about each other on a personal basis and led to great friendships. And for everyone watching this interaction and seeing how they work together on the field and generally like and respect each other off the field, it’s a great example to behold.
The ironic thing is that in responding to James’ criticism the way he did, Twittering Trump actually demonstrated exactly what he was referring to, as if on cue. Trump consistently fans the flames of division. There is simply no credible argument against that. He even brought in the dispute about who is the greatest basketball player of all time, as if that had anything to do with the topic…any little thing to divide into sides.
To which, Michael Jordan has responded (CNN):
“I support LeBron James. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan said through a spokesman.
But was it a racist tweet?
Personally, I don’t see it. There was nothing specifically racist in the words that Trump used. Many people are assigning racism to it based on who he was talking about (two black men). But there is plenty of evidence that shows Trump is an equal opportunist in his jackassery. He’s called plenty of his detractors “dumb” and much worse without regard to race. There is enough wrong with his tweets without bringing in race. In fact, I believe it hurts the argument against the tweet by distracting from the real problems with it. People will now focus on that aspect and his defenders will simply argue that it wasn’t racist, and therefore, all criticisms of it are simply overblown snowflakey TDS butthurt. In the process, the real problems with the tweet get swept under the rug.
So, how could a true leader of the country, one who was sincerely intent on bringing people together, have responded? How about something like this:
“Congratulations to LeBron James for providing HOPE and EDUCATION to at risk kids! This is the type of CARING and ACTION that we need to see much more of in order to Make America Great Again! I am sorry that LeBron believes I am dividing people and that he feels like we can’t talk. I would love to sit down and discuss his new school and ways that we can expand upon those ideas as well as talk about how we can improve race relations in the country. Let’s work TOGETHER to make it happen!”
You know, sort of like what his wife had to say in response to all of this nonsense:
NEW: from Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham:
“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today”
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) August 4, 2018
In the end, Trump looks like the twittering fool that he is (but a hero to his die-hard supporters, which tells you all you need to know about those supporters) and Lebron James (and Don Lemon) look like the stable geniuses.
For the record, James is not entirely correct in his comments. At the end, he stated that he would not sit down with Trump to discuss things, but said he would “sit across from Barack, though.” Make no mistake, Obama was also a divisive President where race is concerned, as well as with every other demographic. Obama and the Democrats have been playing divisive, identity politics, for many decades. Part of the problem in beginning a true, effective dialogue between the two sides is that people like LeBron still do not recognize that. There are many on the left who welcome the NeverTrumpers into the anti-Trump side, but fail to recognize that Hillary (and Obama) was never an acceptable alternative to Trump, being just as divisive, corrupt, and dishonest, even if not as blatant and in your face about it. Therefore, most NeverTrumpers will never have an actual bond with the left on most things, until the left realizes that many criticisms against their side are just as credible.