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The Mark Cuban H-Word Controversy

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Shelly Sterling, oh, my God, I can't believe it, folks, and you should hear Geraldo on this.  This news has made me totally change the order in which I was going to play the audio sound bites.  I guess what we ought to do now is start with Mark Cuban.  I was gonna do that later on.  (laughing)  What I really want to get to is Geraldo.  That's where this is ultimately leading. 

What I was gonna start with.  We've got news the hashtag campaign apparently has failed and Charlie Rose doesn't understand it.  He can't understand why the kidnapped girls aren't back yet.  Yeah.  And Chuck Hagel says (imitating Hagel), “What the hell are you talking about? We can't do this without boots on the ground.” (laughing) So some people really thought the hashtag was gonna work. 

Anyway, so we'll start with Mark Cuban.  Reading here from Reuters: “Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, on Thursday defended comments he made about race and bigotry when asked at a business conference to address the controversy over banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Cuban has come under fire on social media for his statements in a pre-recorded interview shown on Wednesday at the GrowCo convention hosted by Inc. Magazine.”

Remember how some people were mocked for predicting that other NBA owners would be under the microscope?  Now they are. This is not in context, but this is what Cuban said.  Here.  Grab it.  It's audio sound bite nine.  And again, this is Wednesday, this is from the Inc. Magazine website. They posted an interview with Cuban and during the interview he talked about prejudice and racism.  Now, with everything going on, why would you even go there?  But he did, and this what he said.

CUBAN:  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.

RUSH:  Well, I'd stay in the street if it were me, but that's just a -- (laughing) -- I wonder if I will become the story now that I said that.  (laughing)  So, anyway, social media went nuts.  "Oh, my God, oh, my God, he's insulting blacks!"  And then people, "How could you do that?  Don't you remember Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie.  Don't you realize you've upset Trayvon Martin's family?"  And Cuban was contrite.  He totally forgot about that.  And there's more to this interview.  Let's listen to one more bite here before we comment on it.

CUBAN:  I know that I live in a glass house and it's not appropriate for me to throw stones.  And so when run into bigotry in organizations I control, I try to find solutions. I'll work with people. I'll send 'em to training. I'll send 'em to sensitivity training. I'll try to give them a chance to, you know, improve themselves.  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 or bigotry is to say it's not right for you to be here, go take your attitude somewhere else.

RUSH:  Okay.  So let's go back to “If I see a black kid in a hoodie 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's got tattoos all over his face, white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere, I'm walking back to the other side of the street.”

Now, what he should do or should have done is say that he misspoke, and what he really meant to say was this: "There's nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps, and start to think about robbery, and then look around and see it's somebody white and feel relieved." 

That's what he should have said. (interruption) That sounds familiar to you?  You think you've heard that before? (interruption) That is exactly right.  The Reverend Jackson said that back in 1993, and nobody tried to shake down his organization because of that, nor did they after he called New York "Hymietown." 

Back to Cuban: "Critics said his 'hoodie' reference recalled the 2012 shooting of unarmed, black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin," the would-be son of President Obama, "who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was fatally wounded in a struggle with a man who said he feared for his life."  How could you fear for your life just because you were having your head pounded into the sidewalk? 

Why would that make you fear for your life?  Anyway, "Cuban then offered contrition," (for those of you in Rio Linda, that means he said he was sorry, "for the comment, but he stood by his words and the substance of the interview. He said, 'In hindsight I should have used different examples,' Cuban wrote. 'I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that.'" 

He put that on Twitter opinion. (interruption) You got me why, but apparently... (interruption)  Hoodie! I'm telling you, we can't say hoodie now.  We gotta say the H-word.  From now on, hoodie is the H-word.  You can't say it.  He apologized for using the word "hoodie."  So a guy is walking on one side of the street, black with a hoodie, and he says, "Uh-oh! I'm going to the other side of the street."

Then he encounters, you know, the guy he's describing as a neo-Nazi white skinhead, the bald head, tattoos, and he says, "Uh-oh, I'm heading back to the other side of the street."  I would stay in the street if it were me, but he went back to the other side of the street, and the hoodie thing is what ticked everybody off here because it was insensitive to the family of Trayvon Martin. 

So it looks like we're gonna have to strike "hoodie" from the English language, or at least shorten it and refer to it now as "the H-word."  Now, let's see. We're up to sound bite 11.  Yes.  We have a montage here, ladies and gentlemen, of noted media figures immediately coming to Mark Cuban's defense, admitting, "Hey, he's a good liberal.  He's down for the struggle.  We know he's not a racist.  But he is now officially under suspicion."

TONY KORNHEISER: We know Cuban and we like Cuban.

MICHAEL WILBON: I don't see the offense here.

DON LEMON: Mark Cuban, who is known not to be a racist...

STEPHEN A. SMITH: The Mark Cuban that I know has never, ever come across to me as a racist.

FRED LANE: (background noise) He is not a committed racist!

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: When you meet a real racist, you know it.

ROBIN ROBERTS: (background noise) You're not a racist for bringing up the topic.

GAYLE KING: He was engaged in what the kids call "real talk." I think it was politically incorrect. I don't think that it could be interpreted as racist.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: (background noise) No one I've talked to is putting Mark Cuban in the Donald Sterling (sfx) category. 

RUSH:  I'm not sure about this. I actually wouldn’t be surprised. I should look this up before I say it. I'm gonna go ahead and take the flier.  I'll take the flier.  You look up the word "racist," and I don't think it includes words.  I think it requires action.  But my memory could be faulty on that.  I'll double-check.  But in the meantime... So the media clearly knows he's a good liberal, he's down for the struggle, he's not a racist.

But now they're gonna be guard. They're gonna be officially on guard to protect us and the rest of society from what could be a potential trip down the wrong road.  So this led Fox to call on Geraldo Riviera.  On Fox & Friends today, even though there's not a dead body in this story (yet), Fox went to Geraldo. They pulled him out of there, and he was on with Clayton Morris who said, "A lot of the media jumped on Cuban. They called him a racist, said he should apologize.  What do you make of it all," Geraldo?

RIVERA:  Mark Cuban stole his line from me during the Trayvon Martin murder case.

RUSH: Ha! (laughing)

RIVERA: If you'll recall, I got in a lot of hot water when I suggested that the hoodie that the youngster was wearing that night killed him as much as George Zimmerman because it fit the stereotype.  We definitely have a race reaction.  It doesn't make us racist.  There is a -- a racial reality when it comes to law and order, crime and punishment, that is undeniable. It's not that Mark Cuban invented it.  It's not that George Zimmerman or Geraldo Rivera invented. It is the reality.

RUSH:  But still Cuban stole the line from Geraldo!  The first thing out of Geraldo's mouth is, "He stole that line from me, the hoodie line," and he goes on to say it's not racist.  Mark Cuban didn't invent it. Geraldo didn't invent it. It's a racial reality, when it comes to reality and so forth.  Geraldo then wanted to continue on this line of discussion.

GERALDO:  If I'm not mistaken, every owner in the NBA is Jewish.  I mean, I may be wrong about that, but I think that that is real.  And you have 80% of the players are African-American.  I think that this controversy is going to impact in a negative way the historic comedy, the historic coalition of Jew and black that is a far-reaching, very deeply upsetting phenomena that we will be witnessing, not only in professional sports, but I think in society.  Cuba be should be applauded for being frank and being honest about it.  Race is still the most bitter domestic issue in the United States.  It is as real today as it was 20 or 40 years ago.

RUSH:  Now, why is that? 

Why is it as real today as it was 20 or 40 years ago?

Well, you gotta ask: Who benefits? Who benefits from it being real, as real today as it was 20 or 40 years ago?  I don't... (sigh) Every owner in the NBA...? Who thinks this way?  Every owner in the NBA is Jewish? (interruption) Yeah, I know Farrakhan thinks that way, but who thinks this way?  Jesse Jackson, "Hymietown.  Hymie league."  I don't know.  But who thinks this way? 

But we're still not through with this because there is yet another contributor to this overall topic from whom we must hear.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  We went to The Jewish Daily Forward, which is a newspaper, and according to them, about half the owners in the NBA are Jewish.  Now, Geraldo said he thought all of them were, but in truth about half of them are.  Why it matters, I don't know, but we're just correcting the record because Geraldo was worried about the traditional wonderful relationship between, as he said, "black and Jew."

He thinks that this Cuban business with the hoodie and all that and the Sterling business could upset that tradition. The Jewish Daily Forward asks, "Why are So Many Pro Basketball Owners Jewish (Like Donald Sterling)?" Sterling is Jewish.  He changed his name from something to Sterling.  I forget what it was. 

"There are only three Jewish players in the NBA, and no Jewish head coaches. Yet nearly half the principal owners of NBA teams are Jewish, as are the league’s current commissioner and its immediate past commissioner." This all from The Jewish Daily Forward.  "No other major pro league in the United States has such a high proportion of Jewish owners.

"The NFL comes closest: Roughly a third of that league’s owners are Jewish. Just a handful of pro baseball and hockey owners are Jews." It's not a negative article.  The article is about why Jewish people are attracted to sports, because they love the game and they love the economics of the game and they want to be part of it.  So that's cool.  But Geraldo...?

These folks are always looking for some social, political connection to everything here that might be upset.  But, ladies and gentlemen, all of this has a precursor.  You might remember, grab audio sound bite number 14.  This is March 20, 2008, during the presidential campaign.  This is Barack Obama on the radio in Philadelphia, and Obama was asked about his big speech on race that week in which he referred to his own white grandmother and her prejudice.

OBAMA:  The point I was making was not that my grandmother, uh, harbors any, eh, racial animosity; she doesn't.  But she is, uh, a typical white person who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, you know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that -- that don't go away and that sometimes, uh, come out in -- in the wrong way.

RUSH:  So, you see, Mark Cuban is not the trailblazer here.  Barack Obama's white grandmother was the trailblazer, followed by the Reverend Jackson and then Barack Obama.  He was over with Larry King who said, "You called your grandmother today 'a typical white' person.  What does that mean?  What does that mean?  Tell me what it means?"

OBAMA:  What it meant really was that some of the fears of street crime and some of the stereotypes that go along with that, y'know, were responses that, y'know, I think many people feel. Uhh, she's not extraordinary in that regard.  Eh, she is somebody who I love as much as anybody.  I mean, she literally helped to raise me.  But, you know, those are fears that are embedded in our culture and embedded in our society.  And so, y'know, the point I made is that good people -- people who are not in any way racist -- are still subject to some of these images, and --

RUSH:  Who is it...? Who is it that thinks this way?  Who is it that continues to see the world and the country this way and talk about it?  It's those people, folks.

END TRANSCRIPT

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