As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1980’s, June meant one thing to me: Time for NBA Playoffs. Time to watch Magic and Kareem and Byron Scott and James Worthy and all of the other members of the legendary “Showtime” team battle the Celtics or the Pistons or the Bulls. If it all ended well, there’d be a victory parade with an “I Love L.A.!” soundtrack in Inglewood during my birthday week. I loved basketball so much that after two years as a high school cheerleader I quit to become a stat girl for our boys’ basketball team (because I wasn’t any good at playing myself). I loved the Lakers so much that I wrote a compare/contrast paper in my English class on the Lakers and the Pistons.
I want to still love the Lakers, but their star player, LeBron James, is making it excruciatingly difficult.
James has been a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter – the organization – which is a major problem for me, because of all we know about that organization. I don’t fault him, though, for using his platform to encourage people to vote or to “uplift” communities all over America. I also don’t fault him for using his platform to push for the removal of “bad” police officers from the force – or for those officers to be punished. Those are necessary and good things to work toward.
But, by observing his reactions to the shooting of Jacob Blake and the attempted assassination of two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies (one of whom is a woman) it’s obvious to see where James’ priorities lie.
In a press conference after the Lakers game on August 24 (Kobe Bryant Day), James was verklempt, going on and on about how he can’t be happy on a day that’s supposed to be celebratory because he had just seen the video of Jacob Blake being shot by Kenosha police.
“I had so many emotions today, because today, for our organization, it was a great moment for our organization. Today is Kobe Bryant day, we’re supposed to be celebrating and rejoicing, and remembering everything that he’s ever done, not only on the floor but off the floor. Of uplifting the game of basketball. And at the same time, I see the video (of Blake being shot by police) today for the first time, and my emotions are all over the place.
“…I know I’m kind of all over the place, but my emotions are all over the place as well. I can’t even enjoy a playoff win right now, which is the sad part.”
An accused rapist who was going for a weapon after being tasered multiple times is shot by police, and James can’t even keep it together. But when two deputies who were stationed at a Metro station in an unsafe neighborhood to protect riders coming home from jobs were ambushed and shot in the head Saturday night, then were clinging to life at a nearby hospital while “protesters” chanted death wishes, James had nothing.
Sunday morning, all James could think about was football.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 13, 2020
Nothing about the two deputies who were just doing their job protecting the City of Angels – the city where James is the face of the franchise.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva challenged James to double the reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter, as reported here at RedState. Three days later – silence.
That silence says it all. LeBron James doesn’t give a s**t about the 31-year-old woman who performed heroically to save herself and her partner while the community laughed, and while community leaders posted “chickens come home to roost” memes. He couldn’t care less about her six-year-old son. He truly doesn’t give a f**k about the young male deputy who was shot, whose girlfriend and parents rushed to the hospital, willing him to pull through.
James had no Monday-morning quarterbacking (or Sunday morning either) comments about the situation. He had no uninformed play-by-play analysis of the video to bestow upon the public as he did after the Jacob Blake shooting:
“What I can say is that if you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman (Blake), or detain him… before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and you’re lying not only to me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community. Because we see it over and over and over. If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where if they wanted to they could have tackled him. They could have grabbed him. They could have done that! Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing. His family is there, the kids are there, it’s in broad daylight.
Multiple moments where if they wanted to they could have tackled him? And why does it “always” have to get to a point where we see the guns firing? Well, watch this. These officers tasered and used pepper spray and gave multiple warnings and directions to the driver. Sadly, at one point it seemed like they were negotiating with a toddler, and the toddler was winning. Still, the driver got ahold of a gun, and one of the officers paid with his life.
Warning: very graphic video released from the shooting of two Tulsa officers in a traffic stop. One of them died.
This is what they face on a daily basis. Tasers & pepper spray often don’t work. Remember this scene when you are quick to condemn officers in escalating situations pic.twitter.com/pYjPH9CCtq
— Jessica O’Donnell (@heckyessica) September 15, 2020
THAT is what happens when officers are continually second-guessed by people who have zero training in the field and when SJW bureaucrats implement laws that force officers to go through these decision trees during a life-and-death situation when there are zero rules for the suspect they’re trying to apprehend. If an officer lets their guard down for even a split second, they can lose their life.
James continued with a sentiment he’d shared before:
And us – I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America right now. Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified.”
Do you know who else is terrified? Friends and family members of law enforcement officers, because they don’t know, they have no idea if their loved one will come home safe from their shift. My uncle served more than 20 years as an LAPD officer. At one time in his career, he worked undercover drug investigations. My aunt always worried about him at work, but during that time it was especially scary. Another friend whose father worked in gang and drug units told me that on multiple occasions she’d hear her mom softly crying in her bedroom at night – worried for her dad’s safety as he carried out a raid.
Officers aren’t just at risk during a raid or while serving a warrant. Traffic stops are a dangerous part of the job, as shown in the video from Tulsa. Officers have even been shot while attempting to help motorists. Utah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Cory Wride, a cousin of some of my childhood friends, was shot to death when he stopped to help people in a pickup truck parked alongside the road with its blinkers on. It turned out that the passenger in the truck was a convicted felon on parole who had an active warrant. The passenger opened the back window of the truck and fired a 9mm handgun at Wride, killing him.
These are the risks of a career in law enforcement that officers and their families have dealt with for generations, but now, thanks to BLM and Antifa, they have to worry about being ambushed and shot while sitting in a patrol car, or being assaulted simply because of their profession. They don’t park patrol cars in their driveways, and they are cautious about mentioning their profession in public.
And then we have this sentiment from Antifa and BLM “protesters,” which isn’t very different from a bunch of tweets during the George Floyd “protests” where they threatened to go out to the suburbs (where many LAPD officers live) and “f**k LAPD wives and daughters.”
Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants taunt LAPD and LASD deputies, making remarks about how they’ll rape a cop’s girlfriend like a dog instead of a pig. pic.twitter.com/t7Ai2SNaBQ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 13, 2020
The “protesters” confronted LASD and LAPD officers standing guard outside the hospital where the two deputies were fighting for their lives, taunting them and saying things like:
“Can I take your girlfriend out and hump her like a dog, instead of a pig? Oink, oink, oink.”
Are you down with that, LeBron? Maybe you are. Because you still haven’t said a word, we have to take your silence as agreement.
Psychologist LeBron continued, saying Black people in America are terrified every time they go out the door:
“…[b]ecause you don’t know. You have no idea. You have no idea how that cop left the house that day. You don’t know if he woke up on a good side of the bed, you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You don’t know if he had an argument at home with a significant other, you don’t know if one if his kids said something crazy to him and he left the house steaming.
“Or maybe he just left the house saying that today is going to be the end for one of these Black people. That’s what it feels like. That’s what it feels like. It hurts. It hurts.”
And there we have it. LeBron James says it feels like some law enforcement officers leave the house saying “Today is going to be the end for one of these Black people.”
LeBron James’ silence is violence toward LASD and LAPD – whose officers provide security for him, his teammates, and the Staples Center. That’s gratitude for ‘ya.