Dear Will Cain,
This letter is to potentially bring more perspective as to why you received so much backlash yesterday regarding your commentary as a guest host on “The Right Time” yesterday. I must admit when I first saw you on ESPN platforms earlier in the year I was taken aback by your hire. I can not claim to be a political junkie, but I do keep a close eye on current events and listen to political commentary. Several of your views over the years have demonstrated a disconnect on matters of race in this country so I anticipated a moment like yesterday would come at ESPN.
Unlike with your past political commentary experiences the audience of “The Right Time” is more diverse than your previous positions as a political commentator. Bomani Jones offers a refreshing perspective on topics that many in the media do not provide, black, white, or any other race. It is not about agreeing with him all the time, but it is a thoughtful perspective from a black man living in this country.
Fair or unfairly to you, a white man whose past is considered a right wing conservative perspective is the polar opposite. Your commentary yesterday did not change that stereotype of what is to be expected when you address racial matters. Your constant need for details was frustrating to listen to. Colin Kaepernick stood in front of his locker for 20 minutes discussing his position. If you need more details on police brutality and lack of accountability then that is part of the problem. When recent events have shown that the encounters with police should not have lead to deaths. The details of the particular cases are different, but the common theme of white police officers interactions with blacks should be enough. The retaliation on officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge being killed is also a tragedy. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar eloquently stated in the The Washington Post Kaepernick’s protest is as American as the pole vaulter Sam Kendricks stopping for the anthem during the Olympics.
I’ve heard you use terms such as cheap hashtag activism in reference to the “Bring Our Girls Back” movement of Boko Haram and question the legalities of Donald Sterling being recorded instead of what was said. You’ve wanted to discount the racial aspects in the Trayvon Martin case. I stand by my observation of the comments you made on “Real Time” with Bill Maher regarding our country being past racism because President Obama was elected in the first place.
In the election four years ago Mitt Romney had 14% more votes of white educated men over President Obama. Which demographic dominates government, business, banking, and media? I’m in agreement with you in reference to the need to further the discussion with an action plan to address matters, but the problem is you don’t offer any. We have to listen Donald Trump’s disingenuous plea to minorities in one breath and telling Kaepernick he should leave the country in another if he’s not happy.
I don’t know if your view on issues of race is an intentional attempt to get under people’s skin, a disconnect, or both. But you don’t get it and the problem is you think you do. When well versed minorities articulate the “why” you still want to question it. My desire is that you would listen more for understanding and have more sensitivity to why black folks are fed up now to be quite frank.
Sports Fan and Concerned Citizen