Sentient pile of repurposed lamp-heated rotisserie pork rinds Jason Whitlock has descended so far into the abyss of oafish takes and porkpie hats that my feelings about him have shifted from annoyance to contempt to where they exist now, which is pity.
The things he says about race and culture—on Twitter and on his show—aren’t just bad anymore. They’re sad. Never has a man been in more need of a spa day or a hug from someone who smells really good or maybe just a surprisingly redeeming cameo in a Tyler Perry movie than him. And it is with much regret that I have to inform you that he may have just delivered his worst take yet.
LeBron James executive produced and is featured in an HBO show called The Shop, which is a group of black athletes and entertainers (and Jon Stewart) sitting in a barbershop and having barbershop-ey conversations. I saw the first episode yesterday, and right now it feels like one of those shows where the idea of it and specific sound bites from it are more interesting than actually watching it. I’m glad it exists, but I’m not particularly sure it needs to. Again, though, this is only the first episode, and I’m interested enough to continue watching.
During these conversations, which are mostly dominated by LeBron, “nigga,” “motherfucker” and other swear words flow free and easy—which is a thing that happens sometimes when 1) adults talk to each other and 2) when said filming of adults talking to each other is on HBO. Unfortunately, this language was such an affront to Jason Whitlock’s sensibilities that he spent an entire day railing against it.
So, the intra-racial conversation about nigga is a complicated one. I’m a staunch and veteran nigga user and maven, but I recognize that some black people have very strong feelings against the word and express thoughtful and nuanced rationales for those feelings. I have my own for continuing to use it, but if I’m in the presence of a black person who claims (respectfully) to be deeply offended by it, I won’t.
That said, fuck Jason Whitlock. And not because he has an issue with LeBron saying nigga, but because of what he claims Bron’s nigga use has compelled him to do.
For clarity, the “Colorado” Whitlock is referencing here is when Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. Which means that Whitlock is saying “The use of nigga by a man who a) literally just opened an entire fucking school for poor black kids, b) has been one of the country’s most prominent critics of President Trump, and c) has never been accused of rape, has made me better appreciate the transparently rehabilitative public behavior of a man who a) was accused of rape and b) then started calling himself the “Black Mamba.”
Do you realize how deeply ensconced in the confines of a MAGA colon a person’s head must be to think and then share those thoughts publicly? This, of course, is a rhetorical question because NO ONE KNOWS BECAUSE NO ONE BUT JASON WHITLOCK HAS BURROWED THAT DEEPLY INTO THE ESOPHAGUS OF DARKNESS BEFORE.
Please, Jason, if you can still hear me, come back. I know a few good therapists and a guy with a timeshare at Deep Creek Lake. Maybe you can go there sometime and just sit in the living room and meditate. I’ve been there before and the couches are very comfortable.