“When the media slings mud, we use it to build huts
Irrefutable facts, merciful, beautiful black beloved brother
You fail to embarrass him, harassing him
To my life, your life pales in comparison
So go write whatever blog, messiness is not ever the God
Do what's necessary, I'm never wary
Listen vultures, I've been shackled by Western culture
You convinced most of my people to live off emotion”
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the entire nation, bypassing racial, ethnicity, and gender boundaries, emotions are running rampant. POTUS Donald Trump elicits a gamut of emotional outbursts from the nation, seemingly on a daily basis. Yet, despite most Americans feeling the economic pinch, race relations have gotten worse. So have our emotional responses. Case and point, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
The release of a video showing the murder of the 25-year-old Glynn County native has sparked national outrage. The narrative instantly turned racial, spurred by a LeBron James tweet:
The NBA veteran received a great deal of praise from the African-American community and beyond for his message. The same, however, cannot be said of Fox Sports commentator Jason Whitlock who replied:
This tweet is bringing the infamous FS1 commentator a great deal of vitriol, but the point being made in his next tweet, which was a response to a tweet by former NBA player Kendrick Perkins, is largely being ignored:
Successful business people, entrepreneurs, psychiatrists, and mental health experts routinely stress the notion of being emotionally intelligent. High EQ (emotional quotient) people are able to properly use their emotions in productive ways, that do not harm the well-being of others.
Much of the keyboard lashings against Jason Whitlock exhibit low EQ. The constant racially-insensitive name-calling does not solve anything. Calling Jason Whitlock a “coon” will not bring back Ahmaud Arbery. Calling Whitlock the “Fox Sports House N*****” will not bring justice to the Arbery family. There are millions of African-Americans that do not feel that they are being “hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME” they step outside. This rhetoric is rather irresponsible for someone who has the platform LeBron James owns.
The Civil Rights movements of the mid-1900s were emotionally charged. There was violence and protests and uproar. Revolutionary change does not come without it. Along with it, though, came political strategies, economic warfare, and civilized meetings with the oppressors. It was that emotional intellect that helped foster the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was Dr. King’s EQ that prevented more violence after Bloody Sunday.
Human nature dictates how easy it is to give in to emotional urges. When a population of citizens feels marginalized, underappreciated, and overshadowed for so long, tempers will flare. How can the family of Ahmaud Arbery be emotionally rational when their son was hideously gunned down? However, rational and strategic thinking will only help the plight of the African-American. Violent protests fueled by unchecked emotions will not. Hate-spewing and unthoughtful Twitter rants will not.
Emotions improve nothing.