David Aldridge has taken sportswriter Mike Wilbon's likening of NBA All-Star Weekend to "Black Thanksgiving" and run with it, in a column predicting the behavior and priorities of the "sometimes a little too wild" African-American crowd he says will "descend into" Los Angeles for this weekend's games and related activities.
First, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that the metaphor seems a little off because 1) Thanksgiving, as far as we know, is not a particularly "wild" holiday; and 2) we didn't realize African Americans were excluded from celebrating the original Thanksgiving and needed our own. But putting those nits aside …
Reactions have ranged from calling the piece "douchey" and asking whether the World Series is, by extension, "White Thanksgiving," to accusing the author of managing to "include every Black stereotype known to the Western world."
Are the critics on to something, or was Aldridge just expressing the coming-together-to-celebrate, unrelated-to-basketball, good-old-fashioned-fun side of the event (saying, for example, "The important thing is being there — with your best girlfriend, or the fellas, or your frat")?
And could his observations on this particular component of our very diverse culture (for example, "NBA players are royalty in Black America, and everyone wants to be near them. The old saying is that ballers want to be rappers, and rappers want to be ballers") be characterized maybe, just maybe, as tough-love truths?
Finally, if you're planning to attend this weekend … are we now supposed to warn you not to eat too much turkey?
Read some of the Twitter reactions to the piece at the Huffington Post.
In other news: Racism (Still) Rears Its Head on College Campuses.