Russell Westbrook And A Black Man's Respect

 J Pat Carter/Getty Images
 J Pat Carter/Getty Images

I recently saw the Vine of Russell Westbrook shooting eye daggers at Jeremy Lamb for not shaking his hand in what looks to be a timeout or some shit and it made me laugh a thousand laughs. Or maybe like ten. The number is unimportant as numbers are merely vessels to get to the point I'm trudging towards. Russell Westbrook walks by and extends his hand to give meaningless dap to Jeremy Lamb who either missed it on accident, on purpose, or is just the world's most inconsistent and lazy hand dapper - you know the types, going for whatever hand is exteneded as opposed to making the actual effort to dap those who deserve the dap. I hate these people. I feel about lazy dap ('pacifically lazy wrist dappers or those who don't have a finishing move on the dap, my hand should not just slide out of yours) the way I think most women feel about a dude giving her the lazy doodle.


I just felt like saying lazy doodle.

Westbrook exhibited all of the signs of Disrespected While Black in that short clip. He offered half-hearted dap to folks in his general direction, but upon not receiving the requisite response from ONE party, he aggressively decided his dap was worthy of the dap he didn't care about a few seconds prior causing him to make sure that the possibility of disrespect was there BUT didn't exist once Lamb dapped him up. To complete the murder though, he stared him down, unnecessarily, in case Lamb were to look at him so he'd know he had fucked up. Like Bill Duke fucked up. Westbrook turned not giving a fuck into giving every fuck possible into you also better give a fuck or fuck it, there's a problem, muh'fucka. This is how disrespect works in the mind of a Black man.

See, while there are many things that the universe has yet to provide explanation for, the one thing all Black men universally understand is the importance of respect and we immediately notice any perceived disrespect. Black males are respectologists. Tupac said that all he needed in this world of sin was he and his girlfriend. Do you know why needed his girlfriend? So he could shoot niggas who disrespected him. Honestly, I'm surprised that the National Institutes of Health hasn't added disrespect to their lists of top 10 killers of Black men between the ages of birth and death. If you watch closely, Westbrook, even after receiving the dap he sought out, was still in his feelings long (3 seconds is a long time in the life of a Black man) after Jeremy Lamb had moved on.

This is how Black men die.

Case in point. I have a friend. I have many friends, but I'm talking about one in particular as this one friend has a story that relates. I think we call that relatability. Maybe we don't. I have a friend (same one) who takes respect seriously, but disrespect VERY seriously. A perceived slight is grounds for - at the minimum - a conversation and at worst a possible mollywopping. He's one of those people whose prayers to God include words where he asks God to stop niggas from testing him so that he won't be forced to whip anybody's ass. He's basically the male version of Moniece. (#HiMoniece)


Anyway, I've been present when a guy attempted - for whatever reason - to hand his left hand over to my boy while dapping up a bunch of folks. My boy did not play that. He refused to shake his left hand and then REQUESTED that dude shake his right hand after he'd refused to shake his left hand. Dude, clearly confused as either he didn't understand that left hand dap could get you killed in some places (he must be from like Idaho) or just doesn't think it was a big deal because his circumstances at the time made his left hand the available one and as opposed to not dapping him up he offered up the one hand he had to offer, was like, "bro…." and extended it again. My boy then, let him know that "naw, I need that right hand, bro."

What was a nothing turned into something. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, but nothing into something almost NEVER ends up in nothing. Even after the dude  offered his right hand, my boy continued to stew over the disrespectful act of offering one's left hand as dap. He was pissed. And he stayed pissed. For the entire time dude was in our presence it bothered him. It probably still bothers him now. And I totally feel him.


We're all educated individuals so my boy just stayed in his feelings. But things could have gone differently. See, us men like to say that women are emotional, but dudes can be just as, if not more, emotional than women. ESPECIALLY when disrespect is on the line. A Black man without his dignity and respect is not even a man. I'm sure somebody said that at some point. Probably a Black dude seeing as its Black history month and everything. Some dudes would ABSOLUTELY revisit what happened with the dude who offered the left hand dap WELL after the event had concluded, to clarify and signify that "hey, that was direspectful what you did. Why did you do that? It offended me."

He's basically asking for an apology. An apology which is never coming. We all know its not coming as the dude who has moved on is likely to say something along the lines of , "maaaan…go 'head bro…"


Which, as we all know…is disrespectful.

And remember, disrespect is killin' men out here in these streets. Westbrook had that look on his face. Hell, you can't convince me that he didn't pull Lamb to the side later and say, "yo, don't you ever in your life disrespect me like that again." And only because he's Westbrook and everybodyg thinks he might be a little off does that threat get a "yeah, no problem boss" response.


Above all else, what Russell Westbrook illustrated in that one short clip is how seriously (some) Black men take that perceived lack of respect. Which I find funny since I'm sure (like 100 percent sure) Russell Westbrook has definitely not dapped up every person up who has attempted to dap him up. Which goes to show you that niggas feel more strongly about folks direspecting them than they do about the respect they dish out.

Anything else is uncivilized.

But what's a Black man without his paranoia and contradictions?

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



You offer me left hand, you might as well challenge me to a duel B