Houston Forward Times

15 January 2014 Written by  Ben Haith

Privileged Minority: "More Than Basketball Player"

Dennis Rodman made news in North Korea last week when he was interviewed by Cris Cuomo at CNN. Some reporters at CNN described Rodman’s behavior during his interview as a "meltdown.  Later, Rodman apologized for his behavior and said he had a long day and was stressed and he had been drinking. It took this story to make me realize that Dennis Rodman is an entertainer and not just a basketball player.

Some people were upset with Rodman’s behavior during his interview but history shows that some of Rodman’s behavior is driven by his ability to entertain people, like Lady Gaga and others.

He and his agents know that "The Worm" is a brand name. I saw how Rodman carefully choreographed his interview with Cuomo. He was wearing a military jacket similar to what Michael Jackson use to wear when he performed. Rodman was also holding a long cigar in his right hand during his interview and made gestures with both of his large hands, like George Burns, Grocho Marx, Bill Cosby and others did in the past.

Rodman used his hands when he sang "Happy Birthday" to the North Korean leader last week in front of a large audience. I thought his performance was hilarious. I can’t wait until he starts his own reality show. "The Worm."

It was unfortunate that Kareem Adul Jabbar, the basketball great felt the need to throw Dennis Rodman under the bus in his interview on CNN. Jabbar said that Rodman’s mission to North Korea had backfired and he and his teammates should have been better prepared for their sports diplomacy in North Korea. Jabbar was a sports diplomat for former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton. Jabbar came across as a privileged minority who has lost his ability to relate to African American history. He came across as an elitist who has allowed his fame and fortune to interfere with the realities of being an African American.  He appeared as if he thought that Dennis Rodman was only a basketball player.

The spokesman for the Rodman’s basketball players in North Korea said they accomplished their mission and they did not bash Rodman. Jabbar heard this before he made his comments about Rodman and his teammates yet he decided to appoint himself as spokesperson for all the NBA basketball players. He came across an authority figure not as a person who knows anything about African American history and I know he has done work in African American history.  I will write more about "Minority Privilege in 2014.