Television and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, like so many of her right-wing kindred spirits, will say and do almost anything to maintain the status quo. They view the United States as the domain of those of European descent who subscribe to so-called conservative Judeo-Christian values, and palpably fear imminent ethnic and cultural shifts that threaten their ideological supremacy.
Which is why last week Ingraham disparaged NBA icon LeBron James for exercising his God-given and constitutional right to criticize Donald Trump. Ingraham is acutely cognizant of and evidently concerned about the influence James has in shaping the thoughts and opinions of countless young people globally.
Commenting on her Fox Television show “The Ingraham Angle,” she derisively said, “Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids: this is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA.”
The implication is that the 33-year-old James, who has evolved from a teenage basketball phenom to a highly successful business mogul and prominent voice of social justice, doesn’t possesses the intellectual capacity to offer cogent thoughts on the current racial and social divisiveness fomented by Trump.
“And it’s always unwise,” Ingraham added, “to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball.” Therefore, her strident counsel to James was “shut up and dribble.”
Ingraham is consistent in her hypocrisy, which dates back decades. A fierce defender of the Second Amendment when it suits her racist and oppressive social agendas, Ingraham, the former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, displayed her writings and anti-progressive activism on the campus of Dartmouth College, where she was an undergraduate student, graduating in the same class as my older sister Juanne.
However, her extensive platform has only served to empower James to become more devoted to being a voice for change. “I would not shut up and dribble because I mean too much to my two boys here,” he said at the annual NBA All-Star festivities held this past weekend in Los Angeles.
“…Their best friend right here, my daughter that’s at home, and my wife and my family, and all these other kids who look up to me for inspiration, and try to find a way out.”
James continued, “The best thing she did is gonna help me, create more awareness, so I appreciate her for even giving me even more awareness. For me to sit up here…and I get to sit up here and talk about social injustice, equality and why a woman on a certain network decided to tell me to shut up and dribble…So, thank you, whatever her name is.”
Ingraham’s angst is warranted. She knows James’ platform is much larger than hers. And the people who are listening to him, most prominently progressive millennials and those slightly younger of various ethnicities and religions, such as the survivors of the horrific Majory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Florida, will significantly determine the course of this nation.