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They hate to see a brother on the Forbes list

Internets, I was feeling a deep sense of personal satisfaction the other day when it was announced th

Life in a Shanty Town

June 7 · Issue #111 · View online
The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

I was feeling a deep sense of personal satisfaction the other day when it was announced that Jay-Z has become a billionaire, which in a sense means that I’ve also become a billionaire, and then a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors had to ruin it by shoving Kyle Lowry.
When will white people learn to respect my emotions?
What venture capitalist Mark Stevens did was uncalled for, to say the least, and I’ve yet to be convinced that, on a subconscious level, he wasn’t reacting to the fact that, up until the other day, we only had four black billionaires, and now we’ve got five, damnit!
In addition to Jay-Z, there’s Oprah, and that guy who paid everyone’s student loans at Morehouse, and I’m thinking the other two might be Michael Jordan and the founder of BET, Robert Johnson.
Meanwhile, there’s enough white billionaires that this guy Stevens is only 962nd on the Forbes list (the overall list, not just the rap musicians), with a net worth of $2.3 billion. If he woke up with Jay-Z’s money, he’d jump out of a window.
You’d think that Stevens would be satisfied enough with his immense wealth that he wouldn’t be out here trying to pick fights with NBA players, knowing good and well that, in today’s climate, they can’t just pull a Ron Artest. To think, he could have sex with literally any woman. (Literally.)
And yet, there he was, shoving Kyle Lowry like some dumbass child who couldn’t wait in line to drink from a water fountain. Doesn’t he know that’s how people get hurt?
The worst part about it is that Lowry didn’t even land on Stevens. Stevens had to lean over just to attack him.
I mean, I could see if Lowry landed with his balls in Stevens’ wife’s face, and the sight of a black guy’s junk that close to his wife’s mouth triggered a revulsion from deep within, akin to how it must have felt seeing someone from the hip-hop community join the ranks of the world’s megarich. He was having a hard enough week as it is.
Am I reading too much into this?
You could tell the NBA didn’t want to do anything to discipline Stevens. But they had to do something. They can’t have people thinking that the owners are allowed to say and do whatever they want to the players. Donald Sterling used to bring dates into the Clippers’ locker room to look at the players’ ginormous units, but that was a different era. Just the other day, it was announced that they’re seriously considering no longer referring to the owners as “owners,” because it calls to mind slavery, I’m assuming.
Banning Stevens from NBA games for a year, along with a $500,000 fine (i.e just pocket change, for him), didn’t strike me as much of a punishment, but I’m not sure what else they could have done. The guy is, after all, one of the owners.
I’m actually more concerned with the fact that Kyle Lowry didn’t receive some sort of commendation for not going upside his head. Regardless of who wins the championship, Lowry should get some sort of citizenship award, which should be presented to him on TV.
Come to think of it, what are they gonna do with the $500,000 they fined Mark Stevens? Are the owners just gonna split it amongst themselves? They must think we’re dumb.
Take it easy on yourself,
P.S. I’ve been mentioned in a rap song. A while back, I reviewed a book by local rapper-ternt-author Marko V, and now he’s repaid the favor by mentioning me in the song “Making a Living.” I’m truly flattered. Check out his album Values, which is out now and available from better streaming services.

Making a Living
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