LeBron Needs to Stay in His Lane

On May 25, 1950, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel — renamed the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (after the former governor of New York State) in 2012 — opened to supplement the three bridges (the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges) that had already been providing automotive access between New York City's boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The tunnel consists of two separate two-lane tubes, each tube bearing traffic moving in the same direction — but just the same, switching lanes from one to the other while driving through the tunnel has always constituted a serious traffic violation.

Perhaps the next time the Lakers are playing either the Knicks or the Nets on the road, LeBron James should keep this in mind if the limousine in which he is a passenger just happens to be driving through the tunnel.

On Thanksgiving Eve, two reporters at the Washington Post wrote an article whose centerpiece was a grainy photo showing a then-14-year-old Jerry Jones among a throng of white students who were apparently attempting to block six African-American students from entering North Little Rock High School in the eponymous town in Arkansas (five days earlier nine black students had encountered similar resistance at Central High School in Little Rock itself).

But why is all of this coming out only now — 65 years later?

The year 1957 was hardly 2022: in that year, Boris Pasternak was forced to decline the Nobel Prize in literature for Doctor Zhivago because the book was bitterly critical of the Soviet Union's utterly reprehensible policies. Also in 1957, Ayn Rand adorned the best-seller list with Atlas Shrugged, a disgraceful paean to social Darwinism, while a third 1957 best-seller, On the Road, had people wondering aloud about whether its author, Jack Kerouac, might be a communist.

Meanwhile, the Russians beat the United States into space, with Sputnik (an indignity that America would avenge a dozen years later by beating the Russians to the moon), and the motto "In God We Trust" was added to American paper currency (that motto was introduced on a two-cent coin that made its debut in 1864 and was on all U.S. coins by 1916), three years after "under God" was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance — prototypical examples of "owning the libs."

Against this backdrop, the then-rising civil rights movement was seen by many — and most (whites) in the South — as part of a "communist plot" to take over the world (the undisputed ringleader of this corrosive garbage, the infamous Joe McCarthy, died of alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver on May 2, 1957 at the age of 48 — tying up the loose ends in a most appropriate way).

Yet an impressionable 14-year-old like Jerry Jones can't be forgiven for his mere presence outside of North Little Rock High School on September 9, 1957 — while Robert Byrd can be forgiven for having been a card-carrying member of the Triple K, by the self-appointed defenders of truth, justice, and the American way?

Pot, meet kettle.

And so what if Jerry Jones has never hired a black head coach? Why should he be castigated for hiring Mike McCarthy (no relation to Joe), who just happens to have had already won a Super Bowl ring, at the time that Jones hired McCarthy to replace the fired Jason Garrett in 2020? What was Jones supposed to do — hire the defensive backfield coach at Prairie View A&M just to appear "woke?"

Since no racially-tinged controversy would be complete without Stephen A. Smith throwing gasoline on the fire, Smith piled on, defending James' thoroughly dishonest and inflammatory comments — which were also, as Perry Mason said so many times, incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial, in that James doesn't even play football.

If "shut up and play" is too much to ask, "shut up about other sports besides the one you play" is not.

Comments and Conversation

December 6, 2022

Scott DeSapio:

Looks like someone didn’t actually read Atlas Shrugged.

December 8, 2022

Dan C:

The author is either lying about Atlas Shrugged or has the rereading comprehension of a mentally challenged 3rd grader.

December 21, 2022

Anthony Brancato:

Scott: I’ve never actually read “Das Kapital” either - but I know enough about it to know that is extremist drivel, just like “Atlas Shrugged” is.

And Dan:

As Adlai Stevenson famously said, he who slings mud generally loses ground.

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