They Hate Me With Cruel Hatred: The Demonization Of Ron Artest

By Kim Owens
Updated: December 4, 2004

Ron Artest

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The mainstream media’s character assassination of NBA All-Star Ron Artest illustrates to me the 19th verse of Psalms 25: “Consider my enemies, for they abound; they hate me with cruel hatred.” Mainstream media’s “reporting” of the Pistons-Pacers brawl was nothing but a savvy transformation of Artest into America’s new black male brute.

Artest has been selected as the face of the violent black male. He has successfully replaced Mike Tyson and O.J.Simpson in America’s intentional degradation of black men.

America refuses to look at black people, particularly black athletes, as human beings created by God.

Artest has not been shown any mercy.

The actions of mainstream media and its hitmen, the sports commentators, remind me of the historical photographs of mobs of smiling whites that surrounded mutilated bodies of black men that were hanging from trees. In other words, the actions of the mainstream media and sports commentators amounted to the modern-day version of lynching.

It seemed to me that the mainstream media wanted to destroy Artest. It is only through the Lord’s grace and protection that Artest is still standing. Mainstream media coverage of Artest was a calculated attempt to strip him of his personhood. I guess I should not be surprised about this.

Our enslaved ancestors were dehumanized and rendered beasts by the American society. The actions of the mainstream media and sport commentators are not different from the actions of their forefathers, the proponents of the black slavery and Jim Crow and adherers of the demonic notion, black inferiority.

The NBA commissioner’s harsh punishment and the media’s demonization of Artest reminds me of the slave codes. For example, the 1848 slave codes of Georgia described in its section on capital offences the penalty for a slave’s violence toward a white person: “ case any such slave that shall grievously wound, maim, or bruise any white person, though it shall be only the first offence, such slave shall suffer death..”

The actions of mainstream media and its sports commentators against Artest are in line with the infamous slave codes of the past.

If the mainstream media and the sports commentators could have called Artest the “n-word” on air or print, they certainly would. Since they could not, they turned Artest into a beast and covertly attacked Black America. In the midst of the calculated outrage against Artest, the black art form, hip hop has been called into question because Artest plans to release a rap album.

To the media, hip hop is one the reasons that Artest went into the stands and hit white fans. I wonder what music that the cup-throwing fan listens to. Was it country music that drove the fan to throw the cup at Artest? Anything that is identifiable with African-Americans has been attacked along with Artest by the mainstream media and sport commentators.

These actions has revealed to me the deep hatred of the sports commentators against the predominantly black NBA. These sport commentators desire the NBA to become all white again. They want to go back to the time when Jerry West played in the NBA. Therefore, we should not be surprised with the continual celebration of foreign players in the NBA.

These mainstream sport commentators strongly believe that these black NBA players do not deserve their million-dollar contracts. If they had the power, they would much prefer black NBA players to go the way of the defunct ABA.

The profound dislike of the black NBA players by these commentators can be traced to their unfulfilled desires and failures in life. These sports commentators wish that they were on the basketball courts. They wish that crowds were chanting their names. They wish they were celebrated. They wish that they were on the covers of basketball-themed magazines.

They live vicariously through these black NBA players. These commentators are the symbols of the sin, covetousness. Just read their columns, you can detect jealousy and frustration in the lives of these commentators.

Deep down in their hearts, these sports commentators know that their works will go the way of the Assyrians and Canaanites. In comparison to these black NBA players, these mainstream sports commentators are like paper cups. They are always discarded.

Since they know that they are insignificant, the sports commentators want Artest’s actions in Detroit to be forever remembered. To these commentators and the deceived public, Artest should have exercised utmost deference to the cup-throwing fan.

Artest should have acted like earlier generations of blacks in American, who were not allowed to look at any white person in the eye. For the gullible public, the sports commentators successfully conjured up the image of the defiant black male in Artest.

As we all know, the defiant black male is a danger to society. Remember Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King? A defiant black professional athlete is virtually the devil incarnate.

Therefore, it is no wonder that Artest was punished harshly. The punishment is intended to send a message to all the black NBA players: All of you are just court jesters. All of you are here to serve the whims of the team owners. All of you are under the control of the NBA. All of you are just here to keep the financial machine of the NBA rolling, like a cotton gin. All of you do not have any rights. All of you are virtually products.

This message has successfully worked. Since Artest’s punishment, the black NBA players have been very subdued. Known for trashtalking, a lot of these players have developed an unique condition: paralysis of the mouth. They are so frightened of Stern that they will not defend Artest. They have left Artest to defend himself from Stern, mainstream media and the sport commentators (Hell’s mouthpieces on earth).

I have not seen any of these players write articles in defense of Artest, the person. I have not seen any of these players call for protests against Artest’s punishment. I have not seen any of these players galvanize the public, particularly Black America, in defense of Artest.

Why are these players so silent? They have to know that the attacks on Artest were racial in nature. Do these players know that racism still exist, but it is much more covert? Do these players live in a world of fantasy? If they do, all African-Americans must pray for these players immediately for God to remove spiritual blindness from them.

These players’ silence forces me to sadly conclude that they lack the black consciousness and solidarity exhibited by Smith and Carlos in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. It seems to me that the Black bourgeoisie believes in the dignity of Black America more than these players.

To these players who refuse to speak out against the mainstream media’s lynching of Artest because they love their million-dollar contracts and careers more, I respond to you all with Proverbs 11:28: “He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident in his riches shall fall.”.