So I had a conversation yesterday and it just hasn’t sat right with me since.

It started with Gilbert Arenas. I came across his negative comments toward dark-skinned black women…

Ballerific Comment Creepin —- 🌾👀🌾 #gilbertarenas #commentcreepin

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…and his pseudo apology…

…and thought: What a stupid thing to say. What a stupid man.

I then read some of it to a male friend whose reaction I expected to be something like mine. But it wasn’t. There was no disappointment in a fellow black man; there was no irritation with his lowly assessment of black women. There wasn’t even a simple acknowledgement of Arenas’ views as flawed. Instead he just shrugged and said: “That’s his opinion. It may hurt, but he has a right to express his opinion. I feel like too often we get mad at people for doing that.”

The record scratch in my mind had to be evident on my face.

A full-grown man who lacks proper reading comprehension skills, whose thought process is dysfunctional, and whose assessment of someone’s appearance is “Ewww,” should not be so generous with his opinion. We don’t need it.

I tried to explain that some opinions do not need to be shared, especially when they’re ignorant, especially on such a large platform, especially when their one aim is to tear down a large group of people who have committed no offense.

No go.

I tried to communicate that inaccurate blanket statements like Arenas’ are not all right.

Didn’t matter.

Somehow even Hitler made it into the conversation, but he still wasn’t able to see where I was coming from. To him, it was all just someone entitled to an opinion.

Here’s my problem… It’s one thing to have an opinion, but for that opinion to be unsound, ignorant and/or poorly constructed and then spewed to a mass audience is not ok. It’s harmful.

I don’t understand how Gilbert Arenas could see an Instagram post, where the only purpose was to uplift, and think: I should trash this post in honor of my mixed daughters.

A full-grown man who lacks proper reading comprehension skills, whose thought process is dysfunctional, and whose assessment of someone’s appearance is “Ewww,” should not be so generous with his opinion. We don’t need it.

His comments are damaging to little dark-skinned girls who may already be struggling with self-confidence.

They’re damaging to the little girls who look to Lupita Nyong’o as inspiration and inclusion.

His comments threaten to damage the very daughters he claimed to be protecting.

It’s not about me, or my feelings. I don’t need his acceptance. I just think of the young girls in my life and I don’t want any of them to ever come across messaging like that.

It’s not ok. We have to do better. The future depends on us doing better.

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