Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday that white people need to have uncomfortable conversations about their “privilege” as a way to help move the country forward.
Cuban’s call for action came during an event, organized by the Mavericks, addressing systemic racism and social injustices facing the black community, ESPN reported.
“I need all of us to really open up and talk to each other, even when it’s difficult,” Cuban said. “Even when it’s not something we’re comfortable with, particularly those of you who look like me, the white people. Because it’s hard to discuss race when you’re white.”
He continued: “The reality is, to be brutally honest, when people talk about white privilege, we get defensive. We all have this mechanism that I call manufactured equivalency to try to protect ourselves. We’ll say, ‘I have a lot of black friends.’ We’ll say, ‘I grew up in a mixed community, so I’m not like that. I can’t possibly be someone who takes advantage of white privilege,’ and manufacture this equivalency. It’s incumbent on us to stop doing that, because that doesn’t move us forward when we do that. That’s part of having a courageous conversation.”
German forward Maxi Kleber also spoke at the event and reiterated Cuban’s call for action.
“We have to talk about it,” he said. “Like Mark said, this is not something where we want to feel comfortable. We want to feel uncomfortable, because for real change, that’s how we have to feel.”
Cuban had previously said earlier this month that white people are the ones who need to change.
“Dear White People: We are the ones that need to change. This is not one man’s story. This is almost every black man’s story. Which is why the problem is ours. We need to find OUR way to change what we do. There is no quick fix. It’s a moral imperative,” he tweeted.