ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has landed himself in hot water again for his views on race.
After saying “all lives do matter” last year, he recently gave a speech honoring Black History Month at the University of South Alabama, in which he said “racism doesn’t exist,” reports the Washington Times.
“Racism doesn’t exist. Obviously, I’m lying. Of course it exists, but not for you. See, you don’t have to go to the back of the bus. You’re not denied the opportunity to eat at restaurants, or to enter night clubs, or to patronize businesses. You have the right to vote. You’re not being lynched. You’re not being hung,” he reportedly told students during “The Legacy, History and Impact of the African-American Athlete” speech.
Smith, however, did go on to acknowledge that older students suffer from racism, and that White people have problems, too.
“You’re older, you know I’m not talking about you. But youngsters, you need to understand that white folks got problems, too. Some of them can’t pay their bills. Some of them are struggling. Some of them are being denied opportunities. And you need to understand that, because when people are going through their own problems, they are not going to lament what your trials and tribulations are,” he continued.
After the backlash, Smith took to Mad Dog Sports Radio to clarify his compliments.
“I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist, that it’s not alive and well, that it’s not still a challenge that we have to deal with in the black community. What I’m saying is, that if you’re young, because the challenges that your ancestors faced and overcame, you don’t get to use it as an excuse for why you can’t succeed, because people got their own problems, trials and tribulations no matter what ethnic group they’re in. And a level of sympathy and apathy and sensitivity that once existed in our society because of how overt and egregious and prevalent racism was, it’s a different challenge in this day and age. You better make sure you do your part to overcome any obstacles that are placed before you. You know why? Because everybody before us had to do it, so who the hell are you to think that you can’t? That’s what I was saying,” he attempted to explain.
Hopefully Skip Bayless will skip this debate if it comes up on First Take.