President Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer reacted to a request for comment about the racist attack on LeBron James’ home by denying that such incidents have increased since Trump’s election victory.
During Spicer’s Friday media briefing reporter April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, highlighted the abusive slogan painted on James’ Los Angeles property that according to police took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“I would respectfully disagree with the premise of that,” Spicer said, when quizzed about the perception that racially motivated problems had been exacerbated over the period of Trump’s presidency.
“I think we need to denounce hate in any form and any act and this president made it clear from election night to inauguration that he wants to unite this country moving forward.”
However, television personality Star Jones, president of the Professional Diversity Network — which seeks to increase career opportunities for minorities — drew a direct line between the troubling incident that affected Cleveland Cavaliers star James on the eve of the NBA Finals and Trump’s rhetoric.
“What once people only thought and were afraid to say, with this president making it OK to come out from underneath your hood, that’s what we are going to get,” Jones said of the James situation, in an interview with CNN.
“When the president of the United States sort of appeals to a white nationalist agenda and embraces people who were fearful of the browning of America, and to all practical purposes clung with their dying fingers to white male privilege, yeah, he made it OK.”
James spoke candidly and passionately about racism hours after the attack at the house, where he, his wife and his three children spend much of their time during the NBA offseason.
“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough,” James said. “We have got a long way to go as a society and for us as African Americans, until we feel equal in America.”