October 14th, 2010

So, this morning I open my email and one of the pieces waiting to be read is from The Root, a online daily news magazine written from black perspectives, with the subject line: Meet The Root 100. I started reading The Root because Jimi Izrael wrote for it and it’s one of my few windows into racial politics and social issues.

I’m never good with these kinds of list, I almost never recognize the people profiled, but when I looked at the photo matrix, my eye stopped at Lebron James (I think it was the signature headband). How scary is that?

I like how The Root’s staff characterizes James as professional athlete and disruptor but I don’t see him that way. To me he is an example of the classic boss-worker relationship. When I boss decides to lay workers off, the standard response is to cry that there is nothing personal about the move, the action was driven by economic reality. Let a valuable worker quit or even just explore other opportunities, and the worker is immediately an ingrate and affront to the personal relationship between boss and worker.

Bosses need to believe that they hold the power, it really is a security issue with them, and the very rare exception notwithstanding, to a person they will always act to benefit themselves. James never owed Cleveland or the Cleveland Cavaliers anything more what he perceived he was paid for. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t understand capitalism.

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