Host Bryant Gumbel offers a personal commentary and shares what he calls ‘the black tax’. #RealSports is all-new this month on @HBO.
Finally tonight…As we close out this REAL SPORTS edition devoted in great part to racial injustice, a few personal words seem fitting….about what some friends and I often refer to as the black tax. It’s not an IRS thing. It’s the added burden that comes with being black in America and it’s routinely paid no matter how much education you have…how much money you make…or how much success you’ve earned.
The black tax is about more than just the added stares, whispers and suspicions when you’re out and about…it’s about the many instances of disrespect and incivility your color seems to engender…and being expected to somehow always restrain yourself, lest you not be what white Americans are never asked to be, a credit to your race.
It’s about living a life that included your father having to leave home to earn his law degree even though he was an honor student and a decorated war veteran. It’s about your son getting arrested for doing nothing more than walking while black. And it’s about having to be more concerned than your white friends and associates for the safety of your grandkids.
It’s about the day in and day out fatigue of trying to explain the obvious to the clueless. It’s about being asked to overlook blue failings and white failings so they can be conveniently viewed as black issues. It’s about being asked by so many what they should do or say about race when the easy answer lies in the privacy of each person’s heart.
It’s the black tax…it’s paid daily by me and every person of color in this country…and frankly it’s exhausting. I’ve been paying the black tax in America for almost 72 years now…long enough that I shouldn’t have to ask others to simply accept one very basic reality…that our Black lives matter.
Thank you for being with us…and good night. #HBO
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Real Sports is television’s most-honored sports journalism program, and received last May its 19th Sports Emmy® Award for Outstanding Sports Journalism. In total, Real Sports has been honored with the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports News Anthology five times in the past seven years, capturing 34 Emmys® in 24 years overall.
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Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Bryant Gumbel Commentary (Clip) | HBO