That’s a little tough for them to take.

We know this reality exists based on the racist responses to President Obama.

How many times has Obama been referred to as arrogant because he defied expectations and changed the health care system in this country? Or because he tries to find ways to do the job of getting legislation passed in spite of an intransigent Congress?

How many Tea Party racists and their ignorant ilk continue to overlook the fact that Obama is a Harvard-educated, constitutional law professor as they insist on saying he’s violating the Constitution? How many continue to call him a Chicago thug? A dictator-in-waiting?

All because he had the nerve to be black, run for president and win – twice.

So to me, this isn’t just about how some whites eviscerate Sherman while they empathize with Bieber. It’s about how many Americans still expect black men to be humble about their success and white people to be assertive about theirs.

It’s about how many whites expect for black men to not acknowledge their own worthiness unless white people do it first.

It’s been that way at least since the 1960s and 70s, when a bragging Muhammad Ali became the heavyweight champion of the world three times. We see it happening with Obama. Nervy black men have always been viewed as threats.

And what happened with Sherman shows that hasn’t changed much.


Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her at @tonyaajw. Like her at

Why is Sherman a ‘Thug’ for Boasting? It All Boils Down to Black and White  was originally published on

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