I'm slowly meandering my way though WEB DuBois' Souls of Black Folk, and got to this line in the essay Of The Training of Black Men:

We must not forget that most Americans answer all queries regarding the Negro a priori, and that the least that human courtesy can do is listen to evidence.

Now, that's just a hell of a line, and one that still has far too much relevance to the political landscape a century-plus later. But given what's been happening the last couple of days, the first person to pop into my head when I read it wasn't Obama, but LeBron.

The knives were going to come out anyway when he elected to make a spectacle of his decision, but I find the accusations that he's a coward for wanting to play with really, really good team-mates to be laughable. Playing with Wade and Bosh gives him arguably his best shot at winning it all, and isn't that supposed to be the goal of every athlete? Apparently, in LeBron's case, merely winning championships isn't enough.

The argument goes something like this: a real manly man with giant man-sized balls would want to succeed on his own terms. By going to someone else's team (i.e. Dwayne Wade), where that star has already established themselves and had success, LeBron is taking the easy way out in his quest for a title. Remember all that stuff you learned in school about there being no 'i' in team? Yeah, forget it; in LeBron's case, there most definitely is an 'i' in Greatest Of All Time, which is what is expected of him.

But frankly, you could have made (equally weak) 'coward' arguments no matter where he ended up going:

- LeBron is a coward for staying in Cleveland, where he is comfortable and revered, rather than pushing himself and going to a team that has a real shot at a title

- LeBron is a coward for going for the money and fame of playing in the New York/Jay-Z spotlight, instead of going to a team that has a real shot at a title

- LeBron is a coward for going to Chicago and settling for living in Jordan's shadow, rather than trying to carve out his own legacy somewhere else

In other, better words, the query regarding LeBron's manhood was answered a priori, without giving him the courtesy of listening to the evidence.

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