Let’s talk about white people using “Kobe” whenever they shoot a shot during a basketball game. Way back in around 2004 one of the first known references of the universal phrase “Kobe” occurred when it was used by Black comedian Dave Chappell in a skit. Soon after, the phrase quickly became extraordinarily popular in African American communities and cemented itself as part of their culture.
Due to the untimely passing of the Black basketball legend Kobe Bryant, which is the person the cultural memento is based off of, in late January of this year the cultural relationship between him and minority communities has only been reinforced through the phrase ensuring his legacy will remain in the hearts of many. Yet this cultural bond between the late star and minorities is being threatened by uncultured white people abusing their privilege.
The problem with white people using the phrase is that it’s a form of cultural appropriation which is essentially offering little to no respect to another person’s culture, and utilizing it anyway you please. So what’s wrong with white people saying “Kobe” in basketball games? Well, Black people are not here for their entertainment. Kobe Byrant did not live to make them look more ‘street.’
If you are white and exclaim “Kobe” whenever you play basketball, play video games, or even throw a wade of paper in the trash can you are openly appropriating African American culture and tarnishing Kobe Bryant’s legacy. Many of the uncultured whites who use the phrase claim to be ‘appreciating’ his legacy. Unsurprisingly that is simply untrue and is just another ploy to steal African American culture.
Their true motives have become blatantly apparent as ignorant white folk have already made numerous attempts to steal the phrase from the People of Color who worked so diligently to normalize it. This is not an uncommon thing for whites to do as it’s been documented throughout history that whites actually enjoy stealing original ideas from People of Color for their own pleasure. If whites did actually care about these social injustices as some claim to do they’d be yelling the name of the mediocre and white player Larry bird instead.
Whites need to realize that “Kobe” will always belong to the people of color who first pioneered the phrase to fame and incorporated it into their everyday life. If you sadly happen to be one of the ignorant whites that have used the phrase I strongly suggest that you should begin writing a formal apology to both the African American communities you stole from and the Bryant family.
Wrote by: Simon
Edited by: Frank Bordaine