Westin Wood posted a video of himself and others firing assault rifles into Kevin Durant’s jersey.
On Monday, Westin Wood, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, posted a video of himself and several white friends, pouring gasoline on a Kevin Durant jersey before unloading rounds of ammunition into it with their assault rifles – riddling it with bullets and setting it on fire .
Maybe you don’t know the history of lynching in America. Maybe you don’t know the history of lynching in Oklahoma. Maybe you don’t know the history of lynching in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but make no mistake about it – to me, this appears to be a familiar assertion of white supremacist power, anger and violence. Hundreds and hundreds of the 4,075 documented cases of African-Americans being lynched in America included them being set on fire and shot in a manner very similar to this video.
Beyond the fact that Oklahoma has the highest per capita rate of people shot and killed by police in all of America, Tulsa was home to the deadliest hate crime of the 20th century when 300 African-Americans were murdered and over 9,000 African-Americans were left homeless when Black Wall Street was looted and burned to the grown by angry white mobs who indiscriminately shot, stabbed, and burned to death men, women, and children in the town.
Just last year, a Tulsa deputy shot Eric Harris, a non-violent unarmed African-American. As he struggled to breathe, Harris told the officers who were pushing their knees on his neck as much. They were literally caught on video saying what may be the most heartless and inhumane phrase ever uttered when they said to Harris, “F–k your breath.” He died a few hours later.
After spending the past decade playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant announced Monday that he has opted to sign instead with the Golden State Warriors. In his open letter on the move, Durant stated that it wasn’t just a basketball decision, but that he wanted to move “to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth.”
In light of this violent video, those words from Durant make even more sense.
The men shooting the Durant jersey remind me of an iconic scene from Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”
At about 0:25, Spike, playing the Brooklyn pizza delivery man, Mookie, pulls John Turturro, playing Pino the pizza maker aside and asks “Can I talk to you for a second?” What follows is a powerful conversation in which Pino, a racist, tries to explain how his favorite athletes and entertainers are all black. Watch it for yourself.
(WARNING: The below clip has graphic language.)
Westin Wood, who posted the video of himself murdering Kevin Durant in effigy, reminds me of Pino. The entire display is a white supremacist demonstration of rage in which the men appear to be saying, “How dare we allow you to excel and make more money than any black man ever has in this state, and you still leave us?”
Wood wrote on Facebook that, “This had nothing to do with race whatsoever…. We were upset because our Oklahoma icon sports hero abandoned us and went to play for the enemy goldent state warriors …. We were having with it with fireworks and guns on the birthday of our country.”
Surely, many others will also dismiss the provocative act as harmless. It isn’t. It’s a sign of what those men truly thought about Durant in the first place.