Dennis Rodman Makes a Valid Point

dennis Rodman in North KoreaBy Brittney M. Walker

Now that Dennis Rodman has made real history and has done something so unprecedented, I must give him some props.

Without question, he’s an unusual character with his eccentric ways and colorful styles. Maybe it comes as no surprise that he up and went to North Korea since he’s got that YOLO attitude and seems to be quite indiscriminate with his lifestyle.

How did he do it? That’s a question I’d love to ask him personally, being that travel in and out of the extremely private country is strict and tedious. Check out the requirements here.

The former NBA player and Hall of Famer joined a crew of Harlem Globetrotter players and dined with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un.

His visit was controversial enough, but his interview upon returning to the country was interesting and noteworthy because he carried on in a nonchalant way, possibly upsetting the powers that be.

kim jong un and dennis rodmanUnimpressed with his presentation, I was, however intrigued by his openness in expressing his fondness of the ruler, speaking quite humanely of Kim. The interviewer, George Stephanopoulos was shocked and baffled by Rodman’s responses, pointing out that North Korea, according to the Human Rights Watch, had committed an atrocious number of crimes against humanity, including prison camps.

While there is no justification to the alleged crimes North Korea has committed, how soon do Americans forget the heinous history of crime and punishment the United States committed and continues to engage in.

Let’s begin with the savage murders and punishment of the Native people in America. From attempting to take advantage of their knowledge of the land and enslavement to murder, the foundation of America is built on injustice. And how can any person of African descent forget or turn a blind eye to the centuries of enslavement of our ancestors. America was built on the backs and blood of African people.

And rarely do our history books recall the Japanese internment camps of 1942, in which the U.S. government enacted a law to abduct hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans and isolate them in abusive environments with guards and barbed wire.

Today, within the U.S., hundreds of Black men and other people of color are constantly harassed, imprisoned, and stripped of their constitutional rights due to institutional racism. There’s no hiding that.

However, the constant propaganda continues to demonize the culture of other countries that typically have better economic, educational, and living standards. We’ve been bamboozled, as the great civil rights leader Malcolm X said.

Despite his lack of apparent intelligence, Rodman made the same point, with a lot less articulation.

I think his visit to North Korea was an interesting step toward some diplomatic communication, regardless of how the U.S. responded.

Part of the White House’s response was that the president doesn’t condone his actions and doesn’t plan to call Kim Jong Un.

On top of all of this, Stephanopoulos sited Human Rights Watch statistics. I’m wondering how could the group possibly know how many political prisoners the country has. The interviewer even pointed out that Dennis has had more interaction with the dictator than any American citizen. Also, foreigners who visit are carefully watched and guided.

According to the Human Rights Watch website, “More than 200,000 North Korean, including children, are imprisoned in camps where many perish from forced labor, inadequate food, and abuse by guards. Arbitrary arrest, lack of due process, and torture are pervasive problems.”

The same could go for the United States in some ways.

Bottom line is and always has been that the United States has a lot of cleaning up to do and Americans must always look at home before passing judgment on others, or attempting to regulate elsewhere.

Ultimately, Rodman’s visit was an amazing example of foreign relations. He demonstrated unguarded communication and regardless of the reasons he visited, he was humble enough to accept the individual (Kim Jong Un) and develop a relationship, growing into his own understanding about the North Korean ruler.

Side note, why does Dennis Rodman sound like he’s from a different country.

Check out the interview here.

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