If Donald Trump doesn't learn how to respond to criticism in a constructive and substantive way, then I don't know how he's going to continue on in the Republican primaries.
Legendary Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's criticism of Trump and the press wasn't even that vicious. Abdul-Jabbar said what a lot of people have picked up on in recent weeks: that Trump has a bad habit of bullying journalists who ask hard-hitting questions. Take his spat with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, for example, or his most recent showdown with Univision's Jorge Ramos. Interactions that make you cringe, as if you're watching a high school squabble.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Abdul-Jabbar argued that Trump is abusing the First Amendment by creating a hostile environment for journalists trying to ask him serious questions. There's the idea that Trump intimidates the media and goads journalists into ridiculous back-and-forths. Most journalists don't want to become the story—most of us just want to report it or opine about it.
Instead of responding to this legitimate argument, Trump reportedly responded to Abdul-Jabbar with a handwritten note that gets as grade-school as grade-schoolers can get. Abdul-Jabbar posted the note on his Facebook page.
Now I know why the press always treated you so badly—they couldn't stand you. The fact is that you don't have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again!
It doesn't mention the premise of Abdul-Jabbar's argument. It just hovers above the concern, not bothering to get into the weeds of the matter. In a follow-up in the Post, Abdul-Jabbar makes note of that fact, saying, "Here again, [Trump] attacks a journalist who disagrees with him, not by disputing the points made but by hurling schoolyard insults such as 'nobody likes you.' "
Sums up Trump's campaign and candidacy perfectly.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.