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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Ugly Face of Racism...and Hypocrisy

  I don't follow basketball. But I know who some its star players are, like Shaq, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett. But I like a lot of the planet; I had no clue who Donald Sterling was, until Saturday. On Saturday, the website TMZ released an audio tape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Sterling, and a girlfriend discussing who she brought to the games. By now, the same rest of the planet who had no idea who Sterling was, now know that, well, he does not exactly have warm fuzzy feelings for minorities. The audio tape reveals some very disturbing and racist comments being made by Donald Sterling.
  Let's start from the beginning. Number one, the comments made by Donald Sterling were ugly, gross, and appalling to decent people everywhere. There is no place for these kinds of comments in civil society. Luckily, guys like Donald Sterling are a dying breed. That should make Oprah happy. She did wish death on old white bigots. Wow, she is good. What is also a positive take away is the collective disgust at what was said. It proves that among Americans in 2014, this is the exception, not the norm that guys like Jesse and Al would like us all to believe.
  We will come back to Jesse and Al. This is their story too, as you will see. Now, let's talk about what no one else will. Glaring, in your face hypocrisy. Fact, Donald Sterling is an old bigot. he comes from a long ago time in America. He is eighty years old, and is not going to have some sort of racial epiphany any time soon. However, he is also an American citizen. Last time I checked, in America, at least for now, no matter how vile and despicable his words and thoughts may be, he has the right to think them and even say them out loud if he wishes. Sometimes liberty and freedom of speech are messy things.
  Number two. This is not Donald Sterling's first time at the bigot rodeo. In 2009, after the Department of Justice filed a housing discrimination lawsuit against him, alleging that he tried to keep blacks and Latinos from renting apartments in buildings he owned. He was forced to settle the suit for around $2.7 million dollars. Guys like Magic Johnson and others in the basketball community knew of his dubious track record. Why did this not attract the outrage that an audio tape has? Donald Sterling was also surely paying a lot of the same people who are so appalled today that he was in 2009. What exactly is the difference?
  Number three. Johnson, Charles Barkley, and any former NBA star on any given ESPN panel, seem to pick and choose their outrage carefully. Comments like Jesse Jackson's famous "Hymie town" quip, the vile and yes threatening bilge that has come out of the mouth of Al Sharpton, and let's not forget, in Al's case, he is all but responsible for a murder during a riot in Crown Heights Brooklyn, don't seem to warrant a raised eyebrow. For years, Louis Farrakhan has made some of the most incendiary anti-white and anti-Semitic remarks by anyone. The reaction from members of the black community? Silence.
  Perhaps one of the most egregious things that Magic, Barkley, and the rest forgot to be "outraged" about, is the fact that in Chicago, practically every weekend, black people are brought to slaughter by the dozens. On Easter weekend alone, 40 people were shot. At least 8 of them died. Surely an opinionated guy like Charles Barkley would have something to say about that. No? Hmmm.....
  No one is going to defend Donald Sterling. That old saying, "no man is an island"? Not true anymore. The free market will take care of Donald Sterling's financial status. If you don't like what he said, don't go to Clippers games or watch them on TV. Don't buy Clippers merchandise. The message will be sent loud and clear. After all, money talks. We will see that soon enough when big fat checks are written to the Rainbow Coalition, National Action Network, United Negro College Fund, and the NAACP.
  Everyone stands up and cheers when the Thought Police come to destroy someone they think needs destroying. But we need to look beyond race for just a minute, so we can see that something much deeper and way more chilling is going on.
  We all have at least one thought, view, or opinion about something that more than likely, society might not deem acceptable.
  Who will be cheering when they come for you? 

1 comment:

  1. I have a hard time seeing his comments as racial. He's 82 years old. It's not like he's tapping it. He told her that if she wanted to hang out, go to bed, and fornicate with an H.I.V. doner fine, don't put it on instagram, and don't bring it to the game. He was tired of getting phone calls. Would you react differently???Now that's what I got out of the transcript, in a legally private conversation which was illegaly recorded. Where am I going wrong??? Mike