That a known racist should make racist comment is not very surprising, yet there seems to be a rare consensus among the media, NBA players and fans, and the general public over the coordinated outcry over the nasty comments Donald Sterling made to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
They are all lashing out at Sterling now, calling for a general banishment for Evil Donald. They seem to believe that because they are no longer comfortable associating with him, nobody else will either.
But let’s take a step back to look at the self-serving hypocrisy behind a lot of the accusers now righteously waging fingers at Sterling. For starters, Al Sharpton and the NAACP have some explaining to do relating to their decision to give a third achievement award to a known racist.
And what about the players and coaching staff? In the immediate aftermath of the release of the tape, a lot of indignation and frustration came out from this group, with reports that during a players meeting with Doc Rivers they even considered boycotting their next playoff games. But Donald was a known racist before anyone of them signed for the Clippers! Doc Rivers, with characteristic diplomacy, was positioning himself in the early days of the scandal as implying that he now found it inadmissible to work for Sterling and will not stay past the end of the season if the owner were allowed to stay. But Doc, Donald settled his lawsuit for discrimination of minorities in housing way back in 2009! His many incidents in which he shows his racist character in the naked light of day have been documented for years. Didn’t that bother you when you signed that big contract this past summer?
And the NBA and their owners, who are now hiding behind the new leadership of David Silver, as if they were not complicit during the last 30 years in which they knew what a vile person Sterling was, yet did not try to dissociate themselves from him.
We are now getting to the crux of the issue: despite the general congratulatory mood over the Sterling virtual “banishment” from public life, the reality of the situation is that Sterling will not be affected at all, beyond the sale of the team.
Do you seriously think that Sterling’s peers will turn against him? I certainly don’t believe it for one second. Listen closely to what he says on the tape: he doesn’t care if his girlfriend sleeps with Magic or other minorities, he just doesn’t want her to take pictures with them and appear with them in public because Donald doesn’t want his friends to know that anyone associated with also associates with minorities.
Donald’s racists directives to his mistress were motivated by a desire to please his friends! While most of the media has tried to paint him as a relic of the past, a dinosaur of the days when racism was overtly accepted in the US, essentially an old man out-of-touch with his time, the reality of the situation is very different.
The very fact that Donald would go to such lengths of ‘racism’ to please his friends illustrates the uncomfortable fact, which to my knowledge has not been brought out in the main stream media, that his views are not only accepted, but encouraged in certain elite circles.
Because let’s not forget who Donald is. He is a billionaire landlord, among other activities. It’s because of him, and other racist landlords like him who decided not to rent to minorities in certain parts of town (see also), as well as colluded with the insurance companies to “redline” entire neighborhoods, that we now have ghettos in the richest country on earth.
In the final analysis, while the over-reaction over the Donald Sterling Affair is laughable, the remarks themselves show how racism is alive and well in America in the year 2014. But then again, we didn’t need Sterling to find that out. A look at our overcrowded prison system (let’s not forget that we incarcerate the hightest percentage of our population of ANY country on Earth, meaning we beat Russia and China) tells a very vivid tale: 60% of inmates are minorities.
While this racism is not overt, like under Jim Crow, it manifests itself in insidious ways that have just as real an impact on the target populations as earlier, more open methods of control. In one of the most striking examples, we have been waging a “War on Drugs” for 40 years against specific segments of the population, overwhelmingly minorities, in an effort to overturn any gains made in the Civil Rights movement.
In the long run, the Donald Sterling Affair could be just another bleep on the radar before we all go back to the same old normal, racist state of affairs, or we could use the momentum that it created to educate each other about racism in America today and to organize each other to fight against it. The choice belongs to you.