As I am sure most of you have heard, Donald Sterling, business magnate and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers had a very candid conversation with his “girlfriend” that was recorded and it revealed how disgustingly xenophobic and racist he is. These types of people get on newspapers and front covers and act like there isn’t a racist bone in their body. Can a person be more hypocritical and sad?! If you haven’t heard the tape yet, I implore you to stop reading right now and listen to the whole thing. Now, there is speculation that the tape could have been doctored to some degree, but I don’t buy it at all. This man has the influence and money to virtually make anything possible. And considering this thing is getting bigger by the minute, this will ultimately affect his bottom dollar so why wouldn’t he want to make it disappear. And I don’t want to hear anyone say anything about he can’t be racist because his girlfriend is half black when you have KKK leaders getting sex from black prostitutes. Seeing all people as equals is entirely different from treating a few members with respect or using them for sex and entertainment. But lets take a look at why this whole situation matters.
He has a bad history…
This isn’t Donalds first time in hot water about his racial prejudices. He has history and a bad one at that. In 2005, Donald Sterling had to pay a fine of $2.73 million to settle claims brought by the Justice Department because of discriminatory rental practices against Hispanics, blacks, and families with children. This wasn’t just alleged and so he agreed to settle, there was vast proof of his discrimination and so he had to pay because of it. In 2009, he was sued by former Clippers executive Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination because of ageism and racism. Now mind you, this man worked with Donald for YEARS and he sued him because of his racism against people. More importantly these are not even all the discrimination allegations and charges against him to date, these are just a few. And he doesn’t stop there, this guy even heckles his own players; what type of person does that? This guy is DEFINITELY racist and his track record proves it. In fact, he’s considered the most despised owner of professional sports.
Where are all the advocate groups?
Given the fact that it doesn’t get any more glaringly obvious how deplorable Donald Sterling is, one must ask, where are all the advocacy groups that are against discrimination and oppression? Where are all the national spokespeople who are against discrimination? Does it only matter when enough people complain about it? Has political gain become so unethical that it isn’t even about principle anymore, just pleasing the masses if it fits your agenda? I can’t help but to think of all the gay rights groups that vehemently come to the defense of gay rights and all the feminist or Jewish groups who do the same when something as bad as this happens. If you are against oppression and discrimination you can’t cherry pick what is important to you and remain silent when egregious encroachment of justice happens. It’s hypocrisy at its finest and reveals more about the fact you are about your own interest not necessarily justice. Even if you want to argue that you want to wait until this comes full circle, this still needs to be addressed because he has a history of being racist. NBA Players have an ethical clause, and to some degree the public needs to hold the owners to one as well so they can be accountable for their actions. Silence isn’t the answer on a situation this big with a person like Sterling.
The Most Troubling Aspect Of This Situation
He’ll most likely get away from this essentially unscathed. He’ll continue to make his money and people will continue to work with him because of money. The sickening thing about this is he doesn’t even think he’s racist because he’s had this racist pathology for years getting away relatively unhindered in the grand scheme of things, he hasn’t had any REAL consequences. But why would he change his thinking, especially considering he’s up for a lifetime achievement award by the NAACP, an organization meant to fight for equality and end racial discrimination, how ironic can you get. But this type of thinking is actually common among people who aren’t forced to confront their preconceived notions and prejudices. For many affluent people introspection isn’t even in their vocabulary because it doesn’t have to be. But I want to point something out that no one is talking about. Donald Sterling and his girlfriend said people were calling him and telling him that minorities are on his girlfriends Instagram. Say whaaaa???? So not only is he a racist, but his friends are too. But the reason this should trouble you is because the rich and powerful are friends with the rich and powerful. So this begs the question who are these people that felt compelled to tell him that blacks are destroying his image because of pictures on Instagram? I’d sure like to know and I’d bet my money that these are people you’d never suspect who also has major influence in the business world.
What can be done?
Honestly, most people won’t even care about this, but we need to. We need to take a stand because if we don’t, no one will. We can’t continue to let bigotry and injustice go unchecked. Not this time, we can’t keep allowing this type of discrimination because we are too uncomfortable with the alternative. To make a difference we have to hurt their pockets, that’s the only thing people like that understand. African Americans are expected to have 1.1 trillion in buying by next year, lets use that to actually make a difference. We don’t have to keep accepting being second class to people like Donald. And hopefully NBA commissioner Adam Silver takes this seriously and we need to make sure he understands that we take this seriously. If there is one thing to be had of this situation, its that people take this opportunity to shed light on how deep rooted xenophobia is among the elite, and that minorities and advocacy groups come together and refuse to accept this bigotry any more. Too many people think African Americans are fantasizing about race and that it isn’t as big of a deal as we make it seem. It’s time we step up people.
KKK leader caught with black prostitute
NAACP Honoring Donald Sterling, May 15th, 2014
African American Buying Power