ATTENTION ALL BIGOTS:
Please Keep Your Racist Rants to Yourself!
Last week, it was Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who said Black people are “better off as slaves” and “they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton.” This is the same man that hasn’t paid grazing fees to the federal government in more 20 years and has rung up a $1 million tab to Uncle Sam. Still, Cliven (what a name) used his 15 minutes of fame to spew racist rants about “the Negro” in an interview with the New York Times.
I had a short, crazy conversation with my colleague Shirley Husar, a Black conservative and Republican, trying to convince me that Bundy may have a point! Huh? In her Washington Times column, she says “there may be some nuggets of truth” for the problems Black people face today. She feels Black communities have suffered under government subsidy programs, which have failed to help people stand on their own two feet.
Shirley, stop it. On a girl’s night out, some of your conservative views can really put a damper on things for a liberal like me! I’m just too far left, and we’ll never see eye to eye on some things!
But just when we thought Bundy’s comments were bad; oh boy, we were in for a treat, compliments of the billion dollar bullsh*t of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. His racism is on a whole another level! Of course, everyone has the right to free speech. But, a racist rant is going to cost you. Cue: celebrity chef Paula Deen!
Over the weekend, TMZ.com released an audio tape of Sterling, telling his 31-year old girlfriend V. Stiviano not to post pictures of herself with Black people on Instagram or bring Black people to the Clippers games, including Magic Johnson. I understand that Stiviano is biracial – half Black and half Mexican. I guess her drop of Black blood doesn’t count in the equation of their friendship.
And for these remarks, Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA, fined $2.5 million fine, and possibly forced to sell the team, which will be a big money maker for him. In 1981, he bought the San Diego Clippers for $12 million and eventually moved the team to Los Angels. If he sells the team, he could make anywhere from $700 million to $1 billion. Is he really winning or losing? Depends on the price of a reputation. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Ironically, Magic Johnson called Sterling “a black-eye for the NBA”
Someone sent me this quote the other day: “A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank. – Proverbs 22:1
I commend the new NBA commissioner Adam Silver for his swift and decisive action on the matter at hand. The man hasn’t been in his new job 90 days yet, and already he had a big fire to extinguish! And trust me, he had to do it quickly. My colleague, Jasmyne Cannick, a journalist and community activist, sent me a media advisory on Sunday for a scheduled rally at the Staples Center. It was held yesterday, which happened to be the 22nd anniversary of the 1992 LA Riots over the Rodney King beating. A coalition of activists and civil rights leaders showed up for the Los Angeles Is Better Than Donald Sterling Anti-Racism Protest and Rally. My Republican friend, Shirley, attended the rally as well, and sent over some pics for me to share with you.
Listen, the last thing we need is Black folks in LA #turntup! OH-kay! It was a peaceful rally, but according to a tweet by Jasmyne, some officers with the LAPD showed up in riot gear!
Still, there’s one thing that’s gnawing at me: Sterling is 80 years old, and has been a franchise owner for more than 30 years. Why now is the NBA just addressing the racism of Donald Sterling? According to reports, he has one of the largest real estate empires in Southern California and a history of being a slumlord. He’s built a fortune on low-income housing. He’s a “Slumlord Billionaire” who settled the largest discrimination suit with the U.S. Department of Justice for $2.73 million, involving apartment rentals. He has a long paper trail of complaints and lawsuits, regarding housing discrimination against Blacks and Latinos.
Shoot, it seems to me that he’s been able to mistreat Shaniqua and Jose’ for years; but suddenly when he has something negative to say about his “$40 million dollars slaves” and Magic Johnson; apparently, that’s when he’s crossed the line in the eyes of the NBA!! Let’s press pause on that thought. By the way, “Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete” is a best-selling book by New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden. I think we all need to pick up a copy of that book.
See, this “Clippergate” situation is a microcosm of the larger society. It puts a spotlight on institutionalized racism. Here’s the bigger issue: This is an example of a White man in a position of power who OVERTLY discriminate as he sees fit. And there are many other Donald Sterlings in the world in similar positions of power who play God with people’s lives — that is, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Jews, women — and discriminate at will … To me, that’s the bigger lesson of the day. Roland Martin, host of TV One’s “NewsOne Now” is right: We need to turn this moment into a movement!
One more thing, why was the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP going to honor this bigot with a Lifetime Achievement Award? Inquiring minds want to know.
#BigotsRUs, #TurnUp, #TurntUp
Photos courtesy of Shirley Husar/Urban Game Changer