Sunday, May 4, 2014
Donald Sterling, Owner Los Angeles Clippers / World Class Racist?
The discussion topic of the moment is, of course, Donald Sterling, previously known as Donald Tokowitz. Yes, he too is of an often maligned minority group. He is the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. I would like to make some brief introductory comments and then proceed to my area of interest – covert recordings of conversations.
Most everyone is apparently shocked and aghast at Mr. Sterling’s statements regarding African Americans. And, I don’t intend to defend him. Based on what I’ve read about his actions now and in the past, he is a bully and an entirely repugnant individual.
His girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, approximately 50 years Sterling’s junior, reportedly recorded a private conversation between her and Sterling – during which he made some disparaging remarks about “Blacks.” This recording was turned over to a newspaper, and the s--- hit the fan.
As we all now know, the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, came down hard on Sterling – a $2.5 million dollar fine, Sterling was banned from even entering the door of any NBA facility, and apparently will be forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers. OK, Silver made a business decision in the best interests of the NBA – and that’s fine with me. Remember, the NBA is a business, a very lucrative business involving very highly paid employees – namely the players – who are incidentally mostly African Americans (Blacks); although I earnestly wish we could finally all be just Americans. That is, however, extremely unlikely in my lifetime.
If you listen to the recording of the private conversation between Stiviano and Sterling, and I admit that I’ve not heard the whole thing, what Sterling said is undeniably offensive and ignorant (especially for someone in his professional position and considering that his alleged girlfriend is reportedly half Black); but it doesn’t exactly knock your socks off. I’m kind of surprised at how shocked most of the public is about his remarks.
Haven’t most of you at one time or another expressed or laughed at an offensive comment about some other group? Personally, I’ve heard many derogatory statements and jokes involving: females (blondes in particular) Polish people, Irish people, Mexicans, Asians, American Indians, Harvard graduates, Texas A & M graduates, lawyers, law enforcement personnel, Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy, old people, young people, every religious affiliation, Republicans, Democrats, George Bush, Barrack Obama ad infinitum. Have I missed anyone? Are we to believe that Blacks don’t make jokes about ‘honkeys’ and ‘crackers’? Are we all so oblivious to these tendencies in our own nature, or hypocritical, that we don’t recognize that everyone, with very few exceptions, says things at times that we really shouldn’t?
Let’s just put this in perspective. Sterling’s problems, and his private comments, have become a business matter involving the image that the NBA wishes to project. It is all about money.
The recording is about money. What were Stiviano’s motives? Who put her up to it? Who is in a position to gain the most?
Commissioner Silver gave it his best shot and everyone has applauded. However, a year from now, maybe more, Silver’s dictates will be modified in Sterling’s favor. Silver knows it. His actions constituted ‘crisis control.’ It’s about image, sponsors and money. And, as far as I’m concerned, he could have left his righteous indignation in his office.
There is no greater implication involved. This doesn’t mean that racial bias against African Americans is rampant in the U.S. or the NBA. It really indicates nothing significant about American society, other than some rich a---holes like front-row seats at sporting events and like to have sex with pretty, young women. Moreover, who exactly is the bigger a--hole here: Vanessa or Donald?
Next, I have a few comments about recording private conversations.
To be continued…