When it comes to defining racist behavior, actions speak louder than words. Yesterday I wrote my views on the Cliven Bundy ‘scandal’ and his purportedly racist comments. The short version is that Cliven only sought to highlight the current situation that many blacks find themselves in today. Too many blacks are trapped on the social welfare being doled out from America’s producers to its nonproducers. The chains may be softer now than they were in the past, but the bondage is just as real. There is no dignity in having to rely exclusively on government for one’s well being. Those programs are meant to be utilized in times of difficulty, but the unfortunate truth is that too many have become generationally dependent on government handouts.
Yes, highlighting the plight of black Americans, who suffer a far higher abortion rate and level of incarceration probably at least somewhat due to a lack of employment is evil, mean-spirited, and obviously racist.
But today all that is old news.
Today’s news has to do with NBA team owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Mr. Donald Sterling. There is an audio exchange between Mr. Sterling and his girlfriend, V Stiviano. In the recording, Sterling asks Stiviano not to publically broadcast her association with black people, that she not show herself associating with black people on her Instagram, and even asked her not to bring Magic Johnson to Clippers games simply on the basis that he is black. These are the points highlighted in the article I read.
Listening to the whole tape, which goes on for a good ten minutes, is an misunderstanding between Sterling and Stiviano where she seems to be trying to understand why he has such a hard time with her making her associations with black people public. She tries to get him to outline exactly why it’s such a problem, but he’s extremely evasive. He claims to have no problem with black people and even says he loves them at one point, but that he only has a problem with her making public her associations with someone like Magic Johnson. In her eyes, Magic is a man who has done remarkable things in the community and for minorities. His problem is with the fact that she posted a picture she took with him on Instagram and was then called by people and he didn’t want to have to explain it.
While he never comes out and admits it, it is clear that something drives his discomfort with having his girlfriend, who happens to be part black and part Latino, post pictures of herself with black people on Instagram.
Allegations of racism aren’t anything new for Mr. Sterling. He was sued in 2005 and in 2009 for allegedly employing discriminatory renting practices in some properties that he managed. He purportedly agreed to a settlement of almost $3 Million in the 2005 cases that were brought against him. While a settlement is not necessarily an admission of guilt, it does usually indicate that the outcome could have been unfavorable if the case went to court.
Sterling has also been sued for employment discrimination in 2009. In this case, Sterling expressed a desire to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach.” He is said to have made comments to the effect of, “Hispanics smoke, drink, and just hang around he building.” And, “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
While only one of these lawsuits has reached conclusion, there is little doubt that Mr. Sterling does harbor some feelings of animus toward America’s minorities. An isolated case is one that could be shrugged off as nothing more than a disgruntled renter or employee. However, consistent allegations of racism begin to show that there may be some truth to the claim.
Contrast a man with repeated allegations of racism, Mr. Sterling, against another who has a black man saying that he would take a bullet for him, Mr. Bundy, and make of it what you will.