By now, the news cycle has almost already forgotten the uproar from the comments released by the media from the billionaire, Donald Sterling, and many in this post-racial America wouldn’t have it any other way. What I found most unnerving about the whole Donald Sterling situation were the comments from a segment of “post-racial” America that we live in; who either sympathized with Mr. Sterling’s privacy rights or took the time to remind us that we “should have known” and should have done something sooner, yet if they knew too, why didn’t they do something too instead of pointing the finger elsewhere. Why are we choosing to get off track, forget the important issues that Mr. Sterling was an empowered racist and sexist, because he didn’t quite say that he couldn’t publicly be seen with blacks (I mean how could he not), but that his mistress (not his legally bound wife) could not be seen with blacks. There are too many pundits that often criticize that blacks are too quick to pull out the race card or make everything about race. So when we have a genuine opportunity to have a real conversation and maybe produce some real action about today’s racism, we choose to focus on other minute points. The reality is there still is this RACIST culture that exists and as Mr. Sterling expressively said, the one he lives in.
There are cries from all kinds of people (including African – Americans), that Mr. Sterling was having a private conversation, and we would all lose our jobs or some friends if people recorded our private conversations, and that maybe true, but is that some type of justification for his comments, or make him any of less of a bigot? No, it shows how he really feels, and unfortunately we live in world where secrets are hard to keep and if Edward Snowden can release thousand of military secrets, including the one where we spy on our friends, our conversations are rarely kept as private. The privacy conversations take away from the fact that A. Mr. Sterling’s behavior was known by a large amount in the L.A. community and around the NBA, and B. the more scary realization, that he made it seem as if he was surrounded by others who think just like him. But why doesn’t this seem to bother anyone? If you think D. Sterling is hanging out with other 81 year olds, who were born in a similar culture, then maybe that’s not so bad, but people like D. Sterling, are hanging out and associating with all kinds of people, what if those thoughts were shared, and others have the same thought: that there’s a place for blacks, but just not an equal place.
Why aren’t we talking about this? Instead of just kicking him out the game so quickly, who else believes just like him, or has the same fears about their mistresses or daughters with black men in public? Society, post-racial America, would have you believe that it is a small number of people like him; but was it also a small number who knew of his bigotry and continued to support him, such as the L.A. NAACP chapter. Or maybe the problem, is that we have come this far, with Obama in the white house, and Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Oprah running everything in popular culture, what more do we need; Discrimination among the likes of the wealthy and privileged can go untouched, and we will turn our backs to it. I hope not, because the implications go deeper. Because at the end of the day, this racism isn’t bred off of long held stereotypes, misconceptions, but the most basic human nature: power. Which is why it makes sense that the arch – nemesis for Mr. Sterling was none other than Magic Johnson. You know it wasn’t like she was taking a picture with Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, or some rapper type, who are successful in their own right, but love to rap about money and hoes, but instead, a VERY successful, black entrepreneur who also owns part of another L.A. sports franchise. When asked, his girlfriend explained quite plainly, that she admired him for the things he had done in the community. Mr. Sterling said Magic too should be admired…. but only in private.
This is where the conversation is my friends, I’d agree, that our generation overall lives in a much more equal America, but lest us not forget our forefathers fought for our freedom and equality, to excel and reach heights that they weren’t able to, not so an owner of predominately black workforce (the players) who makes money off the backs of this said black workforce, and then degrades us by telling his mistress she could sleep, hang out, and be friends with us in private, but she better not be in public with one of the most successful black entrepreneurs who helped change the culture in many black communities. So let me ask, should we really care about protecting his privacy rights or protecting ourselves and other minorities from this nonsense… I’ll take the later post-racial America…. I hope you do too.