Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has opened up another Pandora’s box of blatant racism when a recorded statement: “don’t bring Blacks to the ball game, you can sleep with them, hang with them but just don’t do it in public,” was released to TMZ.
On tape, Sterling told his then girlfriend that he did not want her posting pictures of her with Black people such as Magic Johnson or bringing them to his ball games. He also went on to say that he gives his players food, cars, houses, and other things as though they do not work for their salary they earn as professional athletes.
This really reminded me of the slave master mentality of owning people without compensating them for their labor - picking cotton, tobacco, cutting sugar cane, harvesting bananas, lettuce, strawberries or picking grapes. In other words, be grateful to me for allowing you the privilege of working for me.
Sterling has a history of discrimination going back to 2006 when the U.S. Department of Justice settled a case against him for $2.7 million for housing discrimination against Asians, Latinos and African Americans. In the suit, it is alleged that Sterling said Hispanics smoke, drink too much, and hang out around the property while Blacks smell and attract vermin. In other words, he compares Blacks to dogs and other animals that attract fleas, bed bugs, and other nuisance insects that are hard to get rid of.
The great Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for employment discrimination back in 2009 when he worked as the General Manager for the Clippers, and Sterling told him to sign up poor Blacks boys from the south and pay them low salaries and get a White coach.
Sterling reminds me of the slave master that had slaves as property, worked them from sun up to sun down then would rape their females at night. This is what he was telling his racially mixed girlfriend when he told her to do what you like but do not bring attention to what I like in YOU people.
The reason I mention the water is because some members of congress are behaving in the same way when it comes to their actions toward the nations first African American president, Barack Obama. Even when Obama presents some solutions to problems that they once supported when the president was White, they now reject them. They call him a liar during the State of the Union address, which had never been done before. A total disrespect and disregard for the nation’s highest office.
Then I thought perhaps there is some water-borne racism virus the CDC hasn’t told us about, when I heard the recent comments by the “rebel” Nevada rancher Cliven “Clyde” Bundy who very publicly and unapologetically asked “Were ‘Negroes” better off as slaves?” To which he believes the answer is yes.
We now know that Donald Sterling has admitted to making the racist statements and shows no remorse in saying what he said. To him it is about money and using people to make it by any means. I am happy to see the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver take such a strong stance against Sterling and address the issue as a national one that is greater than basketball.
I also want to commend Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento for accepting the challenge to be the spokesperson for the NBA players on this issue. And Coach Doc Rivers for his leadership in helping to keep the young players focused on their job while addressing the issue.
It is equally important that the elected leaders of the city of Los Angeles weigh in on the matter and they should. When you think of the tax breaks these owners get from taxpayers to have a team play in their city, it is an issue that should be of concern to all citizens. It is great to see corporate advertisers say we cannot be a part of this. Like Mayor Johnson said, “let this be warning to other bigots in America, if Donald Sterling can fall, so can you.”