Some people are so ridiculous that when it comes to commenting on their stupidity, I just can't help myself. This whole situation is actually quite fascinating in a weird, demented sort of way. If you've been watching the news (and these days, I strongly suggest that you don't), you're already aware of Donald Sterling's (alleged) racist remarks. Sterling is that old, crazy, rich, really old, really rich, kinda creepy owner of the LA Clippers basketball team who's been living the high life in California and shacking it up with his mistress V. Stiviano (who happens to be a mix of African American and Mexican) at every open opportunity. Naturally, this has pissed off his wife, Shelly, who's now filing a lawsuit against Stiviano.
That's a lot of drama for one paragraph, so I'm jumping down to here in case you'd like to, I don't know, grab a vodka martini before you continue reading. (Make one for me while you're up.) Anyway, in an effort to get even, a furious Stiviano decided to cajole Sterling into making a few racist comments all while she discreetly recorded the conversation. (When did slashing tires go out of style?) Somehow this recording found its way into the hands of executives over at TMZ, that celebrity news and gossip site that adheres to the highest standards of journalistic integrity and unbiased truth telling. In the recording, Sterling rants about how he wishes Stiviano would stop attending games with minorities (specifically blacks), but that he couldn't care less if she has sex with them in private. Here are a few of the remarks directed at Stiviano, made by the man on the recording who is believed to be Sterling:
"It bothers me that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?"
He continues, "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little that I ask is that you not promote it on that f*cking Instagram...and to not bring them to my games."
Yes, apparently Stiviano posted some photos to her Instagram profile in which she is pictured with black friends or whatnot. Being a racist, Sterling didn't approve of this (as if it's really any of his business.) Now, he has decided he does not want to be publicly associated with Stiviano's black friendships or acquaintances.
Needless to say, this whole soap opera (which, honestly, contains no newsworthy material whatsoever) has made headlines for one reason: racism controversy sells.
Believe it or not, I have no beef with Sterling (I realize this statement alone will make me a "racist sympathizer" in the eyes of some. Feel free to use the comments section below.) But hear me out. Other than personally and completely disagreeing with his views on race and his language, I have no problem with the fact that he said what he did in private behind closed doors. Not to mention, this is not the first time this man has made racist remarks. In fact, he has faced several discrimination lawsuits in the past. One even came from the Department of Justice, accusing him of refusing to rent apartments to minorities. Are we really shocked by his idiocy now?
He's a wealthy, immoral degenerate who made racist remarks toward his immoral girlfriend. Is this really news?
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I can't help but to comment on the stupidity of some people. My beef isn't with Sterling. It's with President Obama, who never misses the opportunity to use a racial controversy to his political and social advantage.
In the midst of a lengthy response to the situation, Obama threw in this little statement: "The United States continues to wrestle with a legacy of race and slavery and segregation that's still there -- the vestiges of discrimination."
Really? Why not just condemn Sterling's statements and be done with it? I have to admit, I was hoping for a response more like: "That Sterling guy needs some serious help and counseling. Obviously, Sterling doesn't speak for the entire country. He only speaks for himself. The U.S. has made great strides in defeating racism. And I don't think anyone will be dating Mr. Sterling any time soon."
Unfortunately, Obama's divisive words are the sort of rhetoric myself and many Americans have come to expect. The irony here is almost laughable. Obama was so quick to respond to this controversy and to stir the pot of racial tensions, but where was he when Dr. Kermit Gosnell was accused of murdering babies (mostly black babies) for over 30 years at a Philadelphia-based abortion facility? He declined to comment and merely said that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare."
Where has Obama been every time Al Sharpton fires a racist insult at someone in the media, at a conservative, at a prominent white individual or at Americans in general? Instead, he associates publicly and privately with Sharpton. (Sharpton, by the way, is calling for a boycott of the NBA if they don't fire or suspend Sterling. Surprise, surprise.)
Obama and his administration have almost made an art form out of using racial controversy as a political tool. (See my Racy Rhetoric post from last November.)
If I were President Obama, when asked about the Sterling controversy, I would have repeated the answer I gave to the Gosnell controversy inquiry: "No comment."
My closing thoughts: 1) Sterling should be suspended indefinitely and should be required to undergo counseling until or unless he conquers his racist mindset. (If people were fired for what they said or did in private away from the office, the unemployment rate in this country would be triple what it is now under Obama.) 2) President Obama should shut up when it comes to commenting on racial controversies. It's divisive and makes him look like an idiot.
The NBA is expected to make an official decision today, April 29, on the fate of Sterling.
Miami Heat Forward LeBron James, among others, wants to see Sterling ousted from the NBA.
Update: The NBA has officially banned Sterling for life from all associations with the NBA and the LA Clippers. They have also slapped him with a $2.5 million fine (the highest amount allowed under NBA regulations) for his racist remarks (pocket change considering he is worth over $1.5 billion.) NBA officials are also trying to force him to sell the team, something that, as far as we can tell, is not allowed under the NBA constitution. Story here.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Was the punishment fair? Should Sterling have been banned for life from the NBA? Sound off in the comment threads below!
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