No room for plantation mentality
Donald Sterling is a despicable human being. The racist landowner and L.A. Clippers owner's years of racist activity included evicting a "smelly black woman" from her apartment because she complained about the leaking plumbing.
Now the NBA has banned the owner of the Clippers from all basketball activity for his racist rant recorded by his girlfriend and given to online scandal site TMZ.
In an organization in which over seventy percent of the employees are black, it is undeniably logical and moral that the NBA owners vote to force Sterling to sell the team. This option is within the realm of the NBA bylaws.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the only NBA owner so far to voice concerns about a "slippery slope" that could result in NBA owners being compelled to sell their teams based on surreptitious recordings now so easily created with cell phone apps.
I doubt it.
The outrage swelled because the NBA players are mostly black and Sterling told his girlfriend it's okay to have black friends and to have sex with them, but don't make it "public" and "don't bring them to games" and his claim that he "gave" them their houses, cars and big salaries.
I think we can all agree that these athletes have earned their wealth and there's no room for Sterling's "plantation mentality," just as there's no room in American discourse for racists like Nevadans Rancher Cliven Bundy and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid who speak of African Americans as some collective entity they like to call "The Negro."
If an NBA owner is now caught trashing women, Jews, Italians or puppies he'll be embarrassed for a few days, make a contribution to the Jewish Italian Women's Society for the Protection of Puppies and be done with it.
Why? Because those groups are not a major constituency of the organization. The business is the league, not the individual team. No matter how many millions of dollars owners spend on buying a team, they signed a contract that gives the league the power to limit the owners' behavior.
Dog lover groups from around the country tried to keep dog torturer Michael Vick out of the NFL. They failed because they didn't have enough juice.
Sterling got away with racist behavior over the years for two reasons: First, his lawsuits were settled out of court for millions of dollars in exchange for no admission of any guilt. Second, his financial contributions to the Los Angeles NAACP have been rewarded with awards from the NAACP. It was easy for the NAACP to overlook Sterling's publicly reported racist activity while the checks cleared.
Donald Sterling is not the only one who's been revealed as a bad player.
Stunningly, the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP is prepared to forgive Sterling's sins of racism for a financial contribution.
Yes, you read correctly. After reacting to the Sterling news story by rescinding their planned "Lifetime Achievement Award," L.A. NAACP President Leon Jenkins said the following:
"God teaches us to forgive, and the way I look at it, after a sustained period of proof to the African American community that those words don't reflect his heart, I think there's room for forgiveness. I wouldn't be a Christian if I said there wasn't," Jenkins said.
"We are negotiating with him about giving more moneys to African American students at UCLA, and so we are in preliminary discussions," Jenkins said.
The NAACP is now selling "indulgences" to wealthy racist sinners!
Perhaps the NAACP needs to take a vote among state chapters regarding Mr. Jenkins.
Callers to my radio show noted some good news about the Sterling scandal:
You'll be hard pressed to find anyone in America say Sterling shouldn't be punished or suspended from all NBA activities for his racist behavior. Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans agree. Sterling's supporters have to lurk in dark corners. Oh, they're out there, but they know the majority doesn't welcome their input.
Nice to know that while there are racists in the country, America is not a racist country.
Rick Jensen is Delaware's award-winning conservative talk show host. Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.