Donald Sterling’s disgusting 1 percent ramblings: Let’s pity the racist billionaire
Donald Sterling's racism is cut from the GOP playbook--a classic case of "makers vs. takers" delusion
By Paul Rosenberg
Excuse me. Donald Sterling gives the players on his team food? Clothes? Cars? Houses? They don’t work their asses off earning what they buy for themselves, building on a lifetime of hard work and practice, and years of unmitigated exploitation as unpaid athletes along the way?
Does anyone other than Sterling have the slightest difficulty in hearing how much he sounds like a classic 19th century slave owner, talking about everything he’s done for his ungrateful slaves?
Certainly his question, “Who makes the game?” recalls the slaveholders’ delusion that they alone created the enormous wealth they enjoyed. It was a believable fiction, I suppose, if first you absolutely convinced yourself that the slaves who did all the actual work were not people at all, but mere property, nothing more than livestock, really. One has to wonder: Is that what Sterling thinks of the men who play on his team today?
Donald Sterling’s racial views are worse than Cliven Bundy’s, yet some on the right defend the racist billionaire
By Joan Walsh
But there’s more than simple anti-black racism linking the views of Bundy and Sterling. They share an ignorant, self-serving paternalism.
Of course I’d say it’s the players who give Sterling food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Without their labor, their talent and their extraordinary dedication to do everything it takes to win, Donald Sterling wouldn’t have a basketball team. Now, he’d still have food and clothes and cars and houses, because he’s a predatory real estate mogul who paid $2.725 million to settle a Justice Department suit that accused him of driving African-Americans, Latinos and families with children out of his apartment complexes.
White racism won’t just die off: No utopia awaits when retrograde attitudes like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy’s are gone
Sterling and Bundy belong to a different generation, but Paul Ryan and the Supreme Court are enshrining white power
By Brittney Cooper
“Race matters,” Sotomayor wrote. And “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”
The dangerous, backward and wrongheaded thinking of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling represent just two of the most obvious iterations of these kinds of “unfortunate effects.” And we are powerless to advocate for ourselves against systemic expressions of such thinking because the Supreme Court has chosen a “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the problem.
Though the racial views of Bundy/Sterling on one hand and the Supreme Court on the other exist rhetorically at opposite ends of the spectrum, both point to an insidious and unchecked march of continued racism that disadvantages and harms black people, in particular. Bundy/Sterling vocally promote the kind of racial thinking that makes even the most conservative white person cringe, while Chief Justice John Roberts and five other justices promote the kind of colorblind view that seems to represent the highest expression of our national understandings of liberty and justice for all.
However, what Sterling’s and Bundy’s views demonstrate is the extent to which retrograde racial attitudes are alive and well among white men with money, power and control over the livelihoods of black people. And what the Supreme Court’s abdication of responsibility suggests is that the government has no responsibility to remedy the discrimination that clearly still exists in institutions that are run largely by white men who belong to the same generation and school of thought as Bundy and Sterling.
The Clippers owner has been publicly shamed and banned from the NBA. But that won't fix the root of the problem
By Roxane Gay
There has been and there will continue to be vigorous discussions about race in America. I worry that little will come of these discussions because we aren’t addressing what must be done to change the current racial climate. Donald Sterling’s lack of interest in having black people at Clippers’ games is on par with rancher Cliven Bundy’s nostalgia for slavery as a means of giving black folk something to do. These men’s racial attitudes are troubling and indicative of the racist beliefs far too many people hold. More important, these men and their ilk are propped up by a system for which the consequences for extolling such beliefs are painfully inadequate. They are propped up by a system that enables voter suppression, segregation, the retrenchment of affirmative action supported by even the Supreme Court, a glass ceiling in far too many industries, and the list goes on.
What truly worries me, though, is that far too many people seem surprised when racists like Sterling or Bundy are revealed, as if these men are closer to the exception than the rule. What worries me is that I am not at all surprised when these men are revealed for who they truly are. What worries me is that “post-racial” America is not that different from the Americas that have preceded us, and it might not ever be.
Both cases are great examples of how systemic racism surrounds us. People like Bundy and Sterling are in charge of the large powerful entities--government, business, the military, churches, the media--that dominate our lives. And this power is mostly invisible to the naked eye.
What matters isn't whether our next-door neighbor is considerate or not. What matters is who's in charge of things such as defense, finance, taxation, health, welfare, education, and the environment. And the answer is generally rich white men who support the military-industrial complex run by other rich white men. They decide who gets most of society's benefits, and it's them, not us.
For more on systemic racism, see Whites Think They're Losing to Blacks and Educating DMarks About Systemic Racism.
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