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Works and Days

Who Among Us Will Cast the First Bid for Donald Sterling’s Clippers?

May 4th, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Americans are outraged by old, sick and pathetic Donald Sterling’s racist rantings—and the manipulative con-artist mistress who recorded their conversation.

But consensus ends after the expression of furor. Who among us is without sin to offer the first bid for his franchise?

If the NBA establishes the precedent that it can force the sale of an owner’s property because of one’s illiberal speech, however odious, what now is the new standard of behavior? A sort of descending French Revolutionary justice, predicated on the sound and fury of the mob?

Harry Reid believes the Washington Redskins owner should be targeted next for his insistence on keeping the Redskins logo. Should he too be forced to sell and by whom—his fellow morally superior owners? Should the Orlando Magic owner, Doug DeVoss, be hounded out of the league—as was recently suggested—because he opposes gay marriage? How many owners don’t believe in the idea of man-made global warming? Oppose illegal immigration? Doubt the wisdom of affirmative action? Can we scour their emails, tap their phones, or ask the public for their private indiscretions?

And who will police the police?  Oddly, some of the very public officials who weighed in on the Sterling matter themselves have a sorry record of racist speech—and in the public, not illegally taped private, realms. Could any of them in their retirement pitch in to buy the Clippers?

Let us quote them, with following brackets of what might have been the conservative equivalent. Vice President Joe Biden called in to record his outrage. Did not Biden himself once offer a creepy racialist riff—creepy precisely because he claimed that Obama was the “first” (not the second or two-hundredth) so-called clean black presidential candidate? [Imagine Dick Cheney claiming Colin Powell was the first “clean” black qualified to be secretary of state.]

Harry Reid is outraged too and wants more franchise owners held to account for supposedly bigoted views. Reid’s own racist rant was more pathetic than was Biden’s because he waded into the details of “light skinned” and “Negro dialect.” [Imagine Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praising Allen West because he had no “Negro dialect.”]

How about our Supreme Court justices, who certainly have more power over us than does Donald Sterling? Could they buy the Clippers? Justice Sotomayor has offered clearly racist observations: “ I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” [Imagine Justice Scalia claiming that wise Italian male judges reached better conclusions (by virtue of their race and gender) than minority women justices.]

Or can we turn to Justice Ginsburg, who once voiced pop-eugenics nonsense with the plural code word “populations” in defense of abortion (e.g., “concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of“)? [Imagine Justice Thomas sounding off that abortion was no big deal given that we don’t want too many affluent suburbanites.]

Not to be forgotten is President Obama himself. He had some sober and fitting commentary on the Sterling matter, but in the past had assured the nation that he could “no more disown Rev. Wright” (the proud racist and anti-Semitic former Obama pastor) than his own grandmother, whom he then dubbed a “typical white person” (as in the average white person is a racist). Obama then went on to defame the Cambridge police as racial stereotypers, weighed in on the ongoing Trayvon Martin trial by expressing solidarity on the basis of Martin’s racial affinity, and at one time urged Latinos to “punish our enemies.” [Imagine George W. Bush claiming Nicole Simpson looked like the third daughter he never had (and saying that during the O.J. trial), or calling on white Southerners to punish shared adversaries, or referring to an African-American as a “typical black person.”]

Then there is the issue of the nature of Sterling’s more direct stone throwers. After Sterling’s ostracism, which of them can buy a NBA or equivalent sports franchise? Perhaps Spike Lee, who has appeared in NBA-affiliated commercials?

But Mr. Lee has made it clear that the very sight of interracial couples offends him. So do white moms in strollers in formerly black neighborhoods (“When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers…”). Lee not long ago tweeted the wrong address of George Zimmerman’s parents, in a failed crude effort to incite mob violence against his family—which resulted in threats to a completely different Zimmerman family and a lawsuit. After visiting South Africa, Lee thundered, “I seriously wanted to pick up a gun and shoot whites. The only way to resolve matters is by bloodshed.” Should Lee be blacklisted from NBA games and his NBA commercial work dropped? Is publicly advocating racial violence worse than privately expressing racist ideas?

Charles Barkley (of the NBA:  “we are a black league”) has also weighed in. Could Mr. Barkley join an effort to buy the Clippers? Unlike Sterling, his racist outbursts were a bit more direct (“That’s why I hate white people”) and were not private. Was that a joke or just letting off steam?

Perhaps Shaquille O’Neal could head a consortium to purchase the Clippers? But O’Neal just posted a tasteless video of himself mocking someone suffering from a disfiguring illness. But that was not new, given that not too long ago he parodied NBA star Yao Ming’s Chinese ancestry.

There is talk that perhaps boxer Floyd Mayweather might be interested in the Clippers. Is he less racist than Donald Sterling? Compare his record. Of his Filipino opponent Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather announced that he would have him “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice.” And he added: “We’re going to cook him with some cats and dogs.” Of NBA guard Jeremy Lin, Mayweather said, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

Rapper P. Diddy is likewise interested. Perhaps his bid might include the instagram he sent of white women bowing down in obeisance to a black queen–small stuff compared to his past public racist rants.

How about a comedy or hip-hop team buying the NBA franchise, one made up of Chris Rock (“Happy white peoples’ independence day”), Jamie Foxx (“I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?”), and Jay-Z (wearing his showy racist Five Percent Nation medallion)?

Of course, Oprah is outraged at Sterling and said to be interested in joining an effort to acquire the team. But if private conversations are also now a proper NBA benchmark of racial sensitivity, Ms. Winfrey’s own mother-in-law just alleged that Oprah yelled out when she arrived at the Winfrey home: “Negroes in the house. Negroes in the house.” Is such unsubstantiated hearsay more or less admissible than illegally taped private phone calls?

Then there is the issue of the NAACP. Some who sympathized with cattle rancher Cliven Bundy when swarms of federal SWAT teams descended on him to impound his herd over a dispute about grazing fees and an endangered tortoise were advised that they should have known in advance that such an anti-government reprobate would later make racially insensitive remarks.

But what then is the post facto excuse of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP? It can be blamed not for lack of foresight, but rather for amnesia. Unlike Mr. Bundy, Donald Sterling had a long history not just of racist speech, but also of racially intolerant behavior—and yet was slated to receive—for a second time—a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of NAACP.

Why? Perhaps ask the now former president of that NAACP chapter why it is awarding Al Sharpton its first “Person of the Year” award. Sharpton,of course, is the race-baiting former FBI informant, demagogic instigator of riot and mayhem, tax delinquent, on-the-record anti-Semite and homophobe (“Greek homos”), and frequent White House guest (what does one have to do not to be invited to the White House?). At least the NAACP does not use a racial standard to honor bigots.

Could Sharpton buy an NBA franchise?

Then there is the issue of the players. Is private racist speech worse than public racist and homophobic remarks from superstars like Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and a host of others? How about felonious behavior? Are there NBA players now in the game who have been convicted of crimes? Are former NBA players who are felons, murderers, thieves, or rapists banned for life from attending NBA games?

It would have been far wiser to shun Mr. Sterling and even fine him for racial insensitivity, and then let fans, players, and the general public boycott his franchise and the free market adjudicate the team’s fate, until Mr. Sterling learns that there are consequences to his past behavior and present speech.

But the present hysteria has now raised far more issues of the sort Attorney General Eric Holder once damned the American people as “cowards” for not raising. A billionaire and litigious, the 81-year-old Sterling will probably not go quietly into the night. We were told his racism offered us a teachable moment—but it has now offered unending teachable hours.

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Top Rated Comments   
THIS is the REAL reason, in its full Marxist glory.

The drool that proves the thesis. If the owner isn't a hate him for his money.

If he isn't an atheist and leftist, you hate him for his Judeo-Christian religion.

If he is white and isn't a leftist, you hate him for his "privilege".

And, if he is white, successful, Judeo-Christian, heterosexual and not is open season. He has no laws, no rights, no protections, no privacy, no freedom, no liberty. He simply OWES...and anything that can be taken from him will any means necessary.

A person of color can be as racist as they want...openly. Out loud. In private...all day, every day.

A person of color can ask God to damn America.

A person of color can call Judaism a gutter religion.

Because small c communists are making the rules on the blackboard and when you come back tomorrow the rules on the blackboard will read differently.

The Nazis can march through Skokie because leftists write on the blackboard that protecting the rights of Nazi marchers...however heinous the message...protects all of us.

But a private conversation, illegally a half Mexican/half black not protected. Because...there are no rules. There is no consistency.

The rules are a sham.

We don't universally apply the same result to the exact same act, word or deed from Bundy, or this octogenarian as we do to Wright, Sharpton, Foxx, Lee, Biden or Reid.

Because radical leftism is a fraud.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
To answer the actual question here..."Who will cast the 1st bid...". My guess is that pillar of moral superiority Magic Johnson. All he did is cheat on his wife with a French Hooker, contract AIDS, bring it home & expose his wife to it. Since we expect sports figures to be good role models for young people, why not teach all the boys that Johnson's behavior is just fine, but Sterlings is cause for expulsion. If Johnson isn't interested maybe Michael Vick is, he only showed children that torturing animals to death is a good "team sport" THEN got his high paying job back!! Suddenly Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" doesn't seem like such a big deal!!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we are looking for consistency, fairness, fundamental equity, ethics, morals...that search will be futile.

The "race" card is dealt from a marked deck. And the "contract bridge" game is to ALWAYS look for a narrative meld. The object of the game is to find new "oppressors" for the same old "victims".

There are no rules to ensure fairness, equality, consistency. You can't score any points by calling out naked hypocrisy. Because naked hypocrisy is an acceptable gambit. Cheating, lying, stealing, slandering, forging documents, editing taped recordings and broadcasting the edited got slimed...oh, well.

Radical leftists have no conscience, you can't shame them. They WANT racial warfare. If you want unity and aren't playing the same game with the same rules looking for the same "win".

And, it will never make any sense to us if we continue to act as if it is the same game.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (84)
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I do not know whether it true or not, but I read that operation and ownership of an NBA team can be terminated by the League if certain codes of behavior are broken by an owner. This is a contractual agreement that is entered into prior to purchasing a team. If that is true, then it would appear obvious that the NBA can force Mr. Sterling to cease his operation of the Clippers and be obligated to sell the team to an approved purchaser.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
dubrovnov, I believe the contractual agreement is a you say. The question is not CAN they take away the franchise, but SHOULD they.

If you are familiar with the Bible, a woman caught in the act of adultery is brought to Jesus. He instruct the crowd that "He who is without sin (guilt)" should throw the first stone at the adulterous woman. EVERYONE there realizes that they are imperfect and NO ONE condemns the woman.

Mr. Hanson is just making the same point here: if the standard for owing an NBC team is 'perfection' who could purchase the franchise?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
And this is why when you right wingers shout from the top of your lungs "I'm not racist" people raise their is this racist old billionaire with his racist comments and here are you right wingers going Sterling was wrong ,BUT. why is there a but..u have people on here who have to find some way to politicize this and in the process come to this racist defense ...people make racist remarks all the time , white and black..This man was exposed and he is paying the consequences..and all it would take is a person on the left to make racist comments and be caught on tape to show the hypocrisy on the right, because anybody with a brain that follows politics and knows how the right operates knows there would be helll to pay ..and there would be no defense no matter how the person was exposed..I been calling right wing hypocrites for years and this is just the type of thing that makes me believe that even more today..smh
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oprah and Magic are behind the set up of Sterling...and they will eventually end up owning the team.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes boys and's slippery slope time! While I find Sterling's comments repulsive, I'd venture to say that all of the self-righteous folks like Sharpton, Jackson and even Kareem and Magic have said things in private that might not sound too good on a publicly released tape. We are in a very sick place when organizations like TMZ have as their mission statements ruining peoples lives.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "morality" of this century with its twerking, F bomb-ridden dialogue, and excuses for many activities tries to insert itself into our culture. There was no insult meant by naming the Redskins...just as none was meant by naming "Squaw Peak" in Phoenix. Why the compulsion to make formerly OK decisions into something dirty and repulsive? The world has gone awry and many of us just "hunker down" until it is stabilized. Dr. Davis is correct. There have always been schmucks and we have always had the freedom to ignore's today's society which has elevated them to national importance, Although Sterling was a known racist, many minorities chose to accept that as long as they were well paid and got desirable jobs.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Racism, as our liberal betters apparently believe, is fine for me but not for thee.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment

When I heard the NBA commissioner announce his 'verdict' on Sterling the first thing I thought was lawsuit. Sterling's words are what they are - but his title to the Clippers is what it is and it is in his pocket. And free speech is just that - free speech. And Sterling hasn't violated any laws.

Should be an interesting court case and I like a good fight - and I think Sterling will give them just that.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And Sterling hasn't violated any laws."

No, but he's probably violated his contract with the NBA, which is all that matters.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about Sterling selling the team to David Duke for $1 and other valuable consideration [such as, the last laugh].
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The heck with Sterling AND the NBA, neither impress me with their moral underpinnings. The fact the Magic Johnson would be an acceptable owner is an example. On what basis does he have some high moral character? I remember how he turned the NBA on its head when he admitted to having HIV, and how it came about that he got it. He's not exactly a step up from Sterling. The NBA is a joke, I used to watch many years ago, now I can't stand the game.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
A free country is one in which it is safe to be unpopular. By that standard, the United States is no longer free.

This is what happens when civil society is undermined and destroyed by bad people with bad ideas, aka the left.

What this guy said in private, no matter what it was, should never be grounds for depriving him of his property.

Now I read that money he donated to research kidney diseases has been returned by UCLA.


It is clear that Donald Sterling is an honest to God racist; someone who truly believes that human beings can be measured by their skin color, or by other superficial differences that are the result of geographic isolation, the founder effect, and genetic drift over tens of thousands of years.

This is the phrenology of pigmentation. Total bunk. He is a fool for believing such things.

This doesn't make him the devil however. This does not make him guilty of a crime. He believes in an idea that is demonstrably false and which has a history of causing harm to the societies in which has held sway. By this measure, every socialist in the Democratic and Republican parties is guilty of far worse. Are these socialists to be deprived of their property and excluded from public life? Sounds tempting I know, but doing so would only succeed in destroying civil society, which is the only thing holding such people at bay.

As I've grown older, I've become less and less impressed with society's obsession with racism. It has become a sin which people are gratuitously accused of, usually because they are a threat (See Tea Party). Meanwhile other people who are clearly guilty of it are given a pass because of their complexion, or because of their politics.

It has become a bludgeon which bad people with bad ideas use to silence and intimidate others.

I refuse to help them do it by playing along.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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