Have We Become Racially Ambivalent?
By now most of you have heard the nearly nine minute long taped recording of Donald Sterling giving an emotional and racist rant to his side chick that was reported by TMZ earlier last week. In it he states that he does not want her bringing black people to his games and does not want her putting Instagram pics of her with other black folks on her page. What makes it so amazingly ironic is that the side chick herself is African-American and Hispanic. So not only is she Black but she is also Brown. None of that can be White washed. But I am not here to get on the topic of Donald Sterling being married for fifty years and having a twenty-something year old side chick. No, I will touch on that subject at another time.
Today, I am asking the most pressing question: WHERE IS THE BLACK OUTRAGE? Yes, many people have SAID the right things, but very few have DONE anything. I saw that the players turned their shooting shirts inside out last night during warm ups and introductions, but yet they still played the game. Doc Rivers still coached. Had it not been for the tape, the NAACP of Los Angeles would be getting ready to bestow upon Donald Sterling his SECOND humanitarian award. Al Sharpton has said there will be a protest when the team gets back into town, but last I checked, the team was not the one that had said anything racist. Donald Sterling owns an entire building in Los Angeles. He is not hard to find and a protest could easily be had at his building.
So my secondary question and concern becomes this: Are we so accustomed to racism that we do not get offended enough to prompt action or is it that we simply no longer care about what others think? Either way, it is a scary thought to have. Let’s look at it from the inside out and then we will look at it from the outside in.
There is racism in almost every person on the planet in some way or another. None of us can truly escape it. Even the most liberal person still wants to see someone that looks like him/her do well. What we as a people do not always want to admit to though is that oftentimes African-Americans are the MOST racist folks around and oftentimes we treat our own people worse than we treat any others. Does that make what Donald Sterling said correct? Absolutely not, but it does bring into question what our level of racial tolerance has become. Now let’s flip that. What happens when an old white man tells a young bi-racial girl that he has spent millions on and who he likely considers to be his property that she cannot be seen on IG with black folks? Well, based upon what has been seen online and on tv, very little. As I have said many times before, for every person like me that thinks there is no place for racism in this quickly changing world, there is also a person that thinks exactly like Donald Sterling. Hey, political races have been won and lost on nothing more than race alone. Zimmerman hasn’t worked since Trayvon died and yet you have never heard of him seeking financial assistance with his living expenses.
So at the end of the day, let’s take a realistic look at this issue and actually DO something about it. Hit him in his pocketbook. That is the only thing that will truly get his attention and truly get the NBA to actually do something substantive. Our children need to believe that when adults band together for change that change actually happens.