I was waiting to see if there was any chance that the recording of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rants were altered or faked; unlike the evidence of deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy’s insight into our social fabric, Mr. Sterling was not standing in front of a crowd holding a microphone when he told his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, not to bring any more black people to the games.
Now there’s more evidence that not only did he say it, he went on to bemoan how ungrateful those people are that they have a job due to his beneficence: they’d all be on welfare if it wasn’t for him.
V: I don’t understand, I don’t see your views. I wasn’t raised the way you were raised.
DS: Well then, if you don’t feel—don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.
V: Do you know that you have a whole team that’s black, that plays for you?
DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?
It turns out that Mr. Sterling has a long record of racial animus, including being sued for refusing to rent property to blacks.
Amazingly, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was planning to give him a lifetime achievement award at a ceremony on May 15. They have since thought better of it.
It is some kind of karma that in the last two weeks we have seen two examples that exemplify the most common forms of racism in America. First with Cliven Bundy we have the anti-government sovereign citizen militia type that claims to hate any form of government while taking advantage of the services that very government provides. These are the kind of people who refuse to pay taxes based on some conspiracy theory about secret overlords and the U.N., and just for grins they throw in with the neo-Nazis and skinheads.
Then there’s the more comparatively genteel types like Donald Sterling who amass vast fortunes by exploiting the people he despises, be they black or poor. He hates big government and paying taxes, but he doesn’t pick up a rifle; he hires someone else to do his taxes and bank his money in the Caymans. His racism is based not on some whack-job conspiracy theory of eugenics and bell-curves; it’s purely exploitative: I got mine, screw you. But in the end, the only difference between Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy is wardrobe.
I suspect there are just as many Donald Sterlings in America as there are Cliven Bundys. Despite the denials from the enablers at a certain conservative cable news channel, neither of them are outliers. They are just the ones who happened to get caught on an open microphone.