Sunday, April 27, 2013
It's easier to just repeat what someone else tells you than to listen, learn, and draw your own conclusions.
That's happening right now to the NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who's accused of racism after being heard on tape telling his girlfriend not to bring any of her black friends to his games. He and she were arguing, and she taped the argument without his knowlege. Now everybody is down on him, including Magic Johnson, whom Sterling had mentioned by name. It's blowing up into a huge storm, players on the Clippers are making sort of veiled threats about letting their playing show how they feel, and even the NBA is planning to "investigate", which we know means he's already declared guilty in the media.
They're repeating what they were told was said.
Isn't potentially ruining someone's life worth at least checking it out yourself?
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Where I'm coming from in my understanding:
My maternal grandmother was born in the nineteenth century. She was a product of her time. She was not simply racist - she was xenophobic. You know, like "Those people are not like us". She would have had a stroke if I dated someone of another race, OR a white guy whose surname ended in a vowel other than "e". Or an Irishman. Or a Jew ("they murdered our Lord, you know"). I'm not kidding. Absolutely.
So if I were dating someone of a different race, you can be damn sure I would hide that fact from her and everyone else in the family of her generation. I just wouldn't want to hear anything they have to say. And I would ask the rest of my family and friends not to mention it either. Let's not inflame anyone.
So, now, would that make ME racist? Or am I simply avoiding having to deal with HER racism (which makes me a coward, but that's different)?
So, Sterling and the girlfriend. She is very young, beautiful, exotic. He's old and ugly (personal opinion - REALLY old and REALLY ugly!). It's possible that a lot of his friends are either jealous and wouldn't be unhappy if he were hurt by her, or see her as a gold digger and want to protect him from her, or some combination, but they are unlikely to be benevolent toward the relationship.
Oh, by the way, she is of mixed race, including at least Black and Hispanic.
He complains pretty explicitly on the tape that he's tired of his friends and people he has to deal with calling him or emailing him all the time to inform him that she's posing for photos with Black guys and posting the photos online. In the argument, he is telling her that he doesn't care who she's friends with (he never says anything that can be construed as racist, he even expresses admiration for Magic Johnson, the most recent guy she'd been photographed with) --- but he asks her to please please be a little less public about it, more discreet. He's tired of people poking at him about what she's up to now. He just doesn't want to deal with it.
It sounds to me like he has a bunch of racist friends, and like me with my grandmother, he just wants them off his back. He is forced to deal with these people. So "do what you want, but cool it with the publicity, and for God's sake don't bring Black guys to my games." Let's not inflame anyone, ok?
Folks without the patience to listen to the damn tape picked up on the "don't bring them to my games", and pounced on it without questioning what he meant and why.
And they are thoroughly pissing me off.