Believe it or not, I hate talking about race. Hate it. The whole Trayvon Martin thing burned me out completely, but in general to be a functional human being you cannot catalog all the ways that you are treated differently every day of your life, because its a lousy way to live and you’ll just go nuts. I like talking about comics, and horror movies, and my obsession with obscure actresses, and fashion (I am consistently amazed by John Paul Gaultier), and dozens of other topics. I want this site to talk about food, and travel, and write more comedy. I’m tired of dealing with the same crap.
But then…Donald Sterling.
I don’t want to talk about race anymore, because its always differently depressing. Trayvon was depressing because it meant that your kid could be stalked and killed randomly by someone with NO authority to do so, and that was basically okay with a surprising amount of people.
The Donald Sterling incident is particularly depressing because your hope as a minority is that you can exceed the negative bits of your background or culture, use the best parts, and put your family in a better position generation by generation.
Maybe at some point, your kids could become millionaires, or maybe even politicians (or President!) and they wouldn’t have to go through some of the stuff you had to go through. That was the hope of the Civil Rights generation, to advance black people to that point.
What we’ve learned is that you can become President. You can become anything. But you’re still just a nigger to some people and there is no way out. When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy (more on him later!) saw poor black families in North Las Vegas he felt like they didn’t contribute to society, and they were better off as slaves since they would have at least been gainfully employed.
But if they were gainfully employed, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
Believe or not, in the darkest of ways, this is still a humorous situation. Donald Sterling is Jewish. You would have thought that if anyone, ANYONE could understand what its like to be discriminated against unfairly , herded into ghettos, or dispossessed from their native lands, it would be the Jews. The Jews had it so bad, they’re the only people I can think of that were slaves to black people.
But instead of this bit of self-awareness, Sterling has a long history of over the top racism when it comes to the people that occupy his properties and his insistence that black people smell bad. As a slumlord, he should know that poor people smell bad, regardless of race. He ended up paying the largest housing discrimination settlement ever, learning nothing in the process, maybe because it was under $3 million dollars, and he’s worth a touch under 2 billion.
He is also a serial sexual harasser. Just because a race is inferior doesn’t mean their women aren’t worth banging. And no matter how many lawsuits or accusations he got, he just didn’t care. I submit to you this text from one of his court cases.
I say this to say, that when I review his recorded conversations that he insists were somehow altered, I find his behavior consistent with previous incidents. The other thing that is noticeable is that he knows nothing about women, especially young ones. Stevie Wonder could have seen this one coming. She’s obviously recording her conversations with him, because women who lick senior citizens feet for money are not always trustworthy. So we’ve established that we have a woman with no self-respect and shall we say tenuous moral fibre, and the Jewish billionaire version of Archie Bunker.
First of all, the only reason any of this was made public, was because Sterling made expensive gifts to his girlfriend that his wife characterizes as community property. The wife sued to get the property back and in retaliation Ms. Stiviano released their conversations to the public, which endangers his relationship with the Los Angeles Clippers who are worth roughly 575 million dollars. The money involved? $1.8 millions dollars, which when compared to his net worth is less than one tenth of one percent. If we compare this to the median American income its like you throwing away the investment in your home over $236 dollars.
Sterling was too stupid to know that the kind of women he was fooling around with were the kind of women that record their phone calls and keep their texts (See Woods, Tiger). The original details released on their conversations were pretty bad. The following snark is based on the 15 minute conversation, orginally released by TMZ.
Apparently Sterling’s girlfriend took an Instagram picture with Magic Johnson, because women in their early 20’s tend to put everything on social media, which he objected too. In fact he starts his conversation by asking why a half-black and half-Mexican woman is taking pictures with minorities. Because, he explains, she is light enough to pass as white or Latin. Associating with black people demeans her. Now HE doesn’t feel that way, because HE isn’t racist, but that’s just the way the world is, and who is he to change it? Remember Sterling is Jewish.
Also in his mind, a marginal swimsuit model was debased by being in the presence of Magic Johnson, an NBA Hall of Famer and business owner worth half a billion dollars. Magic is so rich, he bought his way out of HIV. She lists his accomplishments, and it doesn’t matter. If you’re black, this is devastating. No matter how much money you have, or what you do for anyone, you are still not the sort of company nice people keep.
Also, I don’t understand his racial tier system. Apparently black is the worst thing you can be, because if she is perceived as Latina, he has no problem with that. But most racists are more offended by Jews than any other designation. I want to know if I’m still worst thing out there or not. Its confusing.
At a certain point, Sterling insists that she not bring black people to ‘his’ games, and even she has to pause incredulously. The NBA is 78 percent black. This pause is hilariously long.
Maybe the most sinister part of this, is that his friends were the ones that set him off. Who are these friends that are criticizing him for his girlfriend’s black associates? If you’re a billionare NBA owner who do you hang with? (Stage whisper – other NBA owners.)
He continues to threaten her, and he doesn’t seem to understand that she’s black. Its genuinely not getting through. I’m not even sure what he can’t process.
But that was just the initial conversation. During the extended clip, it becomes immediately apparent that they are in the same room and not on the phone, which means he was completely ambushed, and all of her eerie calm and uses of the word honey are just part of the hustle.
Then it turns out that she already removed pictures of black people from her Instragram, immediately negating the entire “I have a dream” of the conversation to this point. One picture she kept because she admired Magic Johnson, the other because the subject in question was light-skinned and she had met his mother. Wait, what?
At this point, he tells her the lessons he learned from Israel where black Jews are treated like dogs. Hmmm. You know what you call a badly treated Black Jew? A Muslim. I don’t know that you want to learn race relations from Israel.
It gets worse. As a multi-billionare he explains why he feels helpless to change social culture on the treatment of minorities to his black mistress who is surrepetiously taping him. She doesn’t get it.
At this point, he finally explains that she is a jump off and if she can’t adjust, he will just find another jumpoff. This is awful lot of work for a side piece who won’t stay in her lane.
Tellingly, he does not understand the long silence after he makes this statement. Its her visualizing her European vacation and swallowing her rage and dignity, like she has many times at this point. Its also, her planning her terrible revenge.
And then he drops the bomb. You know how Lebron did the decision, and the owners and the League were mad. Like really mad? Like angrier than you thought was logical? Lebron played out his contract and then talked to his friends about where they wanted to work next, and everyone acted like that was the end of the League.
And then when Chris Paul wanted to be a Laker, David Stern (who is Jewish) shot the whole thing down for the competitive balance of the NBA. Competitive balance. In the 30 years Stern ran the NBA, a mere six teams won 27 out of those 30 titles. The only champ in his entire tenure that only won once, were the Dallas Mavericks. There is no competitive balance in the NBA. Stern inexplicably punished the Lakers who had won eight times on his watch and sent the games best point guard at the time, to the lousy, incomptent, racist owner of the Clippers.
Plus, doesn’t the average person usually get to choose where they want to work? Isn’t that a rather fundamental principle. What do you call people who are expected to work hard, but do not get to choose where and how they are employed?
Cleveland Cavaliars owner Dan Gilbert described Lebron as selfish, and that his leaving was a betrayal. He talked about him like he was property. Like he was a slave that had somehow fled to Canada. Commissioner Stern also had a habit of talking down to players, and Bryant Gumbel was one of the few people to voice the racial undertones there, that Stern ran his business like a “modern plantation overseer” who treats “NBA men as if they were his boys.” Its similar to the plantation system that Donald Sterling wanted to install with general manager Elgin Baylor. And he’s on tape explaining what some of us only kind of suspected about the NBA owners.
In the end, she brings up a Holocaust comparison. Also, she sounds like an evil Rosie Perez, who I had a crush on when I was a kid, so that sucks. This is awful.
It does tell me that no matter what I do, or try to do, there are people that will call their friends and make them freak out if their girlfriend so much as takes a picture with me. And this isn’t in Mississippi, its in Los Angeles. Also, while they might hate me, think I stink and want nothing to do with me, they still want to have sex with my sister.
In the end what place does society have for me? I cannot escape people’s perception. They resent me if I am poor and not working, but if I acquire wealth there is nothing that will change people’s distrust and contempt of me. How do you reconcile that? What do you call someone who works and contributes to society, but doesn’t offend people with his presence and has no wealth, assets or intelligence that might be threatening in the the least? That person doesn’t exist, right?