In the past week, a series of separate racial incidences, released to news sources, have stirred major controversial issues in the media and sports world. The first stemming from Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy. The second being a lengthy recording of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
In the video shown below, one will be able to hear Cliven Bundy give his opinion about the “Negro” and to why he thinks blacks were better off as slaves.
In the second video, one will be able to listen to a recorded discussion between LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and his mistress Vanessa Stiviano. In this video Stiviano addresses Donald Sterling’s anger toward her Instagram picture with basketball legend Magic Johnson. In this recording Donald Sterling admits to Vanessa, ” Yea it bothers me that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people”. Furthermore, he states that he does not even want black people to attend any of “his” games. Check out the video below for the audio recording of Donald Sterling.
As aforementioned above, two major controversial issues have been over news and media headlines. Both entities stemming from racial point of views. In a world that I have seen various incidences, stories, and experiences I would be lying to you if I were to tell you that I’m “appalled” at both Sterling and Bundy. The fact of the matter is, people have certain notions that are engraved in their mind to create these type of remarks. The notions may not be right, but they do exist; they’ve always existed! Likewise, as someone who would like to desensitize similar stereotypes, I like to view how and why some people think a certain way about others.
In the case of Donald Sterling, you have an example of blatant disrespect not only to Sterling’s employees (LA Clippers Basketball team), but to a certain race (African-Americans). You see, the Clippers team is made up of 86% African Americans, but the owner does not agree with this same race, African Americans to even be present at his games. Sterling simply looks at his team as a commodity or a cash crop. ” I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?” As an owner, Sterling is entirely right, he definitely, indeed, does do these things. The only problem with Sterling’s statement is that he doesn’t want a particular race, one that provides money in his pocket via the basketball players, to partake in the enjoyment of watching a basketball game as a fan. I think anyone, regardless of race, can agree how fed up one would be if they were in a situation that made money for a particular boss, but was not allowed to invite their son, their mother, their friend, or their spouse to an “Open House” or Christmas party at the office. I mean come on, you’ve worked so hard for this person, it would be crazy if your boss regulated who you brought as a guest to his (your boss’) office right? Likewise, the same notion should be applied to Sterling’s remarks. I’m not mad that Sterling is white and most of the players are black; that’s not the issue. The fact is, Sterling only associates African Americans as a commodity and likewise looks at his players (employees) as property and not as human beings. Let’s reiterate, Sterling is an NBA owner. Therefore, the LA Clippers players are in fact property in a broad sense. However, unlike a person who owns a car and leaves it in a garage, Sterling’s property (players) has free will, they have two feet, two eyes, a nose, and a brain. Though they’re performance has the power to increase or decrease Sterling’s earnings (via Wins & Losses in the NBA), unlike a car Sterling does not know what to fully expect in terms of the performance of his team. You see a certain car, has a provided Horsepower, a certain speed, look and etc. When one purchases a car, as an owner you know what to expect from that entity. In fact, as an owner of a car, you know that if you park your car it won’t have the ability to get up and walk away by itself. A car and the LA Clippers team are both property, but two different entities; one acts when it’s owner chooses to, and the other has freewill; or do they?!
Sunday night, I literally saw cars present on Golden State’s half court. The owner, David Sterling, did not have to find his cars or property, he didn’t even have to show up! These cars (LA Clippers team) showed up for him. You see, though this property had the ability to walk away with their two feet and free will after hearing his remarks via a recording, they failed to do so; not because they did not have the ability to do so, but because they chose to do so! This, my friends is the biggest underlying issue at hand. How can one leverage a system of ownership, or possession, if they themselves merely act like property that does not have the ability to act on it’s own?! LA Clippers fans and much of society want Donald Sterling to treat his players with dignity, as human beings, as employers. Ironically, however, the players do not want to act no differently then property themselves! As reiterated, they’re performance is a direct correlation with Sterling’s earnings, it doesn’t matter if he wasn’t present at the game on Sunday, his property was present and continued to make him revenue.
Why is this important?
Well for starters, it shows that a “silent protest” will continue to “silently” make money for one’s owner. The mere fact that the LA Clippers believed wearing black wristbands and socks to “protest” Donald Sterling is unequivocally bullsh*t! The silent protest does not do anything but dilute this situation, while still generating revenue for Donald Sterling. This weak attempt of activism merely shows that African Americans have no one to leverage for themselves, not even their 1%. Unlike the many employees who do not have the option of walking away from racial remarks, prejudices or notions, NBA players who make millions can afford to walk away from one game. But why didn’t they?!
” They have families to feed.” – Apathetic African Americans
” This is the closest chance they have of winning a championship.” – More apathetic African Americans
Above are some naïve quotes that were posted, not from other races, but from many Black Americans. It’s unfortunate that even the people it affects most are the same ones who do not know the definition of leverage. In fact, the quotes mentioned above only prove that not only LA Clippers are property, but so are the minds of many black Americans. Unlike, most black Americans, non-minorities had decent plans to offer to this current Donald Sterling situation.
Keith Olbermann, a political commentator and writer, hit the nail on the head! Why is that he, a non-minority can see that players leverage the NBA and not vice-versa. I’ll tell you why, he like other races have integrity! Asians, Italians, Jews, Nigerians; I have no doubt that if any of these races were in this situation, they would have acted similar to Keith Olbermann’s notions. In fact, this is why those aforementioned races are so successful in this country; they (other races) know about leverage. Unfortunately, African Americans do not. In this vast country, African Americans only have one billionaire that is listed on Forbes. Furthermore, the next richest African Americans are rappers, actors, and athletes. As a result, it is in these times where we (society) can’t look for average minorities to “protest” and “boycott”. These average minorities aren’t on the same playing field of influence to even do so. Basketball players, however, are. Unfortunately, the black athletes and moguls don’t realize that if they don’t leverage they’re power, who else is going to be able represent their race on a platform this big; the NBA.
Let’s take a look at Cliven Bundy for a second.
” And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Upon hearing Bundy say those words, I thought at first “Wow, is this dude serious?”. But after a few days later, an allegation later, it kind of makes me wonder, “Are. Blacks. Better. Off. As. Slaves?!” Of course, not in a literal sense, but mentally, Cliven Bundy is right. Not only do African Americans no longer stand up for themselves, but they are proving these bigots to be correct. As stated before, I do not expect a minimum wage worker to have the courage to walk away from a boss who belittles or treats his employees in a inhumane way. Yes it is harsh, but one who is on minimum wage does not have the power to leverage his job versus someone in the NBA. The same notion can be applied to Cliven Bundy’s remarks. Minorities in a lot of communities are indeed setting up their offspring and future generations for failure. Some of them by choice, others by the inevitable. But how do you expect these minorities to excel out of their environment? To reiterate, African Americans who hold the most power and influence (athletes and rappers) more times than not influence a type of behavior that has trickled down to every ‘hood or borough in the United States. Unfortunately, this is not always a positive influence. So as mentioned before, I do not expect a family, who’s been living on welfare their whole life, to be able to get out of their respective situation in a timely manner when compared to a middle class family. The same should be applied when viewing socioeconomic status. How are you bettering the opportunities for the next generation, not just minorities but all future offspring especially.
*”Are. Blacks. Better. Off. As. Slaves?!”*
During slavery African Americans had aspirations and dreams of becoming free. To have free will and ownership were entities early African Americans took pride in. Ironically, when African Americans are indeed free, their mind is not. It is almost as if the only way some African Americans can reach a psyche of achieving was when they were suppressed to the lowest from of inhumane circumstances. Why is that? Yes race has a lot to do with the Donald Sterling’s remarks, but lets try to understand why he thinks that way? As a billionaire, Sterling has seen insurmountable wealth that most people could not even fathom. Likewise, who do you think has helped generate his wealth? If African Americans are an entity that helps generate money, but have little to leverage on a power/ influential status (i.e. 86% of the NBA is African American, but there is only one African American owner), then yes, I too am starting to look at African Americans as property and as slaves. Again, not in a literal sense, but definitely from an economic/influential status. Donald’s Sterlings remarks aren’t a call to advance people of color. Cliven Bundy’s remarks aren’t an excuse to assume everyone who looks like him thinks like him. It certainly is not true! However, this should definitely be a wake up call for minorities, particularly the one’s playing for their NBA owners, to have integrity, to show to leverage, to MAN up! Because honestly, with the little influential power African Americans do have, if they do not learn how to use it, you can forget being treated like a human, especially when your most influential personnel (athletes) are still enslaved mentally.
P.S.: The LA NAACP has already “forgiven” Mr. Sterling of his remarks. Again, even non-minorities are able to see what Africans Americans really value most.