I mean, he has black friends. He said Magic Johnson is worthy of respect. He gave a ton of money to the NAACP. How could he be racist?
As if this entire incident happened in a vacuum. As if Hinderaker had no clue of of Sterling’s track record. Yet he actually asks if Sterling is a racist…
This guy may actually have Jim Hoft and GOHMERT! beat.
So Donald Sterling emerges as a pathetic figure: a reverse image of Othello, a doddering old man with a young black mistress who cheats on him. He understands, but asks her not to embarrass him before his friends. He may also be suffering from dementia. For a billionaire, he makes precious little sense on the tape(s). But then, most of us probably wouldn’t make much sense to outsiders if tapes of our domestic arguments were made public.
The condemnation that has been brought down on Sterling’s head is unanimous. Basketball players, rappers, pundits, politicians: all expressed disgust for the “racism” that has been unmasked. The NBA has launched an investigation. Race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are delirious with excitement. Not a single person has defended Sterling, to my knowledge.
The story caught up with President Obama in Malaysia, where he was asked about it. (Note how strange this is: If dozens of bodies had been discovered in Sterling’s back yard and he had been discovered to be a serial killer, it never would have occurred to a reporter to bring it up.) Obama naturally used the opportunity to make a political point:
President Obama on Sunday described comments reportedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers as “incredibly offensive racist statements,” before casting them as part of a continuing legacy of slavery and segregation that Americans must vigilantly fight. …
“The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination,” Obama said during a news conference in Malaysia, where he was traveling.
A billionaire asks his African-American mistress not to post certain pictures on Instagram: is that what the “legacy of race and slavery and segregation” has come down to? Are the “vestiges of discrimination” so slight that this lovers’ spat is the subject of a presidential news conference?
“We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often,” he added. “And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently, but also remaining hopeful that part of why statements like this stand out some much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves.”
Which is another way of saying, we don’t have much in the way of actual racism or discrimination to talk about (not against African-Americans, anyway), so we have to make do with this kind of petty, personal revelation.
The political motive to make Donald Sterling the poster boy for 21st century racism is obvious, but is he actually a racist? I have never met the man, but it doesn’t seem probable. He owns a basketball team on which 12 of the 14 players are black. The coach is black. Sterling has black friends, like Earvin Johnson; it was an Instagram photo of Stiviano with Johnson that precipitated the fatal argument. Johnson reacted angrily, vowing never to attend another Clippers game. Yet Sterling has long considered Johnson a friend; on the tape, he tells Stiviano that Johnson is worthy of respect.
Hat tip: Talking Points Memo
More: The Race-Baiters and v. Stiviano Strike Gold