Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sterling Silver

Silver just banned Sterling from the NBA for life. Nice job.

On both NY and Boston sports radio, I've been hearing a lot of calls that to me are the equivalent of:

"Didn't Rosa Parks break the law though?"

Instead of using the "I'm not racist, but..." preface, why don't these racists just say "I am racist, and that's why I'm about to say the following racist statement....."?

I think what they're afraid of is being outed (whether it be done legally or not). They know that inside their houses they talk just like that guy, and now they're worried that people outside their houses will find out about it, and it scares them to death: "You mean anyone can just record my blatantly racist views and play them to the world? What is this world coming to???" The easy solution: Don't be a racist in the first place and you've got nothing to worry about.

I should clarify something before people start telling me I compared Rosa Parks to this woman. I'm talking about the reactions being the same: Seeing racists have justice done to them, and focusing on the technically illegal thing that caused it. (To take focus away from the fact that the racist who you support because you're also racist got nailed.)
I don't think it's that they're racist themselves, but a combination of factors lead them to play devil's advocate. Among them:

-Self-righteousness. Nike was slapped with Child Labor Violations, and the NBA's response? "Oh, well." Glad they get their asses in gear when someone says something racist, but fuck those kids in the sweatshops making those Air Jordans! Let's also not forget Kobe Bryant is still playing for the other team in Los Angeles, so clearly some forms of immoral behavior are acceptable provided you got a wicked jump shot.

-Privacy. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, who I don't think is a racist, had this to say, "Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it."

And I think your "easy" solution is anything but. Don't be racist? OK, who sets the standards? No, I'm not kidding.

Let's take a recent example: Jay-Z wore a 5% necklace to a Nets game. I know my father, who had an unpleasant experience in New York with the Nation of Gods and Earths, in which he was harassed for being white (ergo, a "devil,") finds their rhetoric, what's the word..."racist?" Should Jay-Z be banned from attending games?

For the record, I'm glad Sterling is getting 86ed, and I certainly don't have an sympathy for the misguided souls who don't understand that the 1st Amendment doesn't prohibit people from reacting to your free speech. I am a librarian, so the issue is one that is close to my head and heart. I also think the privacy issue is funny in a way, because if a man can't speak his mind to his mistress, who can he speak his mind to?

But while his comments are lucid and the speaker of serving of every ounce of punishment he gets, the situation as a whole I don't find to clear, but I believe it's an opportunity to consider our attitudes towards prejudices and consider what forms are unacceptable and why.
Mom here: Uh...why does a man have a mistress? A. To be there for him when he needs to speak his mind. B. To accumulate enough shit on him so that he get impeached. 3. To.... Oh, never mind. (Answer: 3)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States