Notwithstanding my own take on the Donald Sterling saga, the era to say anything and get on with life is over, and that is a good thing. With social media blast, anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of public opinion. Mr. Sterling is certainly aware of social media; he made mention of Instagram in his racist rant. What took Mr. Sterling by surprise however is the mass condemnation – except for a few loners such as Donald Trump – of his statements; after all, Mr. Sterling has always been forthcoming in his sentiments towards Blacks. What has changed?
Mr. Sterling got away with such sentiment in the past because he was untouchable. Who would have dared to upset or sideline a billionaire? Time has changed. While billionaires still hold all the Ace cards, an army of Kings’ may just tilt the balance a bit in favor of the mass, and Mr. Sterling is learning that the hard way.
The writing is on the wall, Mr. Sterling is almost done!
As of this writing, Magic Johnson, the very individual at the center of the saga (his picture was posted on Instagram by Mr. Sterling’s mistress), offers to buy Los Angeles Clippers. How time has changed!
While solidarity among players and fans and civil rights activists help push the issue to a national level, and quite possibly to change the course of NBA history, it behooves the President of the United States, Mr. Obama, to enact policies that provide a new framework within which blacks (and all minorities) are represented in the discussions that help shape the nation.
Mr. Sterling is one individual; as outrageous as his statements were, the treatments blacks are subjected to regularly across the country are even more outrageous and Mr. Sterling has very little to do with it; he does not run the hundreds of thousands of institutions that facilitate, tolerate or nurture such unfair treatments. To feel or to be outraged accomplish very little if anything; after all, Mr. Sterling has the constitutional rights to say that he doesn’t want blacks at his games.
What’s needed is not sympathy from the White House; the President should take this opportunity to lead the nation to a rebirth of tolerance, harmony and civility.
What should the President do to remedy Blacks’ treatments?
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney
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