What Donald Sterling, Mark Cuban, and Justin Bieber Taught Us about Post-Racial America…

#1 – Rich white people (and some rich Black ones too!), still don’t like or want to hang around with Blacks no matter how wealthy…

Donald Sterling said what many rich, white country club goers, sport team owners, and record label owners think and say to themselves all the time.  Sterling told a female friend, V. Stiviano, not to bring Black people to Clippers games during their conversation that was recorded.  The recording sparked a torrent of outrage from fans, NBA players and commercial sponsors, several of which temporarily severed ties with the Clippers.  Four days later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from pro basketball for life in an unprecedented rebuke that bars Sterling from any further association with the NBA or his team.  The NBA said Sterling is in violation because his racist comments were harmful to the league and its business partners, including the players.

It doesn’t matter if the Black person is an athlete, a lawyer, a doctor, or in the case of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor.   They love that Black people make them profits, but they sure as hell don’t want them dating their daughters or moving into their gated communities.  Run the ball, catch the ball, shoot the ball, and shut up.  If you polled every major sports team and record label owner anonymously, I bet you the majority of them would hold very similar feelings as Sterling.  Apparently, he was just the only one with an estranged mistress who needed to get some bills paid.

#2 – Everyone judges and everyone discriminates…

Nothing upsets me more than when I constantly hear people saying “not to judge others.”  I don’t know what disillusioned world these people are living in, but we judge people all day, every day. Everywhere we go, every grocery store checkout line, we look at our neighbor or cashier and immediately judge; their hair, their outfit, their choice in partners, you name it.  Yes, even I do it. “I know I’m prejudiced, and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” said Cuban.  “If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos (on the side he now is on), I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.” It was nice for Mark Cuban to be honest with the people.  So let me be honest, to this day right now, Black and white people cross the street and clutch their purse on me all the time. You know what I do? I just smile and enjoy all that free space on the sidewalk.  Usually I am a strict adherent to road protocol when walking on the sidewalk; stick to the right side of the sidewalk, especially if there is oncoming traffic or walking slow slow.  But if you have the nerve to cross the street on a rather harmless human being like myself, then I will gladly take up as much sidewalk as possible, all the while shaking my head in disgust.

On that same note, I look at people, Black and white, skeptically.  If I see a group of young thugs who look like they have nothing better to do than cause unnecessary trouble, I definitely prepare myself for possible confrontation.  Not out of fear of what they might do to me, but based on numbers, how crazy am I going to have to go?  The same can be said for a group of whites.  Got nothing better to do? Look for me to go a different direction.  Cuban just had the guts to say white young Black girls and little old white ladies have been doing and talking about for decades.  Kudos to you Mark Cuban!

#3 – To Blacks, money is STILL the most important thing…

Let’s be clear about one thing, under NO circumstances whatsoever would NBA players boycott NBA games, let alone in the playoffs (playoffs?!).  I know what Stephen A. Smith and Chris Broussard reported regarding the Golden State Warriors and an apparent team meeting about a “dramatic boycott” to game 5, before, of course, Adam Silver came out with his lifetime ban for Donald Sterling.  It’s a little too convenient to announce to the press after the fact that had Commissioner Silver not handed down a lifetime ban that players were prepared to boycott; sorry not buying it.  You think for one second NBA players are prepared to miss out on a paycheck?  On that same note, the Clippers own pregame stance about taking off their warm-ups without the Clippers logo was very non-demonstrative.  That display screamed, “We’re not going to take it!”  Really, that’s the best they could come up with?! For shame… What the Donald Sterling controversy demonstrates for all America to know is that Blacks can be bought off, and for the right price, we are still collectively not willing to take the drastic steps necessary to change our own conditions or help the poor majority.

The fact that Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, Usher and so many other Black artists have come out in support of Justin Bieber after his racist videos is because they are looking to make money through collaborations and have access to all the Beliebers out there. The video clip features a young Bieber telling a racist joke and then – ignoring his pal’s prompts to stop – dropping a punch line that includes repetition (five times, to be exact) of the N-word.  The 28-second clip shows Bieber singing a highly offensive version his 2010 song “One Less Lonely Girl.” “One less lonely n—-r/ One less lonely n—-r … there’s gonna be one less lonely n—-r,” he sings and laughs while looking into the camera before ending with a joke about the Ku Klux Klan.  Lil Wayne, Birdman and Mack Maine, Floyd Mayweather, Usher, Soulja Boy, Migos told the site that they still consider Bieber family. Maine reportedly said that everyone on the label has hung out with Bieber a lot and they have not detected any racism from the singer, noting that the majority of JB’s crew is black and that “Bieber does not have a slave mentality. He treats his people with respect.”  Further, Mack said that Bieber has, “legitimately adopted the culture of the hip-hop, African-American culture” and that YMCMB will continue to work with the singer.  Let’s not ruffle feathers, rather, let’s work together and get money.  Sure, that will solve the problem.  What did they expect with those “he never said anything like that around us” remark?  Yea, he’s the type of person to walk into a studio with a room full of drugged out Black rappers and start calling them the N-word. Sure, that sounds like every closet racist I’ve ever met. For shame on Lil Wayne (for many reasons not just this one, by the way), Usher, and every other Black artists who sold their soul to make crappy pop music (I know that’s pretty much all of them now).

#4 – To Whites, money is still the most important thing, too…

I know, stop you when you’ve heard this story before. But it just cannot go without saying that Sterling had a history of being a racist and none of it was very important until now.  Point of fact: say and be as racist and bigoted as you want, just don’t cost me any money!  There is a sneak peek into the “unwritten rules” of American society.  Be a racist at home.  Hell, even be a racist when you’re out to dinner with your close personal friends and family, but please, keep it out of the public eye where our pocketbooks are affected.  No surprise again, that company after company began to threaten to pull away from the Clippers and NBA after his comments were made public. But please, make no mistake about it: this is not a social issue or about diversity or Sterling being a racist in 2014 when America has a Black President.  This is about profits; dollars and sense, plain and simple.  This reminds of Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.  Everyone makes a big deal like Abraham Lincoln had such a big heart and freed the slaves over a moral issue, when clearly he states for himself that if he could keep the Union together and not free ONE slave, he would.  And yet, we treat the guy as if he did someone justice!  Know you’re history people!  Same thing with the NBA and Adam Silver; don’t act like you’re doing us any favors.  Make your business decision and keep it pushing. The threat of losing profits in today’s economy is much more important than continuing a business partnership with Donald Sterling.  Especially in lieu of the fact that Sterling is set to make $2 billion with the sale of the team.  Not a bad parting gift if you ask me…

#5 – Athletes should be seen and NOT heard…

Let’s be clear: nobody wants to hear Lebron James’ or Kobe Bryant’s diatribe about racial inequality and the conditions of poor Blacks in America.  Not while you cash million dollar checks.  Wearing a hoodie in the name of Trayvon Martin does not make you the Malcolm X of a new generation on racial issues.  Lord, please help us!  Nobody pays for your stance on social and racial issues.  One of the biggest problems we have in society is to ask rich people their position on social issues.  As if by being rich they have somehow by default made a worthy contribution to society as to be qualified to have such as opinion.  Clearly not all opinions are equal.  Just because you are rich, does not mean we want to hear from you about social justice in America.

You really want to be a social warrior for racial justice and equality? Put your money where your mouth is.  Go around the country and build schools in predominately Black neighborhoods with state of the art equipment and technology. Pay the teachers and administrators above the national average.  Establish banks and give home loans to poor Black people so they can own a home.  Show me something! But how dare you sit up there on your high horse talking about how far the country has to go on racial issues and how that could’ve been your son and then sit back and do nothing. Damn a summer camp!  Basketball camps are not changing the community and stopping shootings in Chicago and putting any young Black males to work permanently.  And shame on you for thinking that showing up for 30 minutes and signing a few basketballs qualifies you for the Noble Peace Prize.

To be honest, I have no problem with what Donald Sterling, Mark Cuban or Justin Bieber said.  The racist you know is always better than the one you don’t know.  And don’t we live in America?  If a person wants to be racist, let em! The real question is: what can you do about it?  Sterling owns the team; if he doesn’t want Black people at the games, fine! We shouldn’t go then.  And Black players shouldn’t play for them and Black coaches shouldn’t coach for them.  It’s America, its Sterling’s property; let him field a whole team of white players, coaches and staff if he wants to. That’s not our business or problem.  If they win, congrats to him; but if nobody shows up and nobody wants to play or coach for him and his business loses money, there’s your punishment.  But we all know that for the right price, Black players would play for him and Black coaches would coach for him, despite the fact that he’s a racist.  We’ve been doing it for years.  Collecting checks with a blind eye to our manager’s or owners’ own racist history.  Are we really at the point where we are going to allow white people to go around using the N-word like its cool, just to collect checks? I’m not even calling on Black people to stop using the word amongst eachother or anything like that.  I believe that’s a sellout way to go about it and how dare we let someone else tell us what we can and cannot say to each other.  But we as a people need to take it upon ourselves to check people who try to get away with robbing our culture and throwing us some coins to appease us.  You want to be a racist? Fine. Just don’t ask me to pay for it.  And when I get a chance, don’t complain if I return the favor.

And if you disagree with me you’re a racist, homophobic, androphobe…

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