Editorial: Unacceptable racism from Sterling
Renee Campbell, newspaper representative
Noelle Leavitt Riley, newspaper representative
Sheli Steele, newspaper representative
Hal Glanville, community representative (absent)
Jobeth Haydon-Tupa, community representative
Eldon Holland, community representative
The news about Donald Sterling’s lifetime suspension from the NBA and his $2.5 million fine exploded in the media this week, calling into question the punishment one should receive for racist behavior.
Before we tackle the hugely important topic, we’d like to first point out that some of the most vile racists don’t even know they’re racist.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who used racist or discriminatory language and they didn’t even realize the essence of their derogatory vocabulary? If so, did you say something to them? Were you offended?
We can see why Sterling would think he’s not racist, but there is no question that he is in fact prejudiced against humans who are not white/Caucasian.
The recent tape that his young girlfriend leaked to the press is only one of many examples of his racist nature.
His league’s general manager has sued him for his “plantation mentality.” Testimony also exists from one of his property managers — Sterling also is a landlord — for his blatant discrimination of African American, Mexican and Asian tenants.
The NBA’s decision to punish Sterling to the extent that it did opens up an important discussion about discrimination and racism that still exists in our country. The fact is that racism still is alive in the United States and in a very underhanded way.
Although Sterling didn’t use the N-word, he did say that he didn’t want his girlfriend to be photographed with black people. Perhaps the way he said it was even more dangerous than actually using the N-word, as his prejudice remarks were masked with the same underlying effect.
It’s a sneaky kind of discrimination used these days to express one’s hatred for another race without actually using the politically incorrect language.
Therefore, the editorial board thinks that the NBA gave Sterling exactly what he deserved. We’re shocked that such racism still exists. It’s a learned behavior, whether it is from your parents or the culture in which you were raised.
Sterling’s punishment helps alleviate the damage that his remarks inflicted on the management, the players and the team’s sponsors. It also sets a good example that one can be punished for racism.