There’s a story circulating widely in mainstream media outlets about Clippers [a professional basketball team in LA] owner Donald Sterling allegedly making racist statements to his girlfriend V. Stiviano about her association with African Americans. Evidently Stiviano has a habit of bringing African American friends to Clippers games and posting photos of her friends to her Instagram account.
Sterling also had a problem with a picture posted of Stiviano with Magic Johnson.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”
“I’ve known [Magic] well and he should be admired …. I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” the man on the recording says. “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Ironically, Stiviano is part black and this further demonstrates how complex racism is. So, for all of the racist folks out there who say, “I can’t be racist I have a black friend or a black partner,” you can still be racist! Racism is much larger than the individual, it is a system. The systemic degradation of racially marked others can’t be fixed by sleeping with an individual from that group.
Unfortunately for Sterling, there is an audio recording of his racist remarks released by TMZ [I would give you a link to the TMZ page, but I just hate TMZ that much]. In fact, the NBA is doing an investigation of the recording.
Even President Obama had some opinions about the incident. At a press conference on Sunday, Obama was asked about the controversy surrounding Sterling and CNN reports that Obama said:
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That’s what happened here.”
Obama also said Sterling’s alleged comments are an example of how “the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation.”
“That’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination. We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often,” Obama said.
While some are claiming that they think the audio recording is fake, and others think it’s an attempt to tarnish his reputation from a woman who wanted to get even with Sterling because of a previous lawsuit, we will know the details further after the investigation.
Until then folks, stop being racist.