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| | |-+  Donald Sterling Thinks He Owns Basketball Players, But Really Does Own the NAACP
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Author Topic: Donald Sterling Thinks He Owns Basketball Players, But Really Does Own the NAACP  (Read 6513 times)
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« on: May 01, 2014, 08:58:08 AM »

By Bruce A. Dixon
May 01, 2014 - blackagendareport.com


“Depending on the rich and powerful to pay their bills while pretending to speak for the poor and oppressed is not a mere bug in the way our 21st century civil rights organizations work”

For us at Black Agenda Report, the most telling angle on the story of Donald Sterling, the racist billionaire owner of the LA Clippers, was that the Los Angeles NAACP, which had been about to give Sterling a second – not a first but a second “Lifetime Achievement Award” eagerly stepped forward to offer redemption and forgiveness for the small cost of a few more strategic donations from the deep pockets of Donald Sterling.

This won't be the first time Sterling has purchased absolution for his many sins. In 2003 Sterling settled a housing discrimination lawsuit paying $5 million to plaintiff attorneys alone, and in 2006 he was accused again of refusing to rent apartments to African Americans and Latinos. But a steady stream of donations to big-name so-called civil rights organizations amounting at most to a few ten thousandths of his net worth, were sufficient to make it OK in the eyes of those outfits, and in the case of the NAACP, they were sufficient to get him that first “lifetime award.”

Depending on the rich and powerful to pay their bills while pretending to speak for the poor and oppressed is not a mere bug in the way our 21st century civil rights organizations function, it is a fundamental feature, baked into the bones not just of the NAACP, but of the National Urban League, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the National Conference of Black State Legislators, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Al Sharpton's National Action Network and many others of this kind.

“There are examples like this in any direction one cares to look...”

In the practice of catching corporate racists with their pants down and extracting a franchise here, a dealership there, a TV show or hefty donations to worthy causes the hunter always gets captured by the game. In Georgia where I live, the Southern Christian Leadership Council got the CEO of Georgia Power to head up their building fund. Residents of Shell Bluff, a poor, mostly black town invited Rev. Joseph Lowery of SCLC to their town to show him their cancer epidemic, evidently caused by radiation from a leaking Georgia Power nuclear plant, while federal agencies refused to fund testing of their air, water, soil, wildlife or persons. Georgia Power is now building brand new nuclear plant next to the old ones with $800 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration. But all that SCLC could do was tell them, “go vote.”

Wells Fargo had aggressively sold sub-prime mortgages to blacks, and is believed to have engaged in thousands or tens of thousands of the same kinds of robo-signings and illegal foreclosures that Bank of America pled guilty to. So after the bailout, Wells Fargo partnered with the NAACP to do “financial literacy” classes for youth. There are examples like this in any direction one cares to look.

Donald Sterling may imagine he owns basketball players. But he really does own the NAACP, just as surely as Verizon and Comcast, Aetna, Wal-Mart, MSNBC and others own the National Action Network, Rainbow-PUSH, the Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the rest of our politically bankrupt black misleadership class. For Black Agenda Report, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at blackagendareport.com.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA and can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com or via this site's contact page.

Reproduced from: http://blackagendareport.com/content/donald-sterling-thinks-he-owns-basketball-players-he-really-does-own-naacp
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 05:56:50 PM »

The Lessons of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling



By Margaret Kimberley
April 30, 2014 - blackagendareport.com


“Black people or even white people on the left would not get away with publicly brandishing fire arms, forming a de facto militia and threatening the lives of federal employees.”

There is nothing like the musings of racist white people to garner media attention and public outrage. Unfortunately there is usually more heat than light generated in these situations and the opportunity to gain insights on the condition of black America is lost.

Such is the case with mooching rancher Cliven Bundy and racist basketball team owner Donald Sterling. Hopefully they woke black Americans from any delusion of a post-racial society and in Sterling’s case simultaneously revealed the traitors and mis-leaders in our midst.

Bundy is a Nevada rancher who like 16,000 others across the country grazes his cattle on federal property, which comprises 85% of that state’s land area. Bundy is within his rights to graze his cattle there but he is required to pay a fee for doing so. He has gotten away with paying absolutely nothing for 20 years and after losing many court cases now owes the Bureau of Land Management more than $1 million.

When the BLM finally had enough and confiscated his cattle, Bundy issued a call to arms to other terrorist minded white people. They came from all over the country, pointing guns at federal agents and creating a media firestorm. In the ironically named town of Bunkerville, Bundy held court among his fellow domestic terrorists and became the darling of Fox news and the Republican Party.

It is obvious that black people or even white people on the left would not get away with publicly brandishing fire arms, forming a de facto militia and threatening the lives of federal employees. The government backed down to prevent violence but Bundy’s fifteen minutes of fame went on a little too long for his own good. He ended what had been a galvanizing event for the right wing when he uttered his opinions about “niggers.” Some media claim he used the word “nigra” and others say “negro” but the audio is clear (youtube.com/watch?v=agXns-W60MI). Bundy expressed the opinion that black people were better off in slavery than we are today because we had work to do when we picked cotton. He rambled on against abortion and mused about why black people are in jail, but he summed up his theories by saying that freedom just didn’t help black people very much. The best part of this debacle was watching Republicans flee from the public relations disaster but the whole episode should be treated as a serious lesson.

“There are millions of Americans who would take up arms to kill mostly because they would enjoy it.”

Bundy is no outlier in any of the opinions he holds. There are millions of Americans who would take up arms to kill mostly because they would enjoy it. They might defend their actions with an appeal to patriotism or a sage brush rebellion or doomsday prepping or whatever rationale would be most convenient, but the bottom line is that they would like to get away with killing as many people as possible. That is why we have stand your ground laws and why Georgia recently passed legislation making it legal to carry guns anywhere and everywhere in that state.

Bundy is also not alone in seeing chattel slavery as being worthy of nostalgia. It is not a coincidence that gun and slavery lovers so often find common cause. The two go together and the Second Amendment is directly tied to the granting of police force status to every white person in the country in the days of slavery. Bundy’s popularity is deep and dangerous and he is no less popular now in some circles than he was before he made his remarks. Most racists know how to filter their thoughts in polite society. But Bundy is an ignorant man with no clue about niceties and said what was on his and others’ minds. It doesn’t matter that Rand Paul and Fox News back tracked from the Bundy love fest. If millions of white Americans were granted their ultimate fantasy, black people would be back in chains on the auction block.

Neither Bundy’s actions nor his politics gave him any connection to the black community but Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling is a rich man in a sport where a majority of players and fans are African American. The angst surrounding his racism is far more instructive and also more dispiriting too.

“If millions of white Americans were granted their ultimate fantasy, black people would be back in chains on the auction block.”

The public drama began with a private one. Sterling’s wife wasn’t pleased about the amount of time and money he spent on a woman known as V. Stiviano. Mrs. Sterling was so fed up that she sued Stivano for $2 million, who decided to tape conversations to protect herself. The rest is history.

It is interesting what the media chose to emphasize and to cover up in their conversation. Sterling’s rant was racist and bizarre, telling Stiviano that she could have sex with Magic Johnson but that she shouldn’t be photographed with him or bring him or any other black people to Clippers’ games. Those words were the main focus of media attention.

Sterling, whose real name is Tokowitz, defended himself by pointing out how badly black people are treated in Israel. This exchange with Stiviano was ignored by many news organizations.

"It's the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs [emphasis mine]."
"So do you have to treat them like that, too?"

"The white Jews, there's white Jews and black Jews. Do you understand?"

"And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?"

"A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent."

Sterling’s racism was well known in Los Angeles prior to the taped conversations being revealed but obedience to a rich man protected him from full exposure. In 2008 he was sued by former NBA star and Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor, who claimed a “plantation mentality” permeated the work environment in that organization. Also in 2009 the Sterlings were forced to pay $2.7 million due to discriminatory housing practices against black and Latino tenants in apartment buildings they owned in Los Angeles. It was the largest such judgment paid in a housing case at that time. None of this mattered to the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP, which honored Sterling with a humanitarian of the year award in 2009 and was prepared to give him a lifetime achievement award before the scandal was revealed.

“The Sterlings were forced to pay $2.7 million due to discriminatory housing practices against black and Latino tenants in apartment buildings they owned in Los Angeles.”

Not only was Sterling to be honored, but also executives from Walmart and Fedex. Walmart is known for its low wages, union busting, discriminatory hiring and promotion policies, theft of public services and push to privatize education. Fedex is also a well known union breaking corporation. The branch had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cancel the honor for Sterling and also to return funds he had donated over the years. The organization also declined to reveal the amount of those donations but they are estimated to be in the range of $45,000. (*link 45k) The NAACP sold itself cheaply.

It isn’t enough to say that the Los Angeles NAACP represents the worst of the black mis-leadership class. Apparently its sole mission is to raise money because it clearly has no integrity and does nothing to help anyone outside of its own shallow circle. It does no good to anyone who is in need and if it were disbanded it wouldn’t be missed.

The mis-leaders are not the only bad guys in this tale. Former NBA star and current team owner Michael Jordan had nothing to say about Sterling for a full two days after the story broke. He finally announced that he was “disgusted” and “outraged” but apparently only after his handlers gave him permission to speak up.

Both Bundy and Sterling must be given a strange sort of credit because they exposed the degree of confusion that permeates this country. While Bundy said that black people were better off as slaves he also praised Asians and Latinos as being hard workers. He suddenly became not so racist in the eyes of many people, who began to downplay the awfulness of his sentiments in the model minority game. Sterling’s friend Stiviano was initially the object of derision, the “gold digger” whose motives were suspect.

The only question about racism is how well people cover it up. There is an endless supply, and wishful thinking makes it tempting to forget until the next clueless person raises his or her head. In the meantime remember that criticism of Israel shouldn’t be swept under the rug and that some respected individuals and organizations should not be respected at all. There are many villains to go around in this story, and Bundy and Sterling are just two out of many.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-lessons-cliven-bundy-and-donald-sterling
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