According to Wikipedia,
Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state, while others believe that groups such as the Tea Party movement prove it has not.
I have to admit that I am a bit surprised at how America is reacting to the comments made by Los Angeles Clippers’ Owner, Donald Sterling. It is not that I was caught off guard by the comments but the fact so that many people are outraged by his statements has taken me aback.
Here are my two cents (maybe a nickel)…
- We do not live in a post racial society. Racism is alive and well in all corners of this country. Some people are clever enough to hide their disdain for those not like themselves while others feel entitled to express their feelings whenever and wherever they please. Whether it is blatant or out in the open. America remains a country plagued with racism.
- Everyone says things they shouldn’t say behind closed doors. Period. If you have never done it, then I am sure your halo is being sized as we speak.
- People in authority are no better than the rest of us. Just because someone is worth millions of dollars, does not mean that have attained any more enlightenment than the rest of us. There are ignorant millionaires just as there are brilliant broke people. Wealth and education has long been the measuring stick we have used to determine a person’s worth in our society and we wonder what has happened to our value system. We idolize celebrities and athletes yet military soldiers are living on public assistance.
- Most of us have worked for, are working for or will work for a racist at some point. And you may never know it. People really think these basketball players should quit playing for this team simply because the owner is a racist. Those guys have families to feed and I am pretty sure if you were in a similar situation, with millions less on the table, you would not be handing in your resignation. You would probably be hurt and disgusted but hurt and disgust does not pay the bills.
- Morality cannot be sanctioned. The NBA is apparently investigating this issue and will probably levy a hefty fine on rich man Sterling which I am sure he will pay and publicly apologize but the fact remains… His feelings about black people will not change. If he’s a smart businessman, he will probably do some community outreach and have a minority marketing campaign by the beginning of the next season and get even more money from the black community.
We live in a consumer driven, democratic society. That means two things.
One, you can choose which companies to support. Just as with the Koch brothers, many of us found that we were buying products that translated into profits to support their elitist agenda. From there, we have a choice whether we want to continue giving them our money or to put our money into corporations whose values match our own.
Two, our vote is our voice. We are never speechless. It’s great to be outraged, offended, pissed off or whatever but at the end of the day, there are many more Donald Sterlings in the world and a lot of them are making the laws that determine how much you will get paid, what level of access you will have to health care and the types of schools your children will go to. I would love to see you show a similar level of outrage and disdain for these people in the voting booth.
Social media has spoiled many people into thinking that expressing their opinions, even in all caps, online will make a difference. These folks may give you a half-hearted apology but at the end of the day, they will still be making money. The question becomes will you be contributing to their cause?