Monday, April 28, 2014

Racists pick the wrong target

A couple of tweets got me thinking...
Ever since the Republicans dreamed up the Southern Strategy, the targets they've used to inflame racism have been the "welfare queen" and the "street thug" - both groups that have very little money and/or political clout.

What Donald Sterling did was go after current and former NBA players - and that's likely to mean a whole different outcome. He went directly at Magic Johnson, who has spoken out clearly. And as some have noted, this incident even inflamed Michael Jordan. Its clear that a lot of current NBA players are keeping quiet until Commissioner Silver announces his ruling, but are prepared to have their say at some point. And then, as the tweet above suggests, come the sponsors.

These African American players/coaches/entrepreneurs not only have access to money, they have the respect and adoration of millions of American fans of all races. That's clout, babee. And I think its a good thing.

But it also leaves us with a challenge...how do we generalize what has happened to them and show that its really no different than when Rep. Paul Ryan goes after the "culture" in inner cities or Mike Huckabee ups the ante about welfare queens and compares them to "roaches?" In other words, how do we make sure that the outcome isn't just based on class? Because whether you are Magic Johnson or an inner city single mom needing TANF to pay the bills, the sting of racism slices just as deep.

9 comments:

  1. The problem is that if and when Sterling sells the Clippers, he'll walk away with close to $1 billion. Considering that he paid $3 million upfront, then another $10 million to buy the franchise, he'll be happy. He's a major narcissist, but he cares more about money than anything.

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  2. Here are some of the options the NBA has in dealing with Donald Sterling... http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10851145/how-nba-respond-donald-sterling

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  3. I would like to know these associates that gave Sterling so much grief over his mistress' pics. That's a story. If Sterling snitches them out, we have something.

    It's not just NBA players the league is worried about; the NBA has international concerns. They want that investment from China and other non white countries. Letting it out that the league is bigot owned is very bad for business.

    Vic78

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    1. I've been wondering that too. They are influencing his decisions.

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  4. 'Afternoon, Nancy
    Trusting you've been well. Hmmmm...... To me, you raise THE issue in your last sentence. That we are talking about monied black men and have additional monied black men speaking out is just that. They can have more of a platform such that, in this case, their views are being noted.

    But, it's NOT a guarantee of OUTCOME. It FLOORED me that Michael Jordan said ANYthing at all about this. Glad he FInally has. But, it really isn't accurate to look at "Majic" (former) and "Mike" as owners in the same sense as Mr. Tokowitz (that's Mr. Sterling's actual last name). Tokowitz and most of the owners in the NBA, the NFL, or MLB own aLONE. It's really something when you stop to think about it. The bulk of these owners have these teams as just something else for them to do. NONE of the owners depend on their franchise teams for their income. They haven't had a pay check in YEARS. "Mike" is a majority owner, but I believe Robert Johnson and "Nelly" are still in the mix.

    I'm saying this to say that, even in ownership, the disparity (which, here, would translate as CLOUT) remains in effect. So, it remains to be seen what the League will actually do. Of note is that some of the teams (I haven't seen yet which ones those are) are telling the players not to speak out. And, I've seen two pieces today that are saying that there is very little that the League can actually make Mr. Tokowitz do. So....

    I happen to recall what MLB did to the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds because of very similar rhetoric. It's not like it CAN'T be done. Lord KNOWS his franchise SHOULD be snatched. But, former commissioner David Stern, who made a BIG deal about how he wanted grown black men to damn DRESS, did NOTHING (this was pointed out by one B. Gumbel on yesterday's Meet The Press) through the years when it was legally proven - MORE than once - that Mr. Tokowitz put his racist views into action.

    Here, I'd LOVE to be proven "rong", but I would not be the least bit surprised if the NBA shoots a big air ball, here.

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    1. From what I've read, the rules are such that it would likely be impossible for the NBA to force Sterling out (MLB structure was very different in the Cincinnati Reds case).

      But that fist tweet that I included up above was prophetic. Corporate sponsors are coming out in droves today saying they won't do business w/ the Clippers.

      Mavs and Spurs are considering a protest in support of Clipper's players tonight.

      And here's a really interesting take on how Magic's group might be making a play to buy the team. When it comes to Sterling's situation, here's the money quote:

      Sterling will never be able to sit courtside for a Clippers game again, never be able to march through his locker room glad-handing players. All the reasons Sterling has loved owning an NBA team, well, they're all gone.

      It might take some time - but I firmly believe the guy is toast in the NBA.

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  5. Rather than not allowing Sterling to sit courtside, sportscaster Dan Patrick had a better idea -- make Sterling sit at courtside. Let every one of his players and coaches, and the opposing teams and coaches, and all the fans look him in the eye. Humiliate him in public, then get rid of him.

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  6. 'Afternoon, Nancy

    I'M WRONG!!!!!!!!
    WONderfully, BEAUtifully, specTACularly WRONG!!!!!!!!!
    Like I thought, and like MLB did with Ms. Marge, heat can be, we see, put on the owners to force an owner out. Mark Cuban notwithstanding, and with how CLEAR and to the point Mr. Silver is being, indeed, it does look like Mr. Tokowitz will have no more power within the NBA.

    While I still maintain, and there is no current better example of this than the President, that, and to keep it consistent with the sport, regardless of stature, when it comes to "us", there just isn't a slam dunk, the right thing is being done, here.

    And, it's impressive to see. If you aren't looking at a live feed, over-all, I think Mr. Silver did well and went right to the point. THE WEAK SPOT, and, here, to me, was where Mr. Silver had to cover for the League, was the, again, in my opinion, weak response to the question of, in essence, what took 'em so long? He could have said that the League didn't handle themselves well. He didn't. You KNOW this was discussed and he presented with an exoneration of the League based on legal outcome (he's and the League is gonna get hammered a bit on this). BUT.....

    You're right....The wrong "brothas" got messed with, here.

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    1. I was out when it happened & then took most of the rest of the afternoon to get caught up on what Silver did. But WOW!!!

      Did you hear that the Warriors were planning to walk out on the game if Silver didn't come down HARD? Between that, the sponsors bailing ship and all the rest - the big guns (owners) came through.

      I suspect this changes things - not sure exactly how that is gonna play out politically - but as you say - they messed with the wrong "brothas!"

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