Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Racism, Capitalism & The Thought Police

81 year old Clippers Basketball Team owner, Donald Sterling, made some racist remarks in a fight with his past mistress, which she recorded and made public.  By the way, Sterling's mistress could be prosecuted for taping Sterling, without his permission, in the state of California.  Let's see where that goes.  Sterling's remarks concerning Black People may have been made out of anger when Sterling saw a picture of his much younger girlfriend with a much younger, handsome, viral Black man.  Do you think?   In any case, the remarks about not bringing Black people to Clipper's games was the rant of an old fool.  Of course, it is no excuse for Sterling's dumb remarks.  However, everybody knows that there is no fool like an old fool, particularly since 80% of players in the NBA are Black.  While this Blogger is not into sports, I suspect that many of the NBA's ticket buyers are Black.   The notion of turning customers, of any color, away is pretty stupid even for a man as rich as Sterling. 

The good news is that Capitalism works.   As usual, money talks.  The NBA would have lost business if they did not take swift action.  The NBA Commissioner banned Donald Sterling from the game for life.  Since Sterling is 81, that penalty may not last very long.  However, Sterling was also fined $2.5 million, for his transgressions, which is a more direct penalty.  Finally, the NBA is going to try to force a sale, which may difficult.   In any case, the NBA acted appropriately within their rules to do what they could do. 

However, the fact is that Donald Sterling did not violate any laws, or at least, there are no specific allegations that he acted on his racist beliefs.   Sterling was apparently sued for discrimination in the past for not renting apartments to Blacks.  Sterling lost that case and had to pay a multi-million fine because he did violate the law.   We need to be a little bit careful here because of the Thought Police.   While racism is wrong and hurtful, people who simply harbor racist attitudes are not in violation of the law just because of their beliefs.  They are only in violation of the law if they act on those beliefs.  In other words, our Constitution allows you to be a racist, or of any religion or persuasion, provided you don't discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. 

The Thought Police want people who hold beliefs, that don't tow their party line, on things like abortion, gay rights and marriage, gun rights, entitlements, taxes, regulations, environment etc. destroyed and prevented from doing business, or in some cases working altogether.  The CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign just because he donated a $1,000 in support of the Traditional Marriage Initiative that was enacted in California.  These left wing ideologue zealots are often vicious.   Let us not forget that our First Amendment Rights allow Americans to hold odious views if they choose to.  Donald Sterling is an old jerk; but he is allowed to be a jerk.  Sterling's customers will decide his fate related to the Clippers because Capitalism works; but no matter how odious his views, Sterling is allowed to hold them, as long as he does not act on them, in violation of the law.   In order to hold our own views, we have to protect the rights of others to hold their views, no matter how crazy or stupid. 

No comments:

Post a Comment