I am commenting on the Donald Sterling issue concerning comments, made in private and recorded without his knowledge, and then released to the public.
Now he is being chastised for this to a point where the NBA wants him removed from his ownership of the team. I guess we have to start with the fact that racism exists today as it did at the beginning of our American history.
Edward Robinson, a black journalist, made a comment, "racism is not dead and never was." It does exist and comments are made every day, both public and private, to that effect. The problem is, that if you are important, rich or something above the norm, than we crucify you for the comments ala Jimmy the Greek, Don Imus, Paula Deen and now Donald Sterling.
Let's face it, the norm is a middle class American, black or white, with an education, a home, a car and a good job, pays taxes. Anything above that, is an over-achiever and anything below that is an under-achiever. We only accept achievers and over-achievers.
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In the early days of America, we imported slaves to do the difficult work and we ended up with a civil war to free them. Later, we decided that the American Indian did not fit into our middle class lifestyle and we sent them to reservations. We also decided that Mormons were different enough that we forced them to Utah to a desolate place called the Great Salt Lake. For decades, gay people were forced to live in the "closet."
My point is this, racism exists in every walk of life and will never go away. I am of Mexican ancestry, but I got an education, owned a home, bought many cars, paid taxes and was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. These potentials exist for everyone, it is what you do to get there. There are huge numbers of successful white, black, Hispanic and Asians. However, there are very large numbers of under-achievers. They are on welfare, in prisons and trying to illegally gains rights in America they are not entitled to.
Thus, if Donald Sterling wants to go see his team play basketball, he has every right to request who he would like to have join him. That is his preference. If he wants to boating with bikini-clad ladies, that is his preference. He is not a racist, for heaven sakes, he has a basketball team that is 90 percent black men. He just happened to make a comment concerning black people and here comes the race card.
As for myself, if I don't want Mexicans at my house for a party, that is my preference. If I don't want gays to join me at a bar for a drink, that is my preference. If I don't want a family member at my house for Thanksgiving, that is my preference. I certainly hope that the state is not going to come and take my house or my lifestyle because of my preference. Blacks also have their own preferences. .
Finally, it would be great if racism went away, but it can't, it is a part of our society. We have to accept it and continue to do the best we can, as individuals, to make each of our lives the best they can be so as to enjoy the great benefits of this country. We all make mistakes, not one of us can cast the first stone.
The writer lives in Garden City.