Excuse me, as I am sure there are a million blog posts about this topic. But I figured I would add my two cents.
When TMZ.com released the Donald Sterling audio this past weekend, many were shocked to hear such blatant racism come from an accomplished business/sports personality. Perhaps even more shocking to many, was the fact that he displayed racism towards the very same group (Blacks/African Americans) who just happen to represent the majority of his team, and league.
Note, this is not the first time Sterling has had ‘race’ problems. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports highlights this in a recent article
However for many of us who are Black, this is neither shocking or surprising. Instead, what Sterling has done is underline what many of us feel – That no matter our skill & education level, many in power view us Blacks as inferior being who shouldn’t think, talk or action unless we have permission from our ‘masters’.
This mindset is often found online when the topic surrounds race or ethnicity right here in Canada. When Blacks speak up on an array of issues, many will speak to us as if we have no right to have an opinion. The common line of “Freedom of Speech” in invoked, however it is only freedom of speech when THEY have an opinion, not us.
The problem becomes larger however if those behind the keyboards are also the same individuals sitting in the Executive Offices of various places of employment. As we posted in a previous blog – a job is how many of us regardless or race/gender, provide for our families. If the people who control your employment have the same attitude of a Donald Sterling or many of these “keyboard haters”, then we start to see racism transform from not only a social issue but an economic one.
At least we know where Sterling stands on this issue as it relates to Blacks. The deeper concerns are as follows:
- Why did the NBA wait for this event to happen when Sterling has a history of demonstrating this behaviour? Why has the NBA protected him for so long?
- For every Sterling, how many more people in power have this view towards Blacks?
- How many qualified Blacks are overlooked for promotions, new opportunities and business ventures due to racism?
- If multimillionaire NBA players who bring in millions for the league and sponsours can be looked upon in this manner, how are everyday, hard working blacks viewed?
From Sterling’s comments, to the racist backlash against President Obama – an increasing amount of blacks at all socioeconomic levels are seeing their worst fears confirmed. The fear is that even if we are contributing to society; are we still viewed as modern day slaves?
Some will argue that Affirmation Action/Employment equity is making a difference. However, even TIME Magazine in a recent article mentions that it is not Blacks reaping the benefits of Affirmation Action.
There are millions of people who adore the NBA and its players. Basketball is a beautiful sport and has helped transform many lives. Many of those millions are Blacks who work hard and contribute to our society. Are they getting a fair shake at work? Are their kids getting fair shake at school?
Maybe we don’t feel the need to speak about this issue because after all, we are “multicultural”. But as a Black Man born and raised in Canada, I don’t see multiculturalism in the hall of power. Or even in our media nearly enough.
I would rather deal with someone who is honest about not liking me than with someone who poses with pictures of Elton Brand yet makes disgusting comments like this to this girlfriend about Blacks. I just wonder, how many Donald Sterling’s are out there and how many lives of good hard working Black People are they destroying?
Blog by Radcliffe Dockery