Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sterling Bundy one more time

Can someone explain to me why Donald Sterling will be dispossessed of what is close to a billion dollar sports franchise for making racist remarks — off camera, in private, not intended for public consumption — while Cliven Bundy is not separated from his immense Wyoming ranch for something one would think more serious than mere ranting, namely openly and brazenly breaking federal law, refusing to pay taxes, defying federal agents, and, for good measure, when there's no doubt the camera is full upon him, calling for the return of slavery? 

The return of slavery?!

Donald Sterling would not call for the return of slavery. Not no way, not no how. Sterling fancies himself as anything but racist, conceives of himself as a charitable man, a good man, a mensch. He sorrows over being thought of as racist, and promises never to "do it again."

Sterling is, however, a complete and total  schmuck. With racism per se off the table, he finds another way to defame Magic Johnson, this time on grounds that Magic has HIV and therefore isn't a "good example for the children of Los Angeles."

Thing of it is, I can relate to Sterling. I can imagine him as the billionaire uncle I never had (my uncles averaged out as schnorrers) who blew cigar smoke at me as he boomed on about the things I should learn from him because he had made all this gelt.

Gelt, after all,  being knowledge.

I want to tear myself away, for now, from Sterling scenarios, including those involving Magic Johnson.

I want to return to Cliven Bundy, and a scenario I continue not to understand.

Next time I refuse to obey the law — say refuse to pay taxes —  should I do it in Wyoming, should I do it with a rifle, should I do it on a horse?


  1. Unlike Bundy, Sterling has not broken any laws, but he does go against the agreements that make him an NBA owner -- they have their own rules and they might dare to evict him and he might not be so easy to evict.

    I'm trying to find the right word for how I respond to Sterling's comments --- I am a cranky old man myself, although not nearly as old and not nearly as cranky, but my speech is definitely faulty according to current standards. It's not that I sympathize with Sterling, but it's more like I fear they will come after me after they dispose of him, and I haven't got a billion dollars -- In fact, I'm pretty easy to shut up in comparison.

    I noticed two things about his ramblings. One is that he never used language. You and I both know, and have heard, and might have used, various terms for black people other than black or African-American. Sterling knows those terms well himself, but he did not say them, not even in what he thought was a private phone call. Compare that to the tape-recorded profanities of Richard Nixon which contrasted so strongly with his public speech.

    Then another thing I noticed was what he said on the Anderson Cooper interview, "Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people."

    As compared to African-Americans. Golly Gee! I mean that's true, but you're not supposed to say that.

    Now I come to my own situation, which is that I know instinctively and almost automatically how to use the old codes of speech. It is my native speech. The new ever-changing modes of speech are bewildering to me and often don't seem to be much of an improvement.

    I know you're not supposed to make broad generalities about groups -- "those Jews sure are smart!" -- but the new speech is so constrained and devoid of color. I'm just not trying too hard to learn it.

    As for Magic Johnson, he can take care of himself. And as for the NBA -- well, nobody asked me, but career aspirations to become a professional athlete are a big looser for the black community. You get one Magic Johnson and 999 unemployed bums with that as a goal. Far better it would be if black America collectively turned its back on ALL professional sports and pursued goals to become carpenters, architects, dentists, engineers, baristas, farmers -- anything but a basketball player.

    If Sterling takes the NBA down with him he is doing us all a favor.

    1. i like your point about sterling not resorting to "language." true.

      as for sterling taking the nba down with him, nah. i take it you are not a b'ball fan. i am. and this is one of the great playoffs ever, with sterling's team, the clippers, among the best. the nba will thrive with or without sterling, esp. as it is becoming more and more globalized. (maybe it's the only american sport remotely competitive with soccer internationally.)

      no comment about cliven bundy? no explanation? my question about how he gets to ride off into the sunset after giving the finger to the feds was not rhetorical. what's his secret?

      > Then another thing I noticed was what he said on the Anderson Cooper interview, "Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people."

      As compared to African-Americans. Golly Gee! I mean that's true, but you're not supposed to say that.>

      but is this true? is there evidence? and part of the context, anyway, is that blacks have only recently become successful, and further, that blacks have not had the kind of collective identity over the millennia that jews have had.

  2. Likewise, Anderson Cooper's interview with Magic was shameless. He kept feeding Magic softballs. But worse, he asked Magic whether he believed that Sterling was suffering from dementia. Of course not, Magic responded and then continued his part of the tag team flogging. Then Cooper piously asserted that he would never interview an individual suffering from dementia--disgusting. Sterling is a lost old timer who can barely recall his name. That is obvious.

    1. i missed anything but excerpts from the cooper interview, but liked what i read were magic's comments:

      "I just feel sorry for him. I really do. It's sad. The problem is, he is living in the Stone Ages. He can't make those comments about African-Americans or Latinos. He just can't do it."

      i think magic does feel sorry for sterling. i do too. not all *that* sorry: he does have a racist past and could make, literally, a billion in the sale of the clippers. and he is, has become, a repulsively vulgar man, saying his mistake was not to pay stiviano off.

      what a schmuck, a very rich old schmuck.

      still, the comments that got him in trouble were made in private space weren't they? or at least not in public space.

      again, i missed the cooper interview but have suspected all along that dementia played a role.

      meanwhile, my question remains: how can i learn the bliven secret of giving the finger to the feds & getting away free?