Wednesday, April 30, 2014

So This Is 'Post-Racial America

(Cartoon by Joel Pett, published 4/29/14 in the Lexington Herald Leader and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge.)
So, the National Basketball Association has brought the hammer down on Donald Sterling, gazillionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers (at least for the nonce) for his appalling racist remarks.  Actually, I have no trouble with the NBA's actions, even though I'm a staunch supporter of Free Speech.  Yes, Mr. Sterling has the Constitutional right to spout such horrid nonsense, and, no, the government shouldn't punish him, but the private club he belongs to does have a right to step in and assess a fine and whatever other penalties for such egregious behavior is on their books.

Bill Plaschke, one of my favorite sports writer does have a few well-chosen words in his column for the Los Angeles Times:

Four days after the release of audiotapes on which Sterling is heard making racist comments, the NBA has banned the Clippers owner for life.

“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views,’’ said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday morning. “They simply have no place in the NBA.’’

Sterling was also fined the maximum $2.5 million, but, for the eccentric billionaire who viewed his team as a way to be accepted among his social circle, the lost money is nothing compared with his lost status.   [Emphasis added]

I think the Republican drive to make voting difficult, if not impossible for African Americans, poor people, and elders is far more worrisome and damaging for our democracy.  Joel Pett's cartoon captures both issues beautifully.

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