This article is Part 2 in a four-part series from Gerald Torrence on The Truth About Racism.
Although I do not agree with the racist views of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, I wholeheartedly support his right to be a racist. In a country that was founded on the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of thought, the social and economic backlash against Sterling for expressing his private views is extremely troubling. It is yet another case of political correctness run amok.
How is it that thoughts expressed in a private setting no matter how virulent and disturbing can be the catalyst for the NBA equivalent of the death penalty. The NBA’s unprecedented move to strip Donald Sterling of team ownership ban him from the Clippers’ games, fine him 2.5 million dollars and compel a forced sale of the team he’s owned for 30 years, without a hearing violates every principle of due process, equal protection, and freedom of speech.
What has our so-called democracy morphed into, when the political heads of State can make subjective, moral pronouncements, which serve to stifle the right to have differences of opinion? In today’s America, the populace is afraid to voice any opinion which runs afoul of the politically correct view of the moment. At a time when the government increasingly infringes on the rights of the individual, and privacy concerns are being eroded by the courts, these actions against the Clippers owner are all the more troubling.
Should it be the responsibility of government and special interest groups to establish the social and moral norms of a society? Or does democracy mean that all voices of expression have the right to be heard regardless of their identity with mainstream sentiment?
The NBA’s move has set a dangerous precedent as we watch the black celebrities and social do-gooders line up behind the NBA’s draconian coup of Sterling. Has it occurred to anyone what’s really behind the NBA’s swift and drastic action? Economics! It’s naïve to think that NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, and the rest of the NBA owners have suddenly got religion, and social and moral epiphany. The NBA doesn’t love black people, and neither does Adam Silver. Are we really to believe that Silver and the NBA’s 30 white owners have all of a sudden become altruistic in the fight against racism—in embracing the cause of the African American? I think not. The billion dollar conglomerate which is the NBA is simply posturing and jockeying to save its own financial interest. The economic viability of the NBA brand inures to the overwhelming benefit of its billionaire owners.
The NBA owners love money, and that’s what Adam Silver’s action was all about. With the risk of an NBA boycott of the Clippers players looming as a real possibility, Commissioner Silver took the only action deemed prudent, when faced with the loss of millions of dollars of playoff revenue and good will. It was an easy decision, not a moral one. So let’s not be fooled—the only color that matters in this slight of hand, farcical move by the NBA is green.
Gerald Torrence is a lawyer, educator, writer, social and political activist, and motivational speaker living in Atlanta. You can find more insightful opinions from TheTruthTeller at the-truth-teller.com. You can follow Gerald on Twitter @tttspokentruth.