Just like most of you, I saw the TMZ headlines, I listened to the audio of Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his distaste for his mistress's association with blacks, and I even turned to ESPN to see what the attitude of his coworkers were.
On the surface, everyone seemed to be on one accord that this was a problem that needed to be handled swiftly from the words of Stephen A. Smith, Michael Jordan, Lebron, and every other employee of Adam Silver's.
But what I also began to notice was that with so much focus on Donald Sterling and his racism, this issue was about to be vacuumed up with him alone as opposed to being indicative of a much larger problem that needs to be addressed. Donald Sterling is one tree, but there is an entire forest that we've been ignoring and will continue to ignore if we keep trying to throw this one man under the bus without uprooting everything he's planted in that will eventually sprout another him; this time more poisonous and harder to recognize.
Sterling's distaste for blacks pales in comparison to many of his counter parts that are now distancing themselves from him. That's based on the fact that while we're happy about comprising 75% of the NBA's players, we're still only 1% of its owners. With all of the "progress" America has made, that can only happen with a concerted effort to ensure that it does. We're qualified to dominate this sport but just so happens that we're not qualified to lead from executive positions?
Tell me this. Every ounce of wealth generated in this country started with the free slave labor. Jim Crow followed shortly after to keep blacks disenfranchised to make sure that wealth remained in the hands it had always been in. So, if we're really past all of that, then why does the ratio of those working for the money vs. those who actually have the money still look exactly the same?
Because that money was passed down and preserved through the likes of Donald Sterling who says you can do what you want with blacks, but in this world it can't be made out to be that they're actually equal to you. They're good enough to make the money, but not to keep it. They're good enough to have as a mistress but not good enough to marry. Oh, what a Scandal that is(pun all the way intended).
So while we've been celebrating the honor of finally getting to drink out of the same water fountains as everyone else and fake-outraging when Donald Sterling doesn't have the decency to better hide his racism, we've also let this problem of being the driving force of huge businesses that do nothing to actually benefit us nor our communities persist.
So let's not get so focused on Donald Sterling. If we're going to be mad at anything, it needs to be the fact that he comes in many shapes, suits, and ties.
I wish him many more years on this earth, but it's my guess that the man has a decade or two left in him. But the problem he's indicative of has been around for hundreds of years and won't go down without a fight. Regardless of race, those who aren't scared will join in that fight. Those who are, will go right back to Twitter's trending topic and make more memes.
Written by: Derrick Jaxn