View From Here

David Mark Greaves
By David Mark Greaves May 2, 2014 11:40

View From Here

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By: David Mark Greaves

If ever there was a big fat target, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is it. For his profoundly
racist comments recorded on a phone call and made public by his girlfriend, he is scorned and savaged,
banned from the NBA and maximally fined. DemocracyNow! reported that “While Sterling’s comments
shocked the sports world, they came as no surprise to those who have followed his record”. In 2009, he
paid more than $2.7 million to settle federal allegations of driving out people of color from apartment
buildings he owns” and in his DemocracyNow! interview Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation
said, “The warning signs of Donald Sterling’s racism, egregious behavior and misogyny go back more
than a decade — and the league has coddled him”. It seems as though Sterling’s biggest crime was in
breaking the code of silence and thereby acting like a shaft of light through a window, revealing the dust
of racism that is all around us. And what seems to be most satisfying, is that he gives so many people in
so many industries an opportunity to pound their chest and say, “Now, that’s an example of a racist and
we find him appalling”, and then when the mutual congratulations on the shared abhorrence of racism,
thy can return to their white newsrooms and white management, return to their white coaches and
black players, return to processing black people through the criminal justice system and into prisons,
return to enjoying how economic inequality can quickly change a neighborhood, and return to
workplaces where there is diversity at the bottom but not so much at the top.
Donald Sterling will be reviled and deplored and used as a red herring, leading away from the systematic
legacies of slavery and racism around us every day. And Mayor de Blasio and the City Council should
take note: Acknowledging it or not, we see Sterling’s sentiment manifested in the New York City budget
where less than 1% of $18 billion in vendor spending is done with the 25% African-American population,
where unemployment among black men is reported to be 20%, not counting those not even in the labor
force. So please, along with the press releases joining in the condemnation, channel the outrage and
energy into laying out a plan to remove what’s in Sterling’s heart from the management of this city.

David Mark Greaves
By David Mark Greaves May 2, 2014 11:40
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