Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Don Sterling, the Racist, is Not Alone - The Punishment is Too Much

The understandable folderol about Don Sterling and his foul mouth and his Clippers franchise [his personal property] raises many interesting, telling, and sometimes disturbing issues, over and above the rankness of his bigoted speech.  For instance, I was amused to note that a friend who pretends to value free speech and balance deleted my comment on his Facebook page, along the lines of this post, about the lifetime ban of Donald Sterling, which sadly might say more about him than Sterling's known foul mouth said about him.

I think the punishment of Sterling is quite over the top. Sterling is a jerk, a bigot, an asshole, and he deserves whatever loathing comes his way. However, official, regulatory ostracism is not a standard practiced in this country.  And there are many team-members who also fit that description [including one who labeled the teams "black teams"], some of whom liberally use the "n" word while decrying those of other races who use it, and their racism is similarly revolting, and yet we don't see them banned, punished, highlighted as the cretins they are, etc.

Just as it is Un-American to practice ostracism, it is also un-American to deprive a person of the use and enjoyment of his property, which he alone assumed the risk to build up, to the same extent that it is un-American to be a bigot [although I suspect a high percentage of Americans really are bigots of various sorts!], and I think we should tread carefully before we allow collective moral self-righteousness be the measure by which WE decide if YOU can keep and enjoy your property and pursuit of happiness.

Make no mistake about it - I think Sterling is a scumbag and he has earned a place on the lower rungs of Dante's Inferno. We need to be careful, though, that we don't slip down close to him by our actions and public and private thoughts, glass houses and stones and the like.

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