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Donald Sterling and Racism; an Esoteric View [240]

Updated on May 18, 2014

DONALD STERLING (formerly Tokowitz) in 1989


Has My Esoteric Lost His Mind?

WHEN BARUCH SPINOZA PROCLAIMED THE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS had the idea of God all wrong, and then went on to prove that a Pantheistic concept was more correct, his Jewish Church excommunicated as well as shund him in no uncertain terms. That is what happened to the LA Clipper basketball team's owner, Donald S when an audio recording was released which made his bigotry against Blacks public knowledge. The NBA fined him $2.5 million, kicked him out of basketball, and is trying to force him to sell his team. After thinking about this for the few weeks the scandal has been running, I have concluded the NBA should not have done what it did.


To begin with, based on this scandal, I would assert that Donald Sterling is a "bigot" and not a "racist"; the term which has been recently attached to him. To me, anyway, a racist is a bigot who acts on his or her bigoted beliefs and clearly, in regards to his basketball team (and mistress), Sterling has not acted on his bigotry. Is he a bigot, of that there is no doubt, based on the considering his comments he made from the released tapes and his previous legal issues. Further, in respect to his those legal issues, he acted in a racist manner relative to the lawsuit he lost

Thomas Paine, a Liberal Voice with "common Sense"


It's All About Freedom of Thought, Isn't It?

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW ME, you might be thinking ... when did My Esoteric become so conservative? For those that don't follow me, know that I am a bit of a social liberal, especially when it comes to issues like this. But, I am also all about balanced Justice, I even have the sign of Libra tattooed on my left shoulder. And in the case of Donald Sterling, he did not, in my opinion, receive balanced Justice for his display of (unconscious) bigotry. Damn, he did again! What do you mean by unconscious?

Unconscious, in the case, means "instinctual", "natural", "philosophical"; in other words he doesn't see himself as being bigoted, he sees himself simply as being pragmatic and taking the world "as it is" or "should be" to preserve good order.

Thomas Paine, in his book Common Sense, which did so much to energize the Colonies to accept independence from England wrote

"But there is another and great distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is the distinction of men into KINGS and SUBJECTS."

This is the motto, as it were, of Liberals and liberalism and is rejected by Conservatives then, and Conservatives today. Many people throughout the ages from Edmund Burke (thought to be the father of conservatism to George Wallace to William F. Buckley Jr. to Rush Limbaugh have made profound arguments rationalizing the need for a "distinction of men into Kings and Subjects." You see this belief on display between V. Stiviano and Donald Sterling:

V: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?

DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?

With the above words, clearly Sterling sees himself as the natural King and the Clipper players and coach as his Subjects. The fact that Sterling (and the other owners) would have nothing if it weren't for the players making the choice to play in the first place is completely lost on him. It is also lost on all of those who objected to Senator Clinton's claim that "it takes a village to raise a child" and President Obama's rebuttal to Republican claims that business owners are solely responsible for the success of their businesses when he said in part,

"... If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else [helped] mad[k]e that happen."

Unfortunately, Obama's phrasing allowed Conservatives to subvert the true message; I think it would have been much better if he had inserted the words I have in brackets because that reflects the meaning that agrees with the rest of the sentence and which he unsuccessfully tried to convey the following day and weeks. Nevertheless, from a progressive's point of view, Paine, Clinton, and Obama spoke the truth; but from a conservatives standpoint, it makes no sense at all.

And that is why the NBA's actions were excessive.

So What Is Wrong?

EXACTLY WHAT DID STERLING DO WRONG? NOTHING, as far as I can tell. he simply expressed a point of view; no more, no less. And, if you are one of those liberals or moderates that say he did, you best stay out of glass houses and hope no stones are around lest you cast one in error and receive a dozen back in reply. Of course, Stirling's views are abhorrent to those who aren't conservative in fact, they are not unique to him but instead, widely held, probably by at least 20% of the American population; but his views, in and of themselves, is not cause for action by any third party.

There is also the following problems beyond the fact that these are personally, Constitutionally allowably held views:

  • the conversation with Stiviano was private
  • the recording was illegally recorded
  • he didn't threaten, let alone actually act on his bigotry
  • he hasn't, as far as it has been reported anyway, acted in a racist manner toward the Clippers or anyone else that has come to light as of this writing.

So, what right does the NBA have to crucify a man for privately holding a politically incorrect belief, a belief that is not even an uncommon one in our society, It was not Sterling's fault his views became public, it was the criminal actions of a third party; somebody he ought to legally pursue until that person as been crushed as bad has he has. Now, Sterling's bigotry would make it hard for me to personally like him (not that he would ever care), but, now that his views are so public, he would not get away Scott-free either, even if the NBA had done the right thing and just denounced his bigotry. The Clipper franchize would be in jeopardy from many quarters; 1) fans, 2) sponsors, and 3) his team; especially the team because they have to figure out how to deal with an owner who believes they are simple Subjects that should be grateful for his handouts.

Anyway, that is My Esoteric's take on things.


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    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You're welcome, BDO.

    • profile image

      Lateisha 3 years ago

      The abitliy to think like that shows you're an expert

    • profile image

      bradmaster from OC ca 3 years ago

      My Esoteric

      I gather your time is limited, no problem

    • profile image

      bradmaster from orange county ca 3 years ago

      My Esoteric

      I agree with you on most of it, but I don't think that it warrants a slap on conservatives.

      The NBA acted with racism, white is also a race, in their desire to look like they were policing the NBA.

      This is also an example of the failure of the law to be consistent with justice. There should have been no legal reason why the NBA could exact such a Draconian penalty for illegal, non public conversations. These conversations were private as you pointed out, and yet they were allowed to take effect as if he made them at a Clipper game to the public at large.

      Sports fans don't need to be racists themselves, but that is what they were in this case. Sterling hired blacks, paid them well, and treated them as the stars that they were, and not as a King as you opine.

      He had the right to boast about his team, and take credit for assembling them.

      Now this case is over, it is a prime example that not only is freedom of speech no longer protected, but private thoughts without any actions are also now not protected by the law.

      Any assertions about someone being racist are taken as gospel, putting the onus on the person targeted as a racist. The allegation of racism is an opinion, but it is taken as gospel by those that want to continue the illusion that they are being discriminated against for the last four hundred years.

      As long as people keep using the race card, the longer racism will seem to be an active problem in the US. Actually calling someone a racist can be construed as defamation, either or both as libel and slander. The only protection against defamation is if the statement is true.

      In Sterling's case it was not true, but it was acted on as if it were true creating a miscarriage of justice simply on innuendo.



    • profile image

      bdo 3 years ago

      Good news. I got the book. Thank you for your advice. Hope is alive.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      As I said, read "Black Like Me", then come back and edit your post accordingly.

    • profile image

      big daddy oreo 3 years ago

      Thank you sir. Do me a favor and spread the word. Tell all your friends about how black skin can help white people. Here are my ideas.

      black skin would make a man look stronger.

      black skin would make a man look younger.

      black skin could help with the ladies.

      black skin is good for street protection and job protection.

      black skin can help white bosses get more productivity out of black employees.

      black skin can help white cops when dealing with black criminals.

      black skin can help a white lawyer defend a white person in a discrimination case.

      Black skin can help you get black votes.

      you can protect white people better with a black face.

      Spread the word my brother spread the word. You can write a book if you want. Just spread the word.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for the comment, @Big Daddy; you might read "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin in 1961 for ideas, he did just that.

    • profile image

      big daddy oreo 4 years ago

      I would feel more comfortable talking about race if I was black no question about it. I just play it safe and only talk about it with close friends.

      Where I work at there are a few rebellious black employees who don't work that hard and from what I hear get away with a lot. They have 5 managers all white. I would love nothing more than to tell them they need 1 or 2 black managers up in there. All the white managers seem scared. They had a black manager before he hired lots of black employees and there was no problem.

      I want to go undercover as a black man so I can help white people out with interacial relations. Does anybody here know a safe and affordable way for a white man to go undercover as a black man?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I think MizBejabbers hit the nail on the head when she said "... they don't realize they are advocating taking away their own rights".

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 4 years ago from Corona, California.

      When you really think about it, he didn't really say anything racist. He didn't want her bringing blacks . He didn't use the "N" word. And I believe his story that he was jealous. After he pointed that out you could see how the conversation went. Now nobody wants to admit they jumped to conclusions. I felt the same way as everyone else at first. But I thought about it a lot and he was wronged in the worst way. And you are right MizB, he should be able to express his feelings without being run over the coals. If this is the way this country is turning, we are ALL in trouble. Especially people like me, I like to say the way I feel. Greg

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Greg, privacy, free thought, free speech, the man had the right to say what he was thinking. (As ME pointed out, he didn't act on it.) You are right that the recording broke the law, but this is bigger than one man. When people want to beat on Donald Sterling, they don't realize they are advocating taking away their own rights. As a journalist (former anyway) I feel a responsibility to point this out to them.

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 4 years ago from Corona, California.

      This isn't so much about free speech, it is about privacy and free thought. The recorder broke the law BIG time. Greg

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      ME and Greg: I am glad to see two hubs on the same subject. Not because I agree with Donald Sterling because I don’t. (As I’ve said before, I have dear friends who are African-American.) I think we need to speak out for free speech. Our First Amendment rights as individuals are being trampled and shredded. Political correctness is having a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights and that should not be tolerated. I think Mr. Sterling’s First Amendment rights are being violated right and left, and I think both hubs have brought out good points.

      When I was in a high school government class we raised the question “why was the communist party not outlawed in the United States since it worked toward the downfall of this nation?” As a class we even wrote a letter to Washington and received an answering letter. Even the communist party was guaranteed freedom of speech under the First Amendment (among other reasons given). Every day there is an American Nazi or someone similar spewing hate under the protection of the First Amendment. We protect the burning of the U.S. flag as freedom of speech or expression under the First Amendment. Yet we as a nation simply cannot tolerate the ramblings of an old man! An old man whose estranged wife alleges is senile.

      We as a nation really need to get our priorities in order. Voted up++

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I am not sure it is V that did the taping and releasing. Aren't the fingers pointing to the wife? Maybe not, I haven't followed that closely.

      I wonder how many disagree with us as to the NBA (and publics) reaction?

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 4 years ago from Corona, California.

      This all happened because someone got very greedy and wasn't happy with what she had already been handed and I agree that the NBA had no business doing what they did. That should have been left up to the fans as to whether they wanted to attend games anymore. As for the money, what is that for? Who would it go to? My hub says basically the same thing. Greg.


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