The past two weeks have been a race-monger’s dream. Cliven Bundy responded to an interview question that has allowed the press to portray both him and those of us who support him as racist.
But the truth is, even if Cliven Bundy were the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, racism wouldn’t be the issue. The issue is a rogue federal government. The issue is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which was handed scathing reprimands by Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Nevada Circuit Court in September 2012 and May 2013 in his finding for the Hage family, whom the BLM targeted as they did the Bundy family.
Now come the alleged comments of Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, that were secretly recorded while he was having a dispute with his girlfriend. The recording then mysteriously found its way to TMZ for TMZ to present as an exclusive. During the dispute, Sterling opined to his girlfriend (who is black and Mexican) that he was upset by her public association with certain blacks – among whom was Magic Johnson. If we are to believe the tape has not been doctored, Sterling indicated he did not want his girlfriend to bring these blacks to basketball games.
And as quick as you can say “Mac-Daddy sissy,” Obama, with the blood of the Benghazi Four (Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty) on his hands; the IRS scandal; Fast and Furious (and the blood of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata also on his hands); unemployment at unparalleled highs; America becoming a food-stamp nation; Japanese reports that Michelle plans to divorce him (supposedly over his countless affairs); and “If you like your insurance you can keep it,” he finds time to feign insult over Sterling’s comments.
Obama called Sterling’s alleged comments, “incredibly offensive racist statements.” He continued: “We constantly have to be on guard on racial attitudes that divide us rather than embracing our diversity as a strength. … The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination. … We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often … and I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently, but also remaining hopeful that part of why statements like this stand out so much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves.”
Obama’s comments were morally opprobrious and boorish but obviously not out of character for him. Obama has done less to further the racial unity of America and more to exasperate and, indeed, to exacerbate racial and religious tensions in America and around the world than any American leader before him.
His legacy of promoting racial tensions includes ignoring the New Black Panther Party, ACORN and Al Sharpton, while dictating to Congress that they shouldn’t rush to judgment about Nidal Hasan, the Muslim terrorist who murdered and/or gravely wounded 30 Americans at the Fort Hood Army base.
A true leader would have taken the opportunity to tell the world that even if the alleged recording of Sterling were accurate, Sterling doesn’t represent America. He is one person, and in America, unlike the rest of the world, he is entitled to his opinions even if they are offensive. I would have pointed out that despite what Sterling supposedly said, 13 of 15 players on his NBA team are black, the head coach is black, and his players enjoy the fifth-highest payroll of the 30 NBA teams. I would have noted that he was assessed an additional $13.782 million on top of his $72.5 million annual team payroll, because the Clippers surpassed the current NBA salary cap of $58.7 million.
A leader would have pointed out that the City of Angels’ branch of the NAACP honored Sterling with a lifetime achievement award in 2009 – despite complaints made by former NBA superstar and trailblazer Elgin Baylor in his lawsuit accusing Sterling of racism. At that time, Leon Jenkins, the president of the L.A. branch of the NAACP, said, “We can’t speak to the allegations [of racism], but what we do know is that for the most part (Sterling) has been very, very kind to the minority youth community.” And Sterling was to be presented with their Image Award this year.
A leader would have presented America with a message of hope and reminded the world that we are Americans and that unlike any other country, while not a frog without blemishes, we have overcome them. In America, the proof of inclusive participation for all Americans is evidenced.
I know many blacks live for the opportunity to be portrayed as victims of rich white men who are racist and say or do something that validates what blacks desire to believe. But Sterling has done more for blacks than Obama. (See: “Obama Cabinet: No Blacks And Few Women,” mychal-massie.com, March 27, 2014.)
I’m not a Clippers fan, and I am ambivalent about Donald Sterling. But we do know that the woman on the tape – who is reported to have released it to TMZ – is being sued by the Sterlings for allegedly embezzling $1.8 million and has threatened to “get even.”
We’ve witnessed this rush to judgment before. The problem is that the rush to judgment seldom occurs if the accused is black or Muslim.
Media wishing to interview Mychal Massie, please contact [email protected].