*(Via Huff Post Black Voices) – Donald Sterling‘s alleged words about African Americans are poignant to a culture of denial. Recently in recordings acquired by several media outlets it is purported Sterling made several statements to his girlfriend on race that included the following:
It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people… 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?
These comments seem to show a thought process that epitomizes the great American contradiction. A man who on one hand has made millions through broadcasting the talents of black basketball players may not want his personal associates to publicly broadcast off-court social exchanges with those same Negroes.
Yet, these words are the result not just of a man bent by racism, but also a country that post Jim Crow has done too little to resolve its historical ills. The mark of a nation that has hidden its issues behind basketballs, million-dollar contracts for few and a post-racial identity that the road of progress has not achieved.
We live in a place where a man who makes his millions on the backs of black Americans like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and others can at the same time hold a belief system that looks down upon them. But to understand the value they have added to his coffers you have to understand a bit of NBA history. Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for 12.5 million dollars, the team’s value now sits north of a half billion dollars. A league that made it’s bones the last 30 years projecting the physical talents of blacks to televisions across America, now sits at an impasse forced to handle a racial public relations nightmare.
This article continues at Huffington Post Black Voices.