Should Opinions Be Illegal? The Donald Sterling Scandal
By Shane Kastler
I suspect that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a rich, arrogant jerk who might have unfavorable views toward those different from him. I also suspect many of the young black athletes he employees are rich, arrogant jerks who have unfavorable views towards those different from them. Arrogance is not limited to any particular race. However in America today, arrogance from a “minority” is completely acceptable. While arrogance from a white person might cost them their livliehood.
With all of that said, let me offer a word of caution to the media and all who (in typical fashion) have blown the Sterling scandal out of proportion. Who cares if Donald Sterling is a racist? It's unfortunate. It might be nice if his views changed. But in the end, who cares? And why on earth would the media be so enamored with the story anyway? And furthermore, why should a black person care for one second what Donald Sterling thinks of them? He's obviously willing to shell out millions upon millions to pay black athletes to play for his team. If he's such a racist, then why would he not employee white players only? Answer, because he's smart enough to know who will win ballgames and make money for his organization. Which leads me to another question.
Should personal opinions be illegal? Should personal opinions result in the loss of your livelihood? Frighteningly, the answer from most Americans seems to be yes. But the U.S. Constitution and common sense say otherwise. No matter how wrong Sterling's opinions might be, he has a right to hold them. Yet the media induced lynch mob would seek to destroy anyone who doesn't kowtow to their mantra. Al Sharpton (a racist in his own right) has called for the Clippers to be “taken away from Sterling.” By who? Who does Sharpton think has the authority or the right to do such a thing? The government? This is none of their business.
Others are calling for the NBA to seize the team away from Sterling. And for what reason? Because he made some statements to his “girlfriend” expressing irritation at her constantly posting pictures of herself with young, black men. While that might be construed as racist, one suspects that Sterling might have been equally annoyed if she was constantly posting pictures with young white men. The “race” probably isn't the issue, near as much as the “gender” is.
On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life. That's a truly scary thought. What if Sterling changes his views? What if he becomes a poster child of political correctness? There's no forgiveness? He's banned for life because of his opinion? He's banned for life because of statements made in a personal conversation with a ditzy girlfriend who secretly taped him? My goal is not to defend Sterling. As I already stated, I assume he's an arrogant jerk. But arrogant jerks are entitled to their opinions too. Former NBA player (and current executive) Larry Johnson called for all-black basketball league. This is far more racist than anything Sterling said. Will the NBA ban Johnson? Will ESPN air round the clock coverage of Johnson's comments? No. He's black. Which means he's allowed to be a racist; according to the warped mindset of modern America. What if Larry Bird called for an all white league? He'd be crucified.
Personally I haven't watched an NBA game in 20 years and don't plan to for the next 20. The league is nothing more than a politically correct cesspool of thuggery and arrogance. Once Jordan, Magic, Larry, and Dr. J retired I quit watching. The league has spiraled down hill ever since. And if your opinions are anything contrary to the status quo you can expect to be banned. For life.
Be careful in how quickly you might condemn Sterling for his alleged racism. And furthermore, be careful in espousing how you think he should be punished. Opinions are not against the law. And the same powers that would silence the racial opinions of Sterling today, might silence your religious or political opinions tomorrow. Don't fall into the snares of the media induced hysteria. Sterling's comments might be a little annoying; but in the grand scheme of things they are a non-issue writ large by the politically correct establishment that controls much of this country. Violent actions should be illegal. Personal opinions (no matter how stupid they may be) should not be. “Live and let live!” Isn't that what the Al Sharptons of the world always espouse? Perhaps it's time for them to practice what they preach.