Its good to see that folks are stepping up around this nonsense with the Clippers. Big shout out to ColorOfChange.org who have already been hard at work going after sponsors and hitting the Clippers where their pocketbook is. Thus far a number of corporations have already pulled their money.
With that being said, what should not be lost on us is the fact that Donald Sterling impacted folks above and beyond his harsh words. He’s a real estate mogul who discriminated against folks trying to get housing in LA.. The fines he paid in settling he lawsuits against him were among the highest in the country.
Sterling seriously hurt folks. he hurt hard-working average ordinary folks who found it difficult to get housing and the fact that he’s been allowed to operate in LA w/o too many sanctions and that he was being honored by the NAACP in a city where foreclosures and housing shortages are at all time highs, one needs to be asking, how many more think and act like Donald Sterling but haven’t been caught on tape?
If the NBA moves to kick him out of the League, we should be asking why hasn’t he been kicked out of the real estate world, with licenses revoked, permits pulled and those done wrong given free housing in return for his transgressions? We need to be asking what elected officials in LA County green lit any of his projects and why?? We need to know if he’s been given tax breaks or special consideration and perks from any of the cities where he owns property. All that needs to be rescinded. When we deal with that issue, that’s where meaningful transformation will take place.
With respect to the NAACP, LA Chapter president Leon Perkins held a press conference stating that Sterling was a guy who provided tickets for over 1000 young Black youth to come to the Clipper games and he donated some money to the chapter. Forget the basketball games, Perkins should’ve been asking what affordable or better yet, what FREE HOUSING has Sterling provided for the poor and underprivileged he is said to despise?
Sterling owns a lucrative piece of property in Beverly Hills that houses his office known Sterling Plaza. It has that has 7 stories. There was an article that came out a few years ago stating he was the only resident. Has he moved in any of those underprivileged families he sends to his games? Has he granted office space to some Black/ Brown businesses? That’s something he should’ve been pushed to do to make amends as part of his housing discrimination settlement.
The point I’m getting at is we must not fall into the trap of seeing Sterling and his words in isolation. He’s part of institutions that have long run roughshod over a lot of folks who don’t get to hold press conferences when done dirty. They unfortunately don’t have Snoop Dogg, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan speaking out on their behalf. But those folks should be uplifted and the companies and corporations headed by racist individuals like Sterling should be held accountable and made to truly compensate folks. Tickets to a Clipper game don’t cut it..
If Sterling is forced to sell the Clippers he will most likely get close to get at least half billion dollars for that team. He paid 13 million for them. He already worth 1.9 billion dollars. Homeboy will live comfortably. As for the people upended by housing discrimination, foreclosures, redlining etc in a world that Sterling is very much apart of, they may not be doing all that well. How will we champion their plight?? We know the name Donald Sterling, but do we know Thomas J. Barrack, Jr or Penny Pritker and the damage they done in the housing market?? Reflect on that for a minute….