Donald Sterling and the Death of Free Speech

The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life because of a racist comment he made to his girlfriend during an argument. Perhaps, it was aimed more at her than the general public.  Perhaps racism has become the new excuse for punishing people helter-skelter.

Maybe after the liberals stop eavesdropping they will find tools to read our minds and punish us for our thoughts.

Sterling is not a good guy.  So what?  His private discussions fall under the purview of freedom of speech.

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If we are intelligent our brains are complicated, fragmented and divisive.  If Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers, made a private racist comment to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, no big deal.  Racism has become a name-calling device pointing at opposition, an accusation which floats in the air till it lands on a victim and is used for argumentation rather than honest debate.

If you ease-dropped on anyone you would hear surprisingly negative things.  You’d hear gay men saying they hate vaginas, lesbians saying they hate penises, blacks saying that whites look like albino snowmen, Christians saying Jews are moneygrubbers, Jews saying that the son of God is a joke, me obsessive compulsively wanting to stab people who walk too close to me in the streets. If you listened in to people’s thoughts, you’d hear a lot worse than Sterling’s comments.

sterlingConversation and thoughts are mere dandelions in the wind.  Maybe we should develop a troop of thought police to listen in to people’s thoughts and censure them accordingly.  If a piece of your brain obsesses negatively about blacks another piece might really like them.  It’s bad deeds, not overheard idle chatter or reading brain waves, that we must beware of.  Whisper to your friend that I’m a Jew, I don’t care. Think that you dislike me because I’m a Jew, I don’t care.  But try to put a swastika on my forehead and I will kill you.

The mind is the mind.  It is not a liberal tool of peace making.  It is a fragment of angry candy that rattles around in the head like the moon in an E.E. Cummings poem.  It is chaotic and loose.  To accuse the mind of having biased thoughts or making a careless, angry statement in a domestic argument between Sterling and Stiviano is an example of the autocratic thought police like “The Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls.”  It is trying to reduce the varied, wide beauty of the omnivorous mind to ideological stupidity.

Let Sterling say whatever he wants to Stiviano.  It is none of our business.  It is a sign of the stupidity of the times to print it and disseminate it. If Sterling is prejudiced in his private life, we are all biased in the corners of our little minds. So what? Are we going to read people’s mind and censure them because of their private thoughts?

Also give Sterling a break.  He was having a fight with his beautiful young girlfriend who happened to be part black.  Perhaps his anti-black comments were directed at her.  Perhaps it was jealousy like Oscar Pistorius shooting Reeva Steenkamp because he didn’t have legs.

So what if Sterling had a history of discrimination?  This was merely a private comment between an old man and his young girlfriend.  He was threatening her because he was insecure.  He is old, ugly and liberal.  He is a smorgasbord of confused values.

The only thing worse than a cast-off racist statement is the prejudiced liberal community that goose steps down the Germanic streets of thought control.  Jonah Goldberg hit the nail on the head when he wrote his book, “Liberal Fascism.”  Sterling is liberal.  He is marching against himself and the dictatorship of simple-minded liberal values.

Let’s stop listening in to Sterling’s octogenarian comments to his beautiful girlfriend. There’s more drama in their strange relationship than in his jealous, self-protective statements about blacks. The real negative here is an old man cheating on his wife using a young woman for sex and a young woman sleeping with an old man for money.  Who cares what he mumbled to her to take an oblique swipe at her own blackness?


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

David Lawrence

David Lawrence

David Lawrence has a Ph.D. in literature. He has published over 200 blogs, 600 poems, a memoir “The King of White-Collar Boxing,” several books of poems, including “Lane Changes.” Both can be purchased on He was a professional boxer and a CEO. Last year he was listed in New York Magazine as the 41st reason to love New York.

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