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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.

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 EagleRising.com


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 Amazon.com. 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.

  • VanceJ

    What is trying to be done to Sterling is wrong, it is worse than what he said in PRIVATE !!!!!!

  • pearl87 ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

    I agree that his private comments shouldn’t be grist for the race-baiter’s mill. But, that being granted, I still haven’t heard anything he said that was blatantly racist. Did I miss something?

  • jhforsythe

    Private conversations should be “PRIVATE”. The real racist are the ones condemning Mr. Sterling, i.e., the race baiters.

  • jcherry7

    Thank you for a bit of sanity on this, Mr. Lawrence.

  • Karl P

    How come the author didn’t bring up the illegal recording of a private conversation or the wife (of 50+ years) Mrs. Sterling and how she feels about all of this?
    Sorry, nothing new here, move along…

  • John

    While this is an issue concerning speech and leftist attempts to punish people, and it is not in the American spirit of “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”, I think the media is using this as a distraction.

    I asked a family member who really doesn’t care about anything but watches ABS news every night. She is not a sports fan at all. I asked her if she knew what news came out about Benghazi over the past week and she said that she had no idea.

    I asked her what the name of the LA Clippers team owner was and, without a split second of hesitation, she said “Donald Sterling”.

    Welcome to America. News isn’t news, we say “Just say no to drugs”, and we dope people up on the heroin of sports and entertainment so they will remain clueless as to what is actually going on in the world and impotent to actually do anything.

  • aurora9

    Chucky Schumer is also trying to change the second amendment to limited freedom of speech. Next, they will try to do completely away with free speech. Sterling has every right to say what he wants to say, and our conversations should remain private!

    • H. Gillingham

      Other than the fact that our Second Amendment protects ALL our other enumerated rights, it has nothing to do with “freedom of speech” – that’s the First Amendment. The rest of your post is SPOT ON!

    • Not a free speech issue

      Buddy, freedom of speech does not apply to the private sector and the NBA is a private entity. An employer can fire an employee for what he says. It happens all the time. Sterling can’t be arrested for expressing himself, but that doesn’t mean that his employer has to put up with it. Sterling signed that he would not be a detriment to the league in his contract and became a detriment to the league. Nothing to do with the first amendment. Nothing at all.

  • jimshaw54

    Mr. Lawrence, you have written THE best assessment of the “Sterling flap” I have seen or read yet, summed up in the last two paragraphs of your article.

  • H. Gillingham

    Another distraction designed to shift our focus from the corruption of the Obama administration, to ANYTHING else. This time it’s a man being punished – without DUE PROCESS – for something he said during a PRIVATE CONVERSATION (or, so HE THOUGHT). The public exposure of this ILLEGALLY RECORDED conversation, is the real crime. The public BROADCASTING of this recording is the real crime. There is no doubt in my mind that Stiviano was PAID for this information – possibly by more than one source. Sterling used NO demeaning or derogatory racial terms in this chat, so they made an issue out of the TONE rather than the words themselves. He said “Negro”!! That is NOT the dreaded and despicable “N” word, and “Negro” WAS the socially acceptable term for Americans of African descent during Sterling’s formative years… and into his 30’s! Perhaps he has not kept up with the numerous changes black Americans have made to their racial description, or perhaps he is resisting the use of PC terminology to appease some liberal idiot. The bottom line is that an American is being severely punished, for expressing his thoughts in (what HE believed was) confidence to someone he trusted… and THE MEDIA KEEPS PUSHING IT TO THE FOREFRONT, to keep us from focusing upon REAL problems… problems within our government! My 2¢…

  • Angus McTavish

    SO IT WAS AN ILLEGAL WIRE TAP BY THE GIRL FRIEND. WHY IS SHE NOT ARRESTED? LIKE THEY DID TO THE LITTLE BOY WHO WAS BEING BULLIED AT SCHOOL AND CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING THE BULLIES WHO WERE THREATENING HIM? HYPOCRITES ..ALL OF THEM!

  • YarpWar

    Like your article, David Lawrence. Well said! Thanks

  • Death Walks Among Us

    1st you take someones money you do it his way and keep your mouth shut, 2nd if you don’t like what he has to say you have the right to tell him what you think and walk away or just walk away. That is all the rights you got in this stitutation.

  • Hitched

    Whether it’s murdering the unborn or attempting to deny care to the born, like Sarah Murnaghan, today’s liberalism is a death cult.

  • Not a free speech issue

    Freedom of speech and the first amendment have nothing to do with it. The NBA is a private entity. In becoming an owner, he signed a morality clause indicating he would be held liable for any behavior that was detrimental to the league. His behavior was detrimental to the league, and he was fired. Does he have a right to say what he said? Yeah, which is why he can’t get arrested for it. But the private sector isn’t bound by the 1st Amendment and employers can (and do) fire employees for their words all the time. You can contract away any legal right.

  • Willieyumm

    David –Dead on– Donald is the victim– How many times have we heard Jesse & Al say far worse & make threats?? Donalds comments were personal & not open for public view. No matter what the N.B.A. says
    DO YOU WANT __ALL__ of your thoughts and muttered comments open to scrutiny??
    I would almost bet he was blackmailed— Who is to say he is not a good person??
    Just because you were illegally allowed to read his thoughts –once–.
    If I had a high rise suite @ a colosiuem you can well bet I could be the one to cull the invited guest!! I would not want to have to pick my words & be politically correct when among trusted–friends!! What I say is not always the way I think or feel!!
    Willieyumm

    • Not a free speech issue

      Your point would be well taken if the government had fined him. The NBA is a private entity. Sterling agreed to fines for this precise type of action when he signed a franchise agreement. The First Amendment (i.e. the Bill of Rights) states:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech[.]”

      CONGRESS SHALL MAKE…In other words, the government cannot infringe on free speech. Private entities can and often do infringe on free speech of their employees, members, etc. The Bill of Rights are not implicated at all in such action.

      And yes, the NBA can regulate pillow talk if it wanted. The NBA franchise agreement and Constitution designates Sterling as a representative of the league. It also mandates that owners may be fined the commissioner for conduct (both public and private) that damages the league’s reputation, image, marketability, etc. Sterling did just that. Therefore he is subject to the fines that are laid out in the NBA constitution (again, something he agreed to in his franchise agreement). This is why Mark Cuban is fined regularly for his ridiculous comments. This is why a player can be fined for being arrested (in their private life). Because they agree to it in their contract. Sterling is no different.

      You can absolutely sign a morality contract that governs what you say both publicly and privately and if you are caught violating it in a private capacity, it can be enforced against you. There is nothing unsettling about it. We are all capable of making our own choices and no one made Sterling buy the franchise and accept the franchise agreement.

  • No free Speech Issue

    No response? For a bunch of people who claim to love the constitution, you guys really don’t know much about it.

  • Jd Collins

    Awesome does it again:

    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.

    AND ANYBODY WHO DON’T THINK HE’S AWESOME OUGHT TO STAND IN THE RING WITH HIM TOE TO TOE:

    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.

    Read more at https://eaglerising.com/5997/donald-sterling-death-free-speech/#RIoEPW8T0mh45f44.99

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