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NBAOp-Ed

CNN Writer Calls Donald Sterling ‘Victim’ Of A Crime Because ‘Wah, I’m Donald Sterling’


I spent three confusing years in college studying Philosophy. It wuz ReAlLy hard. To be honest, I was thrilled when I started writing about sports, because the subject matter is much more tangible/empirical/insert antonym for “conceptual”. Then I read this article on CNN by Marc J. Randazza — a smart, well-intentioned guy by my estimation.

Now I feel compelled to, once again, jump down that deep epistemological rabbit hole.

In the post, he takes the unpopular opinion that Donald Sterling is a victim of a crime, which is irrefutably true based on California’s laws regarding secretive recordings. They’re illegal. You can’t get mad at him for at least pointing that out.

What you can get pissed about, however, is this paragraph, that prioritizes privacy over eradicating institutionalized racism. In doing so, he justifies radically evil beliefs by invalidating the manner in which we learn who holds them.

Rabbit hole: Entered.

[CNN] We all say things in private that we might not say in public. Sometimes we have ideas that are not fully developed — we try them out with our closest friends. Consider it our test-marketplace of ideas. As our ideas develop, we consider whether to make them public. Should we not all have the freedom to make that choice on our own?

Yes, we should all have the freedom to privacy. But the real question is, should we all have the freedom to say/write racist things and expect nothing to come of it — even if it’s in private?

If you accept that racism is an objectively abhorrent practice that has unnecessarily affected/ruined the lives of BILLIONS of people, historically, can you really call someone who is outed as a “racist” a “victim”? Isn’t it implicit that, if you discriminate human beings based on color, you’re willfully in the wrong and on the hook for any and all fallout?

Why should we sympathize for you just because it’s 2014 and people carry little computers around with them that can secretly record the dumb shit you’ve said?

[CNN] We live in a world where our intimate conversations will be recorded and blasted to billions of listeners. We live in a world where, say a gold digger can spy on her sugar daddy, and the world says that the creepy old guy is the bad guy.

Don’t get me wrong. Sterling does seem to be a bad person. But sometimes the bad person is also the victim, and he stands in for us. As you applaud V. Stiviano for bringing the racist old man’s views to light, consider if it were you speaking to a woman friend in what you thought was a private conversation.

Ya, he’s right — put yourself in the shoes of a racist who knowingly enters into bogus relationships with women 1/4 his age. How would you feel?

And while you’re at it, throw his mixed race girlfriend, who was the target of his racist rant, under the damn bus.

As far as I’m concerned — there’s a zero tolerance policy for racism, and the more racists we expose, the sooner they can be publicly shamed into changing. We certainly shouldn’t be sympathetically calling them “victims,” no matter how legally accurate it may be. They need to be scorned for their opinions until they give them up. Because after all, bigots can change their beliefs easier than black people can change their skin color, and change is more important than the absolute adherence to the esoteric concept of privacy.



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