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Selective Outrage when It Comes to Racism ^ | May 2, 2014 | Linda Chavez

Posted on 05/02/2014 12:14:40 PM PDT by Kaslin

Racism is ugly, no matter who is spewing it. But there does seem to be a double standard when it comes to public outrage on the subject.

It was less than a week after LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist comments to his girlfriend in a private conversation became public that he was banned for life from NBA games and venues, fined $2.5 million, and on the verge of being forced to sell his team. But when a Democratic congressman engages in racist, public name-calling of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the reaction is muted at best.

First, let's be clear: What Sterling did was offensive and hurtful, and the man is clearly a repulsive character. But what was most shocking about the incident was how quickly the NBA moved to punish Sterling for uttering his prejudices in a private conversation, when the league earlier had ignored that Sterling engaged in actual illegal housing discrimination. In 2009, Sterling settled a suit with the Department of Justice, paying a nearly $3 million fine, the largest in history for federal housing discrimination.

The precedent seems a dangerous one to me, not to mention hypocritical. However toxic Sterling's views -- and they are -- is it worse to reveal prejudiced sentiments to an intimate partner than it is to refuse to rent to individuals on the basis of the color of their skin? And what about forcing black and Hispanic tenants to live in dangerous, unsanitary buildings by refusing to make necessary repairs? But the NBA treated the former as a hanging offense and turned a blind eye to Sterling's egregious flouting of federal law.

But if the NBA is guilty of hypocrisy, what about the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, which awarded Sterling its Humanitarian Award in 2008 and its President's Award in 2009 -- despite Sterling's record of housing discrimination? That raises the double standard at play in another ugly example of racial prejudice.

Last week, Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Bennie Thompson hurled a racial epithet at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on the radio, but his comments barely raised an eyebrow. Apparently a member of Congress calling Thomas an "Uncle Tom" -- and doing so on a program sponsored by the New Nation of Islam, no less -- is acceptable. And Thompson didn't leave it at that. When asked about his comments in an interview on CNN, Thompson doubled down, telling reporter Dana Bash that it's OK for him to use the term because he's black. Yet no one is suggesting that his colleagues reprimand Thompson for his clearly racist remarks.

Directing racial slurs at blacks if they happen to be conservative has no consequences. No one gets ostracized. Apologies don't follow. And those with exquisite racial sensibilities see no problem in calling Thomas an "Uncle Tom" or depicting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a self-proclaimed "house n*gga," as cartoonist Ted Rall did in 2004.

The selective outrage is troubling. If a private organization decides it wants to exclude a racist from its midst, that is its right. But wouldn't it be good if we condemned racism in all its forms?

Arguably, we ought to hold members of Congress to higher standards than we do private individuals. When former GOP Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott praised his colleague Sen. Strom Thurmond's presidential candidacy on a pro-segregationist ticket, he was forced to resign his leadership post in 2002 -- as I believed he should do and stated so at the time. Thompson should be held to the same standard. The congressman -- like Sterling -- can say what he wants, but his colleagues should shun him.

If we're serious about abhorring racism, let's at least be consistent. Selective outrage undermines the legitimacy of our sentiments.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; clippers; donaldsterling; donsterling; losangeles; losangelesclippers; naacp; nba; racism; rochellesterling; society; vanessastiviano

1 posted on 05/02/2014 12:14:40 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Here’s a “racist” posting:
“I have a dream that one day we will live in a nation where candidates for jobs, universities, and other positions will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

2 posted on 05/02/2014 12:19:00 PM PDT by PapaNew
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To: Kaslin
Progressives are a separate wing of the KKK.
3 posted on 05/02/2014 12:19:37 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: All

the problem is that the media drives the discourse, and they purposely will go 24/7 if the “offender” is white or Christian or male.

4 posted on 05/02/2014 12:20:25 PM PDT by willywill
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To: PapaNew
I was going to say something about BJClinton and coffee, but your post says it all.


5 posted on 05/02/2014 12:22:34 PM PDT by Churchillspirit (9/11/2001 and 9/11/2012: NEVER FORGET.)
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To: Kaslin
...we ought to hold members of Congress to higher standards than we do private individuals

Yeah, we should, but the MSM don't even though most of the public does. Hmmm...I wonder what that says....

6 posted on 05/02/2014 12:30:11 PM PDT by econjack (I'm not bossy...I just know what you should be doing.)
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Historic Democrat Poster

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Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

7 posted on 05/02/2014 12:57:05 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Kaslin

Leftists opposes racism only when it is practiced by a member of a group that the left considers racially inferior.

8 posted on 05/02/2014 9:43:41 PM PDT by TChad (The Obamacare motto: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.)
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To: All
A Congressional Black Caucus paid agitator recently labeled a white Congressman's remarks about race and poverty “a thinly veiled racial attack that cannot be tolerated.”


LESSON FOR THE DAY: Dollars signs magically obliterate racism.

Discredited billionaire Clippers owner, Donald Sterling---caught on tape as a KKK-type racist---apparently was known for his history of screwing Blacks both as their landlord, and as an employer.....areas rigidly controlled by Civil Rights laws.

So how is it that the NAACP---the most venerable organization in the black civil rights movement----has repeatedly honored Sterling?

<><> Sterling got this year’s NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award.

<><> He got an earlier NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award.

<><> Sterling got the 2008 NAACP Humanitarian Award.

<><> And the 2009 NAACP President’s Award.

Alas, it was all about the checks. Sterling got the most awards b/c: “He paid the most,” the leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP said at a recent press conference.

Just goes to show---there's always someone willing to say they're "for" their fellow-man, conniving on ways to make a buck on it.

9 posted on 05/03/2014 6:03:42 AM PDT by Liz
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