Monday, April 28, 2014

Nothing Ever Changes: Racism and the Role Social Media Plays To Keep Us Voiceless

Will the NBA force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers amid allegations of racism?
So by now you know what this piece is going to be about. This country’s most uncomfortable and STILL most-glaring problem; racism. I'm starting to realize if there is something for Black folks to miss about pre 1960’s America, it’s the fact that we knew where we stood with White people. White people could just “straight up” tell you they didn’t like you and they didn’t have to hide their feelings about you. Which is what made the few White folks that were kind, and who genuinely believed in change, so much more amazing than  the "kind" White folks today (By kind in the sense of being good to Black folks). Back in the day, a White person could be publicly shunned or worst,  killed for supporting Black people. Because in 2014 when I interact with some white people, mostly those over the age of 50, I can’t help but wonder the same question. If it was 1964 would you be beside me, enduing my struggle or in front of me, impeding my progress? I’m going to guess there are more closeted racists in 2014 than there are closeted gays. It's the not knowing that sucks.

It’s the not knowing that led to the NAACP Los Angeles chapter awarding Donald Sterling the lifetime achievement award a few years ago. The not knowing ALMOST led to him being awarded it AGAIN this year. I’d rather have Sterling be the “nigga” hating a-hole he is than some fake a-hole who pretends to give a damn about me or my people. The worst part about him is for someone that can't seem to even tolerate the presence of Black people, and other minority groups, he doesn’t seem to mind sleeping with women of color, or making money off the sweat of men of color. That is a mentality he shares with Edwin Epps, the villainous slave owner from 12 Years A Slave. They don't look at Blacks as equals but rather view Black men as tools to make them money and Black women as nothing more than a bunch pleasure “holes”. So in other words minorities are only good for two things; Filling his pockets and excuse me for saying this, "emptying his sack". But what should be done about this?

I think there should be a full and total boycott of the Los Angeles Clippers while he still owns the team. Not just Black American Clippers fans either. All Clippers fans that found Sterling’s comments sickening shouldn’t step a single toe into the Staples Center until Sterling sells that team. Only the fans can do something because the players are going to play. Although I think they shouldn’t. Think about it like this, if your partner cheats on you, which of these sends a stronger message. A, saying your "disappointed" in them but coming back home? Or B, packing your stuff and never returning?
Doc Rivers and all Blacks on the Clippers
have a chance to send a strong message.

If boycotting was good enough to affect change in Black American Civil Rights then it’s surely good enough to get rid of an owner. Boycotting hurts the one thing rich people love more than their own children; their bottom-line. It’s the ONLY play fans have and we're too stupid to realize it. We, me, you, the paying, viewing customers are the ones that afford these players and owners the amazing lifestyles they so lovingly enjoy. WE DRIVE THE MARKET NOT THEM. But because they know "we just gotta have our games", they can do or say whatever they want. The statement that an empty Staples Center would send would be the biggest thing to happen in not only sports boycotting history but in American boycotting history, but it won’t happen. And it won’t happen because this whole thing is a total microcosm of America’s ever growing stupidity and laziness.

In 2014, we are smarter and healthier than we’ve ever been. If you have a smartphone, do you realize that you have the entire wealth of all learned human knowledge at your fingertips? Even still we’ve become a nation of smarter idiots. While social media is great and has effectively shrank the world by helping to connect us better than ever before, it’s also (social media) left us voiceless. Let me explain.

Social media lets us THINK we’re really doing something. It lets us THINK we have a voice, but social media can be AVOIDED whereas a living breathing human CANNOT. You can bitch and moan all day on Facebook about your Congressman, but if he doesn't us social media then what’s the point? If you’re at their doorstep, PHYSICALLY THERE protesting, you can’t be ignored. But when a person can put a two paragraph Facebook post and feel heard because they got a few "likes" why would ever they get off their ass? Unless you're a famous person, ranting on social media it’s akin to you yelling in a room filled ONLY WITH friends and then walking outside trying to yell with tape on your mouth. That’s what social media protesting is.

If the Black Civil Rights movement had to happen in 2014 it’d consist only of angry Facebook posts, “snarky” Tweets, and tongue-in-cheek memes. And that’s the way “The Man” likes it. The government LOVES social media because lets, us, the people THINK we have a voice. It leaves us chained to our phones and laptops and keeps us from hitting the streets where we could REALLY push for change.

This is really simple. Donald Sterling doesn’t like Black people. And that’s fine. He doesn’t have to. Hell, the KKK is still alive and well today because this is America. You can have an opinion here. Be it smart, dumb, or even racist, YOU have a right to YOUR opinion. But since Mr. Sterling can’t stand the company of Black people, I say he shouldn’t get to earn another dollar off the athletic prowess of Black people. Sad part is even if he's forced to sell the team, he WILL STILL MAKE MONEY. Sterling paid only $15 million for the Clippers when he originally bought them some 25 plus years ago. If the Milwaukee Bucks, the worst team in the league by far, just sold for a record $500 million, what the hell do you think a team in Los Angeles with two of the top ten players is going to get? $800 million? A billion dollars! So even when he loses, he wins. Chris Rock said it best, "In America, only the White Man can profit from pain."

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with your sentiment that the best way to hit him where it hurts is to boycott the organization.

    I'm certainly going to root for the Warriors to beat their ass, so they no longer have a chance in the playoffs... If they can't, then I bet I'll be hearing you begrudgingly rooting for my Spurs to beat them... :P