Racism fuels capitalism in the politics of political profit
By Derek Joy
Easter has passed. Memorial Day looms in the not too distant future. Sandwiched in between is a most interesting story.
Telling that story sent me back to an early 1960’s rock ‘n roll hit tune titled Rockin’ Robin. All about a bird nestled amongst the branches and leaves at the top of a tree. Happy in doin’ his thing, singing and bopping.
The story is best told in one refrain of the song. None of my old school contacts could name the artist who recorded Rockin’ Robin.
No matter. That refrain goes, “Up popped the buzzard and the oriole.”
Seems the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) find themselves in a similar situation.
The mud in your face courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling.
While the robin was rockin’ and boppin’ and singin’ his song, the NBA and NAACP rode an equivalent wave of euphoria.
An ironic twist of fate intervened with an injection of poetic justice in the lyrics of a song: “Up popped the buzzard and the oriole. . .tweet, tweet. . .Rockin’ Robin. . .”
TMZ exposed the tip of the iceberg with an audio tape recording that forced mainstream media to pull its collective head out of the sand. Allegedly, Sterling and his bi-racial (Mexican/Black American) girlfriend are the voices on the tape.
Just like that. A political salvo launched a socio-economic bombshell that rocked America’s conscience. Showed the ugly truth about racism, the reality of how discrimination flourishes.
So compelling is this saga, President Barack Obama condemned the attitudes expressed on the tape. The NBA has some serious challenges. And the NAACP is mired in the mud of it all.
Granted, the tape hasn’t been authenticated. Nobody knows who recorded the audio tape. Nor is it known who submitted it and why. One thing is certain. Sterling ignited a ball of fire.
Curiously, Sterling has yet to confirm or deny whether or not he made the comments in the recording. Didn’t admit guilt in two discrimination lawsuits filed against him by the U.S. Department of Justice. He made financial settlements.
The NAACP’s Los Angeles Branch honored him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” some five years ago. He was set to receive that award on a national level. What now?
Sterling’s wife has filed for a divorce. he family business filed a $1.7-million embezzlement lawsuit against his girlfriend. And the love triangle has a beat that goes on.
Sterling can’t escape this sordid drama unscathed. Neither can the NBA. Nor the NAACP. It is a maelstrom. One that reflects a daunting manifestation of racism and discrimination in capitalistic actions.
Sure. Due process is the law. Investigate whatever. Try the tap dancing routine. Sterling either made the comments or he didn’t. Having settled two housing discrimination lawsuits suggests the former is true.
Consequently, Sterling should be hit from all directions, in ways that take the greatest toll. And that is financially.