Archive for May, 2014

NBA Action More Racist than Sterling’s Statements

May 28, 2014

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The NBA has criticized L.A. Clipper owner Donald Sterling for his statements that many regard as racist. However, shortly after the recording of his conversation became public the NBA took an action that was a racist insult to the black players of the L.A. Clippers. The NBA offered to make a “grief counselor” available to the Clippers.

Grief counselors are often provided to children to help them cope with the death of a classmate. The NBA commissioner’s office essentially was indicating that it believed the Clippers were such immature children that a minor questionable statement was the emotional equivalent of a death. I can understand the black players being upset by Sterling’s statement, but not grieving about the statement.

Discussion of Sterling’s comment to V. Stiviano about attending games with black athletes has focused on what was said and ignored the situation itself. His decision to order her not to attend games with black athletes is consistent with the behavior of a man who is having trouble getting a daughter or granddaughter to follow his advice.

He doesn’t explain his reasoning very well, a common occurrence when a man tries to offer dating advice to someone young enough to be his granddaughter. He appears have been attempting to warn her of the sexist stereotype image of NBA players, especially black players, that comics have encouraged with jokes about NBA players leaving children all over the country. I don’t know the attitudes of L.A. residents, but, putting it bluntly, Sterling is suggesting that people will think she’s just some kind of a sex toy if she attends a game with black athletes, especially admitted lothario Magic Johnson. He seems to have been attempting to warn her of the attitudes of others rather than talking about his own attitudes.

Johnson along with the late Wilt Chamberlain are largely responsible for creating the [probably exaggerated] image that NBA players are frogs rather than princes. A frog jumps from bed to bed. A prince is devoted to his princess. Chamberlain claimed to have sex with over 20,000 women. Johnson claimed he once had 300- 500 sex partners per year.

A passage from a book by Jerry West says: “That November, as a new season was set to open, Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive, a stunning event that brought revelations about the climate of sexual frivolity around the Lakers. Johnson admitted he had been sleeping with 300-500 people a year. The team’s locker room, and its sauna, had been a place where the star and other players had entertained women, even right after games. Johnson would retire to the sauna after a game, have sex, then put on a robe and return to the locker room for his post-game media interviews. How far had the team gone in condoning such questionable behavior? ‘I cared,’ West said in his interviews for this book. ‘I did things for those guys. It was ridiculous, some of the things I did for those guys. If the public knew they’d be outraged. It was a pretty crazy period for us.’”

If NBA teams, including the Clippers, still allow this behavior it would have provided part of the motivation for Sterling’s warning to Stiviano.

a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant_sexual_assault_case”>Kobe Bryant was arrested for rape in 2003 when he misinterpreted a visit by a female hotel employee and thought she was there for sex like the other women he normally attracted.

After my first post on this s subject I received an email about Rev. Russ Weaver’s sermon titled “Easily Offended” that he delivered that week on Cowboy Church. Weaver’s most important point is that a person can choose to be a “Victim” who lets himself be offended or a “Victor” who doesn’t allow someone to control him with mere words. I’ll remind readers that I’m a Vietnam Vet so I know what it’s like to be called names.

Did NBA Violate California Law in Action Against Donald Sterling?

May 21, 2014

Stories about the recording of controversial statements by L.A. Clippers Donald Sterling indicate the recording was made secretly which implies the recording was made without his knowledge or consent. It would seem unlikely that he would have agreed to recording such a conversation unless he wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. Most of us would become suspicious if someone other than a reporter or police officer asked to record a conversation. How often do people decide to record conversations with each other?

California is one of the states that prohibits private citizens from making audio recordings of people engaged in private conversations without the awareness and consent of all parties to the conversation.

Section 630-638 of the California Penal Code authorizes punishment of those who make such unauthorized recordings

“by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars
($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one
year,”

Furthermore.

Except as proof in an action or prosecution for violation of
this section, no evidence obtained in violation of this section shall
be admissible in any judicial, administrative, legislative, or other
proceeding.

If illegally recorded conversations cannot be used in a court of law, then they shouldn’t be usable as evidence by private organizations such as the NBA.

Did the NBA ask Sterling if he was aware his conversation with V, Stiviano was being recorded? Did the NBA request a medical/mental evaluation of Sterling to determine if his medical condition including age and cancer treatment could have affected his participation in the conversation?

It could be argued that some of Sterling’s comments are irrational. For example, he said he didn’t mind Stiviano having sex with some individuals whom he didn’t think she should be seen in public with. Some medical conditions might be detectable from his speech by an experienced doctor,

The most common interpretation of Sterling’s statement about Stiviano coming to games with black players is that he is racist. However, he might have been attempting to warn her about the racism of others in an ineffective manner. Some comedians like to joke about NBA players fathering children all over the country based in part on the bragging of former NBA players such as Magic Johnson and the late Wilt Chamberlain. I suspect that the whole situation is exaggerated, but many people believe it. Sterling may have been worried that those who believe this stereotype might think Stiviano is sleeping around.

NBA and Media Beat Up Man Fighting Cancer

May 7, 2014

Did the NBA in effect punish L.A. Clippers 80 year old owner Donald Sterling because he is fighting prostate cancer?

The NBA has voted to force L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team because of a secret recording in which he told his black girl friend he didn’t want her to be seen in public, such as at Clippers games, with black men such as former basketball star Magic Johnson. He said he didn’t mind her going to bed with such men. He just didn’t want her to be in public with them.
I don’t know the specifics of the current status of Sterling’s prostate cancer, but it is possible his condition or treatment caused his comments to his girl friend V. Stiviano. I don’t know if Sterling was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his comments or whether the condition known as “chemo brain” might have affected his statement.

Prostate cancer can adversely affect a man’s sexual abilities which could be particularly frustrating for a man who associates with an attractive young woman. NBA players have a reputation, at least among some comics, of being very sexually active. This reputation is due in part to former players such as Magic Johnson bragging about their sexual activities. I suspect that the reputation is exaggerated and based in part on racist beliefs about black men, but Sterling could have been especially frustrated seeing Stiviano with men whom he believed could easily do what he might be unable to do because of his cancer.

We aren’t always consciously aware of why we feel a certain way or say certain things. The reasons may be locked in our subconscious. People sometimes hire professionals like tv’s Dr. Phil to learn why they feel the way they do. Sterling may not have been consciously aware of why he said what he did to Stiviano and may have a mental block that prevents him from understanding why some people are upset by the statement.

Sterling’s statement to Stiviano sounds more like frustration and jealousy than racism. He said he didn’t mind her being with black men so long as he didn’t see her with them. He was saying he didn’t want her reminding him that someone else might be able to satisfy her in ways he would like to but cannot because of his cancer. He was probably too embarrassed to talk about his frustration to Stiviano directly. He was asking her in an intimate conversation to not do something that hurt him without explaining why that action hurt him.

The NBA’s action against Sterling might be justifiable if he had made a public statement. However, the NBA had no business punishing Sterling for an intimate statement made to a close personal friend that may have been misrepresented by sensation seeking journalists who think everybody is as motivated by so-called “racial” differences as they are. It is the media that continues to push the myth that differences in skin color constitute racial differences by referring to Americans of different complexions as being of different races.

Stress can cause all of us to say things we don’t really mean. We may even say things that hurt those we would not think of hurting in normal circumstances. Fighting cancer can be an extremely stressful situation.

Many of us were raised to believe that you shouldn’t kick a man when he is down. America’s media sharks seem to believe that is the best time to attack because the victim is less able to defend himself.

It would serve the NBA right if cancer survivors and those currently fighting cancer would boycott the NBA for mistreating a cancer patient.

Russia Should Follow U.S. Example in Eastern Ukraine

May 3, 2014

Russia should respond to the situation in the Ukraine by following the precedent set by the United States in a comparable situation. Russia should offer to purchase the Russian populated areas whose residents want to leave Ukraine much like the United States purchased California from Mexico.

In the 1840’s people from the United States had settled in parts of Mexico, but were not happy with the Mexican government. U.S. citizens in the Texas region had openly revolted and gained independence from Mexico. People in California were also interested in leaving Mexico. The United States annexed Texas and a border dispute led to war between the United States and Mexico. The United States won the war but instead of simply taking other territory from Mexico forced Mexico to sell California and additional areas to the United States. The United States also assumed some debts that Mexico owed to U.S citizens.

The Russians in the eastern Ukraine don’t want to be part of Ukraine any more than the U.S. citizens in California and Texas wanted to be part of Mexico. Russia should help them leave by offering to purchase the region from Ukraine once the people of Ukraine vote for a new government. Government officials chosen in an election have authority from the people to act. Officials who came to power as a result of mob action have no authority from the people to act.

Russia should also consider compensating Ukraine for the its loss of Crimea. The separation of Crimea from Ukraine was comparable to a divorce. Often one party to a divorce will compensate the other by paying alimony to the other/ Russia could undermine claims that it “stole” Crimea by paying alimony to Ukraine. Paying for something isn’t stealing.

The mob overthrow of a president from eastern Ukraine and talk of eliminating Russian as an official language indicates that many Ukrainians don’t want Russians in their country. The presences of racist elements in the anti-government mob indicates the overthrow may have been in part motivated by ethnic prejudice. Russians in Ukraine fear that failure to allow the Russian region to leave Ukraine could result in use of violence against them.

Failure to allow the Russian region to leave could lead to prolonged efforts against the Ukraine government. European ethnic conflicts [such as the Basque conflict in Spain and the conflict between Irish Catholics and English Protestants in Northern Ireland] can last for generations.

Americans tend to think of ethnic conflicts in terms of differences in skin color, but differences in culture can produce the same results as was the case in Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate the Jewish people.

During the collapse of the Soviet empire, the residents of Czechoslovakia recognized that they would have a better chance of success if they split into two countries. Ukrainians made a mistake by keeping the arbitrary political boundaries set by the old Soviet Union. The Soviet Union to a large extent was a Russian empire. Keeping Russian regions in Ukraine means Ukrainians are still subject to control by politicians chosen in part by Russians. Eliminating the Russian regions from Ukraine would make Ukrainians truly independent of Russia.