The beat goes on. Yesterday, we noted the prevailing racism in America (in spite of protests to the contrary). Those of us who feel the shame and disgust of racism evidently annoy the others among us who still believe "those people" are different, don't quite belong here, and/or are taking more than contributing. Donald Sterling is quite run-of-the-mill and, you might say, wrongly punished for being "realistic."
It ain't over until it's over. It ain't over until we agree it's here, it's nasty, and it's not going away until we make the changes that have never been made.
...As a longtime basketball fan who tried out for my segregated high-school team at a time when it was acceptable, in polite society, to talk about people like me in the way Donald Sterling did, my problem is that the punishment is related only to his recent verbal nastiness and not to his past, long-term behavior....
... While there is more than one national conversation about race going on almost every day, nothing is really happening, as far as I can determine, that really has a chance of getting at what this country does about race on a consistent basis. In recent months, the dialogue has been carried out on a variety of fronts. But it rarely goes to the heart of one of our basic problems. We have moved from the standard of equality and justice to a more amorphous new phrase in the lexicon: diversity and inclusion. And that allows a fair amount of wiggle room for those who are not committed to the ideal of a truly post-racial society. (And make no mistake: we are not there yet.) ...CharlayneHunter-Gault,NewYorker
You still think the concerns and confusions about racism are overblown? Check out the comment section following Hunter-Gault's column.
Hunter-Gault ends by making this point and asking the most important question:
... Having people think before they speak is only a partial victory if racism just perpetuates itself in silence. Instead, the incident points to the need for fundamental change in how we think and act. So the big question remains: How to make that happen?
I'm thinking we've forgotten the concept of putting others before ourselves. For a nation and a culture that's proudly narcissistic, self-denial must look like a kind of madness. "I can shout fire in a crowded theatre if I want. And if people get trampled while they're running out, well, that's their problem" has been the prevailing concept of freedom and personal integrity for the past thirty-forty years.
Racism isn't going away until we accept that if we don't let go of our demand for absolute personal freedom -- including the freedom to cling to beliefs and habits that damage others -- we deny everyone else full freedom and a healthy community.