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Sound Waves of Hoop Racism
4/30/2014 3:48:10 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

I guess by now you’ve heard of the big furor in the world of sports surrounding the National Basketball Association Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald T. Sterling. It’s the talk of everyone, including professional and amateur athletic talk shows. It’s a “deepy,” and it continues the rotten saga of America’s nemesis of hidden racism.

In this latest scenario it’s a not-so-hidden happening as you’ll soon fathom for yourself. Last week, it was reported that the fabulous wealthy Mr. Sterling was alleged to have uttered some very troubling and very personal racist remarks about African-Americans in general and basketball great Ervin “Magic” Johnson in particular.

Mr. Sterling is reported to have said to a female ex-mistress who he was upset with her that she had posted a picture on her Instagram account of herself photograhed next to Mr. Johnson, a Los Angeles Lakers basketball all-time great.

The Clippers’ owner is alleged to have said “It bothers me that you’re (referring to his ex-mistress) associating with Black people.” Continuing in the recorded conversation, he said further, “I’m just saying, in your Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with Black people (referring to Mr. Johnson).” Again, Mr. Sterling continued his obviously bigoted remarks by saying to the female in reference to “Magic” that “Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my (team’s) game.” (It is to be noted that the woman, the ex-mistress in question is herself half Black and half Mexican.)

As these remarks hit the social and news airwaves, the world of American day-to-day reality was faced with another case of inbuilt racism on Mr. Sterling’s part and, as I have said a thousand times before in previously documented columns, racism in many covert subdivisions of this country is very much alive. I regretfully say that ecause racism is very much a “his-storical” core sentiment of some Americans’ belief patterns, and it won’t be swept under the red carpet of political correctness, even if you don’t understand why and (may) want to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

No, racism isn’t something that you can neglect or pretend that it doesn’t exist. It is there facing all oppressed ethnic “colored” folk everyday of their noticeable and invisible lives, and Mr. Sterling’s personal observations and insensitive sentiments about minorities in this country are no surprise to me. Nor are they shocking.

I don’t live in a world of patriotic illusion because being a child of the civil rights era, I know that, even though much has changed in our nation with regards to correcting “some” of the brutal injustices portrayed against and towards ethnic people of color, much still remains the same. Sad, but true, the apparition of (hidden) racism in this country is a patriotically American reality just as the smell of a freshly made apple pie is appealing to one’s hidden hunger taste.

I’m sure that you’ve heard that before and, if you’re of color and are of a certain age, you know that realism cannot be legislated in or out of some of the majority of some “hue-man’s” mind-sets and hearts, including the Clippers’ owner, by cliché legislation. Mr. Sterling, 81, is who he is, and he’s probably a by-product of his age group, political thinking and cultural upbringing.

Even though he had an ethnic “colored” ex-mistress, he’s still (probably) a card carrying and now not-so-hidden member of that region of Americans who still think of and view people of color as slaves on a plantation. It may hurt for some of “the American People” to hear comments like that, but the truth is the light—the “Sound Waves of Hoop Racism” in America are still broadcasting their loud and reticent views of bigotry.

I’m not going to dwell any further on Mr. Sterling, because the NBA is still investing the charges as I type this article. I suggest that you don’t become terribly discombobulated by the shock and awe of this present tempest in a tea pot melodrama because it’s really nothing new.

America is in a state of twisted political, spiritual and moral dilemmas about what it is supposed to be about in practice and theory. From repeated right wing and biased political attacks on our president, who just happens to a Black man of color, to the reinterpretations of affirmative action laws, our country is in a quagmire about what “it” really, really, really is supposed to be all about.

If any one of us unbiased and liberal thinking Americans falls asleep on the daily watch of examining ever-so-carefully the real happenings of today’s events, we’ll be in continued trouble as the “Sound Waves of Hoop Racism” resounds throughout the nation’s communicational airways. There’s a whole more lot behind Mr. Sterling’s NBA persona that was known for a long time as a plantation sports team owner and as a racist professional real estate businessman.

The “his-storically” political iconic symbol that we call Uncle Sam must be sweating in his gym shorts because many people of color have now realized that freedom, justice and equality are still elusive sound waves for the permanent underclass. And some folks are pissed off.

This may or may not apply to some of the NBA’s majority legion of Afro-American multi-millionaires who may not understand that sports is more than a game to owners like Mr. Sterling—its big business. The dignity of the African-American culture, past and present, is ripe with exploitation, even to this day, due to the absent minded “his-storical” ignorance and disrespect for the African-Americans’ worth and merit by folks like Mr. Sterling.

I don’t live in a dream world of political incorrectness. America is my home, and I know that there are some decent “colored” folk of all ethnicities in this country of my birth and many of them are not of my ethnicity, nor are they necessarily of my religious tradition.In contrast to that statement, I also know, as many other unapologetic American “colored” folk do, that there are some strong and not so clandestine pockets of systematically segregated bigots and politically camouflaged right-wing folk, who individually and collectively are as hard lined in their racist principles surely as the sun is hot.

So don’t be confused by the hype of “Sound Waves of Hoop Racism.” “It is what it is,” and it has been going on for more than four centuries. The best thing that we can do is take these happenings for what they are as more signs from God Alone showing the wise among us what truly is in some ethnic American citizenry’s hearts and minds. If you understand that without further any sound waves distraction, then you know that most aware people of color understand the hidden “true” nature of so-called powerful and rich beings like Mr. Sterling. I do, and I also think that it’s clear to a lot of other “colored” souls that something isn’t hasn’t been right on the Clipper plantation.

Let’s hope in this case scenario that NBA and its owners do something to correct the bigotry that presently echoes from the Los Angeles Clippers’ franchise. The “Sound Waves of Hoop Racism” are not good to listened to. It’s an irritant to justice, freedom, equality and democracy. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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