Fresh Takes Opinion — 02 May 2014
Travis Danner
Special to the Express

Donald Sterling, you are an idiot.

You’re about to lose your sports franchise, the Los Angeles Clippers, because of the fact that you’re an idiot.

You told your mistress that she shouldn’t be publicly associating with black people, and she was recording it. Not only do you yourself associate with black people, Donald Sterling, you’re an idiot because you said this stuff in front of a jilted lover that had allegedly vowed to “get even” with you. This in the day and age when everyone records everything.

You asked her why she had to have herself photographed “walking with black people.”

You own the Clippers. Them being a team that plays in the National Basketball Association. The NBA being a league in which 78 percent of its players are black.

I have a hard time relating to you, Donald. I’ve met a lot of people like you. I’ve tried in the past to get in the mind of people like you, but it’s always such an ugly place to even visit.

I have to wonder if you’re capable of thinking about anything other than money.

I’ll make an admission though — on the subject of racism, I guess I don’t think very much either.

You see, Donald, even as a young kid, I just never understood racism as a concept. It didn’t make any sense to me.

That people harbored resentments against other people or even hated them because of the color of their skin or their country of origin — I just found that entire notion to be stupid.

But then, as one grows up in a white, middle class place, as I did — one witnesses how prevalent racism really is.

Turns out, white people say a lot of racist nonsense when they think no one else is around.

And it’s not a passive racism either. I got looked down on by some of my peers for being opposed to racism — it was seen as snooty. And to think I grew up my entire life in Northern California — a petri dish in which the cells of cultural understanding and progressive values are supposed to grow and multiply from.

I didn’t witness much of that growing up. Many of the people around me had racism seemingly ingrained in them. It was like the sins of America’s racist past keep regenerating themselves in an endless loop.

I tried to tolerate it for while. After all, the people I’m discussing where often times friends, family and family friends. The worst part was they didn’t seem to think of what they were saying as being racist, more “the way it is.”

Some kind of twisted spin on what they saw as common sense.

I did my best to act like it didn’t bother me for a good portion of my childhood.

It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized trying to fit in with something as ugly as racism was inviting a huge stain on my soul. Also as I got older, the country began to change as well.

Now, remember that Donald Sterling is a person who was sued because he refused to rent his property holdings to Mexicans, Koreans and African-Americans. Meaning that because of the way some people are born, they would not be given access to a roof over their head.

It’s about what he’s shown himself to be on the inside, as opposed to racism which judges solely by what’s outside. More than that it’s a choice. One chooses to perpetuate racist views.

To me, racism is an affront to morality, decency and nature. Every living thing on this planet is cut from the same biological cloth — in the eyes of nature we are all equal.

Any anger or hatred a person carries around is a self-imposed construct. It’s a mass of negativity that builds up over time until it becomes harder and harder to carry.

It will weigh you down and eventually become too heavy a burden to carry.

Racism can destroy you. It can destroy nations and the lives of many innocent people.

Therein lies the difference between you and I and the rest of America in 2014, Donald Sterling. We try year after year to lighten the load of hate that has kept this nation from reaching its fullest potential for so long.

But in the end, Don, can I call you Don? You collapsed underneath the weight of your own ugliness.

I and the rest of nature’s good people, the one’s unfettered by hatred and resentment, our shoulders feel as light as a feather now that you’re gone.

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