It was a good week for racism and hate. Two so-called “leaders” decided to make public statements about African-Americans and slavery, causing a stir. The first, LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, in a recorded conversation with his girlfriend, Vivian Stiviano, who is Mexican and African-American, admits he doesn’t like it when his girlfriend takes pictures with black people? WHAT????
— “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)
— “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)
— “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)
— “…Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)
Listen to the full audio here, if you can stand it.
I loved President Obama’s response, “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That’s what happened here.”
About the same time as Sterling was spouting his own personal racism with his mixed race girlfriend, Nevada Rancher, Cliven Bundy (I’m sorry, but doesn’t his name creep you out just a little?), was quoted in The New York Times “referring to black people as ‘the Negro’ and recalling a time decades ago when he drove past homes in North Las Vegas and saw black people who ‘didn’t have nothing to do.’ He said he wondered if they were ‘better off as slaves’ than ‘under government subsidy'” (See ABC News story here). Republican supporters of Bundy are quickly backing away. Surprise, surprise.
We can chalk this up to white male privilege and ignorance or we can dig deeper and examine the profound roots of racism that still cling to the dirt that is this country. We should talk about these issues with young people and support organizations, like the YWCA, whose work on racial justice is about raising young people who do not hold these outdated, yet still so prevalent ideologies.
The YWCA’s Stand Against Racism, which took place last Friday, is a great example of how to publicly and positively address racism.
What do you to stand against racism? Are you comfortable calling it out? Do you tell people when their words offend you? Do you share information about racist people like Bundy and Sterling so others are aware? Do you boycott organizations and businesses who promote hate? Do you work to diversity your workplace? Your friendships? Are you a member of the YWCA? If not, here’s how to join.
Let’s hope next week is a good week for love.