If you needed any more evidence that the so-called civil rights organizations in this country are in the shakedown business, just look at the weekend’s revelations about Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Sterling, who was secretly recorded telling his girlfriend (a woman who describes herself as black and Mexican) not to hang around with black people. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" the man believed to be Sterling says. "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."
The real news is that the NAACP was about to give Sterling a lifetime achievement award and now, well, not so much. Actually the L.A. chapter of the NAACP was about to give Sterling his second lifetime achievement award in the past half dozen years. (Who knew you could win two lifetime achievement awards?) Lorraine Miller, the NAACP interim president, was on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon saying that the organization “clearly [has] to do a better job vetting” its award recipients.
It would be easier to take that idea seriously were it not for the fact that Sterling had previously settled a housing discrimination lawsuit for almost $3 million. He had also been sued by former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor. According to the Los Angeles Times,
In the original lawsuit, Baylor said that Sterling had a "vision of a Southern plantation-type structure" for the Clippers and accused the owner of a "pervasive and ongoing racist attitude" during long-ago contract negotiations with Danny Manning. The lawsuit also quoted Sterling as telling Manning's agent, "I’m offering you a lot of money for a poor black kid.”
That was before Sterling received his first lifetime achievement award.
So what is the NAACP thinking? They’re thinking about the bottom line. When asked, why, given this history, the NAACP would go ahead with an award, Miller explained, “He has been probably a generous person and interested in helping the association in LA and that stands to reason.”
To which the black interviewer correctly followed up, “Are you saying he essentially bought the award?”
“No no no no, I’m not saying that at all,” Miller responded. "He’s a gregarious guy and gave what he did for the right reasons and purposes.”
Sterling may be a racist but he’s not an idiot. He knows that if he continues to pay off organizations like the NAACP, they will continue to (if you’ll excuse the word) whitewash his other activities.