, Salem, MA


May 1, 2014

Anderson: Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling and race


A discussion worth having, again, but moving on, the media found a better example of “appalling and disgusting” in the more visible sports arena, and we were off to the “race”s again. Curious, I heard the allegedly private phone conservation between Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, an 82-year-old rich guy and his 31-year-old girlfriend (try not to stereotype), in which he asked her not to post a photo of herself walking with Magic Johnson on the media and somehow made it sound as if he didn’t want her associating with blacks. It seemed obvious that the old fool is jealous of Magic, doesn’t want to admit it, so mentioned race instead of admitting his (probably valid) insecurity. So here it comes again: “despicable,” “sickening,” etc., followed by sponsors going nuts, players turning their uniforms inside out, the NAACP giving back his donations, and then the NBA banishing him from its hallowed court.

What the…? His alleged mistress, on whom he publicly showered attention and lots of money, is black; how can he be racist?

I never gave much thought to race, never saw racial conflict until I moved to Boston in the ’70s. Soon realized that it’s one of those things that make no sense and that I might never understand.

Seemed odd to me when I was first called a racist, because of supporting Proposition 2½: I knew that, because of City Hall assessment practices at the time, Roxbury homeowners paid the highest property taxes in the country. I eventually came to realize that calling someone a racist is a political weapon, that for some reason benefits Big Government types, so I became impervious to the intended insult. I even considered getting business cards that said, “Barbara Anderson, Racist” to pass out and get the discussion over with up front. But eventually things seemed to settle down, people of different races were starting to get along, even marry, and the country was growing up.

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