NBA’s Donald Sterling is no aberration

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 5/8/2014, 6 a.m.

Now we come back to the much deservedly maligned Sterling. Before his latest racist rant, he had been sued, verbally lambasted, reprimanded, hit with reams of bad press, and threatened with pickets for these racial wrongs. Yet, the Los Angeles NAACP Chapter gave Sterling its highest honor, a lifetime achievement award in 2009. The shame, absurdity, and contradiction of the award to a man who in word, deed, and symbol is the diametric opposite of everything the nation’s premier civil rights group stands for and has fought for is enough to draw a gag.

A Google search with the name Donald Sterling and racial discrimination at the time he was sued and settled for racial discrimination found thousands of results. Not one of them even remotely had Sterling doing anything to further racial goodwill. The checklist of reported Sterling racial escapades include a Justice Department housing discrimination lawsuit and forced settlement, slurs and gaffes against Hispanics and African-Americans, and that includes two high profile Clipper players, the shooing of minorities away from his pricey Beverly Hills condos and rentals, and an overblown and failed promise to build a homeless shelter on L.A.’s skid row.

Then there are the allegations and lawsuit by former Clipper General Manager Elgin Baylor that Sterling runs his operations like a Southern plantation. But Sterling like others who openly express their bigotry is secure in the knowledge that after the brief firestorm of malodorous publicity and anger from civil rights leaders and African-Americans, it will be business as usual. That business is as always in their world and the world of millions of other Americans naked, unvarnished bigotry. Sterling is no aberration.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is an associate editor of New America Media and is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard on the nationally broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.