April 30, 2014
I loved my dad. He was an extremely intelligent man with a huge capacity for wit and lacked ALL tolerance for fools. I am not highly intelligent, that would be my husband, I’m not sure about having a huge capacity for wit, but I do possess some, and like my dad, I lack ALL tolerance for fools. This is usually how I entertain my husband. I then spend the next five minutes yelling, “what?…….WHAT?! Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about.” He only pauses to breathe through his laughter.
Bear came into my office yesterday and asked me what I thought about Donald Sterling being a racist. I don’t think I gave him the answer he was looking for. To begin with, we need to have a very clear understanding that this is not an issue regarding race. It’s an issue regarding the sanctity of our First Amendment. Donald Sterling is an ass. He is, believe it or not, allowed to be an ass. However it came about, Donald Sterling has lived a life that taught him to not like black people. He’s allowed to not like black people. Growing up as a white kid in suburbia Delaware 35 years ago, all my neighbors were white, my classmates were white, my church was white, my entire life was white. Living white didn’t mean my parents raised me to not like black people, I just didn’t know any. Then forced bussing happened and my white school closed down and we were bussed into the city to go to a black school that was eight stories high and had elevators. I had never been in a school that had elevators before, didn’t mean I didn’t like schools with elevators, I just never experienced it. So life changed. Not just for me and my all white community, but for millions of children in the United States. I can not speak for anyone’s experience except my own. During this transition, my parents never once, NEVER, spoke poorly of integration in front of my brothers and I. We were just little kids doing what the grown ups told us to. So, we went to our new schools and had a few bad experiences, but for the most part, we made a ton of new friends. Friends that had beautiful light and dark skin, dark, soulful eyes and joyful, laughing faces. We played with our new friends, learned with them and that was our new normal. Nothing bad…….just new. And it was exciting.
Because of the influences of my parents, my brothers and I were raised to like and include everyone, unless the person in question was unkind, mean-spirited or a cheat. I never thought about skin color, only the content of their heart. So, when Donald Sterling says something utterly stupid in the privacy of his own home, not to the media, in an interview or to the team, which by the way, is financially solvent and has never had a history of discrimination against black players, he’s allowed to do that. The difference, I told my son, is that 35 years ago, unknown and completely oblivious to me and our gang of friends, there were a lot MORE white adults that had a real black/white issue. Now, all those people have aged and are in there 70′s or 80′s and we, the kids of integration that were not weaned on the tit of hatefulness, we’re the adults and there is WAY MORE of us not discriminating than those few people that do. But, whether we like what Donald Sterling had to say or not, he has the RIGHT protected by the laws of this great land, written into the Constitution of the United States under the First Amendment for free speech. Oh, and by the way, there was a guy by the name of Martin Luther King that had a dream and a whole lot of really good quotes. One of my favorites has always been, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That dream has been realized. To drive that point home, 51 years after that speech was delivered, we have a black president in his SECOND term.
Listen, Donald Sterling is an ass. So, if you don’t like the fact that he doesn’t want black people going to the Clipper’s games, then stop financially supporting him or the sponsors for that team. Donald Sterling is a dumb ass. But abdicating YOUR rights to free speech because you think he shouldn’t be allowed to say stupid things, makes you even a bigger dumb ass.
There will always be a Donald Sterling out there. Whether he is talking trash about black people, white people, Hispanics, Catholics, the Tea-Party, or Autistic kids, people have the right to be stupid. So be smarter and don’t give them a platform, your money or your attention. Focus on what is good and see through the initial wave of garbage peddled to you by the media. Our freedoms are being stripped away and the American people are mutely and submissively allowing it in the name of Homeland Security, safety, fear-mongering, or whatever. Donald Sterling is a dumb ass. And he was a dumb ass in the privacy of his own home. This is NOT a media story.
On another note…..Major Homeschool Education Day for BEAR….
There are four seasons in the year. They occur every year in the exact same order, changing every three months, so it really is something that should be anticipated. Spring is the season that comes AFTER winter. Winter is cold and the grass does NOT grow. SPRING is the season that it rains….. A LOT. Which makes the grass grow tall. TALL. So, instead of waiting until our property looks like it’s about to go into foreclosure or is a registered HUD home, MOW it. Otherwise, the job that should take no more than 45 minutes will stretch out to over FIVE hours. And guess what???? I’m not paying you by the hour, which really sucked for you today. But every time the lawn mower choked, died and you threw the f-bomb at it, your sister and I laughed until I couldn’t handle it any more and I had grab my camera.
I love you, son. Let’s hope this was a learning experience for you. Otherwise, it’s going to be a really long spring for you.