For the past few days, the goofy things said by Cliven Bundy on the subject of race have been the Big News. But he has suddenly been wiped off the news-radar by the racist things said by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. But here’s the big question on both news items:
C’mon. Seriously. A few private citizens are racist. SO WHAT. They aren’t elected officials, cops, soldiers, bureaucrats or any other type of person in a position to use the force of law to mess with people based on their racism. hell, in the case of Sterling, he apparently pays a sizable number of people he doesn’t like a whole lot of money. It is, indeed a triumph of the market system over both government force *and* racism… he employs the people he thinks are best for the job.
As I type this, CNN is devoting half an hour to Sterling and his racist comments. Sure, it’s nice to see them reporting on something other than a Malaysian jetliner that apparently got snapped up by a black hole… but is this really the biggest news story going today? How about the Russians and Ukraine? How about Dragon/Falcon 9 (just *try* to imagine an alternate reality where the recent flight drew as much media attention as Bundy & Sterlings comments)? How about the anti-vaxxers bringing back measles? Nope. Not newsworthy. Indeed, there is so little news in the world today that you get paid opinion-blatherers on the Washington Post posting hyperbolic pearl-clutchery such as:
the horror of Bundy’s comments
“Horror.” You read that right, kids. Some old guy yammering incoherently, saying things that numerous black commentators actually agree with (if not the wording), produces “horror.” Quick! To the fainting couch!!
Something that does not surprise me: in the bulk of the reporting about Bundys comments, he is linked to Republicans/Tea Partiers/Right Wingers who supported his cause *before* his comments. But even though they are fleeing him like rats leaving a sinking ship, you can bet that any Republican who supported Bundys cause will be tarred with his words come election time. But also unsurprising: I’m not seeing much in the major media about Sterlings politics. I wonder why that might be? Hmmm…
Granted, it’s not much… a few thousand dollars worth of donations some years ago. But as we’ve recently discovered, one single $1000 political donation is enough to define a person and, if need be, ruin their career.
Interestingly, the President of the United States was able to take time from his latest round of golf to wade in on the issue of Sterling.