DONALD STERLING One can not imagine one intelligent thought ever having found a way out of the thickness of such a brain.
As we all know by now, last Friday, TMZ released a recording of a woman talking to a man about race. The woman is reported to be V. Stiviano and the man is alleged to be Donald Sterling, a billionaire and the owner of the LA Clippers. Sterling is 81 and white. On the recording, the man tells Stivian (who is half black and half Mexican), not to post pictures on Instagram of her with black men (including Magic Johnson, the face of black corporate America). Nor does he want her to bring black men to basketball games that, of course, feature black male athletes. The man on the recording sounds depleted and defeated. The woman sounds like a Disney character—so much love in her heart for the whole world.
But the real interesting in the recording is not so much the horribly racist comments—which, if it is Sterling, were made in private and not in public (a point made not unreasonably by Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks), but how bland and vulgar the man is. One can not imagine one intelligent thought ever having found a way out of the thickness of such a brain. Not one. Just listen to the recording one more time (and ignore the racist stuff and focus instead on the manner and form of his thinking). He is a hardcore reptilian. This is a man who was made for the swamps of feelings, for the pleasures of the mud, for mental slithering and hissing. And yet he is a billionaire, an American who happens to posses an extraordinary amount of social power.
What is challenged in this recording, and this is something the very rich always want the rest to believe, is that there is a solid connection between personal greatness and the greatness of a personal fortune. If Sterling is the one on that recording, it's clear that the association between personality and wealth is arbitrary. Money does not care about the person who owns it. This is precisely why we need to heavily tax huge fortunes. How can we allow a man with such poor ideas and stunted ways of thinking to command so much socially useful money? We need to get a big chunk of it out of his hands and transfer it to people with real talent and better brains.