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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Racist Man on the Recording Is a Reptile

Posted by on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:17 AM

DONALD STERLING  One can not imagine one intelligent thought ever having found a way out of the thickness of such a brain.
  • s_bukley /
  • 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.


Comments (21) RSS

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Envy much?

Seriously Charles, get a real job. You're never going to get rich working for the man (or The Stranger). Invent something, take it to kickstarter, get crowd funded, make some real bucks.

Posted by delbert on April 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Fnarf 2
I'm not hearing "so much love" in V. Stiviano's voice or heart. All I hear is greed. I mean, her only job is to suck the dick of this repulsive creep fifty years her senior, and not only is she well-compensated for it (millions of dollars in houses, cars, and cash), she's parlayed it into yet another tedious celebrity brand. This whole episode is just a peek under the curtain at the horribleness of celebrity culture. Hanging out with Magic Johnson while simultaneously screwing this horrible, ultra-rich ape -- the nightclubs and shopping arcades are full of these people.
Posted by Fnarf on April 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
AFinch 4
My quibble: I don't think we ought to have a wealth tax just because some people are aholes or hold (and voice) views which are presently repugnant to the subjective judgments of the majority du jour. Which is to say: I don't think it's any more right to target this nitwit for higher taxation now than it would have been to allow the Moral Majority to attack Harvey Milk with the force of the state.

There is no reason that social utility should be measured only in monetary terms...there are plenty of social/public goods for which there is no monetary incentive and therefore no market solution. The tenditious notion that somehow wealth is a proxy value for personal value or worth as a moral human being is ridiculous. Further, this man is clearly simply a rentier and even in the narrow range in which money is a proxy for social utility/value, rentiers are pretty much by definition of zero utility - they're almost pure parasites.Those economic reasons are good reasons to apply a wealth tax - the primary "work" of wealth is rent-seeking, not productivity - regardless of the altruism or morality of the wealth-holder.
Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
I don't think it is a case of wealth being 'arbitrary'. What is true is that where it is not inherited it is concentrated in the hands of those for whom nothing is more important than making money. It is certainly true that making vast amount of money does not require any particular intelligence or 'greatness' though, actually intelligence or greatness would probably in most cases just get in the way.
Posted by Rhizome on April 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM · Report this
rob! 6
The association between personality and wealth is certainly not arbitrary. Far more often than not, people who accrue great wealth over the course of their own lives and through their own actions do so by pressing every possible advantage, exploiting any flexibility in the law, lying when they think they can get away with it, and kicking plenty of other people in the teeth.

They make the exceptions all the more remarkable.
Posted by rob! on April 29, 2014 at 10:54 AM · Report this
rob! 7
Also, regarding Donald's cuckquean wife Rochelle "Shelly" Sterling, she was alleged to "show up at their properties and falsely identify herself to tenants as a government official so she could inspect their apartments and inquire about the ethnic backgrounds of the folks therein."

And yet we're now supposed to believe that she's "devastated" by Donald's racist comments?
Posted by rob! on April 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 8
if I was fucking a woman 50 years my junior, she would be a fetus. gross!
Posted by Max Solomon on April 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM · Report this
When cheese is assembled in a sufficiently large pile, it reaches CRITICAL MASS - creating a powerful reality-distortion field.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on April 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 10

There's also credible research that wealth makes people more psychopathic. Some of that may be correlative, it takes a psychopathic mindset to fuck over other people for your own benefit, but there's also credible evidence that wealth, even inherited wealth, makes rich people feel more entitled and less inclined to empathize with others.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM · Report this
BWAHAHAHA! Life-time ban + $2.5M fine. Enjoy your retirement, jackass.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on April 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
JonnoN 12
@1 defensive much? Or just poor reading comprehension skills?
Posted by JonnoN on April 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM · Report this
This whole controversy is a disgusting on so many levels, one I think most in LA knew how much of a pig Sterling was, and has been for his whole career. His team is only relevant due to some lucky draft picks. This guy gives two sh@ts about hoops all he cares about is the $$ and trying to copy Jerry Buss's lead in banging as many gold diggers as possible that saturate LA, and two the fact that this recording is coming out from said gold digger who can be given no level of credit and I'm sure will be releasing a reality show/sex tape/single/fragrance in no time.
Posted by g2000 on April 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Call me Scott 14
I like it, Charles. I found his tone and substance . . . vapid. Good comments, rob!
Posted by Call me Scott on April 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM · Report this
@11, I wonder how many conservatives will be whining about how his 1st amendment rights were violated.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM · Report this
fletc3her 16
What I heard was an old man vainly asking his much younger girlfriend to please not bring her current paramour on their dates.

And the league has banned him from life from being an owner.
Posted by fletc3her on April 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
@15...check out the comments thread @SeaTimes (or probably any other site covering his ban), you don't have to dig very deep to find them (that and calls for the arrest and prosecution of whoever released the tape).
Posted by gnossos on April 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
lark 18
Good Morning Charles,
Agree, Sterling is most definitely a creep. What jarred me most about this episode wasn't just his racism and stupidity. It was that his wife is suing his girlfriend. I had to get that repeated in my head "his wife is suing his girlfriend" who happens to be Mexican-American & African-American. It appears he is (was) having an affair and he insulted his girlfriend!

However, just when I thought it couldn't get anymore surreal, I read that the local chapter of the NAACP was to have give him an award!

Man, that must have been one uncomfortable news conference.

BTW, I see your point about stupidity & money but I don't associate the two. Fnarf has a point. There was a symbiotic relationship here. Everybody was getting something.

I want to also express how bad I feel for coach Doc Rivers and the LA Clippers. This unfortunate notoriety may cost them the series with the Warriors.
Posted by lark on April 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM · Report this
What makes me crazy is that we have all known how much of a racist this guy was for a long time, he's been sued on multiple occasions for it, but he says a couple things in private, and BOOM GONE. That's not leadership.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM · Report this
ferret 20

Sterling made his money in a very cut throat business, residential real estate, mainly property management, aka being slumlord. This is a guy who doesn't listen to people. He was refusing to accept the rationale of his mistress, he was just trying to rationalize his own behavior.

Even before this outrage, he was consider a really horrible owner in professional sports. It takes some really bad antics to get banned and kicked out of a professional sports league from his peers.
Posted by ferret http://!/okojo hide on April 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Per Bernstein 21
"We need to get a big chunk of it it (sic) out of his hands and transfer it to people with real talent and better brains."

Who decides who has the real talent and better brains?
Posted by Per Bernstein on April 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM · Report this
treacle 22
He sounds like a lot of the men of that generation: selfish & self-important.

It's well-known in philanthropy departments that the post-WWII boomer types are the least likely to give money to causes, and generally think everyone should "pull themselves up by their bootstraps", despite obvious flaws with that thinking and having various economy cards stacked against their progeny. The two generations that followed them are FAR more likely to give money to noble causes.
Posted by treacle on April 29, 2014 at 12:52 PM · Report this

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