April 27th, 2014

Here’s pretty much the sum total of what I have to say about the “Donald Sterling is a racist” brouhaha

I’m not going to waste time listening to the tape of a conversation between the 81-year-old billionaire owner of the Clippers and his 20-something girlfriend that has everyone in an uproar about his racism.

It’s a private conversation, for goodness sake. At least it was, before the girlfriend [euphemism] recorded it and had it publicized. From the summaries I’ve read, it seems that Sterling’s racism is some blend that involves feeling sexually threatened by the GF going out with black men and flaunting it by publishing photos of herself with the guys.

Well, now Sterling’s got a lot more than that to worry about.

In sum: I am not interested in exposing anyone’s private thoughtcrime racism, sexism, anything-ism you can name—even if the “ism” is against a group of which I’m a member. What am I interested in? Discriminatory acts, including membership in an organization devoted to the promotion of racist policies. Behavior, that is, not speech or mere thought. People can be racist or sexist or even neoneoconist in their secret hearts of hearts and I won’t make a fuss, as long as they don’t do it in the street and scare the horses.

Do I like racism or approve of it? No. Do I want to associate with Donald Sterling? No, no, a thousand times no. I was much happier before I even heard of the loathsome guy and his paramour.

But—and this is the most important part—I think people are entitled to think the way they want, and to express those thoughts in private without fear of being recorded and having the results blasted all over the news. I’m funny that way.

And most people used to think the same thing. At least I think they did. That’s why we have little things called wiretapping laws:

California’s wiretapping law is a “two-party consent” law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. The statute applies to “confidential communications” — i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002). A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).

If you are recording someone without their knowledge in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, the person whom you’re recording may or may not have “an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation,” and the reasonableness of the expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances. Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place.

If you are operating in California, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any conversation that common sense tells you might be “private” or “confidential.” In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the California wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. See Cal. Penal Code § 637.2.

Are most people even aware of these laws? Do most people understand their importance? Do most people think that outing racists trumps their right to privacy? I suspect as much, but I shudder to think so.

[ADDENDUM: And then there's this:

Sterling’s wife is embroiled in a bitter lawsuit against V. Stiviano, who she alleges in the suit, “engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce, and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat, and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men whom she targets for such purpose. Plaintiff is informed and believes and theron alleges that One such target was D. Sterling.”

The lawsuit, filed on by Rochelle H. Sterling on March 7 of this year, lists the defendant as V. Stiviano, aka Vanessa Maria Perez, aka Monica Gallegos, aka Maria Monica Perez Gallegos, aka Maria Valdez.

The suit claims Sterling bought Stiviano a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover, with a total exceeding $500,000...

The Clippers, in a statement Saturday, said, “We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believed released it to TMZ Sports — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzeled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would get even.”

I'd say she's succeeded.]

40 Responses to “Here’s pretty much the sum total of what I have to say about the “Donald Sterling is a racist” brouhaha”

  1. Matt_SE Says:

    Sorry. I have to draw the line at being a neoneoconist…those people are awful! :)

  2. Alan F Says:

    I had been dismayed by the wholehearted condemnation of a thought crime. When ordinary people, who are not trained in public speaking, express something off the cuff, it can be quite different from what their genuine thoughts would be.

    This brouhaha raises the specter of thought crime like in 1984.

    I am pleased that you jumped on this, Neo. I’m donating $125 to encourage you in everything you present here, like the happy dogs.

  3. Jack Says:

    Do I like racism or approve of it? No. Do I want to associate with Donald Sterling? No, no, a thousand times no. I was much happier before I even heard of the loathsome guy and his paramour.

    If I don’t like liver does that make me a racist? This charge of racism has gone far beyond the pale and jumped every shark in sharkville. What is racism, anyway? Because with the frequency with which the charge is laid, it seems that most people don’t have a clue. It’s not dislike by the way.

    the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races

    Nothing in Donald Sterling’s comments suggested that he though of himself as somehow superior to blacks because of his whiteness. If somebody doesn’t like a particular race because as a matter of taste he doesn’t like them, well, that’s not racism, that’s just preference.

    Here’s another example of preference, but the world doesn’t seem quite so outraged when you fragrantly and outspokenly not only detest Jewish people, but actively discriminate against them.

    Oxfam accepted [Scarlett Johansson's] resignation Thursday. The organization said it believes SodaStream and other businesses operating in West Bank settlements contribute to the “denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”

    The charity said it opposes all trade with Israeli settlements, deemed illegal by most of the international community.

    These double standards are such total BS. I’ve made a lifelong decision, and I hope as a kind of quest or raison d’être to pass this worthy quest on to everyone else who’s tired of the race card.

    Don’t play their game! Don’t follow the herd for the obligatory “I despise racism and racists too.” Whenever you get the urge to try and make race-hustlers like you, just start singing: Look at me I’m Sandra Dee.

    You don’t have to apologize for being white….pass it on.

  4. J.J. Says:

    As a lad in the 1930s I heard many racist remarks. Not as many about blacks because I lived where there were weren’t many. Jews, Poles, Germans, and Irish were the primary targets. Most of the remarks weren’t meant to be mean, only to illustrate differences in beliefs or culture. Being inexperienced of the world, I didn’t know what to make of them. I knew people of Jewish, Polish, Irish, and German heritage and they all seemed quite normal and acceptable to me.

    During WWII, of course the Japanese were stereotyped as cunning, blood-thirsty, evil people. The brutality of the war in the Pacific made it easy to accept that picture. Fast forward a few years to 1956. I’m a sailor on liberty in Japan and find the Japanese people to be courteous, fun-loving, generally quite agreeable people. I’m blown away by the contrast between the WWII stereotype and what I’m experiencing.

    Over time I served and worked with Jews, blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Japanese, and other members of ethnic groups. My observations have been that humans cannot be stereotyped and that there are good people and not so good people in all ethnic groups. I have also watched the opening of the American mind as tolerance has become more widespread.

    That it has become intolerable to opine about race makes me wonder if the pendulum is swinging too far in the opposite direction? It’s become a major movement on American college campuses to search for racial insults and put downs in the most aggressive way. Jonah Goldberg delineates how bad it has become in this post at NRO:
    http://m.nationalreview.com/article/376580/america-eats-itself-jonah-goldberg

    As to Mr. Sterling and his remarks. I find it rather delicious that he is:
    1. A big democrat donor.
    2. He was to have been awarded a “lifetime achievement award” this year by the NAACP. Which award is now being withdrawn.
    Does it get any better?

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    Americans think mind control and mental slavery is somehow better or significantly different than physical slavery of chains and iron.

    They’ll get educated on what it really means to be a slave, by the Left.

  6. Don Carlos Says:

    White men can’t jump.

    There is only one reason to own an NBA team, and that is money. Why else do you think tall black males (BMs for short) would get paid millions of dollars per year each to put a ball which they can pick up with one hand (as most of us cannot) and put it through a metal hoop, grimacing like Rhesus monkeys and pounding their chests like male gorillas after doing a slam dunk? It’s almost brain surgery, right?

    It is a symbiotic relationship with each side, owner and players, ‘respecting’ the other.

    But Sterling is like a Russian oligarch in butting heads with his Establishment; he will lose, probably a lot, just like Khodorovsky saying unPutin things cost him a decade in prison and more than a billion.

  7. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Neo, you have said it very well. I am also extremely worried about the emergence of the “thought crime” as actual reason to ruin someone’s career or well, life. I think we all have said things in private conversations to friends, or — we have certainly THOUGHT something that someone somewhere, might find offensive or god forbid – racist, sexist, homophobic, ablist, transphobic, classist, sizeist, fatphobic etc. The list is always increasing. I mean, sometimes I have thought something just plain mean, that doesn’t mean I think these things real often, but yeah – it has happened. I am a human being. So, especially since the definitions of all of the above “isms’ is expanding, and merely mentioning that you want to lose weight is fodder for being considered “fat phobic” — well, we are all guilty of one or the other at some point. (yes I have seen this online, but again, I hang out often with the far left loony crowd – something I have a hard time getting away from) And, yes, there are real and actual racists and misogynists and gay haters by any definition walking around. I agree with you that as long as they don’t actively DO anything in the public sphere, their thoughts are their own business.

    In this age of social media this is very alarming since people are now watching actively for these “isms” online apparently. And, they use them against people. I didn’t read the article about this guy, but I think it is pretty strange that his girlfriend taped his conversations. As you state, that might even be illegal. I know there was that case at Harvard where a student, a law student wrote some speculation about race that has ruined her career apparently. I mean, can’t people have their thoughts and conversations in private?

    This is scary actually.

  8. Jenk Says:

    Expect more of this, Neo, and not because of the racial aspect. The concept of privacy is under attack with political correctness being the primary weapon. In a collective society, the leftist hive, privacy is a luxury only for those at the very top. And even if an unfavorable opinion is legal it is still a punishable offense under those rules as the Mozilla case made quite clear. Well, so be it if those are now the rules; I suspect that after a while the left will come to regret that particular development….

  9. Don Carlos Says:

    What Khodorovsky said in 2013 about “Managed democracy”:

    “It is the Singapore model, it is a term that people understand in Russia these days. It means that theoretically you have a free press, but in practice there is self-censorship. Theoretically you have courts; in practice the courts adopt decisions dictated from above. Theoretically there are civil rights enshrined in the constitution; in practice you are not able to exercise some of these rights.”

    Now, Khodorovsky is no saint, but he is not stupid, and had the opportunity of a decade of reflection in Russian prison before his release 5 months ago.

    Managed Democracy has landed successfully on American shores. We didn’t even see it arriving, but it is here and it is not leaving without a major fight. Ignore at our peril.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    Privacy for slaves? People only think that because they don’t understand what slavery means.

    Democracy is one of the more convenient ways for tyrants to justify totalitarian rule.

  11. Yancey Ward Says:

    I can say one good thing about the Stirling brouhaha- it has finally given CNN something to cover 24/7 different from the missing airliner.

  12. Lizzy Says:

    Thanks for the summary – I haven’t followed this story at all. With these “outrages” it seems like it’s really about two things:

    1] The motives of the accuser – Was this extortion (see Paula Deen, Mel Gibson) or is there some background power play involved where shaming puts him in a weak position as an owner on some other issue?

    2] The media/entertainment mobs gets a head on a pike they can parade around in order to prove they are more tolerant than thou & to enforce thought conformity.

    I’m not joining the mob.

  13. Rondo Says:

    And if my thought-dreams could be seen
    They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
    But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

  14. DM Says:

    Yes, I find it somewhat ironic that black multimillionaire basketball players who see more money than I can ever imagine in my lifetime are now taking to the airwaves and twitter from their multimillion dollar mansions and Rolls Royces crying about “racism”. If I could lose more respect for these rich men who still mimic and encourage others to ghetto clothes, ghetto tats, ghetto treatment of women and the rest I would, but my respect for them reached bottom a long time ago and it is not because of the color of their skin.

    Then I watch the President of the US comment about a citizen’s thought-crime on what is obviously an illegal wiretap. The irony of the NSA was lost on both him and the press corps, and should give everyone pause why we don’t want the government tapping our phones: thought crime that can be taken out of context.

    But in the end I am watching a rich democrat donor going down, and there is not anything to really do about it at this point to grab the popcorn.

  15. Michael Says:

    With all the exposure, this was the first I’d heard it was a private conversation with his gf …amazing how that detail is summarily dismissed by so many.
    The fascist sanctimony of the left proclaims large scale city disruption by OWS is “free speech,” but actual “speech” is not acceptable if one isn’t bashing conservatives.

  16. Mac Says:

    “I think people are entitled to think the way they want…. Do most people think that outing racists trumps their right to privacy?”

    I think we’ve reached a point where there are many who do think that. Not only racists, of course, but “homophobes” etc. They believe it’s a sort of necessary hygiene for the body politic that people who have forbidden ideas be exposed and held up to public condemnation, if not legal action. Though the rule, as we know, is not applied equally to Democrats and Republicans. Now that it’s come out that this guy is a Democrat and holds a Lifetime Achievement award from the NAACP, we may see the outrage cool down somewhat.

  17. waitforit Says:

    As kool as Kool and the Gang!!! It’s never going away. Ever. And it shouldn’t. If it does, it means the family is disappeared and the Matrix is full blown. The “other” is a moral test after the foundation of family. Invert the order and you have the Soviet Union, the Nazi Party, the STATE. God gave priority to a family, a tribe, to emphasize there will be no ultimate STATE until He says so.

  18. Cornflour Says:

    I’m going to have to partially disagree with Neo and most of the comments.

    Whatever people think about the wiretapping law, the illegal tape has been made public. That’s done. Everybody who follows the NBA, and everybody who’s in the NBA, has long known that Donald Sterling is a half-crazy racist. Many times, he’s abused his team’s players with crude racial and racist epithets. For years, people have looked the other way. Since Sterling owns the team, there’s not much anybody can do.

    Now this illegally taped phone call forces everything out into the open. OK, I’ll repeat: this isn’t an isolated incident. In fact, it’s, more or less routine stuff for him. I think the players and fans have a right to expect better behavior from a team owner, and demands for his suspension are not unwarranted.

    Haven’t said all that, I don’t deny there’s a lot of dirt around this big pile of crap. Still, I think it’s clear where most of the stink comes from.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornflour:

    I don’t follow basketball and I’d never heard of Sterling before this. So I know nothing about his history. But if what you say is true, then why this? What was the award going to be for?

  20. Don Carlos Says:

    “Everybody who follows the NBA” covers multimillions, which would include the players and the fans who Cornflour asserts have a “right to expect better behavior”.
    If they have all known about Sterling’s racism already, then what’s the big deal, Cornie?
    They have rights to expect what? Maximal on court effort all the time, dedicated teamwork? That’s all their ticket money buys them, and it doesn’t buy them even that.
    Personally I suspect you have an axe to grind, for whatever reason.

  21. Cornflour Says:

    Neo,

    I don’t know what the NAACP had in mind with their award. Sterling’s reputation is no secret, and in one case it’s a matter of legal record. (He settled an extremely large lawsuit for housing discrimination.) Can’t say whether the local NAACP is just wildly uninformed, or whether they had some political angle. Either one’s possible.

    For better or worse, I’m a lifelong basketball fan. Too old to play anymore, so now I just watch.

    P.S. I’ve just noticed that I wrote “Sterling reputation.” It’s late, too late.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornflour:

    You may be correct, but I just wanted to say that settling a lawsuit is most definitely not an indication of guilt.

  23. Oldflyer Says:

    Neo, the NAACP have cancelled the life time achievement award he was due to receive, and want the LA chapter to rescind his previous awards.

    What did the awards signify? I don’t know, but I suspect it was for writing big checks.

    Excuse me while I laugh hysterically.

    Frankly, if I were an 81 year old billionaire, I would not give a whit what the NAACP, the NBA or Cornflour thinks, says or does. I would, however, tell the NBA that if they don’t like what I think or say in private, then shut up or buy me out. I would probably tell the NAACP–just for the hell of it–that if they rescind my previous awards, then refund my previous checks. Fat chance.

    I would tell the multi-millionaires who draw a pay check from me to do their jobs, or no pay check. I would fine each and every one who participated in the little theatre act on Sunday because it involved my property. End of discussion.

    This racism blackmail, or extortion, or whatever, has now reached the point that private thoughts and private conversations have become ammunition; but, only in one direction of course. It is can only be stopped if people will defy the race establishment and all of their fellow travelers.

    Finally, our Racist in Chief has weighed in over the weekend. What a disgusting little man.

  24. Oldflyer Says:

    One final thought, triggered by Cornflour’s assertion that the NBA deserves better behavior.

    That is one of the funniest lines I have read since I last read a statement from the Obama Administration.

    The NBA is populated by a substantial population of very athletic Thugs, who are paid a very large amount of money for playing a game that no longer even resembles its namesake. Now, a caveat. I am not calling everyone in the NBA a thug, but if challenged–and motivated– I could provide strong evidence that there are a large number significant number who have fallen afoul of our laws as well as violating behavioral norms that do not reach the level of misdemeanors or felonies.

    The NBA as an organization forfeited its moral authority to demand any standard of behavior quite a while ago.

    In the same vein, neither does the professional Racial Industry have the moral authority to cast stones.

  25. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Maybe someone can arrange for Ms. Stiviano to hook up with Phil Spector.

  26. Beverly Says:

    Donald Sterling proves again the adage that “there’s no fool like an old fool,” meaning an old man who’s in lust with his waaaay younger mistress/piece of tail.

    And she is apparently a really nasty piece of work, getting every dime out of it that she can.

    If he is, as stated, 81 years old, and she’s in her 20s (ugh), then No Wonder he worries about her hanging around with black NBA athletes. Or am I missing something? :-)

    Bad character leads to making decisions (i.e., a married man taking on a tart nearly 60 years younger) that lay the snare for his downfall. He really did bring this upon himself.

    And she is utter trash.

  27. Beverly Says:

    AND this whole imbroglio is none of “The Public’s” business.

  28. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    YAY, Beverly!

  29. Mike Says:

    Racism is an abstraction. As such it is unreal.

    People have little control over their thoughts, and only slightly more over their words – especially in times of high emotion.

    But they can control their actions. He never actually banned anyone from a game, he hired an african america coach and was paying african american players in the mega millions. In fact his “girlfriend”was a woman of color.

    This is not really a story, except as a way to keep the Democrat Racialist Machine going. This is like another tank of gas. It will not be mentioned that Sterling is a Democrat. Facts like that don’t matter. The point is to gain more poetical and coercive power.

  30. Lizzy Says:

    Mike, you’re right. Obama actually commented on Sterling yesterday. Unbelievable.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    They aren’t taxed. The businesses that provide jobs are. But the ones that provide entertainment have certain immunities. One wonders about that. A progressive tax isn’t even progressive if it doesn’t apply to all the rich.

  32. Yancey Ward Says:

    The other shoe dropped this morning. I was wondering why the recording was made, but I would not be one bit surprised to find that certain interests wanting to buy The Clippers are behind it.

  33. Cornhead Says:

    Any doubt she will be prosecuted?

    Woman claims the 100 hours of recording were with his consent because he is old and forgets things.

    This is all about money. V will land on her back when this all over.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s good blackmail material for money. Although that really should have been settled in a deal already. This way, it gets messy and lawyers get most of it.

  35. Richard Saunders Says:

    I once read a novel in which the old rich man’s mistress is so bored by him that she has to remind herself not to do her nails while (pretending to) make love to him. I get the feeling that this chick wouldn’t bother reminding herself.

    And if Sterling truly were a racist, why would he buy a business that has mostly black personnel? Why would he go to the games if he couldn’t stand to see black men run around in their shorts? In spite of what Marx thought, people rarely do things for wholly or even partly economic reasons. It would be like going into the diamond business if you hate Jews. Possible, but not likely.

  36. blert Says:

    I understand that under California law such a tape is illegal without informed consent.

    This case is an echo of the Mel Gibson schtick. In that case, the gold digger set Mel up, too.

    If you lie down with dogs — you’ll get fleas.

    %%%

    Richard Saunders:

    My ex-business partner convinced the locals that I moved to the Islands, took him as a partner, and sold to the Japanese because I was anti-Japanese.

    They bought it.

    Totally.

    Such attitudes are pre-sold. They are accepted before before the brain-wave reaches the brain.

    Reflexively, then.

  37. Rondo Says:

    Here is an excellent documentary regarding racism

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNRVL8tibOo

    “A conversation about race”

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    And if Sterling truly were a racist, why would he buy a business that has mostly black personnel?

    Old Democrat slavery was based on classifying blacks as a sub human specialization of the breed, the way dogs are classified. So some dogs are good at doing tricks for entertainment, other dogs are bred for fighting or police work.

    Him buying himself his own personal plantation, is one interpretation. One might as well ask if the Old Democrats of the South found blacks inferior, why they put blacks to work supporting much of the economy. It’s because racism due to slavery, was designed to justify why blacks are born to do certain things and only certain things. That’s why whites like Reid are surprised an articulate black without an accent is around.

  39. J.J. Says:

    Oldflyer, you’ve hit the nail right squarely on the head. We old codgers do think a lot alike. :-)

  40. Jerry Says:

    Jason Whitlock

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10857268/removing-donald-sterling-la-clippers-owner-fix-our-culture

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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