The Clippers & Donald Sterling: Why quitting won’t quiet racism

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Because: identifying racism as an American institution and the particular persons who perpetuate it, and holding them accountable for their actions, is exactly the same as begging someone not to be seen in public fraternizing with those people. Yeah, okay . . .

Let’s be clear here–there are definitely black people who are PREJUDICE, meaning they discriminate against or have ill  feelings and even hatred towards members of other ethnicities based on their own ignorance and stereotypes. However, RACISM is an institution. We as black people do not have enough political and economic POWER to inflict oppression on others. Furthermore, openly criticizing public figures for being racist is not racism. It’s a step toward justice.

Anyway, the real reason for this post was to discuss the Clippers’ protest. I would just like to congratulate them for the gesture. It was a recognizable protest of Sterling’s ignorance and I have to say I could appreciate it. I continue to see them being criticized, via social media where everyone is an expert, for not quitting the team or refusing to play and I would have to say I disagree with those sentiments. In my opinion, encouraging them to quit their jobs SEEMS like an appropriate protest to the ordeal. Especially for those of us on the more militant side of the spectrum, but most of us encouraging it are uneducated in the inner workings of the NBA. The NBA is an empire. Sterling had people to answer to and those people weren’t going to be represented by those kinds of statements. The answer wasn’t for the players to remove themselves from the team, but for the NBA to remove Sterling from affiliation. @WolfJames makes an excellent point below.

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I applaud the NBA for how they handled the situation. It was an excellent move in the direction of positive publicity. I’m sure this incident didn’t rid the NBA of all racism or corruption. So I also applaud the players. No, they did not riot. No, they did not stage a walk out. But they did do something and justice was served. Let’s recognize them for thinking critically about how to fight this small battle in a larger war. Refusing to work for Sterling sounds nice, but working for someone else may have just been working for another Sterling, whose mistress wasn’t feeling quite as vengeful just yet. Oops.

 

Imani

Imani Williams is the newest intern columnist for The Mixx Magazine providing meaningful commentary and positive images on Black Love, Literature, Hair & Culture. We brought her on because we felt she offers a look away from the influx of negative images we see of ourselves daily in mainstream media, or at least makes much-needed observations about them. Imani currently moonlights as Beyonce.