Sterling's Enablers (Or "Follow The Money")
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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The Donald Sterling (a.k.a. Donald Tokowitz) Saga has certainly dominated the headlines over this past week. After reading about Sterling’s history of racist behavior and statements, the first question that came to my mind was: How could this have gone on for so long? I mean – after all – here you have the owner of a professional sports franchise in a league identified by former player/prominent African-American commentator Charles Barkley as a “black league” being given a free pass for literally YEARS of racial bigotry and bias. However, the more I read the story, the clearer the answer to my question became. In the end, I was reminded of that infamous phrase uttered by “Deep Throat” of All The President’s Men" fame: “Follow the money.”

Yes – it appears that the “root of all evil” is at it again. This time, it comes through in Sterling’s principal “enablers.” It seems to me, there are mainly two (if you don’t include all of Sterling’s fellow NBA owners – which I won't at this particular point in time):

*The first primary enabler has to be former NBA Commissioner David Stern. As Paul Teetor of points out in his blog:

“All the other 29 (NBA) owners have to do is take a moment from frantically issuing their self-serving condemnations of Sterling's racist comments and look in the mirror. And for a complete group portrait of Sterling's enablers, they should invite former commissioner David Stern to sit front and center.

Stern, who retired on Feb. 1, ran the league with an iron hand for 30 of the 33 years that Sterling has owned the Clippers. Yet never once did Stern move to discipline Sterling in any way, despite a long litany of well-documented incidents and allegations that exposed Sterling's private racism and misogyny to the light of day.”


“By now, after the saturation scandal coverage of the last 48 hours, anyone who can read has heard about Sterling's derogatory comments about black and Latino tenants living in his apartment buildings around L.A. And anyone who wanted to educate themselves about Sterling's attitudes toward women needed only to read his pre-trial deposition in a sexual harassment case.

But Stern and the league's 29 other owners - 28 of them rich white guys, and the other the proudly apolitical Michael Jordan - live in an NBA-centric world where they either knew or should have known about these incredibly disturbing Sterling quotes long before this past weekend. “


*The other primary enabler is one that you certainly wouldn’t expect: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Yes – that’s right – the NAACP was a primary enabler of Donald Sterling, specifically the Lost Angeles chapter of the NAACP and it’s now former (he resigned yesterday) head Leon Jenkins.

As Angel Jennings of the LA Times points out in her excellent article titled “L.A. head of NAACP resigns in wake of Sterling scandal”:

“Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins has resigned amid scrutiny surrounding the organization’s decision to give awards to disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling.”

“The group granted Sterling an award in 2009, the same year the real estate magnate and L.A. Clippers owner paid $2.73 million to settle U.S. government claims that he refused to rent his apartments in Koreatown to Latinos and blacks.”

“The chapter was set to give Sterling a second award (for “lifetime achievement”) when a recording emerged in which a man said to be Sterling asked a female friend not to publicly associate with African Americans.”


How could this have happened, you ask? How could such a prestigious organization dedicated to the advancement of African-Americans bestow their highest awards on a racist/bigot who puts Archie Bunker to shame? Well – here’s where the “follow the money” part really kicks in. The New York Times has reported that Sterling's foundations gave Jenkins' branch at least $45,000 since 2007:

Further - as Angel Jennings reports in the LA Times article linked to above – former L.A. NAACP chapter president Jenkins himself has an incredible history of ethical and financial skulduggery:

“While Jenkins was a Detroit judge, he was indicted in 1988 on federal bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and racketeering charges, according to records from the State Bar of California.

Authorities at the time alleged that Jenkins received gifts from those who appeared in his court and committed perjury, according to the records.

He was acquitted of criminal charges, but in 1994 the Michigan Supreme Court disbarred him, finding "overwhelming evidence" that Jenkins "sold his office and his public trust," according to the bar records.

Jenkins was practicing law in California in 1991, serving as an attorney to the family of Latasha Harlins, an African American girl who was fatally shot by a Korean grocery store owner in South L.A., according to Times reports at the time.

In 1995, the state bar began looking into the misconduct allegations from Michigan. He was disbarred in 2001. He tried to be reinstated in 2006 but was rejected, according to records. He made another attempt in 2012.

Earlier this month, the bar turned him down, questioning whether he had the "moral fitness to resume the practice of law," according to records. The bar stated that he had made misrepresentations on divorce papers and on his petition for reinstatement to the bar. Officials said he failed to disclose a $660,000 loan he owed former legal clients.”

So once again, the almighty dollar appears to corrupt the seemingly incorruptible, i.e., by facilitating racism in a “black league.” Stern kept it going on behalf of the NBA, while Jenkins (and surely others) played a big role in enabling Sterling at the NAACP. “Follow the money” has never been truer than it is today in this particular case. What surprises me most is the NAACP’s complicity in all of this. When the highest ranking official of a local NAACP chapter is shown to be such a strong, “ethically challenged” enabler of racism and bigotry, one tends to lose faith in the entire organization. Jenkins’ resignation was certainly as well-deserved as Sterling’s. In hindsight, the obvious question is: "How was Jenkins ever placed in such a position of high responsibility in the first place?" The NAACP better figure out the answer to that one quickly. As an organization, they certainly should also examine their entire national operation for similar appointees whose past personal and professional history might also bite them on the butt in the future.

Teka-Lark Fleming places an exclamation point on the whole situation in an article posted at titled “Pay to Play Along: the Shameful Saga of the NAACP and Donald Sterling.” Here is an excerpt:

“The rejoicing —of the handpicked by corporate— leaders of the African-American community over the $2.5 million fine handed down by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to Clipper owner Donald Sterling and his indefinite ban is part of a larger problem.

People with more money than Sterling banned him and fined him, so they can continue to make money on the NBA.

That $2.5 million dollars is blood money. It is red beads.

It is a larger version of why an organization such as the NAACP ended up in bed with a person like Sterling in the first place.”


“…(P)eople who proclaim to the be the leaders of the African-American community need to remember that their job is not to defend and forgive people who insult, exploit and oppress us; their job is to defend us against economic oppression and racial violence.

Los Angeles has the most wealthy African-Americans in the United States and for a donation of $5,000 from Sterling the NAACP’s L.A. chapter gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2009.

NAACP works for corporate America, so there is really no need for them to get a penny of that $2.5 million. They no longer should be allowed to be the altar where racists burn their sorry candles, because it’s pretty clear to me that the NAACP now stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Corporate People.”


Latest Activity: May 02, 2014 at 4:06 PM

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PoliticsNation commented on Friday, May 02, 2014 at 17:21 PM

The NAACP is not blameless in the situation but you took a teachable moment to put down the NAACP and not focus on the real issue " racism".

PoliticsNation commented on Friday, May 02, 2014 at 17:33 PM

The very concept of supremacy based on race (or sex) is the delusion of ego and that has been proven in countless ways. It is not truth. It never has been and it never will be. This belief system has caused immeasurable harm to everyone concerned and it continues in this modern day to be a serious challenge. The logic of whites who fear those that are different from themselves and who regard others as "the enemy" because of that is rooted in brainwashing, programming, social conditioning and miseducation. This logic is based on physical means which cannot compare to the greater good that comes with the development of emotional and spiritual maturity. Racism is a mental illness, a lack of balance in one's thought process. Race cannot be a winning strategy for happiness in life because it falls far short from the glory of mental, physical and spiritual liberation and exhalation that awaits beyond the self imposed bondage of limitations that race alone poses. This is also true when using financial means as the most important goal for the full experience of life. The most important things in life are more precious than gold and that's the way it is. This is a new day and there is no room for racism or sexism in it.

PoliticsNation commented on Friday, May 02, 2014 at 18:10 PM

Science has verified that those who are attracted to CONservatism are easily manipulated, fear-based inherent racist cowards with low IQs and low-effort thinking abilities... with a heavy concentration of psychopaths at the top.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 17:08 PM

@PN: Remember that song back in the 80's I think..."She Blinded Me with Science!" nailed it.

HMJC commented on Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:47 AM

I 100% concur that racism is a blight that our society continues to perpetuate however; very tired of the "white man" continuing to be demonized as the primary culprit. I have previously stated that racism exists within all races and ethnicities. I am also weary of a majority of the time when ethnicities automatically conclude that if a decision is not in their favor it is a race based issue. Individual accountability should be the focus; basing any said judgment on word and deed, not color. This continues to be the great cop-out in a society too worried about being politically correct as opposed to calling a duck a duck.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 12:14 PM

"The NAACP is not blameless in the situation but you took a teachable moment to put down the NAACP and not focus on the real issue " racism"."

I took a teachable moment to point out that there are enablers on ALL sides of the equation. Yes - the NAACP is "not blameless," but you took that teachable moment to MINIMIZE their role in this entire fiasco.

The racism in this scenario has been all over this story in every press account I have seen. My purpose here is to - as usual - cover those aspects of a story which the lamestream media refuse to cover (or minimizes) in order to soften the blow to elements of society that they routinely give a pass to.

OBVIOUSLY, the NAACP had an individual susceptible to GROSS corruption in the highest ranks of their operation in LA. OBVIOUSLY, that individual was part and parcel in providing a racist the highest award(s) the NAACP can provide. OBVIOUSLY, the NAACP needs to clean up their house - along with the NBA cleaning up theirs.

Those are the MAJOR "teachable moments" here.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 13:13 PM

...and PN: Give me a break. is the left's answer to the extremist web sites on the right that you have condemned people for using on these here web pages.

Here's some "unbiased" science about conservatives and liberals:

*Scientific American is one of the most respected science magazines in existence. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein, have contributed articles over the past 168 years to Scientific American. It is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States. Per Scientific American:

"According to the experts who study political leanings, liberals and conservatives do not just see things differently. They are different—in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them. For example, in a study published in January, a team led by psychologist Michael Dodd and political scientist John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln found that when viewing a collage of photographs, conservatives' eyes unconsciously lingered 15 percent longer on repellent images, such as car wrecks and excrement—suggesting that conservatives are more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats."

"Meanwhile examining the contents of 76 college students' bedrooms, as one group did in a 2008 study, revealed that conservatives possessed more cleaning and organizational items, such as ironing boards and calendars, confirmation that they are orderly and self-disciplined."

"On topics where liberals and conservatives will never see eye to eye, opposing sides can try to cultivate mutual respect. In The Righteous Mind, Haidt identifies several areas of morality. Liberals, he says, tend to value two of them: caring for people who are vulnerable and fairness, which for liberals tends to mean sharing resources equally. Conservatives care about those things, too, but for them fairness means proportionality—that people should get what they deserve based on the amount of effort they have put in. Conservatives also emphasize loyalty and authority, values helpful for maintaining a stable society."

For more, see:

Hmmm…..”more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats”; more “orderly and self-disciplined”: “fairness” with “proportionality” and getting what one deserves “based on the amount of effort they have put in”; and placing a high value on “maintaining a stable society.” To me, those are EXACTLY the qualities we need to keep this country moving FORWARD with HOPE for Change We ALL Can Believe In.

*And let's not forget that science itself has a "well known liberal bias" - as this chart in the NY Times points out:

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