Donald Sterling and The End of Free Speech USA

By Klaus Rohrich:   Let’s say this right at the outset: Donald Sterling, current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team is a creepy-weird racist and I do not share his sentiments. Having said that, I am outraged at his lynching.

That an organization such as the NBA could impose a lifetime attendance ban and a $2.5 million fine on Sterling for something he said in private to his ‘girlfriend’ is preposterous! In addition, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is planning to force the sale of the Clippers, which will amount to a fire sale resulting in losses that Sterling would otherwise not have had to bear, had the team’s sale been on the open market.

In imposing Sterling’s punishment, Commissioner Silver said, “The hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers association or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or decisions involving the team.”

I realize that a private organization, such as the NBA has certain rules that govern team owners. But I highly doubt that telling your ‘girlfriend’ not to hang around with black people is one of them.

I can’t imagine that there is any law, either state or federal, that allows Sterling to be relieved of his property as blithely as Silver appears to be doing. Clearly, Sterling’s maunderings to his ‘girlfriend’ were the ravings of a deranged personality. But to summarily say that he can’t make any business decisions about a team that he owns is absurd.

Or maybe it isn’t. In an America that no longer values the concept of free speech, individuals can just be punished for saying things that are “deeply offensive and harmful.” Clearly, Sterling is not going to win any popularity contests or be given any humanitarian awards. But to summarily relieve him of his assets is an act that should make all of us sit up and take notice. The NBA’s punishment of Sterling is really no different than any lynching the Klan imposed on blacks in its heyday, save and except that this lynching is economical rather than physical.

Donald Sterling is an 80-year-old anachronistic white man. He mistakenly assumed that V. Stiviano, his ostensible ‘girlfriend,’ had his best interests at heart and privately told her he preferred that she didn’t hang out with ‘black people.’ Her secretly taping this conversation and then making it public through social media is a crime under both federal and California law. There’s not a smidgeon of a doubt in my mind that she will face any legal consequences for her egregious breach of the law because her illegal act helped root out a racist. Sterling can take some small solace in the fact that Stiviano’s gravy train derailed through her own puerile machinations. She’ll now be forced to find a new sugar daddy.

In today’s America laws no longer matter. Right and wrong are no longer carved in stone, but made fluid according to the whims of an ever more airheaded and politically correct majority.

Today they punish Donald Sterling for being racially inappropriate. Tomorrow they could punish you or me for innocently or stupidly voicing an unpopular opinion.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in her 1906 biography of Voltaire wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This sentiment is one of the cornerstones of a truly free society. It’s a shame that it no longer applies in America.

I think now that the bar has been set at this height it is time to charge Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the Reverend Wright to the same scrutiny.

 

California Penal Code

632. (a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be
punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 631, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by
imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Source: Canada Free Press

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