Posts Tagged ‘racist’

Alt-Right: Trumped-up Name for Bigots

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
Hillary Clinton ... delivering a speech linking Donald Trump to bigots and racists

Hillary Clinton … delivering a speech linking Donald Trump to bigots and racists

By Bob Gaydos

It’s not enough that I’ve had to suffer through the most frightening, embarrassing presidential campaign in my lifetime and, perhaps, in the lifetime of this country, but now I’m being asked to grant legitimacy to the very ugliness that has marred this chapter in American history.

“Alt-right”? “Alt-right”? Are you kidding me? How about ugly, racist, bigoted, anti-semitic, hateful, ignorant, white people who want to blame all their perceived grievances on those who are different from them.

These are the people who never wanted the Civil War to end. Who didn’t want schools integrated or teaching evolution. Who would welcome a return to segregated lunch counters. Who hate the day when Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus. Who brandish the swastika. Now they want to start another civil war, led by the biggest con artist ever to claim leadership of a major political party, Donald Trump.

Thank you, Republicans.

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton referred to the most avid followers of Trump as the Alt-Right, a term now being used by mainstream media. With capital letters and everything. This is a collection of hate groups that have been festering quietly in the bowels of the Republican Party for years. Quietly, because even most Republicans are aware that these are not people who are interested in being part of an America that is open and welcome and full of opportunity for all people. These are Klansmen and neo-Nazis and Second-Amendment-spouting “patriots” who want the government to take care of their needs, but ignore the “freeloaders.” Hell, to punish them.

And yes, I blame Republicans for letting this happen because they knew full well the kind of people they were cynically courting for votes and the kind of people they were playing to by refusing to cooperate on any initiative proposed by President Barack Obama. Is it a coincidence that he is our country’s first black president and Trump has freed the racists from the Republicans’ basement? I don’t think so.

I’m glad Clinton spelled out in detail publicly what Trump and his followers represent. She should do more of it, while also spelling out her own alternatives to his fearful message. I hesitate to say that he stands for anything but himself because I think he makes it up as he goes along. He is a pathological liar, a bigot, a misogynist and has a sociopathic need to stir up fear and hatred among the “Alt-Rights” to hear their applause. He gave a scripted speech on how blacks — whose lives in America are a never-ending hell in his view — would be better off voting for him. He gave the speech to a group of white farmers in Iowa. Naturally, they applauded.

It is a sick relationship, enabled by cowardly leaders in the Republican Party who feared losing power and prestige by telling the “Alt-Rights”: You know what folks, in this country we don’t do things that way. We’ve come a long way from those days when skin color, gender, religion, nationality, sexual preference determined whether one was accepted as an American. And, by the way, we’re not going to sacrifice our party’s principles for the sake of a few votes based on hatred and ignorance. So, go find another place to hide.

But no Republican leader said that to them. Instead, they put Sarah Palin on a pedestal and questioned whether their commander-in-chief was really an American..

Alt-Right is not a political philosophy. Rather, it is a fear-based  agenda of white supremacy that is being spread via social media. Their memes offer a message of lies and hate and almost a proud ignorance. Facts and science are irrelevant. It is definitely not conservative, liberal, Democrat or Republican. It is fear and hate and white is right and Trump has given it a voice, thanks in large part to the shameless orchestration of Fox News and the cluelessness of all the other news media until it was almost too late.

Trump stole the Republican nomination through bullying, outrageous statements, headline-grabbing and the timidness of many of his opponents, Republican leaders and media commentators. No one had the guts to say he was nuts. Since many of them have belatedly caught on to him, Trump is unlikely to steal the election. In fact, he seems almost intent on losing because he knows he can’t handle the job. It would be a major blow to his ego if he had to demonstrate his ineptitude publicly.

But he has given the cave-dwellers and hate-mongers hope and that is the real tragedy of this insult of an election. They now think they can spread their venom in public without repercussion because, after all, they’ve got a guy running for president of the United States of America for Pete’s sake. If that’s not legit, what is? And now, the media want to give them a legit name like all those other made-up ones — Neo-Con, Neo-Liberal, Far Right, Far Left.

Forget about Alt-Right. Call them what they are: racists and bigots. I say again, any Republican who hears what Trump and his most ardent followers say and sees how they behave and who still says he or she (really, woman?) supports his candidacy is no better than Trump. You are what you say you are. Presidents do not get to issue threats, insults and idiotic statements and change their minds every day.

Clinton has some serious issues to address, but they pale in comparison to what Trump represents. If you support Trump, know this: Your candidate is a fraud, a bigot, a callous, clueless, compassionless, misogynistic, self-aggrandizing bully who belittle veterans who died or were captured in battle and who mocks citizens with physical disabilities.

This is not all right in my America. This kind of “alternative” is unacceptable and does not deserve any special, pseudo-sounding, political movement name so that reporters, editors and columnists can have a shorthand way of saying bigots.

rjgaydos@gmail.com

Donald Sterling: NBA Plantation Owner

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

By Bob Gaydos

Donald Sterling

Donald Sterling

Once again sports, which are supposed to be diversions from real life for most of us, have delivered a morality play. There is no title for this tragi-comedy, nor indeed, a final act. What there is is a villainous main character who offers many reasons for hating him, a crucial supporting character who will win no accolades for her own behavior, and a host of bit players, who find common ground in attacking the main character.

The villain is Donald Sterling, a narcissistic white male, 80-year-old, pot-bellied, misogynistic, racist, adulterer, liar, ingrate, real estate tycoon, lawyer, multi-millionaire, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team.

Sterling would have been right at home as a plantation owner in the Old South. Until recently, he had a 31-year-old girlfriend/mistress (the latest in a succession of women to whom he admits he gave lavish gifts in exchange for sex). The girlfriend, V. Stiviano, is the supporting character.

In a taped private conversation made public, Sterling tells Stiviano he doesn’t want her posting photos on the Internet of herself with “black men” or coming to Clippers games with black men, including Magic Johnson. Stiviano is of Mexican and African-American heritage. Sterling’s basketball team is composed of African-American men. Indeed, more than 90 percent of the players in the National Basketball Association, in which the Clippers play, are African-American.

Sterling’s comments grabbed headlines, dominated TV news and the Internet and caused a furor within the NBA. The new commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, acted quickly, banning Sterling from the league for life, fining him $2.5 million and asking other team owners to demand that Sterling sell his team. Silver is as close to a hero as we get in this play because he is new to his job and took decisive action.

But the thing is, no one in the NBA — owners, officials, players, coaches — should have been surprised by Sterling’s remarks. In fact, most probably weren’t. He has been sued more than once for discrimination against minorities in his housing projects and paid millions of dollars to settle the cases. He was sued in 2009 for wrongful job termination on the basis of race and age by a former team general manager, Elgin Baylor. Baylor, 79, a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, said in his lawsuit that Sterling had a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure,” of instilling a “pervasive and ongoing racist attitude towards his team and that Sterling wanted the team to be ”composed of ‘poor black boys from the South’ and a white head coach.” Baylor further said his salary was frozen at $350,000 a year for six years while the white head coach, who theoretically reported to Baylor, was given a $22 million contract.

Sterling also sued one of his former mistresses for the return of gifts he gave her. His deposition includes him referring to her as a “piece of trash” and “a total freak,’’ whom he called “honey.” He said he calls “everybody” honey, especially women with whom he’s having sex “because you can’t remember her name.”

That was in 2004, a time when he was running the cheapest plantation-style organization in the NBA. He wouldn’t pay for good players. Nobody said or did anything about Sterling then. Not much fuss was made about Baylor’s suit (from which he dropped the racism claim and which he eventually lost). The NBA — and the media — also apparently didn’t see any problem with the bias lawsuits that Sterling settled out of court. And no one said a word about his attitude toward women. Shhh, that’s just Donald being Donald.

Sterling is the classic example of something we have seen too much of lately in America, in politics and business as well as sports: the rich white guy who believes he can do as he pleases because, well, he’s a rich white guy. He feels entitled to treat people as he wishes. So he can have a girlfriend 50 years his junior, of mixed racial heritage, and tell her not to hang out with black men — because he’s given her two Bentleys, a condominium, lots of cash and who knows what else. He can boast about feeding and clothing his team of talented black athletes because, after all, those are his boys out there on the court. And that’s his beautiful half-black mistress at his side. I pay you. I own you.

Except that V. Stiviano was no innocent. She got her lavish gifts (Sterling’s wife is suing to get them back, claiming her estranged husband was sought out and enticed). And Stiviano taped his racist remarks, though her lawyer claims she didn’t release the tape to the TV show TMZ and others.

In the age of instant communication, the NBA’s secret — Donald Sterling, who owns a team composed of black athletes, is a racist — was now public. The NBA players, many of whom are millionaires themselves, are unionized. Not exactly chattel. They talked about boycotting the league’s showcase event — the playoffs. Advertisers dropped like flies from the Clippers’ account. Even the president of the United States was condemning Sterling. Suddenly, he was no longer just an embarrassment that the rest of the league could try to hide or ignore; he was a threat to the image and financial well-being of the other wealthy owners. Oh yeah, and for the record, he’s a racist and virtually all our players — who are, after all, the lure of the league — are black. The misogyny apparently still gets a pass from the league and the press.

So, the era of complicity in the NBA regarding Donald Sterling is over. But he says he has no intention of selling his team and might challenge any such demand from other owners in court. He might have a case, but if he sells he’ll make a huge profit. Stiviano says she didn’t mean to harm Sterling. She is also fighting Sterling wife’s demand to return his lavish gifts. Potential suitors are emerging to buy the Clippers, who are now a good team. And Clippers players and coaches are still trying to win basketball games.

More remains to be revealed in this saga. But what is abundantly and depressingly clear is the arrogance of Sterling and the license his wealth gave him to flaunt it for years. The NBA’s silence for so long on him is as much an indictment of the league — owners, officials, players, coaches –as Sterling’s words and behavior are of him. Ignoring racism, hoping it will somehow go away of its own accord, never works.

As for Sterling, he apparently believed so strongly that his wealth gives him power to do and say as he pleases and make other people do as he pleases, that he didn’t hide his racist feelings from Stiviano. It was second nature to him. Nor, in his arrogance, did he suspect that she might try to set him up by taping their private conversation. Which in the end may go to prove that there’s still no fool like an old fool. Rich white guy or not.