I Stand Alone – As Usual!

“If a man is considered guilty 4 what goes on in his mind,
then give me the electric chair 4 all my future crimes.

– Prince
(Lyric extraction from “Electric Chair” on the Batman 1989 motion picture soundtrack)
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NOTE TO READERS: I had planned for the article Shut the Fuck Up, Magic Johnson; You’re NOT Helping! (Click title to read) would be my final word on the Donald Sterling issue. Instead, due to recent news on the Donald Sterling controversy (click here) it seems that my spirit will not rest until I write and post this article – which will instead become the final word from me on the trending sports/social controversy!
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Posted on Facebook:
RobFather-X (hooded)
I am ashamed to be an American today.
The right for one to expect to have and enjoy a private conversation in this country has been shat or shitted upon by ignorant social, business and political pressure. The Orwellian Thought Police have spoken!
I’ve loved and have given twenty years of my life in loyal, dedicated military service to America. Yet I must take a special “shame day” due to the intentionally ignored rights of American citizens for whom I gave a damn good deal of my life to protect. I cannot get over the ignorance of some of my fellow Americans, most especially many of those in my ethnic group.
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BM_Sexy-54 (re)It’s becoming apparent to me that I may be standing alone in my feelings and opinions about the Donald Sterling fiasco – both here and among people I know in the real world. I’ll be 54 years old in about two weeks. In my 53 years I have seen true racism and heard true racist remarks. Some of that true bigotry had even been directed at my family when I was a kid in Philadelphia and later towards me in my teens and adult life.

I’ve had a few relatives who were members of the Philadelphia Black Panther Party. If I learned anything from them and from other family members during the 1960s and 1970s, it is for sure how to understand and recognize what true racism is and isn’t and what a true racist is and isn’t. From my family and other caring mentors in my childhood, I also learned to study people, the things they say, they things they may have meant to say, and the tone in which certain words are spoken and/or written and to question anything that gives me doubt. I learned to wisely choose which things to give my attention and which things to ignore, as well as how to carefully choose which battles I need to fight. I learned to not show the “race card” or cry racist or racism for every little thing that might appear as such but yet not have any direct bearing or affect on me, my family and the people I love. Most importantly, I learned to never align myself with people on any issue unless I know and completely understand and, when necessary, can substantiate all the facts of that issue. That training in being a man and more importantly, surviving Black manhood has saved my ass countless times from personal and public embarrassment, imprisonment and possibly physical harm. Race Card (RFXP Edit)That training has helped me to maintain my kool in certain situations and not be one of the many in my ethnicity to give any credibility to the stereotypical expression “angry Black man”. It is the very same training and instruction that I pass on and enforce with my son.

A Non-Issue.
I maintain my earlier position that the Sterling remarks were part of a private conversation and those remarks were made in that light which, as far as I’m concerned, makes that a non-issue regardless of any right or wrong with regard to his feelings and words on ethnicity.non-issue (RE) People ought to stop acting and reacting as though they had never expressed like sentiments of a bigoted nature in the privacy of their homes, cars, in a corner office at work or church with the door closed or on some corner on the street which, if such were ever made public, would be considered by others as being sexist, ageist, racist, homophobic or worse in nature. The public and media attention and the reactions to this non-issue “controversy” only add fuel to that kind of ugly social fire. It clearly shows the hypocrisy of all who ignore a person’s right to have private thoughts and express them in private conversation.

The James Earl Jones What-If Scenario
Since I consider myself a free-thinker of deep proportions, often I like to play the game of the hypothetical or what-if scenario. Here is one I want all readers to seriously consider.Actor - James Earl Jones
What if a Black man – say someone like esteemed award-winning actor James Earl Jones – himself a celebrity and an octogenarian (just like Donald Sterling), had made private conversation comments to his wife or a close friend about his not wanting there to be any White people attending his theater stage performances or watching any of his more than 50 years of film and television work? What if someone had secretly or perhaps with Mr. Jones’ knowledge, recorded Mr. Jones making such comments (again, in private) or perhaps of Jones speaking the very words spoken by Mr. Sterling, and that recording were made public?
Now ask yourself:

  • Would someone taking that recording to give it or sell it to someone for public dissemination in one’s attempt to harm the career and/or to blackmail Mr. Jones, be considered unethical?
  • Would there be a public outcry – particularly from Black Americans, calling for some kind of social lynching such as a boycott of Jones’ work – just as that being called for people to boycott all Los Angeles Clippers games as long as Donald Sterling owns or has some management control of that team?
  • Would people – particularly Black Americans, return or throw away their theater tickets for shows featuring actor James Earl Jones due to his racist remarks (that were made in a private conversation then made known to the public?
  • Would people – particularly Black Americans, call for the boycott and/or cancellation of Jones’ stage shows and/or the destruction of the many films in which Jones portrays a character?
  • Would people – particularly Black Americans, burn their video tape and DVD copies of those early Star Wars films where Jones’ highly distinguishable voice portrayed that of one of that trilogy’s main character, Darth Vader?

What if actor James Earl Jones had made some private conversation comments to his wife or a close friend about his not wanting there to be any White or non-Black legislators in Congress while President Obama – a fellow and much younger Black man, is in office? What if Mr. Jones said that he does not feel that President Obama ought to appoint anyone who is not Black or a person of color to any government position or White House staff?
Would Americans – particularly Black people, cry out that Mr. Jones was being racist in making such comments in a private conversation with someone?

The Two-Faced Racial Attitude: A Matter of Racial Convenience
You see, in my years of studying whatever I can about race relations, I’ve learned a few things; some of which few people ever talk about or will ever admit. For example, many (not all) Black people tend to have what I call a two-faced racial attitude (not to be confused with two-faced racism) when it comes to certain race issues. Sometimes some Black people will act the way they do about race issues as matter of racial if not personal convenience. So long as something has a certain benefit or is convenient to them personally it’s easy to look the other way and grease the palms of a known racist or bigot. But don’t be fooled, for some will always have at the ready that damn race card to pull out when certain benefits stop or something gets changed that’s not to the liking of those particular Black people with the two-faced racial attitude. StarTrekBlackFaceWhiteFaceMany of these Black persons hear the word “racist” or something which they perceive might be racist in nature. They immediately think it’s all about them or that someone’s comments – which are not directed at anyone specifically, are going to somehow affect the entire Black ethnicity, if not other people of color in the world. (NEWSFLASH: It won’t.) Many Black people with the two-faced racial attitude will jump on bandwagons of others who cry out words like racist or racism without checking the facts and will immediately sound the alarm or point the finger at the person(s) whom they think made some racist comment. In such instances, they have no problem with calling for that person’s head on a plate or ouster from some job or position. We all know there are Black people who can be loud and will shout a person down when angry and will do and/or say certain things to be heard when it comes to some perceived race issue. Now, these are not racists or stereotypical statements I’m making; these are bona fide facts as I’ve come to see them all my life! Of course, some reading this will be offended by my words. I’ll be called names like “sell out”, “Uncle Tom” and the like. I’ve heard them before. Maybe someone will make a threat or two. Fine. A man fuckstrated!But remember: I’m Black and have been Black long enough to know what my people do – even if I don’t always understand why many of my people do or say the things they do. Unfortunately, much of that ignorance and noise comes when Black people refuse to make the effort to think certain things through, look for facts and verification of an issue and/or consider the source or the intent of a person’s actions. Recall what I said earlier: study people, ask questions when in doubt and try to learn and understand a situation first! These things are what an intelligent Black person is supposed to do. I can either come to agree or respectfully disagree with anyone who can show that he or she has done their homework before the two of us get into a debate.

When it comes to dealing with race issues Black people need to realize that they cannot have it both ways. For example, they cannot cry racism based on something that a White person said or did in private yet not demand the very same thing if such is ever said or done by a Black person or some another person of color in private. Many people of color are/or can be ignorant and racist too! Who doesn’t or who refuses to acknowledge this fact? Again, I refer readers to the James Earl Jones What-if scenario. It’s a challenge to people in my ethnicity to flip the skin color and determine whether what I say has some truth. Remember I’m an educated Black man; one who dares to speak on the reality on race relations as I’ve come to know and see it in my lifetime. It’s a shitty job but someone has to do it!

Now perhaps if racist comments were made in public or directed towards someone – especially with some intent to take physical action to back up certain racist words, that would be one thing. I am not condoning that people ought to freely go around verbally spewing racist remarks. No. I think that is wrong. However, if such remarks are held behind closed doors or in a private conversation – particularly one which I cannot hear, then why should I take any concern in that? Wouldn’t it be best for me to simply acknowledge that private conversation fact and mind my business rather than get upset over some disparaging thing I happened to overhear said in someone else’s private conversation?

People Talk…
People talk about all kinds of shit in private – and much of the stuff they talk about ought to indeed be kept in private conversation or at the very least, in very low whisper. I think everyone has a bona fide right to say whatever they want so long as each person is mindful of his or her environment and the people in it.Silhoette-people I also think that people who have learned that someone’s private, innocently held conversation was made public – possibly without that person’s knowledge of said conversation being recorded with the unethical intent to make it public, should be given the benefit of the doubt… for at least that particular moment or instance, regardless of any previously made comments or negative actions. That would include people who are or who might be bigots in every form of the word. Even the bigots and assholes in our country have a right to have and enjoy a private conversation! The right to think freely and speak freely in a private environment is part of the spirit of America. It is in that spirit of freedom for why many people all over the world are willing to break laws and risk life and limb to come and live in this country! No one ought to get upset simply because they did not like the content of a person’s private conversation. Put yourself in Mr. Sterling’s place and see how you’d feel if YOUR rights to privacy in conversation in this regard were violated or ignored!

Understand This…
Let’s get one thing clearly understood: people have always had some sort of prejudicial, bias and/or racist thought and idea about other people and things. I have to believe that every person old enough to establish intelligent thought has at one time or another, thought of and/or said something disparaging about another ethnic group, gender or sub-culture (i.e. disabled people, the mentally challenged, the elderly, homosexuals, transgender people, homeless people, illegal immigrants, et al) that could be considered – by others as being feelings or expression of bigotry. It’s in our human DNA to sometimes have or develop feelings about people who seem or appear different from us or whom we feel fit some sort of stereotype handed down by our ancestors. Is that sort of thing right? No. However, we cannot just assume that simply because we can call someone out for what we just learned (or had always known) is or had always been on someone’s mind, especially if such thoughts and words was expressed verbally in private, that perhaps that person will simply cease from having racist and/or stereotypical thoughts and ideas about people who are or might be different from him/herself.

Bigoted Thinking
Bigoted (or racist) thinking is not a crime – yet. Bigoted (or racist) thinking about another person’s ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality and the like, is the sort of thing which must be gradually excised from the bigot’s psyche Bigotry-2through the means of education, acceptance and some taught appreciation of one’s culture or plight as a fellow human. Certain considerations have to also be given to a bigot’s history and generational roots, for as the saying goes, no leopard can change its spots. The world is a small place and it is too small for us to always think that every negative thing said or done is necessarily about us. Calling for the firing or boycotting of people who happened to have expressed private thoughts or feelings – no matter how wrong we may find those thoughts and feelings is in my opinion, a violation of that person’s personal right to expected privacy and free speech in that private environment. It should not matter if that person is a celebrity, has some political, religious or social influence or has billions of dollars at his or her disposal by which he or she can be financially influential. iPhone mic recorderA private conversation is a private conversation. Every American…no, everyone in the world, is entitled to have that certain degree of privacy – if they so choose. The Orwellian entity known as Big Brother should not have a place among the parties conducting said privately held conversations No one has the right to unethically use some form of technology against another person in an attempt to compromise or violate the rights of another to have and enjoy expected privacy. Boycotting against one person when there are several thousand others in all ethnic groups who also have some thoughts of bigotry is, in my view, both unrealistic and pointless.

We wonder…
Thought-Police pledgeCould it be that no one gives a shit about Donald Sterling’s right to have and enjoy a private conversation? It bothers me that no one is talking about that one little, yet very significant aspect of this entire controversy! Perhaps the reason for that is because many Americans have grown so used to freely telling all of their own business in public. Perhaps many Americans do not feel that anyone else, especially those people in a celebrity or semi-celebrity status, or those who might be wealthy and White, is ever entitled to any degree of privacy. The thought of my fellow citizens, particularly those in my ethnic group, having such an attitude scares the shit out of me. Truly the land of my birth, America, is fast becoming a quick-to-judge, thought-police state – among other disparaging things. Why must that be?

President Obama Should Have Shut the Fuck Up Too!
STFUposterI’m appalled that President Barack Obama let himself get baited into prematurely weighing in on this controversy with his remarks. As much as I like and respect our president, he too should have just shut the fuck up the other day and held back his opinion – just as I remarked in my blog article about the “boycott the games” remarks made by former professional basketball star, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Obama is the goddamn president of the United States; his advisers should have advised him to remain impartial until all the facts in the Sterling story were found. He should have been advised to simply respond with the standard “No comment” until that time. Why did he wait until now to show his “blackness” and lower his standards to the ignorant opinions of others in our ethnicity with regard to some perceived privately expressed racist remarks that were made public? As one who is entrusted with the secrets of this country, he ought to know better! Well, it’s not the first time Mr. Obama made an error in judgment and it won’t be his last.

Seeing Things Through My Eyes –
RobFather-X eyes I find it difficult to understand why few people see this Sterling issue in the same manner or light as I with regard to Sterling’s right to have a private conversation. So what if he made racist comments in private! We all say a lot of things behind closed doors, over secure lines, in encrypted verbal or written language or form, in low whisper and in some environment of presumed if not expected privacy. I worked as a telecommunications specialist for the U.S. Navy for twenty years. I held high security access which made me privy to certain classified information about a host of things which, if ever were made public or told to our nation’s enemies, could have severely compromised national security and/or brought embarrassing attention to my higher-ranking superiors, perhaps even to the Commander-in-Chief himself.Radioman for 21 Century (small) Original Now, I am not comparing racist remarks to national security information. I am simply trying to make a point of the need for expected confidentiality and privacy. That is where I’m coming from with the Sterling issue. Apologies to any reader who can’t see my point. Perhaps some online research on our nation’s history and its involvement in various wars and conflicts and certain military and CIA missions that have since been declassified and made public is in order.

Why Punish Donald Sterling Now?
Why did the National Basketball Association (NBA) wait until now to ban Donald Sterling for life? The NBA and many other people knew about Sterling long before now, from what I understand, yet they continue to associate and buddy with him; to give him a certain leeway. Members of the Los Angeles Clippers continued to work for him. Not one Clipper player or associate tried to leave the team due to Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers ownerDonald Sterling and his so-called racist mindset. None! Fellow former basketball players like Earvin “Magic” Johnson also knew about Sterling. Fuck, everybody in the NBA knew about Sterling and everybody in the NBA had options to stay associated with him or cut ties long before now. Even the NAACP chapter in that area offered to give the man a Lifetime Achievement Award before this fiasco started! But of course, they did that because Sterling made substantial financial contributions to that organization. Now that the NAACP will not be giving the award I wonder if the NAACP will give back any of Sterling’s money. Remember what I said earlier about two-faced racial attitudes and the convenience factor which many Black people have about and with racists and bigots.

If Sterling was such a bad guy then why didn’t the NBA, Magic Johnson, President Obama (both who should have just shut the fuck up) and recording artist Snoop Dogg (Ha! I’ve lost a huge respect for Snoop Dogg anyway) and many others say or do something about Sterling long before now? This whole mess was and is about MONEY! The NBA’s ban for life, the fine and the pressure on Sterling to sell the Clippers, is all about MONEY! Big business corporation money! Advertising money! Lots of Black fans money! Lots of White fans money! Where was the call for a boycott of the Clippers and a harsh punishment of Mr. Sterling the last few times he caused some controversy? Where was the huge media attention?

Finally…
Donald Sterling is an eighty year-old man of his time and one who will feel what he feels. There’s nothing that anyone can say or do that will change who or what Mr. Sterling is. So long as he keeps his thoughts and opinions private I have no problem. Donald SterlingPeople seem to have only concentrated on what he said, not on Sterling’s right to have a private conversation. Some have told me that because of his celebrity status as a sports team owner, involvement with real estate and other things in the community, he forfeited much of his right to have a private conversation. I don’t agree with much of that at all. As I said, I don’t understand why America, which preaches about the right to privacy, has chosen to ignore that one important thing where Sterling is concerned. It perplexes and fuckstrates me to no end! Perhaps that’s why I’ve been motivated to write this article.
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I understand that I could be wrong about everything I said. I suppose that everyone who supports the NBA’s decision against Mr. Sterling feels that was some sort of sign or validation of my being wrong in the position I’ve chosen to take in this fiasco. It isn’t a validation of a damn thing and I certainly don’t take it as such. So I say, fuck the NBA!
I also understand there are many people who will not agree with me on the Donald Sterling issue. That’s fine. I expect them to call me what I’ve always been called when standing my ground: stubborn and inflexible. The right to expect and enjoy a personal conversation without having to fear some sort of compromise of that personal conversation, is simply something which I, as a human being and as an American, simply ought to have and feel should not be denied. I don’t think anyone should be denied that right and expectation!

I refuse to ever settle to ethnic pressure or suggestion simply to appease the members of my ethnicity or to prove some point of how “Black” I am or can be. I repeat my previous comment: Many Black people and other persons of color can be ignorant and racist too. Let me rephrase: Many Black people and other persons of color can be SELECTIVELY ignorant and racist. Many people think Mr. Sterling’s comments were racist – and from what I’ve heard on the tape some of the words used seemed as much… but I heard nothing to the extent where I personally should get upset or be offended. I’m not so quick to pull the race card or to stand up and immediately point at someone and identify that person as a being a racist.

My dissent with those crying “racist” regarding Mr. Sterling’s privately expressed remarks does not necessarily make me wrong. I served this country for two decades to help ensure that the rights of even a supposed or allegedly racist-thinking person like Donald Sterling would be protected. I firmly stand by my position on this issue and support the right of private conversation which any fellow American citizen – regardless of celebrity status, views on race, or some privately held thought or privately expressed feelings on race, is entitled to enjoy.

I refuse to compromise my principles or apologize for the opinions expressed in this article, in other articles on my blog and in social media regarding the Sterling issue or any issue I write about. Yes, the NBA set a precedent with their banned-for-life decision and other punishments imposed against Donald Sterling . I don’t like it. It now seems to me that if one can face such harsh punishment for privately speaking his or her mind in a private setting or environment then I fear we have a lot more to lose as free citizens in America. It’s a goddamn shame that as I get older I have to witness more of the erosion of basic human rights. Author George Orwell predicted something like this and he wasn’t even American!

RobFather in thoughtI suppose I’ll have to be content in standing alone on my position about the Donald Sterling right to privacy in personal conversation issue. Everyone I communicate with in social media and in the real world has been and will continue to try to explain and rationalize to me why Sterling should not or did not have such a right – particularly since his remarks were racist in nature and made known (against his will) to the world.

I can’t argue anymore while in a crowd of people who are each saying the same thing opposite my direction. It doesn’t make them right but their noise doesn’t make me wrong either. We’re simply at a stalemate on the issue. I will just have to shut the fuck up and wait until the noise dies because, as stated earlier, I am not changing my position. It’s kool; I’ve grown very used to standing alone whenever I take a position on a lot of controversial things. This issue will be no different.

This article is indeed my final word on the Donald Sterling issue! I’m done!

Click the titles below to read my previous articles on the Donald Sterling issue.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

10 thoughts on “I Stand Alone – As Usual!

  1. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason
    seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware
    of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think
    about worries that they just don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also
    defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can
    take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  2. GREAT Post! I agree with the finer point of privacy. But to me this is not more than a racist bigot being called out on his shit. What real harm is it gonna cost him? Owning a sports franchise is a privilege not a right. I can’t feel to bad for the a guy who is forced or coerced into selling the team for a 163 million dollar profit. As for the James Earl Jones analogy; few if any AA or on par with the Donald Sterlings of the world. The few that manage to do so realize that there are real consequences for expressing bigotry like that. In the end, he only loses a fraction of his privilege & he’s STILL wealthy. I won’t lose any sleep over it.

  3. Damn this was powerful. I actually printed it for future reference! Your analogy with James Earl Jones is really the pivotal piece and actually shapes the entire chapter and verse. I’m glad you decided to “vent” it. It’s thought altering.

  4. I agree with you 100 percent. On everything . I knew as soon as Magic, Al and Jesse had their say things would change. Three imperfect human beings (amongst others) having their way with this situation and outcome. Think of the unemployment in America if we were all taped in private discussing our work issues about a boss. Or how about relationship issues with spouses and friends? I could go on and on about privacy and our occasional shitty words/thoughts but I digress. Good job!

    • Exactly, Kevin! That’s one of the main points I’ve been trying to drive home to a lot of closed ears and eyes over the past few days.
      I’m exhausted, g!
      So, as I said, I will now shut up. I will now wait to see and/or hear who cries out in personal anger and disgust when some compromise of their personal privacy hits the fan due to something disparaging they said which “somehow” got out to unintended ears! It’s not my style to ever wish ill upon anyone but as we both know, when one does not pay attention sometimes shit happens!
      Thank you for the compliment and for reading and seeing this issue from my point of view.
      Hotep!

  5. A very provocative, enlightening and informative final, finalized manifesto, Rob, someone I respect and am proud to call, my friend! No. You do not stand alone, my naked brother. I will always stand with you, no matter the popular sentiment. I appreciate and agree with you. Much love and naked hugs, man!

    • Thank you so much, Roger. Thank you for supporting and understanding my point of view.
      Much love and naked C2C hugs in return!

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