Which brings us to the unanswered questions.
How did Donald Sterling get away with behavior, in a professional sports league dominated by black players, which would get a college kid kicked out of school and scarred for life? Have they no morals clause in the NBA? How was Donald Sterling voted that lifetime achievement award by the NAACP?
The answer to all likely lies in the adage: Follow the money.
Nevertheless, when nonsense like stupid racial remarks by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Clippers boss Donald Sterling can consume the nation's conversation for a full week, it does raise a far more disturbing question:
Is America still a serious country?First, it is assumed though not proved that America ever was a serious country, and therefore the question is a leading one. Indeed, when America was ruled by more philosophical leaders, it wasn't a country at all, but a union. This is but quibbling over words, and doesn't address the real meaning of Buchanan's syntactically misleading question.
What I don't understand is how the man who grasped the full import of the "gay mafia" fails to understand the significance of racial politics in 21st century America. The issues that Bundy and Sterling bring to the forefront are symbolic of a greater matter: racial animus as a tool for political control. Bundy would have been a non-issue if he had simply paid off the feds like a good serf. Sterling would be a non-issue if he sold his team to someone of whom the NBA approves. While the media lapdogs duly report the pre-approved talking points in an almost robotic manner, the issue of racism is indeed a serious business because it is the current front for fascism.
The former front of fascism--environmentalism--has largely fallen by the wayside at this point because the alleged science upon which its fascist policies recommendations are based have generally been proven false or misleading. Equality, though, is built right in to American mythology. It's in the Declaration of Independence, after all, and thus egalitarians not only get to be fascists but also take the moral high ground away from more liberty-minded opponents by appealing to patriotism, of all things. Thanks, Thomas Jefferson!
At any rate, race matters more and more because it is the front line of ideological warfare, and one that is fairly favorable to progressive fascists. As such, spending lots of time discussing race, though juvenile-sounding in its practical application, is a deadly serious business, and not one to be dismissed lightly. Just because the anti-racists sound like austists learning how to interact with other people for the first time ("don't be mean or call people names; it's really bad") doesn't mean that the consequences of their anti-racist apologias are without significance.
More to the point, countering anti-racists by asking, "how could Sterling be the Bull Connor of California when he has a girlfriend who describes herself as black and Mexican, hired a black coach for his Clippers, Doc Rivers, and pays his players, mostly black, millions of dollars a year?" is not much of a rebuttal. First, you don't counter flaming rhetoric with logic; emotional appeals are best answered with emotional counter appeals. Second, if you are going for a logical appeal, don't use bad logic.
Hiring people of a different race is not proof-positive that one is not racist; it simply proves that one hired people of a different race. The definition of racism is predicated on one's beliefs, not one's economic practices or "revealed preferences." Clearly, Sterling is not fond of black people.
So what? Most white people aren't fond of black people either, which is why so many affluent liberals like to live far away from blacks and deal with black people's problems on thier own schedule, and with a path of retreat mapped out in case any of the youths they attempt to help decide to turn on them.
Indeed, the best and easily most amusing response to liberal hysteria over racism is to play a little game I like to cal "Where Do You Live." The game consists of asking nice white anti-racists where they live and then asking them why they don't near the "black" part of town. In Louisville, where I currently reside, my particular variation is to ask why people living in, say, the Highlands or in Middletown don't live off of Preston or Dixie. The standard reply is "the schools" and so all I have to do is chase the rabbit down the hole and then get them to admit that they're racist and then spend lots of time making them feel guilty.
That so few conservatives are willing to do this sort of thing exaplins why conservatism is becoming increasingly irrelevant. If you accept the progressive paradigm of anti-racism, you eventually have to condemn racism like they do. If, however, you believe in free association, you should be willing to embrace racism to some degree and thus defend it. We all discriminate, even the fascists. We even discriminate by race, even the fascists. So what, then, if someone is racist? Aren't we all?
The problem, ultimately, is not that America is not a serious country, but that it is not an honest country. We have plenty of serious discussions about race, especially when a conservative opens up his mouth. What's been lacking in all these discussions for the last fifty years, though, has been honesty.