[UPDATE 4/28/2014] A search of voter records show that Donald Sterling is a registered Republican. So to the extent that conservatives believe this is significant, it is totally their problem. And it’s another one they made for themselves. Now let’s see them back-peddle, if they even bother to correct their mistakes. As of this update, the story still sits atop the Fox Nation website]
The controversy over racially charged comments that are being attributed to Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has produced a torrent of condemnation from a broad swath of those offended, including President Obama. However, Fox News, the network that tried to make slavery advocate Cliven Bundy a national hero, had other plans.
On the Fox Nation website, an article was featured whose only purpose was to politicize the sordid affair. Fox re-posted a story from the uber-rightist Daily Caller titled “Race Hate Spewing Clippers Owner Is Democratic Donor.” So rather than taking a stand against an abhorrent rant by a despicable bigot, Fox chose to attempt to link the scoundrel to the Democratic Party. [Note: The day following its publication, Fox Nation elevated this article to the top spot on their website]
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As usual, the Fox Nationalists, and their comrades at the Daily Caller, deliberately distorted the story in order to create a phony political controversy. As it turns out, Sterling did make a total of three donations to Democrats – over twenty years ago. Of the three donations made back in the early 1990′s, the largest was to Sen. Bill Bradley, who just happened to be a former professional basketball player. And there is no record of this billionaire making a single political contribution in the past two decades to anyone. It’s pretty clear that Sterling had little interest in politics or parties.
To suggest that Sterling is a Democrat based on this twenty year old data is absurd in the extreme. Were it a rational argument then it could also be said that Andrew Breitbart, David Horowitz, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann are all Democrats. Because they actually were at around the same time that Sterling made the donations referenced above.
Furthermore, the article reported some of the reactions to Sterling’s remarks. Those quoted were Magic Johnson, Keith Olbermann, Snoop Dogg, and Al Sharpton. Apparently this right-wing rag couldn’t find a single conservative who articulated any objection to Sterling’s alleged bigotry. Although other conservative media (i.e. the Drudge Report, the National Review, WorldNetDaily) happily exploited the phony political angle to distract from the larger story of the racist cretin at the helm of an NBA franchise. Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes made numerous tweets intended to detour the dialogue to something more to his liking. For instance:
Obama won't touch Ukraine, but he's more than happy to jump into the middle of an NBA owner's spat with his girlfriend/mistress
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) April 27, 2014
See? It’s just a lover’s spat. Nothing to do with overt racial hatred. Never mind that Obama has been addressing the situation in Ukraine frequently, including today’s remarks about increasing sanctions against the Russians. The purpose of this coordinated effort to shift the discussion from racism to Sterling’s ancient and trivial campaign contributions is just another part of the conservative agenda to pretend that racism doesn’t actually exist anymore. That’s why they cheered the recent Supreme Court rulings that gutted the Voting Rights Act and upheld the ban on affirmative action in Michigan.
The whole “post-racial” meme that is advanced by Republicans is proven to be a lie by statements like those by the wealthy elitist Donald Sterling and the desert hick Cliven Bundy. While progress has been made over the years on reducing discrimination, there is clearly much more work to be done. But rather than face that fact, Republicans and conservatives prefer to further divide the American people with manufactured political disputes. That way they can continue to be racist while pretending that the only victims of racism are white folks who can’t be openly racist anymore.