Donald Sterling Is Not A Racist

by 12:42 AM 2 comments
This recorded conversation of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend has been making the rounds on the internet in a big way. Donald Sterling has lost access to the team he owns, and has been banned from the NBA for life. This really saddens me, because I think it's all a big misunderstanding. If you go to 2:26 below, you'll see what I mean:

Ha! See? Not racist! Just asking that we treat people differently based on skin color. That's it?

I love that this guy could think he isn't racist. I imagine his thinking goes like this:

  • Associating with black people is bad = Yes
  • Racism is bad = Yes
  • I am bad = No

      THEREFORE, I am not racist! Yay!

Flawed thinking at it's finest.

Of course, most of us do this in one way or another. Some other words that cannot be used anymore because the associations have gotten too negative:
  1. Fat

No one that anyone likes can be fat. Especially if they're a girl. The girl that you hate is fat. Your overweight friend is chubby, or curvy.

Fat in the original sense just means you have too many uhh, lipids? But it's been turned into this horrible insult, which is really ironic, considering how much of the developed world is fat.

And that's okay! Somehow we have gotten it into our heads that 'fat' means ugly, dumb, lazy, comedic relief. This is so ridiculous, anyone with their eyes open can see how many wonderful, clever, inventive, and sexy people are fat. Fat ain't nothin' but a description of body type.

Of course, there are a lot of people re-claiming the word with the fat acceptance movement. It's so crazy that they have to do that, but good for them for working against fat prejudice.

     2. Liberal

Ok, I have to own up to this one. I pretty much wouldn't vote outside of Democratic party lines unless it turned out the Democrat was an alien bent on enslaving the human race.

Does anyone else remember this episode? The two aliens are running against one another for President, and the plot is revealed a day before the election. One guy says "Well, I'm voting for a third-party candidate!" and then one of the aliens says "Go ahead, THROW your vote away!" and then Ross Perot punches his hat. I....may have seen it more than once.

Despite the fact that I'm obviously politically liberal, I will never call myself a liberal. Because that makes it sound like I say 'namaste' instead of 'see you later' and I probably smoke too much pot and shop at Chico's. Ugh. 

Someone called me on this once, and I countered that in the grand scheme of things I am moderate. I'm not a communist or a fascist, I support our Republic bicameral government, so 'moderate' is the appropriate choice on the facebook drop-down menu. But let's address the real reason: I don't like conflict, and I was scared of employer discrimination. So let me officially come out of the closet: I'm a liberal. However, I don't accept any of the connotations that go with that. 

3. Feminist

Caitlin Moran said this the best (paraphrase): If you have a vagina and you think you should be in charge of it, you're a feminist. Of course, men who think women who should be in charge of themselves are also welcome at the feminist party.

First-wave feminists sought the right to vote, and all was well and good. Then second-wave feminists came around, did some good work, but also messed up the public perception of feminism with some of their nutty ideas. Like that all of the differences between men and women that aren't biological are societal constructs. Umm, yeah, I think that might be an over-reach. Plus they put a lot of pressure on women to do things like not shave their legs if they wanted to associate with the feminist movement. Not surprisingly, that isolated a lot of women from the cause. (Bra-burning, however, never happened. That was all a myth.)

Third-wave feminists are asking for equal rights, but not trying to pretend that women and men are the same. We're not. Neither group is better or worse than the other. 

It's a little against the grain of social acceptability to self-identify as a feminist, and I get a lot of questions about it, like "but you wear dresses and everything, so..." I don't mind that, but sometimes people will start avoiding me after I come out. They're just making assumptions that I must be annoying and judgmental because that's the idea of feminism in mainstream society. 

Actually, all of these words are negative because of the ideas that surround them, not the meaning of the words themselves. 

So dear Donald Sterling, you're a racist! Don't shy away from it, own it! It's part of your identity, wear it with pride. 

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.


  1. Re: your comment on being a liberal. I always like the below quote from JFK that he gave when accepting the Liberal Party nomination in 1960.

    If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.
    John F. Kennedy

  2. Aww JFK makes my heart feel good :)