Essentially I just assume the average 80-year-old, rich, white American man harbors a certain amount of racial animus and belief in racial stereotypes, held back by a filter comprised of equal parts common sense and fear of societal repercussions.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has no such filter.
In the course of losing one of multiple housing discrimination lawsuits, Sterling said: he did not like to rent to “Hispanics” because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” He also stated that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
So while I wasn't expecting to hear exactly what I heard on the secret recording made by Sterling's 31-year-old gold-digging "girlfriend," I wasn't surprised.
You know who was surprised? The Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP who was all set to give the most infamous racist slumlord in the city's history, not just his first NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award (Sterling got that one from the organization in '09), but his SECOND!
And once again, Leon Jenkins, president of the NAACP's L.A. chapter, had a decision to make. I say again because right after the NAACP decided to honor Sterling in '09, former NBA great and executive Elgin Baylor filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Sterling and the Clippers.
Jenkins' response: "We can't speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community."
Racism doesn't bother them - Leon Jenkins (L) NAACP L.A. chapter president. Django Unchained house servant Stephen (R).
At least this time around Jenkins decided to rescind the award. But whatever credit Jenkins can be given for this latest decision is eviscerated by the decision to give Sterling the award in the first place — again, a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT award to a documented racist.
I'm sure Jenkins and the NAACP were just as shocked to discover Sterling is a racist as the cop in Casablanca was to discover gambling in the speakeasy (see video).
So how many contributions does it take to make the NAACP look the other way on matters of racism and reward you for it? Approximately $5,000.
To paraphrase Desmond Howard, "What level of coonery is going on inside the NAACP?"