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If Sterling has Alzheimer's he deserves compassion

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Two doctors have said so, as part of of a lawsuit filed to keep his estranged wife from selling the team. Maybe so, maybe no; not being doctors, we have no real way of knowing. But we do wonder: if he is in fact sick with a condition which is a form of dementia, will there be any consideration from all those people calling him racist? Or is racism one of those things so vile and contemptible that there is no excuse for it?

That racism is vile and contemptible no one should argue. Yet how many things in life are excused on the grounds that people can't help who they are? Indeed, in areas such as the gay community and supporters of gay rights it is argued that those born with homosexual proclivities must be allowed to act on them simply because it is who they are. Well, a Donald Sterling with dementia is simply who he is right now, today. If his racist comments were a result of a condition which he can't help having, should he not be cut some slack? After all, and again stressing that if he really is sick, then he surely could not have helped whatever awful and hateful ramblings he spewed however many weeks ago.

Will the National Basketball Association and the many entertainers, politicians, media types and various activist groups who have roundly criticized Sterling's words make any allowance at all for the man if he does truly suffer from Alzheimer's? These folks want conservatives to make allowance for people who purport to have free will and argue to be in complete control of their faculties to do whatever they want. Anyone without free will and without control of themselves then certainly would deserve like consideration. They actually would deserve greater consideration due solely to their affliction, which would be something actually beyond their control.

Maybe so, maybe no. Maybe Donald Sterling, if ill, will in the end receive due charity. But as we as a society are becoming less interested in actual and objective right and wrong, we doubt it.