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The face of America is not always pretty

with liberty for all
with liberty for all
Media Network: Zoe Carpenter

Events over the past few months dramatically drives home the picture of an ugly America.

Until we break the chains and stigma of servitude conditioning, as a country and a people, America will forever be a place of decisive discrimination and polarization. There is an adage that states, “Old habits die hard”, but some habits become habitual, thereby remaining constant, persistent, and perpetual.

For some odd reason, America remains habitually racist.

LA Clippers owner: Donald Sterling

One African American sport’s commentator on ESPN stated that Sterling’s comments about blacks were really no surprise to black people. (April 29, 2014) “We as a race know that these types of comments go on behind closed doors and to be shocked by Sterling…” getting caught up in his own admissions about race is not really a brow raiser for people of color.

The shock value comes from Sterling’s unashamedly prejudices which appear to be meritless. He is the wealthy American who has the correct skin color to wheel and deal as he chooses.

Sterling discloses on the messages with his mistress that he buys the clothes, houses, cars, etcetera for the Clippers. Sterling’s inflated view of self appears to give him a master-slave mentality--and it has been written, “Words determine thoughts and thoughts determine actions”. Sterling’s words certainly mimic his thoughts and deeds.

His mistress is allegedly Mexican and African American yet he did not want his mistress bringing blacks to the Clipper’s games. However, it is too late, blacks are already here in America. One is left to revisit this dichotomy as a parallelism to the slave master and the slaves whom he abused at will.

The NBA, as Charles Barkley said Saturday on TNT, is a black league. African-American players made up 76.3 percent of the league as of last June. For all players in the NBA, Sterling's ownership sends a message. "The thing is, [Sterling] is probably not the only [owner] that feels that way," Portland Trail Blazers all-star Damian Lillard said Saturday. It's very hard to imagine what it's like for black players on the Clippers to pull on their jerseys and play for a man who appears to detest them. It's very hard to imagine what it's like for black Americans anywhere to work under the same circumstances. Undoubtedly, there are plenty who do daily.

Sterling comes across as a very jaded narcissistic member of the “old boy’s network” and it is truly unfortunate that Sterling’s sentiments are echoed by others too.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy

Wealthy Mormon Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s racist comments were unleashed on the public last month. According to reports, Bundy stated that African Americans "...abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?"

Bundy gained public recognition while embattled in a standoff with the U.S. Government over cattle, land ownership, and grazing fees. And in a bizarre twist of events, the land he occupies just might belong to the Shoshone Indians.

His comments were picked up by every media outlet in the country. Yet, in defense of his statements he declared that he only wondered if blacks would be better off in slavery, not that they should be slaves--”Cliven, thanks for clearing that up”.

Bundy has civilian militia stationed on his “property” to keep the Feds from taking over.

Bundy’s Republican following put great distance between him and their campaigns, as an election year is no time for telling one’s true feelings.

In the interim, the Federal Government has offered $22,000 to each Shoshone for the land. The question begs to be asked, “Does the land belong to Shoshone or not?” Still further, the plot thickens because there is gold in “them there Nevada hills”.


Affirmative Action on life support

When the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in public higher education admission policies, the country’s highest court gave the overwhelmingly white voters (which made up 74 percent of voters in the 2012 presidential election) the last word on the racial debate in public universities’ admission policies.

Programs like affirmative action are given a death sentence when shaped by popular vote. A majority of white voters are likely “unacquainted with the trials associated with belonging to a minority group in America”.

Education is the key to a successful productive life for a great number of people. For decades African Americans have been trying to secure the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. Affirmative Action was a means of eradicating years of discrimination in education while providing a path to level the playing field in regards to admission policies.

Our backyard is tainted too

While the comments and actions of persons in the like of Cliven and Sterling, and the furtherance of a ban on Affirmative Action increases the struggles of racial matters for the entire country, closer to home the ugly America continues to show its inhumanity.

The beating of Steven Utash in Detroit, MI by a group of young African American misguided cowards, and the point blank shooting of Renisha McBride by a white home owner in Dearborn, MI adds to the record of racial turbulence in America.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that “...we got some difficult days ahead…” and the “we” in his quote meant the United States. King’s prophetic message still carries weight in 2014.

Likewise, in the words of President Barak Obama, "The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race, slavery, and segregation," President Obama said Sunday in response to Sterling's alleged remarks. "And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it."

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