For John, BLUF: The real problems with race relations run deep and covered over. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The uproar over the private remarks of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling has almost started to settle down. Even Mr Sterling's wife, Ms Shelly Sterling, is siding with the NBA on this issue. Mr Sterling's remarks, already vetted in the Press, were made to his paramour, a woman of color. Yes, some small aspects of this seem a little out of kilter, but given the state of race relations in the United States, the response should surprise few.
There was one ray of light in this story. From The Boston Globe we have an OpEd by Ms Farah Stockman "Becoming White: To explain Donald Sterling's outlook, look to his past". It is not an excuse, but perhaps it will get some dialogue going. Right now there isn't much real dialogue ongoing.
In the mean time, there are concerning events in Nigeria. The nation has a religious divide, being more Muslim in the north and more Christian in the South. Into that mix has waded the group Boko Haram, more formally known as the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. The name Boko Haram is Hausa for "Western education is sinful". Thus, the group has taken to attacking schools and kidnapping young girls. Most recently, some 276 teenage girls. That was The Christian Science Monitor. Here is the take from The Wall Street Journal.
From Night Watch we have this item:
The Boko Haram leader claimed responsibility for abducting 276 teenage girls from northern Nigeria. "I abducted your girls," the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, said on Monday in a 57-minute video. "By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace."Needless to say, this is a deplorable situation.
I would like to make a modest proposal. As a sign that we understand the horrendous discrimination and injustice being perpetuated by groups like Boko Haram, the NBA should donate to the parents of the missing girls the $2.5 million fine being paid by Mr Sterling. In addition, the players, coaches and owners of the NBA should match that amount. Perhaps the amount would help the parent of the kidnapped girls hire detectives to help track down and free their daughters. Free them even if, or especially if, they had been sold into slavery, since we all agree that slavery is both wrong and illegal, even if it means using some of the money to buy them back.
Five million dollars is probably not a big amount to the NBA, but it might be a huge amount to the parents of the hundreds of teenage girls taken to be sold into slavery. Does not "kidnapped to be sold into slavery" resonate with today's Americans, of all colors.
Regards — Cliff