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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Obama on Sterling

When President Obama was asked what he thought of the Sterling affair while traveling in Malaysia two days ago, he responded:

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk…We constantly have to be on guard on racial attitudes that divide us rather than embracing our diversity as a strength….The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that's still there, the vestiges of discrimination."

Leaving aside the appropriateness of the President commenting on an illegally-recorded private conversation between a cantankerous 80-year-old sugar daddy and his gold-digging ex-mistress, Obama's take is revealing.

Note the way Obama relates Sterling's ill-chosen words to slavery and segregation. Whenever liberals argue about racial matters, they never miss a chance to air those grievances. But as is becoming increasingly clear, l'affaire Sterling has precious little to do with either slavery or Jim Crow.

This whole sordid episode is about Sterling's age, his jealousy, and the young black studs his mistress was hanging out with. He just didn't want to be cuckolded quite so publicly. It's also about how she wanted to hang on to the Bentley, the Ferrari, and the apartment. End of story.

Even the two quotes Wikipedia attributed to Sterling on the subject of race, that Hispanics "smoke, drink and just hang around the building," and that "black tenants smell and attract vermin," have no connection to slavery or Jim Crow. It seems more likely that they came from his experiences as a landlord. (As such, he's had far more firsthand experience with minorities than most whites will ever have.)

Yet, somehow Obama chose to make this lovers' quarrel about slavery and Jim Crow.

As Obama himself said, "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk…"

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

it is getting very tiresome hearing about the legacy of slavery.

obviously the liberal solutions have failed to work, even after 40 years of government regulations and programs. The most leftists cities, run by blacks, have horrendous conditions for Blacks. The worst thing to happen to Blacks in Newark was when all the whites moved out. Same for Detroit , Birmingham etc...The conditions for blacks deteriorates soon after Blacks take control of the city government.

another weakness of this slavery theory, why are Mexicans and other hispanics effected by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow ?
Mexicans were considered white by the US government starting in the 1930s. Jim Crow laws did not target hispanics. Many of the Cuban refugees who came to America were the descendants of slave holders, not slaves. Slavery existed in Cuba until 1889 , 25 years after we abolished slavery. Yet the slave Masters from Cuba are a protected minority in America.

more than 90% of the hispanics in America came to America after 1965.
Why are the descendants of the conquistadors given special treatment in the United States ?
How did Slavery and Jim Crow effect them ?

Anonymous said...

John--Great Article! Brian

John Craig said...

Anon --
What you say about the black-run cities is true. Another good example of that is actually the country of Zimbabwe, which when it was still Rhodesia had a thriving agricultural sector and a decent standard of living for all its inhabitants. Then, once Mugabe took control in 1978, it quickly turned into the basket case that it is today.

And yes, there is absolutely no justification of rHispanics to receive affirmative action. A lot of people, including plenty of blacks, have pointed this out. (Personally, I don't think there's any justification for AA, other than personal economic disadvantage, but if you do use past discrimination as the reason, Hispanics don't qualify.)

Brian --Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree , Affirmative action violates our constitution. It mostly benefits middle and wealthy blacks who would most likely do fine without it. Another significant number of AA recipients are either half White or those who were actually born in Africa. Very few typical "African Americans" actually benefit from AA. Obama is actually more typical, half white with a father born in Africa. How did the legacy of slavery effect Obama ? I suppose it helped him get into Columbia and Harvard.

I just read the settlement Sterling made with the Federal Justice department concerning his violations of the "fair housing act". One issue stood out and surprised me.

Defendants, their agents and employees, are hereby restrained from using the word "Korean" in the name of any residential building they own or manage.

Defendants argued strenuously that their use of the word "Korean" in the names of these apartment buildings is acceptable because the buildings at issue are in the neighborhood known as "Koreatown"

Sterling was forced to change the name of the Korean World Towers, The Wilshire Korean Ambassador and Wilshire Korean Towers.

Somehow I doubt they would prohibit Sterling from naming his tower the Mexican World Towers. If Sterling was Korean, maybe they would have allowed him to keep the names.
Anyway, I was surprised the feds could force a business to stop using the word "Korean". I wonder if this upset any Koreans. It certainly upset me, and I am not Korean. Seems like an ok name for a tower in koreatown

John Craig said...

Anon --
You're right, Obama shouldn't have qualified for affirmative action if you use past discrimination as the yardstick. And there was no question he benefitted; he has admitted as much himself.

Sometimes I think AA i just a sop to prevent an kurt and out race war. if there were no AA, you would see very few blacks in top colleges, and very few in jobs like doctor or lawyer. The races would come more stratified by class, and resentment among blacks would grow. Think of how high the resentment level is now, and they multiply it. It would be an ugly situation.

I agree with you concerning the settlement; it's ridiculous that Sterling not be allowed to use the word "Korea" in his buildings. By allowing the Koreans to keep their neighborhoods Korean, he wasn't discriminating against OTHERS; he was essentially discriminating against himself as well, since he's white/Jewish.

I don't think it's the government's business to either enforce segregation or integration. Let people live as they want. Look at most neighborhoods in this country, that's what they do anyway.

arthur thurman said...

With all the talk(almost glee) about changing demographics and how the USA will be majority minority by 2040, how will that be a good thing? Seriously. The almost religious mantra of "Diversity" being trotted out over the last 25 years and I have yet to hear a straight answer about what is so good about it. Other countries like Japan seem fine without it. Small towns with homogenous population don't seem hurt. I guess it takes a wise progressive or wise Latina SCOTUS to tell us how dumb we are for not being able to figure out why.

John Craig said...

Arhtur --
Exactly. Everybody is supposed to jump up and down with joy that whites will be a minority, without any serious analysis of why diversity is such a wonderful thing.

Here's what's wonderful about the direction our country is headed in: our average IQ will be lower, we'll do worse on the PISA tests, our international competitiveness and influence will go down, and we'll be closer to being a Third World country.