The Persistent Slave Owner Mentality

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Donald Sterling, with whom I was entirely unfamiliar until this recent controversy in large part because I’m uninterested in both basketball and crotchety rich old white men, has said things that go much deeper than most racist ramblings you hear from crotchety (rich or not) old white men. Cliven Bundy, a not-as-rich bundle of contradictions and cognitive dissonance, has spewed more predictable nonsense that many more people are thinking. The danger in his racism getting attention is that it’s treated as a farce rather than a symptom of the American mentality towards race and class that goes hand in hand with libertarian stubbornness. For the entire time since African Americans were un-enslaved, White America has complained that they don’t work as hard when not violently coerced to. Attempts to dispell these prejudices and enable social mobility have just changed the wording that racist fucks can use – meaning that judges who overturn affirmative action and say the United States doesn’t need the Fair Elections Act anymore are mirroring the essence of Bundy’s comments.

But I digress. Donald Sterling, along with telling his non-white girlfriend to stop bringing non-white people to games of a predominantly non-white sport, made comments that expose the mentality of re-enslavement as it’s already happening. In his mind, he believes he owns the black players on his basketball team because he pays them.

His quote:

I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? … Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners that created the league?

(Source: Slate)

There is an alarmingly vocal attitude in American public discourse reflected in propaganda language. “Job creators” are the best kind of Americans and shouldn’t have to pay as much in taxes because they bestow upon the layman the gift of an income. It’s not about the need filled by the person who works the job. The person who dares get richer by allowing other people to do their work for them shy of 100% exploitation is admired, rather than the person who puts labour into a product that other people, who get their money by putting labour into other things, will buy. Tax dollars are owned by the tax payer and public servants are leeches on those taxes. Never mind that public servants are doing a job that needs to be done. If that job isn’t sucking John Galt’s cock then what purpose does it serve for the Job Creators?

Work is seen as a privilege granted to the population by those who have money, instead of the reality that it’s the willingness of the population to work that makes money for the rich. That’s the essence of capitalism, but it’s being reworded to make the rich appear to be both the heroes and victims. The same brush was used to paint sympathy for slave owners instead of slaves – but instead of money, which slaves were never given, the owners spoke of how generously they gave food and shelter to their slaves. Donald Sterling speaks of giving his mostly black players their “food, and clothes, and cars, and houses”. No, Sterling – they exchange their skills at basketball for money. That money is made off of revenue from the industry of professional sports, which serves a market of people interested in paying to watch athletes demonstrate their skills. It is you who owes the athletes money for their work.

The athletes make the game. The athletes make a demand for the game. The demand for the game makes the league possible. And furthermore – to ALL employment relationships – it is an EXCHANGE for MONEY, and not a gift of the needs the money is spent on. Employees support the business owner moreso than the business owner supports the employees. Advocating for race-based slavery like Donald Sterling does might prompt the mass resignations to demonstrate that.

Institutional racism is alive and well.

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