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Racism, Free Speech, and NBA Player Power

May 1, 2014

Things I hate about the Sterling “scandal”:
1. it’s only the obvious, old-fashioned, individualistic racism that Americans have any sense of how to oppose. But the big stuff is less personal, more complex, more structural and cultural, and takes a different angle to oppose.
2. um, freedom of speech.
3. nobody went apeshit over his blatant housing discrimination, which actually caused major material harm
4. again, freedom of speech, which is precisely about the freedom for people to say things you DON’T like
What I love about the whole thing:
* Sterling is being removed as boss by a group of powerful workers — the richest, most powerful group of black workers on planet earth, in fact — who threatened to withhold their labor during the busy time if they didn’t get what they wanted, which was for Sterling not to be the boss anymore.
I’m a bit torn here , but the power of the NBA players — when they even intimate the possibility of a work stoppage during playoffs — to expropriate the property of a dickhead boss… I think that one’s got my heart.

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