I am not going to defend Donald Sterling or what he said. Obviously. But I will put his words in context, and I will berate the news media for its pick-and-choose mentality and offensive hypocrisy.
Sterling told his girlfriend in private to stop promoting her association with black people. He said she could sleep with black people (weird thing to tell your girlfriend), and, “You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it … and not to bring them to my games.”
Racism is an ugly thing. Everyone is outraged, and very proud of being so. But let’s remember that Sterling employs many black people and pays his players well. This fact does not excuse his prejudiced view of them, but there is no proof that he has treated any black people poorly, or wished them harm. After all, the Los Angeles NAACP thought Sterling’s conduct toward black people worthy of an award.
Sterling’s outlook is inexcusable and reprehensible, but a person’s worldview is not a crime until it provokes behavior that harms another human being. Racism is rude and potentially dangerous. But you know what is actually harmful? The willful destruction of another human being’s life. Also known as abortion.
People know abortion is killing, they just don’t care. Remember this Salon article, titled, “So what if abortion ends life?” And remember how Faye Wattleton, feminist activist and former Planned Parenthood president, admitted that, ???Any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence”?
Today we have an article from The Guardian questioning why women are more opposed to abortion than men, the most striking paragraphs of which read:
If Kate Middleton had chosen to terminate her pregnancy, it would have been one of the biggest political statements of the 21st century ??? the 9/11 of the culture wars (and a catastrophic blow to Britain???s tedious bunting industry). She wouldn???t of course, and she probably couldn???t if she wanted to. Britain simply wouldn???t tolerate it, and that says a lot about how far attitudes to women and reproduction have really come in the last 60 years.
So which is it? Internalised sexism, men’s liberation, fundamentally different ideas about the point at which life begins, or something else entirely? I doubt only one factor is at work, but it seems that we lack a definitive answer. And that’s a shame, because in the ongoing battle of ideas it seems like a very important question to ask.
If the media is going to ride the rebuke train, how about they cover their bases?