I’m fascinated by the fact that everything blows up quickly today and there’s a rush to judgment.
Take the man of “sterling” character.
You know him as the 80-year old billionaire and L.A. Clippers owner. Born, Donald Tokowitz there are no excuses for his ugly, crass and trashy comments, but after what seemed like days of 24/7 news commentary (at least CNN moved off the Malaysian airplane search) incessantly playing snippets of the secretly-tape recorded phone conversation while calling for his head on a platter… I learned he was married and has three children.
Huh? He has a wife?
In the NBA, only a team owner can sit with his “friend” (aka mistress) at games on national TV, give her millions of dollars in gifts, precipitate a lawsuit from the old coot’s wife demanding return of their community property and none of this merits discussion of the scandal stories about him?
Here’s the thing in America. Gossip. You may not be rich, but you can sure talk about the rich and everyone is.
In addition, hypocrisy reigns throughout the American landscape. Racism and sexism are the new tools to destroy careers and people. Some recent beat down examples are: Paula Dean when it was discovered she made a racial remark several years before it came to light. Then there is Brenden Eich, CEO of Mozilla who was forced to step down from the company he founded when it was learned he made a $1K contribution in support of California Prop 8, which was against same sex marriage.
So what’s the point here Mac? How does this relate to the motorcycle community?
Well the last time I checked, in this country, people are allowed to be morons. In addition, they’re allowed to be stupid and think idiotic thoughts. It’s a very slippery slope when you say something stupid in the privacy of your own home that is recorded and made public without your knowledge or consent and then you’re force to sell something you own or you’re interest is involuntarily seized.
Let me say it again for the haters. I don’t share Sterling’s views so save the emails.
It’s clear the verdict for Sterling comes largely at the expense of the right of privacy and the motorcycle community is well aware of privacy/freedom to ride issues like motorcycle-only checkpoints and police targeting of “pack riders” and/or motorcycle clubs. It’s not about any crime, but how the government judges who you are, who you associate with or by simply what type of vehicle you use. Yeah, Sterling is in the NBA and it operates with different rules…
Then again, some lawmakers are currently sponsoring a bill to have federal researchers comb through broadcast radio and television, cable and public-access TV, commercial mobile services and other electronic media and the Internet for any communications that may have prompted violent acts and/or “hate crimes.” Think about how much power this vague bill would give a handful of people over hundreds of millions of people.
The rush to judge and failure of due process or to consider many of Sterling’s rights in the process of this specific incident and how they were suppressed — has a scent all its own.
The “Uncle Sam” photo courtesy of Paul Lachine.
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