We have made great strides over the past decade in race relations and equality for all, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. However, there remains to be ignorant people like Donald Sterling, the current owner of NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He expressed extreme views that are dehumanizing, derogatory and hurtful, and many people, not just his employees have a right to be angry. Although I believe the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did the right thing by suspending him for life, along with the maximum fine, I don’t blame anyone for cursing Sterling’s name.
But what can we take from it? How do we find the silver lining from a guy like that?
I like Obama’s view: “Just let them talk” in the face of the racist. When you walk with dignity, there’s nothing anyone can say or do that can take that away from you. Ignorant people like Sterling will really test your patience. You may have to yell to get some of that angry energy out of you, which is perfectly normal, but here’s the rub: you don’t actually have to do anything to get revenge on people like that. Of course when the racist person is in a position of power and influences employment and economic progression, those powers should be taken away. However, when it comes to idiots on the street with similar racist views, you can watch them dig their own grave with-out a need to retaliate, because there really is no place for people like that in society.
The silver lining is within you. It is how you act and react. It’s a tough test when you’re confronted by these bigots, but when you remain dignified by knowing that what matters is the merit of your thoughts, and not the color of your skin, you are ultimately the bigger person. I realize at times it takes digging deep, at times you may want to punch the racist square in the face, but the best thing you can do is let them talk, for they will have their day of fate. As for you, continue to educate those around the power of compassion for humanity, because that’s the best way to eradicate the Sterling’s in the world.
You are the jewel that must be treasured. You are the one worth celebrating.