I am in full agreement with the outrage expressed by many citizens as a result of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s reported views on race. However, I do not think that Mr. Sterling’s remarks are any more damaging than the degrading and dehumanizing expressions made by hip-hop artists such as rappers and spoken-word professionals.
Every day and minute black people who subscribe to hip-hop bombard themselves with profanity, misogyny, words of self-hatred and the like. They themselves in fact use these negative expressions as terms of “endearment.” Mr. Sterling’s words do not seem to be much different from those used by hip-hop artists. In fact, some people might argue that Mr. Sterling’s words are in no way as damaging as those used by hip-hop artists.
Why then is there such a firestorm of rebuttal surrounding his words? But there is no noticeable equal outrage expressed against the damaging phrases used by hip-hop artists and even by black people themselves.
This is hypocritical! Is American society saying that it is all right for blacks to degrade themselves but that someone such as Sterling better not do it? As a black person myself who abhors all forms of degradation of people, how can we overlook the damage that we heap upon ourselves but then become so hypocritical toward people such as Mr. Sterling?
Let us be consistent in expressing outrage toward degrading remarks, whoever may express them – including Mr. Sterling and hip-hop, too.