Posts Tagged racism

Zero Tolerance on racism? The NBA’s Adam Silver got it right on Donald Sterling

Adam Silver’s NBA media conference had that special kind of feeling. That same feeling I had when as a young boy  I saw Tommie Smith and John Carlos, U.S. Olympic sprinters, raise their fists from the medal stand in Mexico.

This was that kind of special moment for all people of color in society.

And, of course it had to happen first in the place too often dismissed by people as the toy store of life—in sports.

But where else would we see this sort of thing happen first?

Sports has always been the place for the truly gifted and exceptional athlete—many of whom are persons of color.

And when we see their excellence, it is hard for society to square up with all the ignorance that exists on race.  Sports people want to win. They want the best players. When the best players are people of color, it’s hard to harbor a racist thought.

Unless someone tape records you and releases it to the public.

And then, from there,  it really is up to the players, not the bosses.

Great leverage comes when 70 percent of the league’s  players are African American. The players’ recognition of their power made Commissioner Adam Silver’s job even easier.

Morally, and for business, it was just the right thing to do.

But Sterling is a professional litigant. Here’s a guy who wasn’t scared of the Fair Housing Act.

And he will no doubt challenge whether and if the NBA can force him to sell his business, or impose a lifetime ban.

That judgment will take place in the courts, where it always takes time, and money to get the kind of imperfect justice we usually end up with. I expect a long, protracted court fight.

But Silver really showed what an empowered executive, with the backing of the players, and a majority of fans can do—achieve a moral triumph.

It’s definitely “feel good” time. But this battle is far from over.

We still live in a society where soon we will hear from people who will question Silver and the NBA. These are the people who are against things like  affirmative action, who see eye to eye with Sterling, and believe that he was a man who enriched minorities,  bought them houses, cars, put food on their table. There will be people who will insist Sterling is some sort of humanitarian.

Hard to believe. But  remember, we live in a society where there are people who think you’re a racist if you fight for race-based admissions and fairness for people of color.

Enjoy the “feel good” of the moment.

When Sterling responds, it will be a new game, new fight. Already Rush Limbaugh has come to his defense. Surely, he will enlist his One Percent allies, the Kochs, Tea Partiers, et al.

Amid the noise, we will need the memory of the moment to remind us Silver got it right when it came to Sterling.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW  on  Twitter     http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

, , , , ,

No Comments

PODCAST–PART 2: Arthur Chu,”Jeopardy” Champ, Talks About Race, Being Asian American, & Racist Tweets (second installment)

This is Part 2 of my conversation with Arthur Chu, the Asian American who has amassed more than $235,000 in two-weeks on “Jeopardy.”

But it’s also made him the target of racist and intimidating tweets and comments on the internet. He talks about what it’s like to be a racial minority, and how despite opportunities and success, there’s always a feeling of a  compromised sense of belonging. He hasn’t forgotten what his father told him as a young boy growing up Asian American.

But he also has chosen to be very open and  confront any racism he perceives head on.

Play

 

Arthur Chu,"Jeopardy"Champ, Talks About Race, The Game, & Racist Tweets, Part 2

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW  on  Twitter     http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

 

, , , , ,

No Comments

CBS’ Julie Chen’s the “Talk” about her eyes at the EYE; But candor on race has come pretty late for the TV star

Here’s my initial reaction to the Julie Chen reveal of how she dealt with racism in TV News that I posted on my “Emil Guillermo Media” Facebook site– https://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media  :

 

I think the bottom line is it’s still a self-serving reveal for Chen, especially since she appears to have only done it to fill out a show theme on “secrets” for her program, “The Talk.”
Wouldn’t it have been better–and more credible–if she had come out boldly after the “Big Brother” debacle this season? Yes, BB is also Chen’s show, but the presence of a specific contestant who spouted anti-Asian comments throughout the show, would have given Chen a real opportunity to come out more naturally about how she dealt with anti-Asian racism in the past.

So instead of seeing  Julie Chen as Rosa Parks, I’m wondering, what’s up Julie Chen?
Here’s someone who knows how hard it is as a minority to get ahead in TV news. She recalls the blatant racism she experienced in Ohio. And frankly, she must know that some version of that conversation can be heard in newsrooms even today.

And yet, prior to this, Julie Chen has not been known in broadcast circles as a pioneering diversity advocate.

This is after years of success as Chen represents the best example of hair and makeup, and now plastic surgery. She has quite a career as one who has married a network president and has an ubiquitous presence in daytime, primetime, and bedtime.

But maybe this is the start of a brand new Julie. Perhaps someone has told her about that old phrase of the jazz great Ramsey Lewis, “When you take the elevator up, don’t forget to send it back down.”

 

, , , , , ,

1 Comment

Asiana 214′s modern internet racism vs. the old style that young Milena Clarke has felt all too well

Is there any doubt that the racism that came out of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 remains one of the most under-reported aspects of the whole tragedy?

Asian bad driver jokes/bad pilot jokes? That’s old school racism, but the modern Twitterverse exploded almost immediately after the crash with everyone showing off their repressed racism.

If you’re one of those who think it’s no big deal, then maybe the example of the egregious racism experienced by Milena Clarke will be instructive.  The old-school style still lingers as well.

If you need to know the difference between the old style racism and the new modern one, check out my post on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Reddit button Linkedin button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Youtube button