America and Color Beyond the Donald Sterling Saga

Race is back on track, and its raging faster than the California brush fire. In America, race is explosive. It ought to be. Its meant to be and would remain so. So, first of all, let’s start this way. Image

 

Photo courtesy Google.

I love laws. Without them we all would be – outlaws. So laws are great.  Laws set a red line and dare anyone to cross it. The wise respect the red line, but the foolish and the high and mighty cross. The one does it because they are dumb, and the other because they can.

As good as laws are, they do not change who we truly are. Sometimes they force us to adapt, at other times, they persuade us to do so. They specify what may happen if we cross the line.

From the leaked tape through the CNN interview, Donald Sterling suspended owner of the Los Angeles Clippers has shown the world that it takes more than the law to reform a depraved mind. This is the reality of our existence today, from the demented actions of hate-drunk religious zealots to the overreactions of racial supremacists; it’s just the law that keeps our societies from falling apart.

It’s been a long journey from 400 years of slavery to the abolition; then another hundred years of racial segregation to legal or superficial acceptance. Things are not going to change overnight. Not even within the ambits of legality itself. Check the celebrated cases, from Rodney King through Trayvon Martin it’s a long way to the bottom of the rainbow.

The Luther dream is too is still an illusion to be pursued. It will take more than one Obama at the White House to erase the indelible ink of racial prejudice.

The Donald Sterling tapes and the racially charged coverage only exposes that racism is skin deep. The law is a suntan over a putrid chancre, what is needed is a surgical skin graft. People of colour have come a long way but they have a longer way to go. Acceptance is not a honorary degree, it must be earned and we are still in school. What more, we’re not doing well in the subjects.

Check the figures, why, in the words of Jesse Jackson have we not made a greater transformation than moving from picking cotton to picking balls? The answers are in the prisons, the number on the dole, the deadbeats, and the drug and gangland czars.

Have people of colour relaxed just because racial segregation is outlawed? Did they think that legislation could erase what’s written on the tablets of the mind? How can we remedy the situation? How can we make models of the children who have to tone up because they’re ashamed of what they represent? How can we upgrade the demographics? The Sterling attack is a wake up call. People of colour must learn to love themselves first and uplift their own humanity, before they can compel others to love them.

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