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Jewish Journal

Is Donald Sterling Bad For Jews?

by Ilana Angel

May 13, 2014 | 9:36 am

I just watched Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN and I cringed. It is incredible to me that this man thought this interview would help him get out of the mess he is in, and even more interesting that a man who clearly has no filter, gave an interview without a lawyer by his side. The conversation with Cooper was fascinating, including Cooper’s facial expressions to some of the things Sterling said.

Let me first say that I don’t think Sterling is suffering from dementia. What he suffers from is stupidity. He is an old man, but he does not seem confused or foggy about anything other than the vocabulary of Anderson Cooper. He asks for a lot of clarification, clearly does not understand some of what Cooper says, and while I think he is an idiot who sees color first, I couldn’t help but feel sad for him as he cried.

When Sterling spoke of his granddaughter being treated unkindly at school it was sad, but I found myself annoyed he felt the need to point out it was a Catholic school. This is a man who likes to distinguish the difference between people based on religion and color. He wants to educate us on who is black and who is Jewish. This man is as stupid as he is rich and I am losing patience with him.

He is clearly in shock about what has happened. He admits to being an old man who was made to believe a young, pretty woman was interested in him. He won’t discuss his sexual relations with V. Stiviano, which is somewhat charming, but at the end of the day V. Sticiano had an agenda. I assume there was sex, money changing hands, and her plan to destroy him for 15 minutes of fame was planned long ago.

The interview takes an interesting turn when Sterling speaks of Magic Johnson. Oy Vey. Sterling wants to make it clear that Magic Johnson should be ashamed of himself for contracting HIV, does not support the black community, and should go away. This man is a mess and to say he is not racist at this point is a stretch. He obviously thinks black are not on the same level as whites, and more specifically Jews.

Sterling brings up Jewish charity and how Jews help Jews while blacks don’t help blacks, and the man has lost me. I was willing to sit on the fence in terms of his racism as I did not think the tape was fair since he was clearly being coerced and manipulated by a fame whore, but to hear the entire interview with Cooper you cannot think on any level that this man is not an idiot with ridiculous opinions race and religion.

Did Magic Johnson call Sterling and tell him to wait on commenting? Maybe. Whether or not that is true, there is no reason to bring up the HIV status of Magic Johnson. To comment on the philanthropy of Johnson, when he clearly has no idea what he has or hasn't done is silly. Someone should have stepped in and told him to shut up. This is an old man who is out of touch with a lot of things and he dug his hole deeper.

The very moment the tape was released he should have apologized. Why he was not advised to is unknown. To say he was quiet for a week because Johnson asked him to, is ridiculous. On one hand he is saying he valued his opinion enough to listen to him and wait, then in the same breath says he a man who deserves no respect and should he ashamed of himself. Donald Sterling needs to just stop talking.

He should sell his team rather than wait for them to make him sell it. His wife should not get the team either. Magic Johnson should have stayed away from Clipper games until the selling of the team was complete, and the commissioner should not have attended the game with Magic because that is controversial and he should remain neutral.  I appreciate the interview was after the game, but lines are already blurred.

At the end of the day this story has run its course and Sterling needs to slip away into the shadows. He said some terrible things, trusted the wrong person, and at 80 years old his history has been rewritten and the best thing he can do is be quiet and go away. No more interviews, no more whores, no more excuses, and no more delusions that he can turn this around. If he is paying someone to guide him, they should be fired.

There are good black people and bad black people. There are also good Jews and bad Jews. This is a story of Donald Sterling, not all black people or all Jews. I wrote last week that I did not know if Sterling was a racist and I was told off by a lot of African Americans on Twitter. I was even accused of not understanding what hate was because I am not a black person living in America today, which is simply ignorance..

I am not sure what it is like to be a black person in America at any time. I am not black, but I am Jewish, and to imply that African Americans are the only people who can talk about hate is ridiculous. Jews have a long history with hate and again, this is not about who is hated more, it is about Donald Sterling. We need to stop comparing groups or taking ownership of hate. Donald Sterling is crazy and this is all about him.

Is Donald Sterling bad for Jews? There are a lot of people who will judge all Jews based on Sterling in the same way people thought we were like Bernie Madoff. That is ignorance. Sterling is not bad for Jews, he just happens to be one. He is however bad for basketball, which is why he was banned and will be forced to sell. I won’t write about it again because there is nothing left to say. Let's move on and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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