Patterico's Pontifications


Thought vs. Actions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Ben Shapiro raises some interesting points as he considers the racism of Donald Sterling and what he sees as the rise of thoughtcrime. In agreeing with the vast majority of Americans, Shapiro observes,

Sterling’s a pig, and that’s been no secret for decades.

However, he is also concerned about penalizing a person for their thoughts – thoughts expressed in private. He begins his examination by laying out the past public sins of Sterling and the responses – or lack thereof – to them,

In November 2009, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling settled a lawsuit in which the Department of Justice alleged that Sterling had discriminated against Hispanics, blacks and families without children in his rental properties. The lawsuit contained testimony that Sterling had suggested Hispanics were poor tenants because they “smoke, drink, and just hang around the building,” and that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.” The settlement cost him and his insurers $2.73 million.

The NBA and the national media said virtually nothing. That same year, the NAACP gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2005, Sterling signed a check for more than $5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that he had attempted to prevent non-Koreans from renting in his facilities in Koreatown.

The NBA and the national media said virtually nothing.

He then brings us to the present sins of Sterling, the subsequent firestorm and his eventual judgment,

But the big problem here isn’t hypocrisy. The big problem is that the market is turning on Sterling not over action, but over words. Sterling’s a pig, and that’s been no secret for decades. But what triggered America’s response? Sterling’s thoughts. American society now considers expression of thought to be significantly more important than action. Sterling got away with actual discrimination for years. But now he is caught on tape telling his gold-digging girlfriend he doesn’t like blacks, and that’s when the firestorm erupts?

This is the thought police at work. Feelings matter more than action. Words matter more than harming others. That sets a radically dangerous precedent for freedom of thought and speech, particularly for those whose thought and speech we hate. Freedom of speech and thought matters especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree. The moment the majority decides to destroy people for engaging in thought it dislikes, thoughtcrime becomes a reality.

Shapiro concludes,

Sterling’s career should have been ended by public outrage based on his established patterns of discrimination years ago. To end it based not on such disreputable action but on private musings caught on tape demonstrates America’s newfound disregard for the rights of those whose thought we find despicable.

Read the whole thing.


35 Responses to “Thought vs. Actions”

  1. Obama’s a fascist, and that’s been no secret going on a good decade now.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. This is the thought police at work. Feelings matter more than action. Words matter more than harming others.

    A truly pathetic example of that — the epitome of that — occurred last year, when Paula Deen was battered and bruised in public for private speech (some of it almost presumed more than actual) on her part that wasn’t a fraction as extreme — if even that — as what came out of Sterling’s mouth.

    A lot of these controversies are crouched within the framework of race or ethnicity (etc), but it actually transcends such boundaries. It really is the madness portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984. It’s really the madness of liberalism gone berserk. So a Paula Deen is vilified while a Nidal Hasan is treated with kid gloves by the US military, no less, until it’s too late.

    Mark (59e5be)

  3. i love Paula Deen she inspires me to be a better person with respect to getting off my ass and baking corn bread

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. skillet corn bread is the best…

    also mr feets, you should stop by your local Fart & Smile: they are now selling carne al pastor, preperada, so all you need is a skillet, some queso, salsa, tortillas de maize y some Negra Modelo…

    as the sticker on the package said “Great for tacos, tacos, tacos”… the price is budget conscious as well.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  5. When I have time later tonight or tomorrow morning, I will read Shapiro’s entire piece. It sounds like he has successfully processed the flurry of thoughts in my head when I saw Kevin Johnson (referred to “Mayor Kevin Johnson” ad nauseam) issue his bellicose warning to “bigots” that they would be “taken down.”

    L.N. Smithee (6796fe)

  6. i will look I haven’t been to a carniceria in awhile unless you count Vallarta – they have very good tortillas what they make there – and their cheese enchiladas almost make me cry

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. meanwhile Associated Press propaganda slut Martin Crutsinger is spinning food stamp’s latest GDP fail hard and heavy

    The economy likely stumbled at the start of this year, but there’s probably little reason to worry: Economists foresee a solid rebound with the end of a harsh winter.

    little reason to worry

    got that, momo?

    Food Stamp has it ALL under control

    so don’t worry your ditzy lil murican head

    (The expectation is that growth slowed to an annual rate of around 1.1 percent)

    Recovery Summer *itches!

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. (you have to replace the “*” with a “b”)

    in your mind

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  9. “Recovery Summer 2014!!!”

    good thing i read there is no inflation, because otherwise my trip to the store today would have me worried.

    just about all the staples i buy each time have gone up in price noticeably, even compared to two weeks ago…

    you know, luxury items like milk, bread, butter, chicken, bacon, meat, sugar, etc.

    and even in crummy neighborhoods, gas is ~$4.50/gallon or more.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  10. do you remember back when American propaganda sluts used to do stories on high gas prices?

    it used to be every time you turned on National Soros Radio that’s what they were talking about

    But it hasn’t been that way for awhile now.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  11. In part, what happened to Sterling was informed by those earlier actions, not just the spoken words.

    But there is also this: if there is any African-American spectator sport, it is basketball. Blacks make up a disproportionate percentage of basketball fans. If the league had not acted in the manner it did, the sport would have been irreparably harmed.

    This was about the best interests of the NBA, and nothing more.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  12. the pissant thugs at the NBA are telling failmericans that it’s perfectly wonderfully ok to ass-jack someone’s life using secret recordings furnished to you by a cheap and vindictive back-of-the-dumpster whore

    that’s remarkably zeigeisty if you ask me

    (America is really starting to creep me out)

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  13. What part of “the last straw” is hard to understand?

    And, happyfeet, there is no exclusionary rule in the court of public opinion.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  14. there is if you’re a lutheran

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. Charles Barkley has stated he hates white people.
    He will never lose his job .
    Par for the course.

    mg (31009b)

  16. Perhaps the present reaction is due to Sterling’s comments being heard unfiltered.

    seeRpea (9c4cc0)

  17. Sterling put himself in a position where black America could dictate to him what he can say to his hoochie. By buying into the professional sports racket. He has nobody to blame but himself.

    narles karkley (dbc370)

  18. For all that it is private recording, he dissed Magic Johnson while owning a basketball franchise in LA.

    This is his Galileo moment: he called the Pope of Basketball a jackass in his own city. (n.b. I am using wildly figurative language…)But, just like the Inquisition, he confessed to the chief inquisitor, he loses all his (basketball) stuff and is free to go live in exile for the remainder of his life.

    MunDane (932862)

  19. This is a more fun story. Or a more pig story. I report you decide. Grayson doesn’t have a leg to stand on — a marriage invalid when made because of a legal disability is valid nunc pro tunc when the disability is removed; and, further, a single act of “marital kindness” (nudge, wink, you know) forgives all prior fault. But it’s fun to see the lengths “these people” will go to.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. Not that this is a real test of our education system, a great number of this post-literate society are mouthing their hopes for educating bigotry out of what passes for society.


    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  21. and that great start was made possible by Obamacare… is there anything it can’t do?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  22. 19. Kinda makes one wish Homo sapiens was a franchise. Alan could be dismissed to a Grade C cattleyard.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  23. 21, 22. ROTFLMAO.

    By November the suck will be multiplied by 10, or an order of magnitude.

    It will be in your face obvious at that juncture that Congress is no redress whatsoever. The Federal government is not a mere failure it is a slow march to Death and Oblivion.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  24. 12. I feel your ennui.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  25. It really is tough being an oligarch in these United States.

    Or rather, an oligarch whose business derives in Amerikkka. It’s still Ok to bleed somewheres else and habitate in the Southern FL dystopia.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. Squirzilla!!!

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  27. I really hope that some of the info from the Elgin Baylor settlement leaks as a result of this.

    I enjoyed Charles Barkley’s take on him selling the team. How much of a penalty is selling something for a capital gain of 600 million dollars? Some penalty.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  28. R.I.P. Bob Hoskins

    Icy (d439b1)

  29. This is the thought police at work.

    I think that this is hyperbole. The police have the authority of the state. Sterling is one of 30 owners in the National Basketball Association. The other 29 no longer with to associate with him. A better comparison would be my fellow homeowners association members giving me the boot for hanging a Klan flag out front.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  30. In fcat I think there may not be a legal leg to stand on. Donald Sterling made no statement – he was, perhaps, discovered to have obnoxious views (they may have been known before, and it is not clear anyway what they are.)

    He was not excludiong anybody from going to see his basketball games – he was trying to control who his mistress was known to be associated with.

    Taking girls to see his players in the locker room, which he did, (not clear if theu was meant as a treat for the girls or the players) was apparently not a problem.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  31. But now he is caught on tape telling his gold-digging girlfriend he doesn’t like blacks,

    The most logical conclusion actually would be that he has a friend or two that doesn’t.

    We don’t get a clue who is this “friend” that he’s trying not to upset, and most people are ignoring his protestations in the tape taht he is not a racist, so they don’t even realize there must be a third party here. (a golf partner?)

    He was probably arguing to his friend that his mistress was not black – having her post Instagram pictures with many blacks kind of spoiled that picture.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  32. I’ll spare everybody the pretense of condeming Sterling that seems necessary from all people commenting on this case. Instead, I want people to focus on a single thought, if a privately expressed viewpoint, regardless of its nature, is sufficient to justify a lifetime ban, what isn’t? Surely, Shaq’s comment “”Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.'” is also reprehensible. How about all of the DUI’s and assaults which have the potential result of actual harm to individuals, not just hurt feelings? The NBA doesn’t want to open this door and they will tell you, “this is different”. They are right, but not for the reasons you think. It’s because there is so much worse out there and they don’t want to account for it by the same standards.

    bskb (1d2d1a)

  33. A better comparison would be my fellow homeowners association members giving me the boot for hanging a Klan flag out front.

    They can’t do that. If they try it, drop me an email. As a friend, no charge.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. I want to know how much Rev. Al is going shake down Commissioner Silver for, you know, for the pain and suffering of the people and his back taxes, but mostly for his back taxes.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

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