Donald Sterling is, with a degree of certainty I typically reserve for standing outside and being able to tell you if it’s nighttime, a despicable human. He looks down upon, and openly disdains, minorities. He treats them as physical specimens to be feared, gawked at and exploited for fiscal gain.
Donald Sterling also – and this should not be lost in the obvious racism of his recent comments and his track record – impossibly sexist. In the tone of his audio with his “girlfriend” (he’s also married, you know, because when you’re a multi-bazillionaire, unconditional love is not enough), you can hear the way he sneers at and unflinchingly attempts to control the women in his life. He treats them as prizes, as servants and as accessories. The way he treats women isn’t all that much different from how he views minorities. His current girlfriend is both.
But, what’s really crucial to note about Donald Sterling, through all his racist, sexist, bigoted disgusting dragon-breath …
He’s 80. Donald Sterling is 80.
I raise that point because Donald Sterling, and a lot of the sub-human scum in this country who’ve preyed upon the oppressed and fought to keep the hierarchy in place that keeps the downtrodden down and the inequality engine humming along at a breakneck pace are old. Old as hell. Dinosaurs nearing extinction.
When Martin Luther King led the March on Washington, Donald Sterling was my age. I’m pretty much set in my ways … imagine how engraved in stone his hate must be after an additional 50 years of carving.
You’ve heard the voices clamoring for Sterling’s head on a platter. You’ve heard the swiftness with which his (alleged) comments were vilified, skewered and disavowed. Those were reasonable voices. Those were kind voices. Those were our voices.
And our voices are growing louder, wiser and wealthier.
The young are less likely to debate whether equality is valid, or a goal for which to strive, or even a right worth preserving, in fact … we see it as a central pillar of humanity, a fact as plain as the sky is blue. To wit:
“Millennials support gay marriage, take race and gender equality as givens, are tolerant of religious and family diversity, have an open and positive attitude toward immigration, and generally display little interest in fighting over the divisive social issues of the past.”
The way the generations before ours screamed bloody murder over an interracial marriage, or having a woman for a boss or seeing two men kiss on TV … this generation screams bloody murder at the screamers. And we do so with vigor.
That isn’t to say it’s all rainbows and puppies amongst the Millennials, or that we should ease up off the gas when another crochety, ignorant prick speaks out of turn. There’s still plenty of dissenting voices … especially when one voice is too many.
But it’s a sign of welcome progress that we’ve reached a tipping point where what this country’s prime demographic is most intolerant of is intolerance itself.