April 28, 2014
Barack Obama On Clippers Owner; Is Donald Sterling A Democrat?

President Barack Obama has weighed in on the racist comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, according to a Yahoo! News report - but evidence has recently surfaced that the racist owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is actually a Democrat - or at least has given financial donations to the candidacies of Democrat candidates.

Does it make a difference? Racism is racism, whether it wears an elephant suit or a donkey costume. Still, with Democrats claiming to be the champions of minority groups and commanding a significant majority of the black vote, it's noteworthy that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling - if the way he spends his money is any indicator - identifies as a Democrat.

In case you're not up to date on the comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling or the strong public reaction, this Inquisitr article covers the basics of the scandal and this one covers the initial backlash. Ironically, Donald Sterling was slated to win an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, as this article points out.

In a nutshell, Donald Sterling told his much younger girlfriend not to invite black people to LA Clippers games. President Barack Obama was in Malaysia when he received word of the Los Angeles Clippers owner's comments, but he took time out of a press conference to address them. A Yahoo! News report quotes him saying:

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk...the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that's still there, the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides, but you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often. And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently, but also remaining hopeful that part of why statements like this stand out so much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves."

No word on whether Barack Obama is aware that Mr. Sterling writes checks to Democrat candidates, and in all fairness to the president, there's nothing to indicate that it would change his opinion in the least if he knew.

Still, does it matter? Does it matter to Republicans? To Democrats? To Independents? Weight in on this: Should it matter to a Democratic president if and when it turns out that the owner of the LA Clippers Donald Sterling is a Democrat? Should Barack Obama address the seeds of racism in his own party? Should Republicans stand up and support Barack Obama on this and if they do, will standing up to Donald Sterling's racist comments improve their image on race issues?

[Update] Since the time of this article's release, Mother Jones has reported that Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times columnist alleges that Donald Sterling has been a registered Republican since 1998. The Mother Jones report does not challenge Sterling's alleged campaign contributions to Democratic candidates throughout the '90s, nor does it mention any contributions the LA Clippers' owner has made to any political candidates since, Republican, Democrat or otherwise.