by Dr Boyce Watkins
Donald Sterling got into a bit of trouble recently with some controversial remarks about the African American community. Most notably was his demand that his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, not invite black people to his games and not be seen with them in public. Sterling also received criticism for his remarks about Magic Johnson and his HIV positive status. Sterling stated that Magic is a hypocrite for sleeping around with so many women, catching HIV and then judging the actions of other people.
One interesting Financial Juneteenth remark that Sterling made that also raised eyebrows was his comparison between blacks and Jews. Sterling says that while successful Jews often reach back to help their own to climb the ladder, many wealthy blacks do not do the same.
“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people,” Sterling said. “Some of the African-Americans, they don’t want to help anyone.”
Donald Sterling is a jerk, but does he have a point? When anyone speaks about wealthy black people reaching back to their community, they are often met with criticism from those who feel that rich blacks don’t owe anything to anyone except the car lot where they bought their latest Mercedes.
Sterling got rich because other Jews helped him when white people did not. When he finished law school in the early 1960s, Sterling had to start his own business because white law firms wouldn’t hire Jews. As a result, he became enormously wealthy, largely due to the support of other people in his own community. This is what gave him the power to singlehandedly purchase the NAACP, an organization that represents a community that would rather give its money to whites than to itself.
When Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough spoke out to ask that Dr. Dre consider giving some of his $70 million dollar gift to help black youth go to college, he was also criticized for not keeping his mouth shut. Would it have been better for Kimbrough to remain silent and allow millions of young black people to be forced to drop out of college?
So, what do you think? Is Donald Sterling right? Do wealthy blacks abandon their own people?