LOS ANGELES TIMES CARTOON: Deconstructing Donald Sterling

Words Mean Nothing

 

 

Like every other political cartoonist, I love shooting fish in a barrel. So there was no way no how I was going to pass up L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s surreptitiously recorded racist rant.

However, this is one of those stories where you easily guess what every other cartoonist’s take is going to be. In this case: racism is bad. Not that I don’t think racism is bad. I do. It’s simply that, after American cartoon consumers have read a hundred cartoons saying that racism is bad and that Donald Sterling, as a racist, is bad, I don’t see what would be added to the national conversation on race by a 101st, Ted Rall cartoon saying that racism is bad.

I may be self-deluded (but then how would I know?) in my belief that one of the things that sets me apart from the herd is my interest in facets of big stories that get overlooked by other commentators.

Like: as creepy as Sterling obviously is, this violation of his privacy rights is a nasty piece of business. As I wrote for the tech news website A New Domain:

“As we learned from The People vs. Larry Flynt, society must defend its worst scumbags from having his rights violated, or everyone else risks losing theirs too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world where every stupid thing I blather over the phone is potential fodder for public comment, Twitter wars and cause for dismissal from work. Until we descend into the Stasi-like “Lives of Others” dystopia into which the NSA seems determined to transform the Land of the Formerly Free, everyone — including racist douchebags like Donald Sterling — ought to enjoy a reasonable presumption of privacy on the telephone.”

Privacy isn’t the only under-discussed aspect of a story that, like the O.J. trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, has more angles than a porcupine.

Step aside, Bill (“I did not have sex with that woman”) Clinton. There’s a new non-denial denialist in town: the anonymous PR flack in at Clippers HQ who penned this beaut:

“Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them.”

Man. I love this.

Where to start? The hilarity of apologizing for saying things you haven’t actually admitted saying? (As of press time, Sterling still wasn’t fessing up. But NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling admitted it was his voice asking his ex-mistress V. Stiviano not to be photographed with black people or bring them to Clippers games.)

Yes, we’ve all said we wish we hadn’t. But most of haven’t, like Mel Gibson pissed off and drunk and all anti-Semitic, or Donald Sterling going on and on and on for 15 whole minutes, revealed, in great detail, our obviously deeply-felt bigotry. Which is because most of us don’t have those feelings. Even when we’re drunk. Or baited by Instagram and/or a wildly age-inappropriate girlfriend.

So how to explain Sterling’s assertion that “what is reflected on that recording” is inconsistent with and doesn’t reflect his “views, beliefs or feelings”? Besides, I mean, that he and his PR flack think we’re total morons?

The answer is clear: Sterling must be a devotee of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Derrida, a pioneering postmodernist best known for his work as a “poststructuralist,” argued that meanings of words and phrases were inherently arbitrary: “Language bears within itself the necessity of its own critique, deconstructive criticism aims to show that any text inevitably undermines its own claims to have a determinate meaning, and licenses the reader to produce his own meanings out of it by an activity of semantic ‘freeplay’…There is, with respect to the very structure of language, no proper context to provide proof of a final meaning.”

Many poststructuralists, active in the 1980s and 1990s, carried Derrida’s theories to their logical conclusion that words were meaningless, everything is unknowable and that life is therefore not only absurd in the Sartrian sense, but devoid of substance.

Bien sur.

Derrida, however, died cruelly misunderstood by his own disciples. Fortunately for Donald Sterling, he is about to have a lot of newly freed-up time on his hands. He’s already shed his expensive ex-girlfriend. He’s not allowed to attend any more basketball games — and what could be more meaningless than watching men throwing and bouncing a ball back and forth?

I recommend that Sterling continue his studies with Benoit Peeters’ riveting “Derrida: A Biography.” At a mere 700 pages, he’ll be sad it’s over way too soon. But that’s why God — whatever He means or is or whatever — created — whatever that means “From the New Criticism to Deconstruction: The Reception of Structuralism and Post-Structuralism.”

On the other hand, this essay may just be a sandwich menu.

15 thoughts on “LOS ANGELES TIMES CARTOON: Deconstructing Donald Sterling

  1. First and foremost, Mr. Sterling is at the tippy-top end of the one percent, WHITE Ashkenazi Jewish crowd. Not popularly known is that the “Western” world’s Ashkenazi cultural elitists (and Zionland is a Caucasian/Jewish Western infection of Palestine) are also de-facto White Supremacists. For that matter, the KKK’s brain-dead leaders-of-old most probably copied their paradigm of White racism from the Talmud, but with a Christianite rewrite. Throughout the Torah (and especially the Talmud), it is what the Jewish G?d has confirmed for his “Special Chosen” … That it is perfectly fine to exploit the “lesser” human races, especially the .Schvartze.

    D. Sterling also said:

    DS: It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.

    V: So do you have to treat them like that too?

    DS: The white Jews, there’s white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?

    V: And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?

    DS: A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent.

    V: And is that right?

    DS: It isn’t a question—we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.

    V: But shouldn’t we take a stand for what’s wrong? And be the change and the difference?

    DS: I don’t want to change the culture, because I can’t. It’s too big and too [unknown].

    V: But you can change yourself.

    DS: I don’t want to change. If my girl can’t do what I want, I don’t want the girl. I’ll find a girl that will do what I want! Believe me. I thought you were that girl—because I tried to do what you want. But you’re not that girl.

    http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105241
    http://deadspin.com/exclusive-the-extended-donald-sterling-tape-1568291249
    http://rehmat1.com/2014/04/29/sterling-israel-treats-blacks-like-dogs/

    The scourge of Zionism produced the Nakba from a genocidal whole cloth that makes Hitler’s attempts against the Jews of Europe seem pedestrian. Yet NO ONE in America’s Jewish-dominated, corporate media will ever adequately advertise these facts of national shame.
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-nakba.html
    http://www.1lit.com/islam/israel-zionist-quotations.html

    DanD

    • The site “If Americans Only Knew” is one of my favorites. (if ‘favorite’ can describe the disgusting behavior documented there) Israel is second worst motivator for the ‘unrest’ in the middle east. (America+Oil being the first. Yes, that’s one category.) People deride Holocaust Deniers, even though they themselves deny The Catastrophe.

      That said, ““Ashkenazi Jews” include:

      Albert Einstein
      Sigmund Freud
      Anne Frank
      John von Neumann
      Franz Kafka
      Leonard Bernstein
      Gustav Mahler

      … among other luminaries.

      Here’s a good article:
      As A Holocaust Survivor AIPAC Doesn’t Speak For Me

      Just a reminder that we can’t blame all of a people for the acts of some of those people.

      • Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is shameful… doesn’t mean the holocaust never happened.

      • Agreed.

        Are you familiar with the term “The Catastrophe”? which DanD correctly called the Nakba?

        That’s how Muslims refer to the “settlement” of Israel and displacement of 600,000 people from their ancestral homes.

        We barely get out of WWII, collectively decide that ‘might makes right’ is no way to run a planet & immediately go back to making right at the point of a gun.

        Sometimes, I’m ashamed to be human.

      • The racism of some Jews is a thoroughly disgusting thing. In fact, it’s just as disgusting as your racism.

        There is no difference whatsoever.

  2. That European Jewry (especially that community’s Am Haaretz) suffered enormous deprivation and injustice and MIC murder during last century’s Nazi reign of terror from Germany is an historically established fact. What has subversively remained in the fantasmic realm of myth is Zionism’s religiously decreed and politically poisoned fable of the “Shoah.”

    The link below leads to an excellent investigative deconstruction of how “The Holocaust” transcended from a religiously instigated fantasy to an historically uninvestigable* and legally incontestable “fact.”

    http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres8/hay.pdf

    *The legal travail of Ernst Zundel is a prime example of how the paradigm of “thought-crime” is used to imprison and break all resistance to the evil commands of culturally violent, political correctness.
    http://www.zundelsite.org/
    http://www.thesimon.com/magazine/articles/canon_fodder/0775_ernst_zundel_modern-day_galileo.html
    http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com/2010/03/prisoner-of-zionism-ernst-zundel-is-now.html

    DanD

      • Uh, yeah dude …

        Tell me Russell, is there any anti-Semitism in the truth? Or are you confusing it with anti-Zionism? Is it “anti”-Semitic to tastelessly talk about crimes-against-humanity when they are committed by some of G?d’s special chosen Jewish racists?

        Is it anti-Semitism when the alleged “Semite” doesn’t even speak a Semitic language (as the vast majority of Jews in America, and Europe, and Russia, and even a significant quantity in occupied Palestine never have)?
        http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/jews-who-cant-speak-hebrew/2012/10/25/
        http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/bruce-bawer/dont-speak-hebrew/

        Tell me, if you hate Palestinians who speak Arabic, are you also an anti-Semite? Or are you one of those Menachem Begin-type of war-criminal racists who think that Zionist shit don’t stink?
        https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/02/11/15727361.php

        What is your definition of an anti-Semite?

        DanD

      • Oh, please – yes, some of us are familiar with the etymology of ‘Semite’ – so what? In common usage, it refers to unreasoning hatred against the Jewish people.

        > is there any anti-Semitism in the truth?

        No, there is anti-Semitism in lies. Specifically, in attributing the acts of some Jews to all Jews. You want to pound on the Zionists* I’m right there with you, you want to talk smack about an entire people, I will oppose you every step along the way.

        “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King

        In fighting hatred with hatred, you are NOT part of the solution: you are part of the problem.

        *Zionist – again, using the word as it is commonly used, i.e. to refer to those /J/e/w/s/ people who support the Israeli war against the Palestinian people.

  3. Say What?

    “A lot of NBA players come here to party. Out of respect to them, we have banned Sterling from coming here.”

    Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch and six other Nevada brothels

    • Were there any pictures with the article? Purely out of academic interest, of course.

    • No, it’s racist to assume that another culture is fundamentally racist based on an incomplete sample. Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t pulled out “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

      You’re obviously prejudiced against gays and Jews, should I assume that all white heterosexuals are bigots? I can find plenty of documentation about white heterosexuals lynching, hanging, & tying people to fences and beating them to death. Does that prove that ALL whites are bigots? Of course not, some of us are a little more grounded in reality.

      (assuming you’re white – if not, feel free to substitute whatever race/creed/religion applies)

      • *Does that prove that ALL whites are bigots?*
        ——-
        That’s a valid point. A number of years ago, I was discussing equal opportunity for *ALL* with a fellow passenger on a flight home. I had attempted to give white males equal opportunity to executive training at the National Education Association’s national convention (and failed).

        A black female sitting in front of me turned around and berated me, stating that white males had all the advantages already, without knowledge of the fact that I (as a white male) had been denied the opportunities that were offered to blacks, females, Hispanics, etc.

        Where’s the logic in that? Where’s the justification for denying equal opportunity for *everyone*?

        After many years I’m still asking. I’ve since retired, so I don’t know if equality was ever incorporated within the NEA.

        🙁