Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr., was a black man, of the 1960’s and 1970’s, who excelled in athletics and had a mind for other important pursuits. Like Curt Flood, who challenged Major League Baseball’s Reserve Clause as unfair to players; like Jim Brown, who retired from the NFL – at his peak – rather than allow the Cleveland Browns to dictate to him. Others included Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell. These were passionate sportsmen, but each knew where sports ended and dignity began.
A little more about Arthur Ashe… Read more...
In 1827, Scottish botanist Robert Brown, looking through a microscope at pollen grains suspended in water, observed small particles that moved about irregularly, similar to the red dots in the “water” of blue dots below:
The phenomenon Brown observed bears his name: “Brownian Movement” – the random motion of particles suspended in a fluid. The particles neither move on their own, nor move with any purpose. Instead, they get knocked around by the fluid.
Brownian Movement seems to describe many American blacks: particles suspended in the fluid of American culture and current events. Blacks neither create the events nor control the impacts. Instead, they get knocked around by them, often according to someone else’s agenda. For example: Read more...
The NBA’s Donald Sterling debacle made some blacks look bad and, as it drags on, is making others look even worse. Start with the young black men, millionaires only because they can play a game, turning their clothes inside out over what a white man said to his side chick during a conversation that was none of their business:
It was not a good look.
Other NBA players, however, did a “buy in”, threatening to boycott playoff games unless Sterling received severe punishment, and willing to suffer the consequences of their actions. Hard to say how meaningful those consequences would be, given that their contracts are guaranteed. So, a bunch of black millionaires were willing to disrupt the incomes of others, while their money continued to flow. Read more...
Showing himself a “strong leader”, and setting himself apart from his predecessor, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acted:
The move is praised by pundits,
and politicians, as well as other interested parties.
Judging by the social media reaction, one might decide this the most positive occurrence in the United States in many years. However, the action against Sterling is more problematic than satisfying, particularly for those who value individual liberty.
First, there is the problem of acting against Donald Sterling at all. The NBA has known of Sterling’s racism for many years: Read more...