Sorry Powerline Blog, Magic Johnson Doesn’t Count As Donald Sterling’s ‘Black Friend’

Sorry Powerline Blog, Magic Johnson Doesn't Count As Donald Sterling's 'Black Friend'It’s early, but we have a winner in the sweepstakes of “which rightwing nutjob has the dumbest reaction to Clippers owner Donald Sterling being a racist shitbag.” Twitchy commenters? Yeesh. Trump? Nyet. Bill Kristol? Almost. How about “but he has black friends, like Magic Johnson” from the Powerline blog? Mr. Hinderaker, come collect your prize.

First, John Hinderaker would like us all to know that the querulous octegenarian is obviously addled, which saddens him because Sterling is a billionaire, and we all know billionaires are the smartest of all the people.


Then John Hinderaker gets mad at Barack Obama for being “political” by acknowledging that vestiges of racism may still exist, and also is this even racist really, when you think about it? Donald Sterling makes money from black people. How racist could he be??!

Obama naturally used the opportunity to make a political point:

President Obama on Sunday described comments reportedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers as “incredibly offensive racist statements,” before casting them as part of a continuing legacy of slavery and segregation that Americans must vigilantly fight. …

“The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination,” Obama said during a news conference in Malaysia, where he was traveling.

A billionaire asks his African-American mistress not to post certain pictures on Instagram: is that what the “legacy of race and slavery and segregation” has come down to? Are the “vestiges of discrimination” so slight that this lovers’ spat is the subject of a presidential news conference?

“We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often,” he added. “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 some much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves.”

Which is another way of saying, we don’t have much in the way of actual racism or discrimination to talk about (not against African-Americans, anyway), so we have to make do with this kind of petty, personal revelation.

John Hinderaker does not think it is racist to be so grossed out by blackity-blackness, that even being seen with beloved athlete and businessman Magic Johnson is a taint you could never wash off you. John Hinderaker has a very odd definition of “not racist.”

But speaking of Magic Johnson, John Hinderaker, do you want to add anything else?

The political motive to make Donald Sterling the poster boy for 21st century racism is obvious, but is he actually a racist? I have never met the man, but it doesn’t seem probable. He owns a basketball team on which 12 of the 14 players are black. The coach is black. Sterling has black friends, like Earvin Johnson; it was an Instagram photo of Stiviano with Johnson that precipitated the fatal argument. Johnson reacted angrily, vowing never to attend another Clippers game. Yet Sterling has long considered Johnson a friend; on the tape, he tells Stiviano that Johnson is worthy of respect.

Sorry, no, you do not get to “black friend” the person about whom you are outraged your girlfriend would pose for a picture with.



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