If you haven't heard the words Racism, Clippers & Sterling in the last 4 days, you either have been completely disconnected from social media, radio, or internet...or are completely just oblivious to major social events, either of which is okay, but I'm going to share a story. To give you a little context (and the words I speak to describe the man and situation are very intentional) the 70 year old, white, born in to wealth, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, was featured on a leaked recording between himself and a Mexican/Black young women. The initial 15 minute recording was dialogue which focused on Sterling disapproving the young woman posting pictures on instagram and publicly appearing with Blacks. When she questions "why?" and accuses him of being racist, he repeatedly insist that he has no problem, hatred or dislike of Blacks, it's just the way world is, and will always be, and he wants no association because "others" will say something to him. He then ironically suggests that in private she can be with whomever, sleep with whomever, love whomever, she wants but just don't publicize it or bring them to games if they are Black.
Now while most of LA is feeling emotional about it, I don't. I think it's a multilayered lesson for social conflict, tolerance, empathy, and most importantly, self-love, There are Angelenos boycotting in front of the Staples Center as we speak, People "think" he should be ousted as an owner, that Blacks shouldn't attend games, that the players should refrain from playing, amongst other demonstrations,
Now for someone who has a background in social consciousness and community organizing, I am very well aware of the implications of oppression associated with this event, and there are some realities I can highlight, but that's not as important as emphasizing that despite all this, people should still operate from a place of love. Often times when the media shares negative information especially around ethnic differences, people are enraged, and re-connect to the us against them mentality.
There is only us! 1 group of people who come from different upbringings, have different experiences, and think differently. Choosing to promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate is a big deal, Self love allows us to acknowledge the place in us that is imperfect, and likewise honor that in someone. The challenge is acceptance, but also understanding your value, and not allowing anyone to take advantage or dishonor you.
Sterling is a 80 year old white man who comes from, and remains in privilege. He comes from a different time, and developed a way of thinking in which he never wanted to challenge and evolve from. One who could empathize with the human experience can put his sense of reality in context and not condemn him as a person. Yet, there is a fine line between tolerance of a person's being versus challenging them to respect others to be tolerant. Therefore, actions taken to show Sterling that racism is opposing to the human experience of love, were symbolism of showing others how to love, honor, and respect others as much as you do yourself. In light of the controversy the NBA commissioner has recommended that Sterling be eternally banned from attending any NBA games, or entering in training facilities, in addition to being fined 2.5 million. Despite the act, it will probably not alter his mind or heart but it will make him think about how he feels about Blacks.
Nothing can change a person without their permission. One must want to transform, progress or expand their mind or hearts into operating on another level. The journey of a love walk takes time for most because at least in the US, our human experience is not about love; its about competition, individualism, conflict and comparison. The bigger piece is that the universe, God, whatever entity you believe returns thought or energy, will always give you back what you give. If you give love, you will receive love. If you live in, feed off of, or promote hate, corruption, or disunity, it will always come back to you. When you honor yourself, you can honor with others. If the world had more people that loved one another, ideas of conflict wouldn't have to persist and we could truly live in harmony.
Look at what things you don't like about yourself, your upbringing, your thinking, your habits, etc. And be honest in considering, how do those things pop up in your interactions with others, or even how you feel about others, We typically see in people the best and worst in ourselves, We are all mirrors.