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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
May 9, 2014



Donald Sterling

The Insanity of It All
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation

MINOT, ND — Headlines:
— American economy drastically slows
— unemployment remains at record highs
— wages are below those of 40 years ago
— federal taxes and government growth are at all-time highs
— federal debt is destroying our economic well-being
— America’s respect around the world is waning
— social divisions are at record levels
— youth’s trust in government is at its lowest point
— almost 50 percent of Americans receive food stamps
— 40 percent of Americans support the 60 percent who receives government benefits
— America’s roads and bridges are dangerously neglected
— and the list goes on.

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA  — These headlines come and go. Rarely do they receive more than fleeting attention; none is being addressed by Congress. And the media is uninterested in researching and reporting in any greater depth than a cursory headline. Americans truly have their heads buried in the sand.

American is facing national problems that will — unless immediately, seriously, and realistically addressed — end in the disintegration of America as we have known it. America is no longer the nation with the greatest wealth and the most economic freedom. America is, by many measures, the nation with the highest taxes and the most regulated economy of all developed nations. America’s political leadership is doing everything it can to ensure the total economic, political, and social collapse of this once-great nation.

 

In today’s politically correct world, facts, America’s freedom of speech, and the right of association and non-association do not matter.

   

With these real and serious problems facing our nation, what topic occupies the attention of the media, political activists, and politicians?

National newspaper headlines, hundreds of hours of national “news” stories, radio talk shows, and the talk at bars and lounges have focused on a politically correct mortal sin committed by a white man. Donald Sterling, a former divorce attorney, real estate developer, and the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team has committed the ultimate sin — he expressed his opinion. The opinion was expressed in private but was intrusively recorded by an entertainment media gadfly — TMZ — a gossip/entertainment/sports rag distributed by Deadspin, a sports website.

What was the mortal sin? Mr. Sterling was visiting with his minority girlfriend, in private, and told her that he did not want her to bring any black people to games with her.

The fact that Mr. Sterling is married and allegedly having an affair is of little note and seems not to outrage anyone. Rather, the outrage is over private comments that Mr. Sterling says were not in context and did not reflect his views, beliefs, or feelings regarding racial minorities. In today’s politically correct world, however, facts, America’s freedom of speech, and the right of association and non-association do not matter.

All that matters to America’s icons of moral righteousness and political correctness — the media; the Jesse Jacksons of the world; and those claiming bruised and battered racial, sexual, or other sensitivities — is their twisted view of what is right and wrong. Heaven help anyone who trespasses on the views of these icons of insanity.

As long as the media, our elected leadership, and the public are fixated on political correctness as a matter of “monumental concern,” there is no need to address real concerns and real problems. This is the recipe that our misguided culture is serving us. When the body fails to properly nourish itself intellectually, morally, or rationally, it will fail and die. America needs to assess the diet it is feeding itself.

The greatness of America did not come from political correctness. America’s greatness came from being an open society where everyone was permitted to speak freely, regardless of what anyone else believed; America was a place where no one was forced to associate with, or was prohibited from associating with, anyone else.

 

The attack on Mr. Sterling’s offensive comments say more about the intolerance of those attacking him than about him.

   

America’s freedom of expression fostered legitimate debate. That debate over time made America an open, tolerant, and evolving society.

That is no longer the case. The attack on Mr. Sterling’s offensive comments say more about the intolerance of those attacking him than about him.

The old saying, “I’m cutting my nose off to spite my face,” is the consequence of such intolerance. For example, Mr. Sterling pledged $3 million to support cancer research at UCLA. To express their “outrage” over Sterling’s “divisive and hurtful comments,” the university has rejected the gift.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me — this adage is no longer true in America.

A Voice from Fly-Over Country archives


A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2014 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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