By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the scandal surrounding disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown: Sterling was tape-recorded by his mistress, Vivian Stiviano, after he confronted her about a picture that she posted on Instagram with former Lakers star Ervin “Magic” Johnson. Sterling told Stiviano, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.” He also told Stiviano not to bring black people to Clippers games. Since admitting that he indeed did make these remarks, Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and has received the maximum fine of $2.5 million. I see three key lessons to be learned from this whole episode.1
Lesson one is that traditional Christian morality is essential dead in contemporary America. Christian morality is rooted in the immutable Law of God that is summarized in the Ten Commandments. Christians recognize concretely-defined activities like murder, theft, lying, adultery, and fornication as being sinful. America and the West in general have transitioned away from traditional Christian morality into what Christian Smith terms “moralistic therapeutic deism.” This is a generic belief in “god” or in some amorphous higher power that created us and exists to make us happy and help solve our problems. Many Americans are still raised in ostensibly Christian churches, but nevertheless worship a god whose attributes and character are entirely distinct from the God of historic Christian orthodoxy. Where the God of Christianity is sovereign, righteous, holy, just, and actively concerned with the actions of His creatures in history, the god of moralistic therapeutic deism is close enough to be helpful, but distant enough so that he (she? it?) isn’t judgmental of our actions. Smith characterizes the god of moralistic therapeutic deism as “something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist—he is always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process.”
This conception of God has brought about a whole new vocabulary pertaining to morality and ethics. You seldom hear condemnations of traditional sins like adultery or fornication anymore. Even among church-attending Christians, it isn’t uncommon for couples to cohabit before marriage. Not to fear, the twentieth century has given us plenty of new sins to scold in place of the traditional ones. Now we condemn sins against equality, like racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, and intolerance. This brings us to the Donald Sterling scandal. The tidal wave of disapproval and rebuke directed towards Sterling is based upon his mildly “racist” comments that he made. Sterling is treated with contempt because he violated the consensus egalitarian morality of contemporary American culture. No doubt, much about Sterling is morally troubling; chief among them his public adultery with a woman five decades his junior. But this isn’t what has caused the NBA and mainstream media to bring the hammer down. Sterling is a “racist.” This is all that matters in post-Christian America.
The second lesson to learn from this episode is the hypocrisy attending this new egalitarian morality. All non-Christian systems of morality are ultimately hypocritical and self-contradictory, and this system of egalitarian ethics is no different. The religion of equality is a mess of double standards and sheer hypocrisy enforced because of perceived (and most often contrived) past grievances. This is especially true as it pertains to the media. When this story first broke, it received constant press coverage, and everyone in America was aware of Sterling’s conversation. Contrast this with the utter lack of press coverage that attended the Knoxville Horror, in which Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a white couple, were tortured and raped for hours by black thugs before being murdered. The mainstream media completely disregarded the story, and whenever it was reported by the local media, the issue of race was entirely ignored. Another more recent example is the execution of Clayton Lockett by the state of Oklahoma. Lockett’s execution took longer than expected due to the use of an experimental drug, and he died of a heart attack after 43 minutes. Initial press coverage expressed regret that the poor rapist and murderer experienced discomfort. Forgotten by the media in all of their howling was Lockett’s victim Stephanie Neiman, who was tortured and raped for hours before she finally expired. How many people even heard of Clayton Lockett before his botched execution?2 This is part of a larger pattern in the media of ignoring the massive amount of crime committed by non-whites against whites. It goes without saying that the hypocrisy of the media in dealing with race is appalling.
The duplicity in media reporting on Donald Sterling is matched by its reaction to certain celebrities. Larry Johnson, a black man, former NBA player, and current New York Knicks executive, has stated that black players need to form their own segregated league. Ask yourself, where is the media outrage directed at Johnson for his endorsement of segregation? If equality is true and segregation was evil, why is it okay for a black man to advocate this for the benefit of other blacks? Would the media reaction be the same if a white MLB player had advocated for a new all-white baseball league so that whites wouldn’t face discrimination in favor of Hispanics? Suppose a white NFL player were to advocate for an all-white professional football league for the same reason. Would the reaction be the same as for Larry Johnson? Of course not! He would likely be fined, suspended, or outright expelled and cast out from all polite society. Johnson is still gainfully employed by the Knicks. Go figure. The hypocrisy is magnified exponentially by the fact that in reality, white athletes actually do face unjust discrimination in college and professional athletics.3
Another relevant fact is that Sterling is Jewish. Just as George Zimmerman was painted white to create a villain worthy of full mockery and derision, so also Sterling’s Jewishness has been transformed to create a superior narrative. This transformation even included the neglect of Sterling’s comments concerning Israel’s anti-black policies, also recorded in the same conversation, for the media could not permit their “anti-racist” agenda to conflict with their Judeolatry. The media is not interested in reporting the facts, ensuring that their coverage does not generate an inappropriate racial animus against uninvolved parties – only in bringing down the hammer upon whites, which is really what the entire opposition to “racism” is all about.
Furthermore, a considerable reaction arose from those who have no business commenting…on anything. Black athletes who have complained about Sterling’s comments make obscenely huge paychecks playing a game. They haven’t been victimized by white “racism,” but the media reports on their reaction with sympathy. Upstanding citizens like Snoop Dogg4 have expressed their disapproval of Donald Sterling. This is the same rap “artist” who said that he wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because, in his eloquent prose, “he a white nigga.” Snoop Dogg is a lifelong criminal and rap superstar (a genre with a history of being anti-white, to say the least). Racially-charged statements from rappers like Snoop Dogg are generally ignored by many in the mainstream media, and he and others like him don’t receive the opprobrium that whites would if they casually tossed around words like “nigga.”
Perhaps the example best demonstrating the hypocrisy of the NBA and the mainstream media is Jay-Z. In February 2010, as owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Jay-Z hosted a party for fans but instructed bouncers to prohibit whites from entering. The NBA did not investigate this incident and took no disciplinary action against Jay-Z. Donald Sterling has been fined, banned, and will likely be forced to sell the Clippers for “racist” comments illegally recorded in domestic privacy. The Sterling scandal and the hypocrisy involved in the media sensation highlights how the media no longer informs the public of real news, but has descended to reporting tabloid gossip and scandal-mongering while ignoring substance and honesty.
The third and final lesson to be learned from the Donald Sterling scandal is that the false and hypocritical morality of equality is often exploited for political purposes. It isn’t difficult to imagine that over the course of Sterling’s career, he has made enemies. It is certainly possible that someone is exploiting this situation to force Sterling to sell his NBA franchise, creating an opportunity for purchase. It may be that the recorded conversation between Sterling and his former mistress was intended as entrapment to force Sterling out of the league. Steve Sailer speculates that this could be the motivation of someone like Magic Johnson, the frontman in the acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perhaps Johnson is thinking of making a move to purchase the Clippers? Whatever comes of this particular scandal, many clearly use the false sin of “racism” as a way to apply pressure for attaining their own aspirations.
The late Sam Francis wrote about this application of egalitarian morality in his essay, “Equality as a Political Weapon.” Francis recounts a story from the Greek historian Herodotus about Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, who learned that certain nobles of the city were conspiring against him but was unable to discover their identity. He sent a servant to a fellow tyrant, Thrasybulus of Miletus, to seek his advice. Thrasybulus never answered the servant directly, but took him on a tour of his cornfield. As they idly conversed, Thrasybulus cut off the tallest ears of corn and threw them away. By the time that they were finished, the finest crops had been ruined. When the servant returned, Periander inquired about the advice he had received from Thrasybulus. The servant responded that he hadn’t received any advice at all, and he was surprised that he had been sent to consult with a madman bent on destroying his own crops. After describing what Thrasybulus had done, Periander immediately understood the message: Thrasybulus recommended murdering all people in the city of outstanding influence and ability. Periander took the advice, and from that time forward he was able to commit crimes with impunity, as there was no one left to stand in his way. Francis comments,
No one would argue that tyrants such as Thrasybulus and Periander were egalitarians or that they really believed in or were motivated by any doctrine of equality founded in Natural Rights or other pseudo-sciences, yet their use of equality as a weapon to commit the crime of what Stefan Possony and Nathaniel Weyl have called ‘aristocracide,’ the mass murder of the best elements in a society, and to cut down the social constraints and potential threats to their power is not significantly different from the use made of it by modern tyrants, whether they are self-proclaimed egalitarians or global democratists. Indeed, the use of equality as a weapon by the ancient tyrants, like so much else in classical history and literature, is paradigmatic, and in the modern bureaucratic states and managerial regimes, the same application of egalitarianism is made for the same reason, though not always as dramatically as in the days of Periander and Thrasybulus. The irony—not to say the hypocrisy—of modern egalitarianism is that it is used not, as its proponents claim, to restrain or reduce the power of all but to get rid of the power of some while at the same time perpetuating the power of others. It is my view that once this real as opposed to formal meaning of egalitarianism is grasped, the apparent contradiction between egalitarian preaching and egalitarian practice resolves itself, and the invocation of equality, even in sophisticated ideological forms, is seen clearly to be not mere hypocrisy or a logical contradiction, but as the strategic deployment of a weapon for the seizure of power.5
Francis goes on to comment about how new globalist elites have used this understanding of equality to seize power, wealth, and influence from traditional elites by stirring up egalitarian envy among the masses. This is analogous to the Donald Sterling case. Sterling certainly is no aristocrat, and in no way qualifies as a member of the traditional elite. However, the usage of equality and the contrived sins against equality as a political weapon also serves the new elites in their internecine conflicts. Crying racism and invoking egalitarian orthodoxy in order to oust Sterling isn’t qualitatively different from the way that wealth and influence were seized from traditional elites earlier in the twentieth century. No longer do we value the skills of the talented and able, but instead we seek to enforce a code of conformity to a principle with a weak foundation, the principle of equality. Sam Francis was right to argue that very few people actually believe in equality, but that many will use it as a weapon against others to move themselves into greater positions of power and influence in an egalitarian society.
Christians need to be aware that traditional Christian morality has been supplanted in our post-Christian society. Traditional morality rooted in the Law of God has been replaced by the religion and morality of equality. God is still frequently invoked in social discourse, but this is almost always in reference to the god of moralistic therapeutic deism. Likewise, many professed Christians, even those attending ostensibly Christian churches, have a difficult time realizing that their conception of God has subtly and perhaps imperceptibly been changed and shaped by contemporary culture. This change hasn’t contained itself to theology, but has inevitably altered public perceptions of morality and ethics. The concrete moral precepts of the Christian God have been substituted for attitudes and ideas that are supposed to make us feel good. God’s holiness and justice have been lost, niceness and fairness having replaced them. Sin is no longer defined as a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), immoral because of its violating the eternal character of the all-powerful and all-holy God.
Now, sin is defined as that which isn’t “nice,” and what could be nicer than equality? After all, isn’t inequality by definition unfair? The god of moralistic therapeutic deism sees no possibility that inequality could be natural and used for some higher purpose, or that men could ultimately be judged in light of the varied gifts they were given or circumstances they encountered (Matthew 25:14-30; cf. Ecclesiasticus 33:10-13). In this view, morally good actions dissolve barriers and make people more equal, whereas evil actions make people less equal. Consequently, many moralistic therapeutic deists have internalized the egalitarian ethics of atheistic materialism.
Egalitarian ethics is no different from any other non-Christian ethical system in its inherent hypocrisy and internal contradictions. If “racism” simply meant the hatred of another person solely on the basis of his race, then there would be no problem in condemning it. The problem is that this is never what the word means in public discourse. Whites are constantly blamed for all social problems and told that it is impossible to be white and not “racist,” while at the same time, non-whites are given a pass because they supposedly don’t have enough power or influence. Non-whites cannot be racist; therefore “reverse racism does not exist.” To make matters worse, “racism” and egalitarianism are often used as weapons to forcibly defraud whites of our property, culture, and heritage. The hypocrisy inherent in the false religion of equality is simply a modern manifestation of calling good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20).
As a white Christian, you have two options at this point. You can hem and haw about how you’re not really a “racist” and that you’re suitably opposed to politically correct buzzwords like prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance. You can tuck your tail between your legs and run. Or you can man up and realize that these accusations don’t matter, that they are as irrelevant to Christian virtue as accusations of “cooties” when you were younger. You can ignore the pseudo-Christian morality of equality, with all of its hypocrisy, and instead insist that you won’t tolerate this double standard any longer. There is no reason for you to feel guilty about the plethora of false sins which you and your ancestors are supposed to have committed. The Donald Sterling scandal serves as just one more example confirming that the standard of “racism” is and always has been hypocritical and meaningless.
- This article also offers some good analysis of the scandal, while still making some unfortunate overtures to political correctness. ↩
- You could also compare the media coverage Lockett’s execution to the coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. ↩
- For many stories reporting the double standards that are enforced against whites in college and professional sports, see Caste Football. ↩
- Be forewarned, this video contains gratuitous profanities, as if you really needed me to tell you. ↩
- Samuel Francis, “Equality as a Political Weapon,” Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America’s Culture War (ed. Peter B. Gemma, 2006), pp. 206-207. ↩