News of Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s racism has opened up an interesting line of conversation.

While most people wondered whether or not Clippers players would suit up for Sunday’s game, and if African-American fans would stage a boycott, very few people wondered what other communities should—and would—do.

At first, I was content to have this conversation on Facebook, but then Gawker ran an article calling Black people punks, and I kind of got in my feelings.

The article, provocatively titled “Black People Are Cowards,” argues that modern African-Americans readily accept subpar treatment because we’ve lost the will to fight.

Rapper Homeboy Sandman writes:

In all the history I’ve ever studied, in all the fiction I’ve ever read, I am hard pressed to find an example of cowardice to rival the modern day black American, and nobody wants to be surrounded by cowards right?

… If you’re black, or white, and you go back to work after finding out that your boss is grossed out at the idea of being in the same vicinity with any black person except for the cutie he’s sugar daddy to, I’m pretty sure you’re not who I want in my corner during crunch time. Real crunch time. Life crunch time.

… I call us cowards.

It’s almost as if people have forgotten that struggle includes struggling. You might have to lose your job. You might have to lose your life. That’s what it takes for change to happen. There’s no easy way to do this. If you’re scared to stand up for yourself, for whatever reason, all I ask is that you stop pretending. Stop with the Facebook posts. Stop with the meaningless conversations. Just stop. Be honest. About how you behave. About your part in all this madness. About what you are. A coward. Just a coward. No need to put on an act for the rest of us. We can all see right through each other.

Listen, I understand Homeboy Sandman’s frustration. When it comes to issues of voting rights, police brutality, education, income inequality, wage equality, healthcare—African-Americans as a whole could stand to do a better job of organizing and advocating for our community. But this doesn’t mean people aren’t already doing this work, or Black people have a monopoly on complacency.

From coast to coast, African-Americans like Rev. William Barber and the Moral Monday movement are pushing back against institutionalized inequality in America, but when it comes to fighting racism and bigotry, why are African-Americans always expected to fight alone?

Many were upset the Black Clippers’ players chose to play in Sunday’s playoff game, but very few wondered if their White/Latino counterparts—or fans or Clippers employees—would follow suit.


Why are Black people—who are often the most economically and socially vulnerable—always expected to risk our lives, livelihoods, and futures to protest racism (that affects more than just Black folk) when we are but one part of the system?

Though I understand their frustration, I hope those calling the Clippers’ players cowards are also directing their criticism toward everyone in the organization who claim to abhor racism.

At the end of the day, expecting Black people to carry the anti-racism torch, while refusing to require others to join in the fight, lets everyone else off the hook and does little to foster equality.

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  • Cranium Rinse

    I’m not interested in performing outrage for white people (or the fools who willing throw blacks under the bus for a few mouse clicks).

  • God is My Mojo

    Everyone knows that the Clipper Players response to Donald Sterlings antics was IMPOTENT and WEAK. Just like when Jay-Z continued to work with Barney’s after they racially profiled black people as thieves. The PR spin knows no bounds. But these are the times we’re living in where Black People are well paid puppets unwilling to sacrifice their “creature comforts” for the greater good and this is why they’ll never be great like Martin, Malcolm, Harriet Tubman, Muhummad Ali, Medgar Evers and those who put meaning in the word “sacrifice.” They are well paid slaves and turning your jersey inside out means nothing. So it will be business as usual as they bounce the ball and continue to work for an owner who has a proven history of believing that blacks are three fifths human give or take the few that he’s screwed to whet his appetite. *Gag*

  • SimplePseudonym

    Meh. I ignored that article for as long as I could b/c of the race-bait click-bait title, then I finally succumbed and tried to read it and couldn’t get through the entire thing.

    First, to answer your question, black people don’t fight racism alone and are often supported by whites and other non-black Americans. [see attached photo]

    Second, do other racial groups write such derogatory pieces about their people? I wonder if there are Irish/Indian/Peruvian/etc. websites that I don’t know about where the men and women are constantly going at it, dogging each other out and attributing effects of poverty, lack of education, etc. to just being typical, disappointing Irishmen/Indians/Peruvians/etc. and titles like “Irishmen/Indians/Peruvians/etc. are Cowards” and documentaries about how Irishmen/Indians/Peruvians/etc. are traveling to other countries to find mates because Irish/Indian/Peruvian/etc. men/women are the absolute WORST.

    Third, a friend of mine wrote an excellent comment about this on fb. Basically, the Civil Rights Movement was in the 1960s! People who were ADULTS during that era are still alive, which means it wasn’t that friggin long ago. Yes, things aren’t perfect, but we’ve got black American doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, etc. and a black president in less than one lifetime, but then people want to call us cowards and claim that we’re not moving fast enough. Are you serious?! In most other countries, when the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended, the Europeans left the countries and the blacks (and Indians) were able to build their country and become doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, etc. without offending any white person’s ego- and a lot of them STILL struggle. In the USA, however, the whites stayed and we have to navigate a system not built for us to succeed, we’ve made all of these strides, and people want to criticize black American people for not having done enough? As the people say on the Internet, “Bye, Felicia!”

  • justus

    Well like anything else we are in a system of white supremacy. Either that is true or not true. I think we can agree on that. Victims people who are not classified as white especially those classified as black really need to grasp a global view. We are dominated by these people by extreme violence and the rule of law. Economics is an illusion held by people who can defend it. If u can not defend your land, family, and culture u are thru. That is why u will get victims mad at Clipper players and will get their but up and go to the plantation and get mistreated on a daily and suffer in silence. We have to stop attacking each other and identify the scope and counter. Peace.

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