- - Monday, May 5, 2014

The rules have now been changed, and our surrender to the Masters of Political Correctness has been completed with a human sacrifice. We are now on the top of the biggest, most dangerous water slide/slippery slope to come our way, and the media and a great majority of our fellow citizens are on the wrong side of history.

So, let me get this straight: I break up with my girlfriend, and she pushs all my emotional buttons. I say something in the heat of the moment, she records it, I then lose millions of dollars and become the most hated man in America? Oh, and by the way, the guy I was warning her to stay away from “coincidentally” just happens to be one of the top candidates everyone is suggesting should buy my property, at a nice fire sale price!

Welcome to 2014 America and the day our right to our private thoughts and expression have ended.

I can’t believe I’m defending this guy, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. I don’t like him, his attitudes, or his character. I don’t like his team, and I don’t like comments he has made that have enraged the nation. In the past, Sterling has been sued for discriminating against blacks and Hispanics in his property rentals. He once said he thought black tenants “smell and attract vermin.” In my most humble opinion, this guy is garbage.

But none of this was a problem for him before. Just last week, he was set to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP. What sank him was a recorded conversation this 81-year-old man had with his 31-year-old mistress, in which he yelled at her for posting pictures of herself with Magic Johnson on Instagram, among other things.

If you haven’t seen the video, here’s the link.

As a result, the NBA banned Sterling for LIFE, and fined him $2.5 million. Now they’re trying to force him to sell the Clippers, although he says he won’t do it, and this all happened in less than a week.

Again, I’m no fan, but wasn’t Sterling’s right to privacy violated along the way? His girlfriend claims he consented to the recording for “archiving” purposes. Right! Do you think he intended their breakup conversation to show up on TMZ? He’s getting fined, banned, and maybe even forced to sell his team for something he said in a fight with his girlfriend?

Maybe he is a racist, and he says ugly things. Are we really going to start punishing private speech and thought crimes with multimillion dollar fines? Will we be punishing everyone who says anything in private that a group doesn’t like? If so, I look forward to the recordings of all the currently outraged players in their locker rooms. I’m sure the expletives and comments towards woman, gays and other groups will be as pure as Ivory Soap.

Another part of the tape, released after Sterling got in hot water, has his girlfriend pointing out that his aversion to her bringing black people to his basketball games is odd, since most of the players on his team are black. He replies, “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?” Some people say this comment indicates a “plantation mentality” on his part. But the players aren’t being forced with threats of death if they don’t play, and plantation owners didn’t pay millions of dollars for field work. People of all colors have made fortunes working with Donald Sterling.

He has already received awards from the NAACP, the Special Olympics, and he was even named the Humanitarian of the Year once. All of that counts for absolutely nothing when he says something unpleasant during a private conversation? His words are evidently of far greater importance than his deeds. What should the new schoolyard saying be? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can always destroy me.”

You don’t have to agree with a single word Sterling said in order to feel uneasy about what’s happening. That’s the point: A commitment to free expression means defending unpopular speech. Defending what everyone agrees with is easy. The Sterling Affair is just the latest incident that suggests our Republic is losing its appetite for working hard to protect the speech that is offensive to some group or person. We have turned into a culture of “Professional Victims” where everybody is out looking to see who can be offended first and most.

This is what our Founding Fathers feared most — Democracy, the rule of the mob. Allowing the emotions of the moment to outweigh the consideration of the facts and the future.

Now is the time to act with caution, not speed. Destroying a man, no matter how disgusting he might be, for an opinion said in private, is not the direction we want to go. Just think about that last fight you had with your spouse or a heated moment during a divorce. Would you want that recording posted and promoted on YouTube?

Do you think what has happened to Donald Sterling was fair and the right thing to do? Or do you agree with me, the only speech that needs protecting is speech that others may not like.

Comment here on The Washington Times website. Until our next briefing, this is the Rusty Humphries Rebellion.

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