Rooting out racism

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made it easy for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to issue Sterling a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine this week. The racism Sterling expressed a secretly taped discussion with his girlfriend was so blatant and so out of place for someone who has profited so much from the efforts of black athletes made it difficult for Silver to do anything less.

In the same way, Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy made it next to impossible for conservative politicians and supporters to stick by him after he expressed the opinion that black Americans may have been better off under slavery, where they at least learned how to pick cotton, than under the modern welfare system.

Such flabbergasting racism is easy to identify and easy to denounce.

But it’s harder to identify the more subtle forms of racism that persist in our society, and much harder to root it out. There are still barriers, not as blatant but just as harmful, for minorities in housing, in employment and in education. They may be disguised, below the surface, but they are there.

We should be on guard to recognize the subtle racists as well as the blatant ones, and be just as disgusted by them, in order to root it out.

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