The NAACP has a lot of explaining to do, and it goes way beyond their plan (now cancelled) to honor Donald Sterling a lifetime achievement award next month:
Indeed, the NAACP seems to suffer from amnesia. Almost exactly five years ago, a similar controversy arose when the civil rights group honored Sterling with the same award! At the time, Elgin Baylor, who served as the Clippers general manager from 1986 to 2008, had just filed an age and racial discrimination suit against Sterling. According to Baylor, Sterling had a “Southern plantation” view, preferring to field a team of “poor black boys from the South … playing for a white coach.”
Despite the controversy, the NAACP proceeded to give Sterling its award, even though the billionaire’s track record of housing discrimination against African Americans, compounded by the brouhaha with Baylor, was already well-known. To justify the 2009 award, the president of the Los Angeles branch told the Los Angeles Times that Sterling “has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A,” revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game.” (Of course, Sterling may simply have wanted to fill the many empty seats at the woeful Clippers’ home games).
The NAACP’s love affair with Sterling apparently knew no limits. The group had already given Sterling its Presidents Award in 2008, according to Sterling’s own website, which is primarily devoted to a long list of the many honors bestowed on him by various charitable groups to which he’s contributed.
Sterling’s remarks to his ex-girlfriend are trivial compared to the damage done to African Americans by his real estate companies, which was well-known by the time the NAACP started showering him with honors.