Freedom of expression takes a hit on the chin

This is called political correctness gone berserk.

A basketball team owner happens to be a perfect moron. Proof: he’s over 80 years old, and takes a 25-year-old concubine.

She, at least in his view, cheats on him, and she does so with much younger men of her own racial background.

Whether she really DOES cheat is another matter, it’s the perception that counts.

So, he tells her he’d rather if she ceased bringing these young men into his arena, and entertain them there. In a taped conversation that is so obviously staged one is shocked nobody’s noticed, he makes the demand and mentions the colour of those men’s skin in the process.

By the way, this whole scenario is called entrapment, and it is illegal.

The concubine proceeds to share the tape with others. And all hell breaks loose.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver takes only three days to ban said owner, one Donald Sterling, from the league for life. He fines him $2.5 million. And he tells all and sundry he wants the other owners to force Donald Sterling to sell his team.

Everybody’s happy and dancing with joy. What courage! We’re telling bigoted racists where to take off, at long last! We’ve taken a stand! Happy, happy, joy, joy!

What Commissioner Silver did was he blackmailed the other owners. They can see very clearly what kind of reaction they would have on their hands if they refused.

Different options?

Of course, and what if owner Sterling refuses to sell? He bought the Clippers in 1981 for a measly $12 million, moved them from San Diego to Los Angeles and the club could bring him a cool $1 billion. Even considering inflation, this would be a nice piece of income.

But does he really have to sell? Not really. So, what does NBA do if he tells them to go fly a kite? Will they take his franchise away? The only thing they can do is say Clippers no longer belong in the NBA. The league will be minus a team. Does the NBA realize this might cost a certain number of players their jobs?

The Clippers will be gone: does the NBA have a huge lineup of potential owners who would be ready to shell out at least a billion bucks? And even if the NBA finds another owner, Clippers’ players are and will be bound by contracts signed with the Clippers, they won’t be able to just pick up and go. Granted, those contracts had to be approved by the league office but they are still contracts between those players and the Clippers, not between the players and the league.

But these are frightfully minor issues.

Freedom for some, not others

Here’s the major issue: where’s freedom of expression gone? See, freedoms are indivisible. Just as women can’t be partially pregnant, so it goes with freedoms. You can’t ban a certain kind of speech just because it’s racist or otherwise offensive.

A little aside here: who’s made all those Clippers’ players multiple millionaires? Why, their owner, the guy, that is, who’s paying their wages. How many of those guys are (to use a politically correct term) African-American? Looking at NBA rosters in general, and the Clippers’ roster in particular, how does more than 90 per cent sound?

The cancer of political correctness has been spreading very dangerously the last few years. Now, it seems, it is metastasing. For those lucky enough not to have had encountered cancer closely: mestastasing is the stage of cancer where the disease spreads to other organs, most of them originally healthy, and starts killing them one after another. It’s also considered the final stage of cancer.

Back to the issue.

Democracy and freedom go hand in hand. Once the state, or anybody else, for that matter, begins making decisions on what is and what is not acceptable expression, we’re getting on the most slippery slope that leads straight to the hell of dictatorship. And it does not matter one iota whether speech some want to ban is offensive to many or to few.

Shockers

We’ve been seeing this kind of things more and more often these past few years.

How does a society of lawyers give itself the right to say it wouldn’t acknowledge law degrees earned at a church-based college? (Happened in the two most enlightened provinces of Canada. Can’t guess? Why, British Columbia, at first, and Ontario, too.)

A group defined by its sexual orientation tries to impose itself on a St. Patrick’s Day parade. When told, yes, everyone’s welcome, except we’d rather you came and joined us as individuals, not as a movement of persons keen on demonstrating their sexual preferences, all kinds of excrement hit the fan. Even a polite explanation doesn’t help: perhaps you should consider the name of the festivities: it’s a Saint, it’s a Catholic Saint, to boot, and the Catholic church has certain misgivings about this issue. Nobody’s forcing you to become Catholic, so, pray, don’t force us to accept your sexual demonstrations.

Who got in trouble? If you guessed the St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers, you know your country well. And if you elaborated that it must have happened in British Columbia, congratulations.

There’s a theory making rounds: most of those who claim they are victims of this or that politically incorrect behaviour suffer, first and foremost, from inferiority complex.

A story, a personal observation: many years, decades, even, ago, a group of Jewish students arrived in a Communist country capital to take part in some festival. And the Communist youth officials, trained in anti-semitism, one and all, were walking around, hissing rather loudly: Jews! Jews! The Jewish kids asked what were their hosts saying. When hearing the translation, they shrugged and ignored their hosts. Asked why don’t they go and punch those idiots out, they shrugged again and said: But why? We are Jews all right. If they have a problem with that, it’s their problem. We have no problem with being Jewish.

And that was the end of it.

Yes, yes, yes, African-Americans have had the history of racial discrimination and whatnot. To be precise: great-grandparents and grandparents of today’s young African-Americans had that experience. Not today’s NBA players. African-Americans who are rich beyond most people’s understanding.

But: which was one of the first countries in the world to fight and win the war against slavery? Why, their own country, the United States. And yet, way too many of them act as if this kind of subhuman treatment existed still. Which is why, perhaps, so many of them convert to Islam and give themselves Muslim names. If they knew their history, they would have known whence their ancestors’ enslavement came. If they only paid attention at school, they would have known who still believes slavery is an excellent source of cheap labour force.

But all of this was years ago. This is now.

To get back to the NBA. The players said if the Clippers owner’s case was not solved with all speed and to their full satisfaction, they would boycott their games. Three cheers! So, the employees will be telling their employers how they can speak and what is and what is not permissible speech.

Here’s the answer they should have heard: fancy you telling us that. Here’s the list of wages you’re going to forfeit if you ignore work you’ve signed up to do.

Instead, they get to dance and cheer just because an old moron was livid that his unacceptably younger concubine was cheating on him too openly.

This is a day we should all be ashamed of, not a day to be proud of.

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