[Marxism] ZCommunications » What Helped Bring Donald Sterling Down?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 1 09:01:54 MDT 2014

Almost a century ago, WEB Du Bois called for workers actions not for 
higher wages or medical benefits but against racism. He believed that if 
the power of wealthy bigots could be crippled economically, then racist 
laws would go by the wayside. The importance of the “strike against 
racism” is rarely taught in school, but a critical part of our history.

“In the midst of the Great Depression, as workers were organizing and 
striking, Du Bois made the case in his magisterial Black Reconstruction 
in America (1935) that it was the ‘general strike’ launched by the 
slaves themselves against the peculiar institution which set the stage 
for Emancipation,” labor historian Peter Rachleff said to me. “The 
slaves’ heroic efforts would be echoed a century later in Memphis, 
Tennessee, when Black sanitation workers on strike for dignity and 
respect as higher wages, and fair work rules, emblazoned their picket 
signs with the simple mantra, ‘I AM A MAN.’ Our labor history is 
peppered with such stories, which all too often have remained ‘untold 
stories.’ If more of us knew more of these stories, our ability to 
engage the present and shape the future would be strengthened.”

That history was built upon this week when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver 
levied his unprecedented lifetime ban against Los Angeles Clippers owner 
Donald Sterling. Yes, Sterling’s racism had become a liability to the 
NBA’s business interests. Yes, sponsors were leaving in droves. But now 
we also know that in the days before Adam Silver levied this punishment, 
he had word that players had planned to walk off the court before the 
start of Tuesday night’s playoff games.

As Marcus Thompson II wrote for the San Jose Mercury News:

“The plan was set, the product of a 30-minute players meeting. The 
Warriors were going to go through pre-game warm-ups and take part in the 
national anthem and starting line-up introductions. They were going to 
take the floor for the jump ball, dapping up the Clippers players as is 
customary before games.

Then once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk off. All 
15 of them.

full: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/what-helped-bring-donald-sterling-down/

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