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