Yesterday, I watched CNN’s Anderson Cooper interview with Donald Sterling followed by Magic Johnson’s response. Needless to say, there was a lot of blog material within the first 3 minutes! Donald Sterling should have never brought up Magic Johnson but since he did I thought I’d blog about it:
Donald, you profess to be active in your Jewish faith so let’s take it to the Old Testament. In the book of 2 Samuel, there is the infamous story of David & Bathsheba where David, King of Israel, takes another man’s wife to be his own but not before having an affair with her. Of all the women he could’ve chosen he decides to take one who is already married. They got pregnant but the Lord ends up allowing their newborn to die. Does any of this seem familiar – A very high & powerful man breaks up a marriage because of a beautiful woman and ends up losing his firstborn son? Hhhmmm….
Donald Sterling is no doubt a racist but he seems to have particular aught with Magic Johnson namely because of his HIV status. It sounds like he feels that Magic doesn’t “deserve” to be as successful as he is because of his sordid past. Hhhmm…..I DO understand his point, however, I DO NOT agree.
First let’s address Donald Sterling’s comments about Magic Johnson’s achievements in the community. He said & I quote:
“What has he done? Can you tell me? He’s got AIDS. Big Magic Johnson – what has he done?”
“Did he help anybody in South LA?”
“What does he do for the Black people? The Jewish people have a company & it’s for people who want to borrow money at no interest. They want to give them a fishing pole; they wanna help people. He does nothing. It’s all talk.”
There is no doubt that Magic Johnson has done a lot for the urban community including business ventures that employ minorities throughout not only Los Angeles but also across the country. His business partnerships with corporations like Burger King, Aetna and Washington Mutual prove this. Countless jobs have been created, as well as his presence alone has diversified many executive boards and corporate offices alike.
According to CNN, the same month he tested positive for HIV in 1991 he formed the Magic Johnson Foundation which “works to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.” In the past 23 years, his foundation has raised more than $20 million for charity and given out almost $4 million in scholarships. In other words, he’s brought business to minority communities & has helped students obtain higher education. His focus has always been on serving diverse communities, bringing high-quality businesses to minority areas typically underserved by larger corporations. And Johnson seemed to invest in nearly everything — theaters, restaurants, fitness centers, sports teams and a TV network. Currently, Johnson’s entire empire is estimated at $500 million and he’s only 54 years old. (To read more about his organization, click here).
Donald Sterling goes on to say, “What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background.”
But let’s be clear – Magic Johnson didn’t sleep with every woman in every city. Even if he did sleep around a lot, it only takes one time to catch HIV or AIDS. But why should he go into the background because of it?
Life is unfair. You can create one of the most notable companies of all time worth over $650 billion but still die young of cancer – look at Steve Jobs. Or you can win 6 Grammy’s and overdose on drugs – just ask Amy Winehouse. She was so young, so famous but was responsible for her own demise. Oh & let’s not forget about Kim Kardashian who rose to fame because of a simple (and might I add not a very good) sex tape. She’s now worth $40 million just for ‘sleeping around’. How is that fair? There are plenty of women who are highly educated, hard workers, attractive & smarter but don’t have any of these things? The answer is simple: Life isn’t fair. Good people end up getting hurt, nice people don’t always win, smart people don’t always make the most money and there are those who have brought misfortune upon themselves but still end up making it big. Donald, it’s called life. The pretty girl doesn’t always win the crown.
My question to you, Donald Sterling, is how is it fair in your mind that your mistress got a $1.8 million dollar condo, multiple Bentley’s and hundreds of thousands in other gifts but she didn’t work, didn’t go to college & has no legitimate transferable job skills? You’ve given more to her than your own charitable foundation, the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation. Never mind the fact that you are still married, but showcasing your mistress at all of your games with courtside seats. What will you tell your own grandchildren? How is that for respect, Donald?
In Magic Johnson’s case, he contracted HIV but ended up very wealthy. Instead of fading into the background he has chosen to step up & use his fame and fortune for good. He has chosen to further HIV & AIDS awareness, employ tens of thousands of people, donate to charity on a consistent basis & promote higher education. Sterling, on the other hand has seemingly donated less than 1% of his nearly $2 billion fortune (see LA Times article here).
Does Magic Johnson deserve all that he has? He deserves that & more because to whom much is given, much is required. He’s proven his commitment to the urban community. Donald Sterling, if you’re so “jealous” of Magic Johnson then why don’t you step up & match his contributions dollar for dollar? Why don’t you partner with him & seek to help build up the lives of the people that you hold in such low regard? As we say in my community, “Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
At the end of his CNN interview Donald Sterling says, “If I said anything wrong, I’m sorry.” Well, Donald Sterling, you finally got something right – you ARE sorry.