Dear Mr. Donald Sterling,
I know there has been a lot of discussion and furor over your recent comments about Black players in the NBA. The whole Internet blew up. I saw your interview with Anderson Cooper where you explained your actions and apologized. “I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt.”
I can relate; I’ve made mistakes myself. One time, I drank PBR and everyone at the bar called me a hipster. Am I entitled to one mistake? It was a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again. Ok, fine! I did it again. PBR is just so good and it’s all I could afford. But I’m not a hipster!
Look Mr. Sterling, the truth is I don’t know you; we’ve never met. I’m not in a position to judge your character, qualities or intentions. But I was one of those people hurt by the insensitive comments you made toward Black players and minorities. As an Asian-American, I’ve been on the short end of comments like those too.
So I will take you at your word when you said “I’ve never been a racist. It’s not me.” But I hope you learn, recognize and acknowledge that one doesn’t need to be a racist in order to make racist comments. Just like it doesn’t take a person with super powers to be a hero, a White male to be a good leader, or an Asian to be good at math. Anyone can do it.
Mr. Sterling, here are 17 examples of how everyday, well-intentioned, non-racist people can (sometimes unknowingly) do racist things. Or for anyone who would freely admit to being a racist, here are 17 tips to help you become an even better racist.
- Avoid talking about race. Minorities can vote now. We have a Black president. Why are we still talking about this?
- Don’t use the “n word,” but words like Oriental, Gook and Chink are ok since they apply to Asians—who are still foreigners.
- Only associate with people who look, talk and think differently than you. There is strength in numbers. How else can a group of hipsters, who have collectively made many poor life choices, be proliferating at such an exponential rate?
- Make important decisions for minorities, because…ya know, they don’t know any better. If you need help with this, consider joining a non-profit board, running for political office, or owning a sport franchises.
- Have at least one friend who is a minority to demonstrate diversity and competency. It’s like having a real life personal Siri. “Siri, are Asians good drivers?” “Error. Does not compute.”
- Stop being recorded saying stupid things and post anonymous comments on the Internet instead.
- Help others understand that all of your life achievements are due to hard work and perseverance. Minorities, on the other hand, are lazy. Otherwise, they’d be just as successful as you.
- Jeremy Lin is Asian. All Asians are terrible at sports. Ergo…Jeremy Lin is terrible at sports. Wait… wait a minute. That doesn’t sound right….Jeremy Lin is pretty good. All Asians are terrible at sports. That’s all you need to know.
- Form negative associations between minorities and bad things. For example, blame foreigners for stealing jobs. Do you hear that Justin Beiber! We’re gonna take back American entertainment!
- Tell people to lighten up when you make jokes about race. It’s just a joke! And besides, minorities do it all the time.
- Acknowledge that immigration reform is perhaps one of the most pressing social issues of our time. But remember, America is first-come, first-served and that’s why recent immigrants and undocumented workers need to keep waiting in line if they want equal opportunity.
- Wear cultural dresses and garments like a costume. Looking like a skimpy geisha for Halloween is really flattering to Asian-Americans. Bonus points for putting chopsticks in your hair.
- Use minorities as mascots. What better way to honor a group of people?
- Always check your wallets, phones and other personal belongings when you’re near a person of color.
- If you want to learn about Vietnamese culture, ask a Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or White person.
- Demand that English should be the only language spoken in the United States.
- Do not get involved with other people’s acts of racism. Racism is not a team sport. Simply ignore it and move about your day.
Author’s note: Do not use these tips to become a better racist! This post uses satire to highlight how racism and racist actions, though related, are completely different things. Please use your time in more productive ways, like recycling and composting.