Banned for life

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While the Sentinel’s editorial endorsement of the NBA’s decisive response to Donald Sterling’s racism (“Banned for Life”) is commendable, it facilely condemns the obvious while ignoring more subtle manifestations of deeply-ingrained societal nativism.

Particularly troubling are two previous editorials: “Nevada grazing standoff reignites a festering feud” (April 15, 2014) and “Court ruling reflects progress on equality” (April 24, 2014).

Only when Cliven Bundy revealed himself to be an unrepentant racist did “conservative” Republicans abandon their “hero worship” of that free-loading “welfare cowboy” – but not their perverse definition of “patriot” (gun-toting anti-Constitutionalists using women and children as shields and positioned to assassinate conscientious federal officials).

However, the Sentinel has still not reported that the factual predicate of its sympathy for that “festering feud” – that the Bundy’s had been grazing cattle there since 1877 – was bogus.  Consequently, its anti-government readers don’t know that the Bundy’s acquired the base property in 1948 and first grazed cattle on the disputed federal lands in 1954. 

Likewise, while the Sentinel equivocatingly applauded the Supreme Court’s retreat from affirmative action and Voting Rights protections, it ignored the inference that the Court’s “conservative” majority’s stated “belief” in “vast improvements” was merely convenient ideologically-driven justification to dismantle the successful legal protections that had made more meager improvements possible in the first place.

Similarly, the Sentinel noted that “we have twice elected a [half-] black president to lead our country”, which for some affords “a compelling justification for a re-examination of affirmative action in this country”.

However, an overlay of maps depicting opposition to “ObamaCare”, support for voter suppression, average education levels, rural poverty, and the “Old South” suggests that President Obama’s elections actually re-ignited latent racism, and that the Court’s rulings have given the Donald Sterlings, the Cliven Bundys, and like-minded local “Tea Partiers” license to more virulently express themselves.

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