Clive Bundy is toast. The Nevada rancher who for years has been fighting the feds over grazing rights on public land finally showed his true colors when he spouted off his views about the African-American race in a New York Times interview this past week. It took a nanosecond for his staunch friends in Congress to jump ship and denounce his views, including Rand Paul and Sean Hannity, although some think it took Senator Paul too long in making his public denouncement.
Donald Sterling is toast. Sterling is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a NBA basketball team. Yesterday a recorded phone conversation with his (now ex) girlfriend was released, where he appears to be scolding her for public displays of affection with black friends, and famous ones at that. Here is a link to the audio of the phone conversation. Given that the NBA is comprised of mostly black players, players who make a lot of money for team owners like Sterling, his views are revolting and beyond hypocritical.
The similarities between these guys perspectives is startling. Yet, the trigger mechanisms of their looming downfalls were different. Bundy’s comments were made during an interview with a high powered newspaper, where he knew the conversation was being recorded. Desperate to maintain public support and interest in his cause after the feds went home, he decided to bear his soul. Bad move. On the other hand, Sterling revealed his views in a supposedly private phone conversation that was secretly recorded. Nevertheless, the statements revealed his true beliefs.
Without a PR team to help with damage control, Bundy stepped in it even deeper in a follow up interview this week. On the other hand, Sterling likely has a boatload of lawyers and PR professionals working overtime this weekend, and has not yet said a word. Given the swift international reaction to his comments, including one from the President, and a reported past history of discrimination, they face a daunting task.
Both morons will soon reap what they have sown. I predict Sterling’s demise will be swift and spectacular. Already, there are calls to boycott Clippers games, prompting an elegant and dignified Twitter response from the coach’s son. I can’t imagine a scenario where Sterling is allowed to keep the team, nor do I think he should. If he is smart, he’ll immediately begin transferring ownership of the team to someone else. The damage has been done, and there is no amount of spin, apology statements or Instagram pictures with black players that will change it.
On the other hand, with the loss of congressional political support, I predict Bundy will eventually pay the piper, but, in a much less public way. The government can be infinitely patient, especially with the lessons learned at Waco. Administrative penalties and seizures will slowly strangle his bank accounts and resources. His cause requires ongoing public interest, and without it he’s just another disgruntled, has been right wing rancher trying to buck the system.
Gee, I wonder what Paula Deen and Phil Robertson are thinking right about now?