Leave it to Bill Kristol to rush to the defense of racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of his latest statement putting his bigotry on display. Ironically, Kristol says that we should judge Sterling by his actions rather than his statements:
Conservative pundit Bill Kristol on Sunday urged people to judge NBA team owner Don Sterling by his “deeds,” and not to “go hysterical over two or three sentences” where he tells his girlfriend to stay away from black men…
But on Sunday, Kristol admitted that Sterling was “bigoted and foolish,” but accused his detractors going “hysterical” over a few sentences.
“I’m a little hesitant to… everyone goes hysterical over two or three sentences, but lets look at the actual deeds of people,” he said. “If people discriminate, it’s against the law, they should be punished.”
Okay Bill, let’s judge Sterling by his deeds. The Department of Justice sued him for racial discrimination in his housing holdings. He ended up settling that suit for almost $3 million, but here’s some of what was revealed in that suit:
Sterling is also the Slumlord Billionaire, a man who made his fortune by building low-income housing, and then, according to a Justice Department lawsuit, developing his own racial quota system to decide who gets the privilege of renting his properties. In November of 2009, Sterling settled the suit with the US Department of Justice for $2.73 million, the largest ever obtained by the government in a discrimination case involving apartment rentals. Reading the content of the suit makes you want to shower with steel wool. Sterling just said no to rent to non-Koreans in Koreatown and just said hell-no to African-Americans looking for property in plush Beverly Hills. Sterling, who has a Blagojevichian flair for the language, says he did not like to rent to “Hispanics” because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” He also stated that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
The Slumlord Billionaire has a healthy legal paper trail, which creates a collage of someone very good at extorting rents from the very poor. In 1986, the spiking of rents in his Beverly Hills properties—the so-called “slums of Beverly Hills”—led to a large march by tenants on City Hall.
In 2001, Sterling was sued successfully by the City of Santa Monica on charges that he harassed and threatened to evict eight tenants living in three rent-controlled buildings…
And in 2005, Sterling settled a housing-discrimination lawsuit filed by the Housing Rights Center, which represented more than a dozen of his tenants. He paid nearly $5 million in legal fees for the plaintiffs—a staggering amount—along with a reportedly massive, albeit confidential, sum. Not all the plaintiffs, though, lived to see their windfall. Court documents state that on July 12, 2002, “Kandynce Jones was under threat of eviction by [Sterling] even though she had never missed a rent payment. Ms. Jones, who is a senior citizen and a person with a disability, suffered a stroke caused by the stress [of Sterling’s] housing practices. On July 21, 2003, Ms. Jones passed away as a result of that stroke.”
I say let’s judge him by his actions and his words, both of which prove that Sterling is a racist. And there is nothing remotely “hysterical” about that conclusion.