Jay Bookman’s column at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is extra brilliant today.
Today’s post was contributed by Rob Teilhet, an Atlanta attorney and former state legislator.
In the span of about 72 hours since Donald Sterling was revealed as a racist on audiotape, the NBA moved decisively by banning him for life and setting in motion a process that will force him to sell his team. There is no place in the NBA for a racist. It has been awesome to see an organization not only get it, but act on it without hesitation.
There is another issue that I wish we would move on with the same urgency: violence against women.
Just as I heard Donald Sterling on tape describing his abhorrent views regarding race, I also saw on videotape Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his girlfriend’s limp body through a casino lobby. Her body was limp because he had beaten her unconscious in front of several witnesses minute before. He is still in the NFL and is still a Raven.
The Tallahassee Police Department declined to investigate an alleged sexual assault of a female student by a football player at the local university, an activity that had been videotaped. Had the tape been obtained and witnesses interviewed at the time of the report, we would probably know whether the assault that was alleged took place. Now, we’ll never know. Everyone involved with the exception of the alleged victim continues in the same capacity they were in before, and no one has been sanctioned or faced discipline in any way for any of it.
In Ann Arbor, the placekicker and star left tackle were alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault and subsequent harassment of the victim. For four years no action was taken. The placekicker was eventually expelled from school–after his eligibility had expired. In the FSU and Michigan cases, the federal government will require some answers for why these public universities chose to do so little. The investigations into the institution’s inaction will last months, probably even years. Would we have accepted that timeline for Mr. Sterling?
And just this morning, I read that we still do not know the answer to what seems to be a relatively simple question: Did Vanderbilt’s then-football coach contact a woman in the days after she made a sexual assault report against four of the team’s players and if he did, what was the nature and purpose of that contact? That is an easy question to find out the answer to, yet it has not been done. It hasn’t been done either because no one in authority cares whether it happened or they don’t want to know the answer. Both are unacceptable.
The saddest part is that I could keep going all morning. When women are the victims, there is so very little action, and it is so very, very late. And people seem to be largely o.k. with that.
Maybe if you had three daughters, you’d feel differently.
The flack over L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments is well-deserved. While the players, fans, media, and public chew the NBA team owner up, Sterling is guilty of much more than being an anti-Semitic racist.
Sterling is also a bastion of sexism. He tells his girlfriend ((he’s had several according to news reports) that he can, “find a girl who will do what I want” if she won’t. Add the condescending tone he uses in the recording making the rounds, and it is clear that women are disposable goods to him.
Sterling is making headline news with his hate-filled views, but sexism is still all too prevalent in our world, in both blatant and subtle ways. This ad appears in the May issue of the Georgia EMC magazine:
Written in the first person, the ad copy includes,”This watch doesn’t do dainty. And neither do I. Call me old-fashioned, but I want my boots to be leather, my tires to be tread monsters, and my steak thick and rare. Inspiration for a man’s watch should come from things like fast cars, firefighters, and power tools.”
I checked the Stauer site and fortunately they have watches designed for women complete with flowers on the watch face. None of the watches include digital choices. Is this code for “digital isn’t for women, just manly men?”
The flowery women’s watches didn’t include a description of what a woman who owns one of their fine timepieces might eat or drive. I’m guessing Stauer’s target market is women who drive hybrid cars to luncheons, where they fuss over tiny tea sandwiches and petit fours. Then they check their watches so they can get home and have dinner ready for Ward, Wally, and the Beav.