My response to a post at EPJ:
“The second lesson that should be taken away from this episode of "He's a racist" is that that there really is nothing wrong with a person wanting to hang around with a group he feels comfortable with and there is nothing wrong with a person having such a conversation with his girlfriend. Nothing.”
Assuming the recording is accurate….
There may be nothing wrong with it, other than stupidity.
Donald Sterling makes his living in an industry that employs blacks. He sells TV rights to providers whose audience is also composed of blacks. He sells tickets to many black fans.
He (and Robert Wenzel) might be technically correct on every point, but the market will decide how they feel about this. There is no doubt that such comments will come with a backlash to both Sterling and the league – boycotts, pressure via public media, etc. It may not be technically right, but in this world it is real and in every world such a non-violent backlash would be just (and certainly no violation of the NAP in the backlash).
“He is not violating the non-aggression principle.”
Correct, he isn’t. But that doesn’t make this smart. It doesn’t mean he will (or even should) avoid consequences.
The thick libertarians have a point – but not the one they are trying to make. What many of them are after (the “I-love-everybody” society) must be recognized, just not within the framework of the NAP. The NAP, after all, does not provide a complete framework for life.
We still live in this world; ideas and statements (and actions) have consequences. These consequences must be considered if one wants to survive in this world.
Let’s not go all PC on this. PC is another gray line; where each of us draws the line is subjective and personal, for example: There is nothing wrong with a photographer not wanting to take wedding pictures of a lesbian couple; there is nothing wrong with an anti-tax protestor not paying his taxes; there is nothing wrong with a few armed men taking on the US government.
However, in all cases, the reality will more often than not be anything but fair. Each of us must daily decide where we draw lines; each of us realizes that those lines have consequences – on both sides. This is reality. How many willingly want to become the next Adam Kokesh, Irwin Schiff, or David Koresh? Because many choose not to means what, exactly?
Fair very rarely wins in such circumstances. It is often written that we are in a battle of ideas – until our ideas win, rarely if ever will the photographer, the tax protestor, or the few armed men win. I write nothing about where to draw your line – this choice is quite personal, as it must be.
Finally, we cannot preclude the possibility that Sterling has violated his voluntary agreement with the league. He owns a team within a league which has, presumably, a code of conduct and bylaws for its owners. He is subject to disciplinary actions for violating the code of conduct. I imagine that both the determination of a violation and the punishment for that violation leaves broad room for subjective judgment. Twenty-nine other owners will see to the fact that the punishment is a broad and swift as possible.
And this will be in full accord with the NAP.