ESPN’s Bomani Jones: Sterling’s Housing Discrimination Bigger Than “Impolite” Remarks

Bomani Jones

There’s really nothing left to say now that ESPN’s Bomani Jones has smacked down all of the media frenzy and sudden interest in Donald Sterling‘s well-documented racism.

Jones is particularly vexed that he brought these issues to light back in 2006 and no one cared. This week he spoke with Marc James from The Drive about how the real issues with the Clippers’ owner are still being ignored.

He passionately laid out how racist practices within institutions directly result in the loss of human lives. Listen or read the more important snippet from around the 5:08 mark below.

“We hear all this stuff that goes on in Chicago and all these people who die, who lose their lives… All that stuff that’s happening in Chicago is a byproduct of housing discrimination.

I was talking to somebody today who will tell you there are huge swaths of land in Chicago, in between the south suburbs and downtown just on the south side, that people simply don’t live in because in Chicago, when black people moved from the south in the 1940s and 1950s white people got the hell out of dodge.

They built a freeway system that ran through black neighborhoods and the whole purpose of that freeway system was to get white people get from the suburbs and to their jobs safely without making any stops in between. That’s what housing discrimination does.

Housing discrimination is the biggest reason that we can point to historically for why we’ve got all these dead kids in Chicago fighting for turf, fighting for real estate with poor accommodations and facilities and everything that you’re supposed to have in a city, poor education, all of this because the tax dollars and everything else decided to move away.

And a lot of people like to use it as strategy to avoid that… to find an apartment in one of these nice neighbors so they can send their kids to nicer schools and have a chance for their kids to go somewhere in life.

Instead, when you can’t do that, you wind up in these neighborhoods that are created by apartheid. And they’re desolate. And they’re dangerous. And they’re frightening. And we just have whole generations of people that we have given up on.

And the biggest reason that this sort of thing has happened is because jack wagons like Donald Sterling made this decision that they do not want black people or Mexicans or anybody else living near these pristine white people who trying like hell to get away from us and then point at us and wonder why all your stuff is messed up.

That’s the stuff that Donald Sterling has been doing forever. Everybody talks about that settlement in 2009. He was originally sued in 2003 for housing discrimination. In 2006, we got a hold of the paperwork where he said that black people smell and attract vermin and Mexicans just sit around and drink all day.

His wife was going around to those properties knocking on the door like it’s some Henry Ford stuff and taking inspection, posing as though she worked for the government while she was tracking the ethnicities of the people that lived in their building. And you gonna come to me and talk to me about what’s going on with Donald Sterling and his mistress? Are you kidding me? That stuff was real. That stuff mattered. That stuff literally kills people.

And everybody and their mom is so charged up about Donald Sterling. So I’m gonna go to funeral next week for somebody who took somebody else’s bullet because that city’s become a war zone.

And the people who have money and the people who could possibly do something to fix it ignore it and go to their homes in the south suburbs, that for the past 70 years people have tried their damnedest to keep black people out of. And I’m supposed to get charged up because Donald Sterling said his rich friends don’t want to see his black mistress around black people.”


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