You surely know about the Donald Sterling story: even as his basketball team competes in the playoffs, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is the focus of national outrage for grotesquely racist statements he is said to have made to his former girlfriend on a tape published by TMZ. The NBA is investigating, and many sports figures have called for Sterling to be thrown out of the league. Some say that the long-time owner has made racist statements “time and time again” without any consequences.
Deadspin has now published a fuller version of the alleged tape of Sterling’s statements made by his former girlfriend, V. Stiviano. Two excerpts transcribed by the sports site mention Israel and Jewish persecution.
In one excerpt, Sterling seems to rationalize his racism by comparing it to the treatment of Mizrahi Jews in Israel.
Donald Sterling: It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.
V. Stiviano: So do you have to treat them like that too?
DS: The white Jews, there’s white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?
V: And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?
DS: A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent.
V: And is that right?
DS: It isn’t a question—we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.
And here Stiviano, who is of mixed race, is said to bust Sterling for his racism. The owner has objected to her posting an Instagram photo of herself with Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
V: It’s like saying, “Let’s just persecute and kill all of the Jews.”
DS: Oh, it’s the same thing, right?
V: Isn’t it wrong? Wasn’t it wrong then? With the Holocaust? And you’re Jewish, you understand discrimination.
DS: You’re a mental case, you’re really a mental case. The Holocaust, we’re comparing with—
V: Racism! Discrimination.
DS: There’s no racism here. If you don’t want to be… walking… into a basketball game with a certain… person, is that racism?