Flogging a dead society
“Pride in history, faith in future and honour in present, they together make up the backbone of a society.”
The existence of a society as a strong, cohesive, vibrant and welcoming unit, is determined by the values that make up its’ core. The past gives the society its’ identity, and pride imbibed in those memories gives strength to face the challenges that face that society in the present. In an honorable present does find feet the faith of a bright future, else the society knows its existence will be a struggle. But honour that most get by birthright now in democracies, is what had to be fought and won after much bloodshed in history. It is really sad that youth today don’t understand the concept of honour, leave alone understanding why it is important to uphold it, or defend it. It would thus be childish to expect them to understand, what is corroding their honour away. Perhaps a very recent example might help to create a starting point for a well meaning discussion.
Lets’ talk about one Mr Donal Stirling, an 80 year old business tycoon from the United States of America, and soon to be the former owner of “Los Angeles Clippers”, a team that plays in NBA. On 25th April, 2014 a recorded conversation was exposed by a media outlet. Mr Stirling could be heard in this recording, making some extremely disgraceful comments against the black American community. Expectedly his predominantly black American team, the “Los Angeles Clippers”, and their coach thought about boycotting their next game, but instead chose to be a professional side, and after registering their protest played out the game. Mr Stirling has since been banned by the NBA for life, and has also been fined 2.5 Million USD. Seems like the case is closed, but not for me!
For the past few months an American girl of Asian descent, a freelance writer Ms Suey Park, has been campaigning to raise racial sensitivity. Her online campaign “not your Asian sidekick” has been a big hit amongst people of all races, and for good reasons. It has brought to fore the views of the majority populace; as to how irrespective of the race, people are generally more accepting of other races than what they might have been any time before in history. But of course, there is that small pocket of population which still has its’ head stuck in the sewerage mentality. And it is this pocket that people like Mr Stirling come from, their economic status only highlighting their actions more than if it were an ordinary person instead.
But what is it about the incident that bothers me? Why do I still not consider the case closed?
Well, I see people going nuts over the internet; every black, brown or yellow man fighting every white man as if they have all been personally wronged by each one of the other group. The fact however is; Mr Stirling’s actions would have sickened even the majority of white race, and many had promptly and prominently condemned him. His punishment at the hands of NBA, a quick action, bears a testimony to how intolerant today as a society we are towards racism. But something is still not right!
What if NBA had not acted against Mr Stirling? How would have you classified the actions of “Los Angeles Clippers” team and their coach then? You may call it a professional response, I prefer to classify it as “Society’s impotence”, and I will give you reasons for calling it so.
Their actions mean; a man who has money can insult you (for whatever reason, and not just race) in your face, and you will only protest silently, and then do the work and get paid by the same man. Remember, Mr Stirling was sacked “after” the game. I hope every Indian reads this piece, for this is exactly what I don’t want Indian society to ever degenerate into; that a man can humiliate you, and you will still work for him just because you get paid. Professionalism my foot! This is what a slave’s life used to be; the master would abuse him, and he would suffer silently, yet work for the master every day.
Honour is the pride you take in yourself for who you are. You fight for your honour not because someone has hurt your ego, but because if you won’t protect your honour, you will lose it completely and become like a dog to a master. It wasn’t the entire white race against the entire black race. It was a blatant disgrace by one man aimed at the entire society, including whites, which failed to respond to it in a way that would have set an example. Honour my dear friends, is what gives freedom and democracy to our societies. It was honour that came with equal rights for men and women, and then for blacks and whites.
In this case however, it was an entire society waiting for someone else to fix the wrong, while they were happy for things to proceed in the meantime. Imagine living in a society where your Government completely sells you to an abusive private owner. Would you expect anyone from such a society to stand up and fight for freedom or rights? Everyone will suffer silently, but will be happy at the end of the day when he or she will get paid some miserly some for their labour. Well, given the money Mr Stirling has and makes, players only get miserly sum individually.
What they should have done is; they should have immediately resigned from the team in the first instance, then sued the team for the dues, and should have waited to be either picked up by other teams, or for NBA to set the house in order after ceremonially sacking Mr Stirling as they ultimately did. By not doing so, they have lost all their honour.
NBA’s action is correct and well meaning, but still only an afterthought. I classify it as house-keeping, not house-safeguarding. The proper action would have been; the entire team and coach stepping down with immediate effect, and then NBA both sacking Mr Stirling, as well as reinstating the entire team. Only if NBA had sacked Mr Stirling before the game, I would have considered this protest as good enough. And the protest should have continued in every game until Mr Stirling had formally been removed in all capacities. “Los Angeles Clippers” needed to walk out with their honour intact.
Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss “Amanpreet Singh Rai”