Donald Sterling could spend the rest of his days wearing a Black Jesus (or even Yeezus tee) while holding a Black baby in one arm while using the other to throw up the Black Power symbol and he’d still be a racist jackass whose personal hell should be melting in a CrockPot full of greens and neck bones for all eternity.
Anyone who argues otherwise is either delusional, opportunistic, or a teaspoon of both. Enter the Rev. J. B. Hardwick, who made national headlines after inviting Sterling to his church, Zion Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles. I can imagine why at least one regular member of the church reportedly left service when Sterling appeared. He is racist, and even when met with national scorn over it, he went on to further disrespect Magic Johnson by holding his AIDS diagnosis against him as if he didn’t already cause enough trouble for himself by using his melanin count to view him as some sort of monster.
And yet, when asked about Sterling on “Anderson Cooper 360,” Rev. Hardwick spoke of him warmly and even went as far as to argue against any suggestion that he is racist. When asked why he invited Sterling to First Sunday service, Rev. Hardwick explained to Anderson Cooper that “friends of Mr. Sterling reached out to me a few weeks ago,” and after speaking with him, he essentially wanted to do the Christian thing.
How convenient that it has resulted in a national television interview for Hardwick on a major cable network.
In any event, Rev. Hardwick went on to explain to Anderson, “I noticed this man carrying a load or burden and my heart went out to him.” I’m so touched I could vomit in to a toilet bowl while screaming, “Fix it, Jesus.” Worse, Hardwick went on to dismiss Sterling’s comments as nothing more than remarks made under duress. Yes, as Hardwick put it, Sterling “lost his cool.”
Rev. Hardwick said simply, “Sometimes you say things that you really don’t mean.” If that wasn’t cringe worthy enough, Hardwick added, “After looking in to his background, I really don’t believe he’s racist.”
And: “I look at the scriptures, The Bible and I have a great belief in the word of God. And I just can’t picture him as a person who carries hate continuously in [their] heart.”
What a crock.
Moreover, whose background was Rev. Hardwick really looking at? Certainly not works from writer Bomani Jones, who in 2006, sought to bring attention to the fact that Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice for housing discrimination.
If you want to invoke the Bible on how to properly view someone, me thinks Jesus would have a bit of an issue with the idea of supporting a billionaire who not only makes racist commentary at his leisure but was also accused of intentionally trying to keep Black people from living on properties he owned.
Even when met with the scandal, Sterling stands to profit from his hatred and potentially be excused on some level with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. As in, “He’s not racist, he’s just an old man losing his mind. He’s stressed out.” Blah, blah, and then some.
In some ways, you could look at this as further proof that for all this talk from White conservatives and their faux cries of “reverse racism,” the antics of Rev. Hardwick prove once again how much Black folks are willing to “turn the other cheek.” I’d rather not, though, because the bigger problem lies in members of the community going above and beyond to cape for unapologetic racists who don’t mean well to our kind.
At the end of the interview, Anderson asked Rev. Hardwick if Sterling discussed a monetary donation to him. Hardwick said no, only to acknowledge minutes later that Sterling did say to him, “Reverend, I would like to do something to help the community.” I bet. It’ll probably come in the form of pocket change from the fortune he’ll be netting from the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
By the way, Rev. Hardwick, another one of Sterling’s mistresses has sued him, claiming that she was subjected to a “steady stream of racially and sexually offensive comments.” I guess he “lost his cool” for all those years too.
Watch the CNN interview for yourself here: