UPDATED: 4-27-14, 3:30 P.M. EST
“He is not receiving a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP,” Lorraine Miller, NAACP interim vice president, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Miller released the following statement later Sunday:
“Let me make it clear, the NAACP will not be honoring Mr. Sterling at the upcoming Los Angeles branch event and we have strongly urged our Los Angeles unit to take the necessary steps to rescind the previous award they bestowed on him.”
“The remarks attributed to Mr. Sterling are outrageous and remind us that racism is alive and well at every socioeconomic level. With the election of President Obama, many were sold the idea that the United States would be instantly transformed into a post racial society and racism would be eviscerated. People who bought that idea were sold wolf tickets.
As a nation, we must ask ourselves if we are living up to the obligations of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitutional that require equality in opportunity for all people regardless of the color of their skin. If we cannot answer in the affirmative, we must redouble our efforts to ensure this goal is reached.
If the adage that silence means acceptance, the worst thing our country can do in the face of bigotry is remain quiet. We must stand up, speak out and call attention to a real problem.”
Lorraine Miller, NAACP Interim Vice President On NBC’s “Meet the Press”
On May 15, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is set to receive his second Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP.
As previously reported by the L.A. Times, Sterling received his first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 while battling an employment discrimination suit filed by former player Elgin Baylor.
From the L.A. Times:
Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP.
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, “He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.,” revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game.
Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, “We can’t speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community.”
Sterling also received the NAACP President’s Award in 2008.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Sterling was allegedly captured on tape going on a racist rant against Black people after his Black Hispanic mistress, V. Stiviano, posted pictures of herself and Black friends on Instagram.
Stiviano also posted a picture of herself with Magic Johnson, prompting Sterling to say that she was embarrassing him. He told Stiviano that she was supposed to be a “delicate” Latina or White woman and that he preferred not to think about her Blackness. He also told her that he does not want her to acknowledge Black people publicly.
In a statement released to TMZ Sports, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, with the full support of the Clippers organization, denies knowledge of the recording and says that he is not racist:
From The Clippers Organization via TMZ
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered.”
The statement goes on … We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family, alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.’”
And the statement goes on, “Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.”And there’s this: “He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them.”
The NAACP is attempting to distance itself from Sterling and its Los Angeles chapter, refusing to engage with social media followers on the subject.
— NAACP (@NAACP) April 26, 2014
— Brittany (@UnforeseenTruth) April 26, 2014
— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) April 26, 2014
Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP California State Conference, released the following statement:
“If these allegations are proven true, we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Sterling.”
“Recent remarks like these, and those of Cliven Bundy, remind us that racism is not a footnote of our past, but a reality of our present that we must confront head on.”
“For 105 years, the NAACP has fought against the culture bigotry that leads to the comments like those we heard on the recording, and as public response to these remarks has shown, we have made significant progress.
“As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games.
“If true, these are very hurtful remarks and Mr. Sterling, whose team talents and fan base is majority minority, should offer an apology to Californians.
“At the conclusion of the investigation into the alleged comments, if true, we seek further redress from Mr. Sterling.”