Column: Complacency unacceptable response to intolerance

The biggest attention-grabbing racial story of the season has not been a recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action. It is not a concern that some states could be making it harder for minorities to vote. It is about an 80-year-old married guy thinking he was talking to his early 30s girlfriend while actually talking to the world.

That’s the way things work in a new America in which there are recording devices in every nook, cranny and pocket. If the speaker happens to a be a billionaire who owns a professional basketball team and what he says is a racist slur, you can bet he is going to end up on a website spreading celebrity gossip. By the time the digital world, TV and radio had spent next to no time on this, Donald Sterling was a household name, his reputation was dirt and his continued ownership of the team questionable.

Good. He had slogged away on his racism for years, and it was time his despicable diligence caught up with him. But while this one-person incident points to how this kind of vile bigotry continues to slither through our society, there’s a bigger question. Is the incident illustrative of a widespread regress despite the historic election of a black president and an array of other positives? I think the positives are winning.

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