A billionaire basketball owner blurts out words in anger to his girlfriend about her suspected dalliances with Black athletes, and the world goes wild.
It becomes Top Story on the national newsfeed, and, surprisingly, even the story of the downed jet in Malaysia takes second fiddle.
Similarly, the nation’s highest court rules that states may use referendums to strike down affirmative action educational programs – and not violate the Constitution.
The story makes midday news, and leads on several network newscasts, but by the next day its old news.
Which story will affect the greatest number of Black lives? The anguished insecurities of a rich old guy, trying to exert control over his beautiful young lover? Or the tortured reasoning’s of a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, essentially opening the door to the death throes of affirmative action – and thereby closing the doors of colleges to millions?
The NBA story of a wealthy owner arguing with his Afro-Latino lover is tops in news in part because it hit the Trifecta of news: Money, Sex and Race.
But, in truth, it’s a tempest in a teapot, and the furtherance of the destruction of the private among intimates. It affects few people. It’s the latest form of voyeurism -made possible by the ubiquity of cell phones.
The Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action case, which has no sex, has plenty about race, and is proof positive that the powerful are closing the doors of knowledge to those who can’t afford it.
(Guess who that’ll be?)
When law professor Michelle Alexander penned her now classic The New Jim Crow, she was critical of the Black upper class for making a deal with former President Bill Clinton, that he could have a free hand on criminal justice issues, as long as he protected affirmative action.
Now, that deal has come to an ignoble end.
One man evokes outrage as his private, racist rantings become public.
A major American government institution coldly draws a roadmap to the land of yesterday, where the dreams of millions of people are crushed.
Which are more relevant?
Which are more racist?