Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s scolding of his mixed-race girlfriend for associating with black people is no longer just an appalling exchange at the center of a media frenzy. It’s now an appalling exchange at the center of a media frenzy that involves Israel and the Holocaust.
The NBA announced that it is probing Sterling after audio surfaced of a man identified as him berating his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for posting photos to Instagram of herself posing with black athletes. In the audio, Sterling also warns his girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games.
Now more audio from the conversation has been released by the website Deadspin. In it, the man identified as Sterling is heard explaining that his views reflect the way the world works, and as evidence he says that black Jews in Israel “are just treated like dogs.” His girlfriend is heard countering that as a Jew Sterling should know better than to advocate discrimination, and she cites the Holocaust as an example of where racism can lead.
Here’s a transcript (via Deadspin) of the exchange between the two about Israel:
DS: It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.
V: So do you have to treat them like that too?
DS: The white Jews, there’s white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?
V: And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?
DS: A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent.
V: And is that right?
DS: It isn’t a question—we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.
And here’s the portion that references the Holocaust:
V: It’s like saying, “Let’s just persecute and kill all of the Jews.”
DS: Oh, it’s the same thing, right?
V: Isn’t it wrong? Wasn’t it wrong then? With the Holocaust? And you’re Jewish, you understand discrimination.
DS: You’re a mental case, you’re really a mental case. The Holocaust, we’re comparing with—
V: Racism! Discrimination.
DS: There’s no racism here. If you don’t want to be… walking… into a basketball game with a certain… person, is that racism?
Sterling has drawn rebukes from, among others, President Obama, the American Jewish Committee and his own team’s players.