Oppression, Audism, and Sterling’s Recent removal from the NBA.


What a powerful article surrounding Sterling’s recent removal and fine from the NBA. While I agree 100% with the ruling the NBA commissioner made about Sterling and believe that what Sterling said during his taped conversations as well as during previous conversations and business transactions were just completely and utterly abhorrent. I have to say that it simply doesn’t feel like it is enough to just point the finger at one guy and then the discussion is over. This is a reflection of the extremely institutionalized culture of oppression that we all live with on a daily basis. Understanding and recognizing oppression, or any ‘ism for that matter is simply not enough. Sparking action within critically minded communities is what will be needed to create an upheaval of a deeply rooted and entrenched belief system.

Does this reflect some of the mentalities that goes on in an audist culture? Can we say that there are systematic structures that need to be changed? Are there people who benefit from the oppression of the Deaf community? In a system of colonialism we can’t ignore the inequalities that are so obvious in the world around us. From oppressive structures in educational systems, job markets, access to information, language access, social access, etc.  We must look at oppression on various levels, and then engage ourselves in creating a dialogue and sparking action that will elicit societal change.

“I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.” -Audre Lorde   
(From Homophobia and Education)


“It’s comical to watch the well-intentioned mob circle around Sterling as if his unintended transparency says nothing about his peer group.  It’s equally comical seeing this issue framed as a “black issue,” with black people running to suggest ways to clean up Sterling’s mess.

White people should be wearing black socks, turning their T-shirts inside out, protesting outside the Staples Center. This is their culture, their Frankenstein. Or maybe they agree with Donald T. Sterling.

“I don’t want to change the culture because I can’t. It’s too big.”

It’s also too beneficial. It’s too comfortable.”

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