Yes, what he said about blacks -- under the ham-handedly leading questions of his mistress -- was nasty. You were expecting this guy to be a prince on race relations? Perhaps if a little more attention had been paid to Sterling's years of whoring, we wouldn't be so shocked at his trashy comments about black people.
About a decade ago, Sterling sued a prostitute he had been seeing, for the return of property he had given to -- as he called her -- this "$500-a-trick freak."
The man who is terrified of being seen as a racist opened up about his ruttings with a prostitute in a 2003 deposition that he knew would be part of the public record. This wasn't forced out of him: Again, he sued her.
Here's what Donald Sterling, born Donald Tokowitz, didn't mind telling the world:
-- "She was sucking me all night long." (There are many possible connotations here, but I believe this is a sexual reference.)
-- "It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex." (Well, then: not soul mates.)
-- "I knew from the day she came in that she was a total freak and piece of trash." (Oddly enough, this was in her eHarmony profile.)
-- "When you pay a woman for sex, you are not together with her. You're paying her for a few moments to use her body for sex. Is it clear? Is it clear?" (Hard to believe this guy has to pay for sex.)
-- "The woman wanted sex everywhere. In the alley, in her car, in the elevator, in the upstairs seventh floor, in the bathroom." (Doing the work Americans just won't do.)
-- "That is all she ever provided -- was sex, nothing else." (Except that one year she did my taxes.)
-- "I called her 'Honey' because I couldn't remember the girl's name." (Her pet name for him was "fat racist pig.")
-- "I wouldn't have a child and certainly not with that piece of trash. Come on. This girl is the lowest form." (She must have been heartbroken.)
Sterling so enjoyed describing sex with "this piece of trash" that he occasionally got lost in his Penthouse-style reveries, even when the deposition question was not, technically, about how much the prostitute had sucked him.
Sterling: "When I'm in a limousine, she takes all of her clothes (off). The limo driver said, 'What is going on?' And she started sucking me on the way to Mr. Koon's house. And I thank her. I thank her for making me feel good."
Lawyer: "Sir, the question was, is this your handwriting?"
So what can we learn from the Sterling scandal?
First: Boy, have morals changed! (At least among our media watchdogs.)
In 1947, it was a scandal when Leo Durocher stole a married woman from her husband -- and promptly married her, even living apart pending a final divorce decree. Today, a married team owner can bring his prostitutes to games and give detailed accounts of their copulations and it's not even an issue.
Second: No conclusions about race in America can be gleaned from the utterances of this repellent man.
The innermost thoughts of a pile of crap covered in human skin provide no larger lessons about humanity, though Donald Sterling may be of interest to students of the porcine. For a window into the American psyche, I like to stick to my own species.