CRF Blog

Thank you, Donald Sterling

by Bill Hayes

In Thank you, Donald Sterling, for the Los Angeles Times, columnist George Skelton argues that the Sterling fiasco shows how far we have progressed in race relations in the last 50 years.

This is the 50th anniversary year of Californians’ voting overwhelmingly — 65% to 35% — to legalize precisely what Sterling was rapped for doing: discriminating because of race in the sale and rental of housing. Ultimately, both the state and U.S. supreme courts declared it unconstitutional.

But the racist measure, Proposition 14, probably was the most bitterly fought ballot initiative ever in California — and certainly among the most popular.

Then-Gov. Pat Brown — Jerry’s outspoken and gutsy dad — called Prop. 14 a “cudgel of bigotry” and equated its backers to the “hate binge” of Hitler’s Nazis.

The Times editorialized that Brown was being “inflammatory” and “overzealous.” And it endorsed Prop. 14 … [more]