It has been amply stated and often proven that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Donald Sterling’s jealous rage and pride in his skin color have left him in disgrace. All of his money and all of his minions cannot undo the destruction he has brought upon himself and his reputation.
All is not lost for Mr. Sterling, though. There is hope for him just as there is for all of us who have stumbled in one way or another. Hope begins with humility, a humility that causes us to see just how fallen and broken we are and how much we need God.
Jealousy blinds our senses and distorts our reason. Pride causes us to believe we are better than others, sometimes that we are above God. It’s what led Adam and Eve to sin.
Jealousy and pride have led Donald Sterling to allow his mistress to bait him hook, line, and sinker. How many men have found themselves slammed to destruction over a pretty face and a racist heart? In the gone but not forgotten days of slavery, we found fatal triangles such as the beleaguered Clippers owner is entangled in today. A scorned wife, a tricky mistress, money, and racism. Wow!
Yes, like countless others, Sterling has discovered that his money is not God, that his passion is marred with lust, and the world that seemed to love and revere him is fickle.
Pride deceived Sterling into puffing himself up by looking down his nose at those he considers to be beneath him. Never mind the tawny, beautiful, honey-colored mistress who was found in that same position only to rise up and bury a dagger in his back.
All too often, jealousy, greed, and pride allow our society to discriminate against an entire class of people. In this case, skin color is the issue. I wouldn't be true to my calling though, if I didn't remember that the unborn — because they’re small, dependent, and helpless — are also a part of the looming presence of the elephant of discrimination in the bedrooms and boardrooms across America and the world.
We don’t want to be reminded that we’re small, dependent, and helpless — it offends our pride. So we pretend that some "classes" of people like blacks, or the unborn for example, are, well, different.
My uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke of building a loving community. As a man of God, he understood that love has to be the foundation for any meaningful transformation of society or individuals. He knew that love changes the heart from prideful to humble so that we see our own brokenness. He knew that a loving community has compassion for all of its members, not just those who are like “us.”
Donald Sterling has presented us with a teachable moment, a time when we may consider Uncle Martin’s words and his life and work for a more loving community.
It’s also a prayerful moment.
My Uncle Martin and his brother Alfred Daniel King, my father, died for raising the alarm over racial discrimination and inequity in America. The force of racism remains alive today, in bedrooms, boardrooms, and in the wombs of mothers. It is time to face the truth and slay the beast.
Donald Sterling is rich enough and famous enough to catch the eye of the media. Yet, he is just the tip of the iceberg, the festering proof of a splintered society.
Let's pray for Donald Sterling, and indeed all who are victims of the deceptions of racism and classism.
Let's continue to pray that God will open all eyes blinded by pride, lust, greed, jealousy, and every human failing. Oh that God will change our hearts and free our souls. There is no evil, be it discrimination against darker-skinned people or discrimination against smaller people in the womb, too great for God to overcome.
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.
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