Wall Street Journal editor Jason Riley slammed the NAACP for taking Donald Sterling’s donations despite the Clippers owner’s widely known issues with African Americans in the past, claiming money is “what’s most important to them” and that the broader civil rights movement “has become an industry.”
Riley spoke with WSJ’s Mary Kissel on the paper’s online Opinion Journal about Sterling’s privately recorded remarks, in which he asks his girlfriend not to associate with African Americans or bring them to his basketball games.
The NAACP was set to present Sterling with his second lifetime achievement award before the comments surfaced. Despite well-reported anti-discrimination lawsuits filed against Sterling, the civil rights group has taken money from the man for an alleged 15 to 20 years.
“I don’t think these comments are as surprising as the NAACP claims they are,” Riley remarked, noting Sterling’ has “been brought to court repeatedly for discriminating against blacks and Hispanics.”
“This is another example of how the civil rights movement has become an industry,” he explained. “You have groups like the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, others, who basically go around the country shaking down corporations and individuals for money.”
“This man gave them money, and that’s what is most important to them,” he accused. “They claim to represent the interests of low-income, poor, underprivileged blacks. But this is more about lining their own pockets.”
Riley also dismissed President Barack Obama’s comments on Sterling’s remarks. “I thought what he said was fine,” he said, but “if people are looking to this president for racial unity, I think they should look elsewhere.”
“This is a man who a couple weeks ago was up in Harlem with the aforementioned Al Sharpton,” Riley noted. “When you pal around with Al Sharpton, you are not into racial unity.”
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