More Liberal Incoherence

One can always count on Mike Wise, one of the sports columnists for the Washington Post, to provide examples of wacky liberal thinking. A few months ago, Wise not only jumped on the bandwagon to punish Donald Sterling for his thoughts, but he demanded even more by calling for an all-out purge of NBA owners. Wise actually identified four owners whose politics or occupations he dislikes and called for the NBA to strip them of their assets.

Since Donald Sterling, the liberal police state has continued to roll, going after Bruce Levenson, owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and Danny Ferry, the Hawks’ general manager. Neither of these men were on Wise’s purge list and now it seems that Wise is having second thoughts about cleansing the league of people whose thoughts and politics are unlikable, especially with respect to Danny Ferry (see here). Consistency apparently is not a priority with Wise.

Wise rationalizes his reluctance to banish Levenson and Ferry by claiming a purge would deprive us of a “deeper conversation” about important social issues. But consider Wise’s contribution to the conversation:  He mocks the idea that Levenson was only thinking of how the team could attract more white fans to games to create a more diverse crowd, and then, in his brilliance, Wise suggests that owners should try to attract fans to the game that look “more like the players on the floor.”

Before addressing Wise’s suggestion, remember that for liberals, “diversity” is achieved in any activity or institution whenever the percentage of racial and ethnic groups reflects the percentage of such groups in the general population. So, for example, if African-Americans represent 13% of the population, liberals expect that 13% of the workforce of any particular company should be African-American. The slightest disparity in these numbers, unfavorable to the group in question, causes liberals to cry discrimination.

But it’s not reasonable to think that every racial or ethnic group must be represented in every activity to the extent represented in the population at large. In all societies, disparities among groups are natural due to various geographic, demographic, and cultural reasons. But liberals can’t help themselves; they see a place for everything and everything in its place, no matter how unnatural. They are like obsessive-compulsive types who arrange the cans in their kitchen cabinets with the labels facing the same direction.

Wise sees “diversity” in NBA locker rooms, but non-blacks only account for 22% of the league’s players although they make up 87% of the general population. This is not a problem for those who understand diversity correctly (e.g., players in the NBA clearly get there on merit, not through discrimination), but under the liberal view, these numbers hardly qualify as diversity. According to liberal logic, Wise should call for the league to increase the percentage of non-black players, perhaps by implementing programs to attract more non-black kids to the sport.

But we shouldn’t hold our breath for that. Instead, Wise suggests that the Hawks’ owners and a marketing group should figure out a way to attract more black fans (to look like the players on the floor). So if Wise were to get his way, the NBA would have mostly black players on the floor and mostly black fans in the stands. Wise is calling for nothing less than the creation, in the 21st century, mind you, of a basketball version of the old Negro baseball leagues.

Liberals not only misunderstand diversity and racial and ethnic disparities in the first place by demanding proportional representation at all costs, but they can’t even follow their own logic within their mistake. They are so incoherent that they end up calling for a return to segregated sports – the very opposite of what they think they stand for. Remarkable.

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