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Blacks, Jews United in Outrage at Sterling

May 25, 2014

Letters to the Editor
Detroit Free Press 

To the Editor: 

Metro Detroit’s black and Jewish communities were appalled and deeply saddened by the racist statements of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling last month. Half a century after passage of the Civil Rights Act, it was reprehensible to hear such words from someone who has enjoyed the stature and recognition of a community leader. In the face of broad condemnation of his remarks, Sterling continued his shameful rhetoric against black people in general and specifically against Earvin (Magic) Johnson and Elgin Baylor, most recently saying that while Jews take care of their own community needs, African Americans do not.

Here in metro Detroit, black and Jewish people both have a rich history of working together on various social and community issues. Such comments that denigrate the other community demean both communities and the great things they have accomplished together.

Therefore, we support the decision of NBA commissioner Adam Silver in banning Donald Sterling for life and forcing him to sell the Clippers, and we affirm the historic partnership between black people and Jews in promoting civil rights and human rights. We shall continue to stand together fighting racism and anti-Semitism at every turn, and promoting racial equality and economic justice for all.

Sincerely,

Heidi Budaj
Director, Michigan Region, Anti-Defamation League

The Rev. Lawrence Glass
President, Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit & Vicinity

Donnell R. White
Executive director, Detroit Branch, NAACP

Robert Cohen
Executive director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit

The Rev. Kenneth J. Flowers
President, Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention

N. Charles Anderson
President and CEO, Urban League of Detroit & Southeast Michigan

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"Such comments that denigrate the other community demean both communities and the great things they have accomplished together."