Donald Sterling rambles about blacks, Jews, Magic Johnson and Jewish free loan societies

Daniel Treiman

Donald Sterling showed that he is the same person in public and in private.

The world got to know this crazy old billionaire with offensive views via leaked audio of him ranting about black people.

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The same crazy old billionaire with offensive views showed up to rant about black people in his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

And just as he had on the tape — no doubt much to the chagrin of his co-religionists — he dragged his fellow Jews into his semi-coherent ramblings.

“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African Americans — maybe I’ll get in trouble again — they don’t want to help anybody,” Sterling said.

To similar effect, he also launched into a paean to the tradition of Jewish free loan societies:

“The Jewish people have a company and it’s for people who want to borrow money for no interest,” he said. “We want to give them a fishing pole. We want to help people. if they don’t have money, we’ll loan it to them. There is no African-American…. I’m sorry. They all want to play golf with me, everyone wants to be with me.”

Sterling reiterated his antipathy toward Magic Johnson, who had posed in the photo with Sterling’s lady friend V. Stiviano that helped spark the Clippers’ owner’s original taped rant.

On CNN, Sterling questioned the extent of Johnson’s charitable activities and knocked his past philandering, veering wildly between criticism and praise of the former Lakers star. He even recounted praying in shul for Johnson’s health:

Here’s a man I don’t know if I should say this, he acts so holy. He made love with every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him. I hoped he could live and be well. I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children? You know, because he has money, he’s able to treat himself. But Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing. He didn’t do anything harmful to anybody and I respect him and I admire everything that he does. I’d like to help even more if he would offer me an opportunity to help. I like to help minorities.

Sterling broke down crying when talking about V. Stiviano: “I thought she cared for me. I was stupid. How could a girl care for a man 51 years older?”

All in all, it was a sad spectacle at the media circus.

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Daniel Treiman is JTA’s managing editor.