#NBA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on moral outrage and #racism

Sears Shooting Stars Competition 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the Sears Shooting Stars Competition 2014.Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

It’s time to look at ourselves — and our collective moral outrage — in the mirror, says former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Yes, I’m angry, too, but not just about the sins of Donald Sterling. I’ve got a list. But let’s start with Sterling. I used to work for him, back in 2000 when I coached for the Clippers for three months. He was congenial, even inviting me to his daughter’s wedding. Nothing happened or was said to indicate he suffered from IPMS (Irritable Plantation Master Syndrome). Since then, a lot has been revealed about Sterling’s business practices:

  • 2006: U.S. Dept. of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination. Allegedly, he said, “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
  • 2009: He reportedly paid $2.73 million in a Justice Dept. suit alleging he discriminated against blacks, Hispanics, and families with children in his rentals. (He also had to pay an additional nearly $5 million in attorneys fees and costs due to his counsel’s “sometimes outrageous conduct.”)
  • 2009: Clippers executive (and one of the greatest NBA players in history) sued for employment discrimination based on age and race.

And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing “pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.” She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.

They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping.

I don’t blame them. I’m doing some whooping right now. Racists deserve to be paraded around the modern town square of the television screen so that the rest of us who believe in the American ideals of equality can be reminded that racism is still a disease that we haven’t yet licked.

What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism. I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise. Now there’s all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That’s the smoking gun?

He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?

Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it.

Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy. He’s just another jerk with more money than brains.

So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.

The big question is “What should be done next?” I hope Sterling loses his franchise. I hope whoever made this illegal tape is sent to prison. I hope the Clippers continue to be unconditionally supported by their fans. I hope the Clippers realize that the ramblings of an 80-year-old man jealous of his young girlfriend don’t define who they are as individual players or as a team. They aren’t playing for Sterling—they’re playing for themselves, for the fans, for showing the world that neither basketball, nor our American ideals, are defined by a few pathetic men or women.

Let’s use this tawdry incident to remind ourselves of the old saying: “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” Instead of being content to punish Sterling and go back to sleep, we need to be inspired to vigilantly seek out, expose, and eliminate racism at its first signs.


#SleepWhispers … New Sandmen For Some?


One of the latest crazes on the Internet is Sleep Whispering. Using calming voices and soothing sounds on their YouTube videos, Sleep Whisperers claim to create a serene sensation, similar to that of having someone gently running fingers on the face, arms, legs, back, etc., that reduces anxiety and cures insomnia. Some find these videos as or more effective than meds.

Panacea or ploy, Sleep Whispering brings up thought-provoking questions: Why are humans seeking meaningful human interactions on the Internet and not in person? What effect is this behavior having on our ability to interact successfully with others?


Never Be Manipulated Again! #Relationships



[muh-nip-yuh-ley-tiv, -yuh-luh-tiv] adjective

  1. influencing or attempting to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one’s own purposes: a manipulative boss

You’re reading this because you have reached an “enough already” point in your life. Or someone really manipulated you into doing something you didn’t want to do or into not doing something you wanted to do and you became so infuriated with them and yourself that you reached a “never again” moment. Isn’t that true?

Instead of going into why do they do that, let’s just leave that as, because they can get away doing it with you. This article is about why youhave continued to let them do it, why you reached your last straw with them and more importantly how you can put an end to it and never be manipulated again.

Why have you let people manipulate you and continue to do so?

One reason is that you may be so hungry for positive attention and adoration (because you didn’t receive it as a child or from an important current relationship), that when they flatter you or tell you how different, wonderful and special you are for treating them better than other people do, you lap it up. This can also play to a grandiosity in you where you say to yourself, “I am special because I see the goodness in this person that nobody else sees.” Then you continue to lap it up which sets the stage for feeling either you owe them something in return or would feel guilty in disappointing them.

A deeper psychological reason may be that you really don’t know what it’s like to feel truly wanted or valued for you, so you have decided that a close second is to get people to need you. And then you think you can control the relationship by just giving people what they need. This is not unfamiliar territory to you. Over time however, you realize that although you like to feel needed, you don’t like to feel used and begin to resent it.

But you can go a long time letting people need you and feeling that you’re special before it dawns on you that you are being royally exploited (euphemism for another word that is a tad vulgar). This is despite your being warned about these people by people who do care about you. At that point, you can go from feeling kindly and benevolently towards these people to feeling duped, hurt, frustrated, resentful, angry, furious and enraged.

When you feel those more deeply hostile and dark emotions it is directly in conflict with your wanting to believe that you are kind, caring and benevolent and having hostile or even violent feelings can not merely trigger guilt for feeling those emotions, but also shame for being such an angry person.

And so what do you do when the discomfort of that conflict becomes too intense? You pull an “out damned spot” Lady Macbeth and do even more for them using a defense mechanism referred to as “reaction formation” where in order to lessen your anxiety(about your shameful feelings) you do the opposite of what you want to do.

Your last straw

This possibly occurred because when they most recently tried to manipulate you, you said, “No,” and then they said something insulting implying that not only are you not special, but that you turned out to be as bad as or even worse than all those other people who have mistreated them. At that point it was all you could do to restrain yourself from telling them to go kill themselves (if that was where their threats escalated if in a family situation) or feeling tempted to do it for them. Feeling those raw murderous feelings were so out of sync with your core identity as a caring and loving person that it scared you. And it scared you enough to not appease them this time, but instead to finally say, “No more” to them.

How to put an end to it with this person

Read my lips and practice saying this to them in your mind and then in person the next time they try to manipulate you. Say simply and directly to them, “No,” and when they ask you, “Why?” reply, “Because I don’t want to.”

You don’t owe them an explanation beyond that. If they threaten you with what they might do to themselves say, “I hope you won’t do that.” If they threaten you with what they might do to you, “You will need to leave now and not come back or threaten me ever again or I will call the police.” And don’t make that a bluff. Mean it and do it.

How to never be manipulated again

Learn to recognize these people by catching yourself when they’re flattering you too much and too soon (a.k.a. buttering you up). You can then say to them early on, “That’s very nice of you to say, but I don’t feel I’ve done enough to deserve such wonderful comments. Also I’m sorry to have you pay for the sins of others, but is there something that you’re going to want from me or for me to do? If not, then I will have to think about whether I am being a tad too distrustful or even paranoid because of the others before you. And if there is something you want from me, you’ll need to give me a moment after you ask me so that I can think of something of equal importance to me that I can ask from you so that we don’t fall behind.”

What is a fair thing for people to ask of you?

This is where you need to separate the truly needful people in your life from those who merely claim to be. There may actually be some people who legitimately need what you can do for them or with them and to whom you feel a legitimate responsibility such a child, aging parentsibling or friends with true special needs rather than trying to make their problem, your problem and their responsibility, your responsibility to solve.

Also realize if there is something that they can’t do (such as a negative manipulative elderly parent) it doesn’t mean you have to directly do it. You can bring in another person such as a patient, friendly caregiver who just doesn’t get into it with such a person. Such people are known as “angels.”

One of the best ways to sort the truly needful from the pretender is to ask a friend or another family member who can be cool, calm and objective, who doesn’t get manipulated by people and doesn’t have a vendetta against manipulative people about the person in question, because they can say, “No,” to such people calmly and without guilt and will advise you to do the same.

As a final note, if you are wondering why I have chosen to write this particular article, I used to be an “easy Mark,” but my “never again” moment woke me up.

Now wish me luck going forward and I’ll do the same to you.

Mark Goulston is a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist and the author of “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.” He is the co-founder of Heartfelt Leadership. Contact: info@hfleader.com


What Is Wrong With Our Children? #ConnecticutPromStabbing


Socrates, “ The unexamined life is not worth living.”

What is wrong with our children? A recent Connecticut high school stabbing of a likable girl by an equally likable class clown, supposedly because she refused to go to her junior prom with him, once again sadly turns our attention to children killing children. In this case everyone who knew both of these kids was blindsided by this seemingly senseless violence. It’s time for our country to take a long, hard look at what is going on inside our children, our families, our communities, and our culture. Change starts with facing truth.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… How To Tell If You’re a Narcissist


You’re more likely to find a narcissist in the c-suite than on the street, research suggests.

This is because the traits that make narcissists so difficult to hang out with or date–including a constant need for validation, a willingness to control people, a ruthlessness in getting their needs met–happen to make them super effective at rising up the ranks.

To help you figure out if you (or perhaps your boss) are a narcissist, we combed through the psychology literature looking for patterns of narcissistic behavior.

Here’s what we found:

You enjoy leading others and telling them what to do.

Narcissists typically enjoy leadership positions since they are able to dominate others and fulfill their need for constant positive reinforcement.

You are an entertainer.

“A narcissist monk would not be good, but to be Kanye West and a narcissist is fantastic,” said University of Western Sydney psychologist Peter Jonason, an expert on social psychology.

You hate having to feel emotions.

The “very fact of having a feeling in the presence of another person suggests you can be touched emotionally by friends, family, partners, and even the occasional tragedy or failure,” says Harvard Medical School psychologist Craig Malkin.

That’s why narcissists abhor them.

Feeling an emotion “challenges their sense of perfect autonomy,” he continues. “To admit to a feeling of any kind suggests they can be affected by someone or something outside of them.”

As a result, narcissists tend to change the topic of conversation when feelings come up–especially their own.

You are likely young and male.

After 34,653 face-to-face interviews, psychologist Frederick Stinson found that men tend to be more narcissistic than women across their lifespans.

Narcissism is believed to peak during adolescence and decline with age.

You are regarded as attractive and dress better than other people.

Narcissists are generally rated as more stylish and physically attractive, according to a study conducted by Simine Vazire, a psychologist at Washington University.

You really like to swear at people.

Psychologists Nicholas Holtzman and Michael Strube from Washington University in St. Louis found in a study that subjects who scored higher in narcissism are argumentative and curse more than their modest counterparts.

They also tend to use more sexually explicit language.

Instead of listening, you just wait to speak.

Anita Vangelisti, a psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin found that narcissists typically prefer to keep the conversation centered around themselves “making exaggerated hand movements, talking loudly, and showing disinterest by ‘glazing over’ when others speak.”

You cheat in relationships.

Psychologists Joshua Foster at the University of South Alabama and W. Keith Campbell at the University of Georgia found that narcissists are more likely to cheat once they think their partners are committed.

They also seem to get a rush out of convincing others to engage in promiscuous sexual acts that they normally do not participate in.

People dump you after you’ve been dating for about four months.

Through his research, Campbell found that the four-month mark–the apparent satisfaction peak in any dating relationship–is typically how long it takes for someone dating a narcissist to see their true colors.

You put some people on pedestals.

Malkin says the logic goes like this: “If I find someone perfect to be close to, maybe some of their perfection will rub off on me, and I’ll become perfect by association.” With that ideal in mind, narcissists cozy up to people they find perfect–be it a colleague or a crush–and then get really disappointed when that person isn’t as impeccable as they imagined.

Because for a narcissist, everything has to be perfect.

You like to put other people down.

Narcissistic people intentionally put down others in order to maintain a high positive image of themselves.

“Seeking admiration is like a drug for narcissists,” said Mitja D. Back, a psychologist at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. “In the long run it becomes difficult because others won’t applaud them, so they always have to search for new acquaintances from whom they get the next fix.”

This also explains why narcissists typically maintain only weak relationships.

Your parents ignored and adored you.

According to Sigmund Freud, a combination of parental rejection and excessive admiration is more strongly linked to adult narcissism than if one childhood experience consistently existed without the other.

The inconsistency and whiplash of the parent’s attitude towards their children will eventually cause for a “deep craving for admiration” and lead the narcissistic to lead a life searching for fleeting ego boosts.

You choose your friends to look cool or take advantage of people.

Narcissistic men and women have different ways of choosing friends.

Women choose male friends with high social status so they can feel a sense of worthiness. Dudes choose bros who can “wingman” for them when they’re trying to pick up girls.

If you’re not grandiose, then you’re introverted, hypersensitive, defensive, and anxious.

Psychologists talk about the “two faces of narcissism.” On one end there’s the hyper-aggressive, super-loud Donald Trump type. But there’s a softer form of narcissism, too. It’s called “covert narcissism,” which is denoted by introversion, hypersensitivity, defensiveness, and anxiety.

“Both shades of narcissism shared a common core of conceit, arrogance, and the tendency to give in to one’s own needs and disregard others,” Scientific American reports.

You always have to be in control.

Just as narcissists hate to talk about their feelings, “they can’t stand to be at the mercy of other people’s preferences,” Malkin says. “It reminds them that they aren’t invulnerable or completely independent–that, in fact, they might have to ask for what they want–and even worse, people may not feel like meeting the request.”

This is why they can be controlling without getting angry. In the case of romantic relationships, narcissists control people with disapproving glances, calls to change plans, and chronic lateness. This allows narcissists to undermine other people’s ability to make choices. By doing that, narcissists maintain their sense of total autonomy–which they so desperately need.