Milwaukee alderman blasts Clipper owner for comments about Magic Johnson, praises Johnson for investing in our communityMay 15, 2014 // 0 Comments
By Ald. Joe Davis, Sr.
Having now learned the full story about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his remarks about legendary sports icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, I am left stunned with utter disbelief and disgust.
As Mr. Sterling rambles on with some harebrained notion about Magic’s lack of a contribution to African American communities throughout the nation, Sterling’s willful ignorance is evident right here in Milwaukee. Mr. Johnson left a legacy in our city with his acquisition of the old Capitol Court Mall, which he transformed into the largest retail development in the city, the Midtown Shopping Center.
Anchored by the Starbucks that Magic still owns, he gave the City of Milwaukee a gift with his vision of investment in a blighted property, and created more than 1,000 jobs with his catalytic development.
No one can question how much Mr. Johnson’s vision has impacted the community surrounding the Midtown Shopping Center development. When many investors and brokers were looking elsewhere for a return on their investments, he saw value in the African American community and gave the area an economic boost—and a long-term identity.
Although Mr. Johnson has no equity investment in the current development other than the legendary Starbucks, when customers visit the retail development, their reactions range from awe to pride.
I grew up as Magic Johnson dazzled the world with championship after championship, in addition to NBA and playoff series MVP honors.
Yet he always remembered his African American and Midwestern roots. So when a repugnant racist and bigot like Donald Sterling tries to destroy the image of a legendary African American icon who recognized value in our city, we should all remember that Mr. Johnson believed in us and put his money where his heart is.
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