By now we are all overly familiar with Don Sterling’s infamous recorded racist tirade which caused him to be banned by the NBA and fined $2.5 million dollars. The “personal” conversation that took place between Mr. Sterling and his “silly rabbit” V. Stiviano has been playing throughout the media over the past couple of weeks. Many of us were horrified, yet not totally shocked, by what we heard and perceived to understand from the recording.
We witnessed the solidarity of the Los Angeles Clippers players as they wore their warm up jerseys inside-out, along with black wrist bands to speak out against the team’s owner. We even heard his “apology” and also watched and listened in awe at the impossible justification of his thoughts and statements.
Though most of us have reached our limit with all things Don Sterling and V. Stiviano, there are a few nuggets of information to take away from this issue that could affect you in the near future, specifically regarding the recording and dissemination of personal and private conversations without consent. V. Stiviano maintains that Mr. Sterling knew he was being recorded. She also stated that she was not the person or entity to release said recordings to the media. Notwithstanding who is the actual culprit in the ultimate downfall of Mr. Sterling’s NBA career as an owner, there are serious legal implications that should be acknowledged and understood from these series of events.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
There are laws on both the state and federal levels which determine the legal ramifications, if any, for recording and disseminating personal and private conversations. Based upon federal law, only one party to the conversation has to be aware of and consent to the electronic recording of a conversation. As long as a single participant to the conversation consents to the taping, the recording does not violate the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (i.e. – “Wiretap Act”). However, on the state level, California, where these recordings took place, has more stringent “wiretap” laws which require all party consent, with a few exceptions.
New York’s wiretapping law is a “one-party consent” law. New York makes it a crime to record to record or eavesdrop on an in-person or telephone conversation unless one party to the conversation consents pursuant to N.Y. Penal Law §§ 250.00, 250.05.
Another example of state laws surrounding the recording and dissemination of private conversations, as recognized by Jackie Ford, partner at Houston and Columbus firm Vorys, includes the 1999 indictment of Linda Tripp for recording telephone conversations with “presidential paramour” Monica Lewinsky. Tripp purportedly recorded conversations with Ms. Lewinsky from her home in Maryland, which is an all-party consent state, then shared them with a writer at Newsweek magazine. “Although the tapes were used to support the impeachment of a president, Tripp was criminally charged for making them. Ultimately, the charges against Tripp were dismissed after a state court ruled that her immunity agreement with federal prosecutors prohibited using the tapes against her.”
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU?
As the laws vary from state to state, it is best to become familiar with them before recording and disseminating what may be deemed to be a “private” conversation without the other participant’s consent. Failure to do so may lead to prosecution of criminal charges and possibly on the civil level for damages.
For more information regarding state specific recording and wiretap statutes, please visit the site.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
Check Out The Most Racist Moments Of Last Year:
1. The Most Racist Moments Of The Year
One would think that because we're living in very modern and progressive times that racism would be a thing of the past, but sadly, it's not. This year has been an extremely racially charged year. Let's take a look back at the most racist moments we hope don't show up again in 2014.
2. Black ESPN Sportscaster Receives Racist Letter From A ‘Fan’ [PHOTO]
Sports enthusiast and ESPN on-air personality, Jemele Hill wasn't well received when she guest hosted on "The Herd." A "fan" sent a handwritten letter that begged the network to not have Black people hosting. "I’m not interested in spending all day listening to some thick-lipped gorilla, attempting to properly speak the king’s English," the letter detailed. Check out the story: http://bit.ly/1ddmcO3
3. White Man Slaps Baby & Tells Mom To ‘Shut That N*gger Baby Up’
A 60-year-old White man named, Joe Rickey Hundley is being charged with simple assault for allegedly slapping a 19-month-old baby across the face, urging the child’s adopted mother, Jessica Bennett to “shut that n*gger baby up” on a Delta flight from Minneappolis to Atlanta. Check out the shocking story here: http://bit.ly/1llORkW
4. Dear, Lisa Lampanelli: You Will Never Be A N*gga, So Stop Saying It
Self-proclaimed comedian, Lisa Lampanelli, has once again proven her fondness for back-door racism by referring to Girls creator, Lena Dunham, as her “nigga” on Twitter. That in and of itself is nothing spectacular, but her pathetic, self-serving attempts at justifying her vocabulary choice have probably been her funniest — unintentional — jokes to date. Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/1ileq8v
5. LL Cool J ‘Accidental Racist’ Lyrics: ‘In Its Proper Context, It Makes Sense”
LL Cool J decided he needed attention earlier this year, so he teamed up with country legend, Brad Paisley to create a song that would leave us all wondering, "Where the heck is he going with this?!" The tune is called "Accidental Racist" and the title is just as bad as the song. “You can’t fit 300 or 400 years of history into a 3-4 minute song,” he said. SMH. LL sit down. Check out the story: http://bit.ly/1cWs9LE
6. Twitter Reactions To Jamie Foxx’s Trayvon Martin T-Shirt Prove Racists Love Still The Internet
Jamie Foxx has always been an avid supporter of slain teen, Trayvon Martin. He decided to wear a shirt featuring Martin and the Sandy Hook shooting victims, to the MTV Movie Awards. The backlash he received on social media, left little to be desired. "Jamie Foxx wouldn't be wearing that T-shirt if Trayvon Martin was White," one of the viewers complained. Check out the full story: http://bit.ly/1cFsA2j
7. 11-Year-Old Mexican-American Singer Taunted By Racist Tweets After Singing National Anthem
This adorable pre-teen stepped in to sing the national anthem during the NBA Finals and instead of being congratulated on one of the biggest moments of his life, the adorable "American's Got Talent" star was faced with racist backlash like, "There should be an AMERICAN singing the national anthem not this illegal." Check out the story: http://bit.ly/1llF524
8. Wait, What?! Paula Deen Wants Slaves Serving At Her Dinner Party + 3 Of Her Most Racist Quotes
Paula Deen shocked the world (not really) when she was accused of making racist comments about having slaves serve at her dinner party. Deen and her son, Bubba had been accused of having separate bathrooms for their Black employees and even used racist jokes. Check out her story here: http://bit.ly/19paVsH
9. Lies Racists Tell: Paula Deen’s Sons Claim She’s No Racist & Even Taught Them Black History
Paula then offered a weak apology and told the world she couldn't be a racist because she taught her children about Black History. Thanks for the insults added to the injury, Paula. Check out her lame attempt at an apology: http://bit.ly/K9G4H8
10. Stacey Dash Defends Paula Deen + 5 Other Non-Black Celebs Who’ve Used The N-Word
As beautiful as she is, Stacey Dash gets the award for needing to have the most seats of 2013. From her public support of Mitt Romney and the Republican party, to her support of Paul Deen after her racist comments, we're left wondering if all she has to offer are sparkling green eyes. Evidently, Stacey reached out to encourage Paula. Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/1ddIGhP
11. WTF?! Rush Limbaugh Decides That He Can Now Say, ‘N*gga’ [VIDEO]
After seeing Rachel Jeantel's testimony during the Trayvon Martin trial, Rush Limbaugh decided that he needed to insert his ignorant opinion on the use of the "N-word." “So, n—a with an a on the end,” Rush said, before adding, “I think I can now. Isn’t that the point? Because it’s not racist! I could be talking about a male.” Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/JiuEAw
12. Justin Bieber Drops ‘N-Word’ On New Track?
Because dropping records with Drake and pretending to be so hard despite blaring White privilege, wasn’t working, Bieber decided to take steps farther and do what no other White person (even Rush Limbaugh) has been able to do without being shunned–say the n-word. “She wants me to be her n***a,” he allegedly sings on song “What She Wants.” Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/1ildMYF
13. Salon Writer Calls Eric Holder President Obama’s “Inner Ni***r!” Did He Go Too Far?
He said, “Some of us have an Inner Child. Others have an Inner Ni**er. Is Holder the president’s conscience? Or his Inner Ni**er?” WTF?! Check out the full story here:http://bit.ly/1g7wWhs
14. New Cheerios Commercial Starring An Interracial Couple Causes Big Stir
One would think that by 2013, our world views would have become progressive enough to accept an interracial family on a commercial, right? Wrong! The Cherrios commercial, starring an adorable biracial tot ruffled way too many feathers when it aired and showed the mixed family. Check out the commercial and backlash here: http://bit.ly/1cbmNuY
15. Italy’s First Black Minister Attacked & Called A ‘Symbol Of A Hypocritical, Do-Gooding’
Italy has its first Black minister and she’s a woman! Black and Italo-Congolese minister, Cécile Kyenge was appointed by Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta to be the Minister of Integration. Before Kyenge could even celebrate the victory on April 27th, she was met with opposition and racism from the Northern League in Italy. Despite the racism, she is still proud of her country. http://bit.ly/1btNx9X
16. First Indian Miss America Receives Support After Racist Backlash
Nina Davuluri may have won the title of Miss America, but she didn’t immediately win the hearts of America. The critical powerhouse known as Twitter almost erupted in racist tweets after the 24-year-old made history as the first Indian-American to win the beauty competition. Check out what racists had to say: http://bit.ly/18OJRoy
17. WTF?! 21-Year-Old White Girl Boasts Racist African Bday Party On Facebook [PHOTOS]
A 21-year-old Australian girl wanted an African-themed celebration and she photographed the racist interpretations of that theme and posted them on Facebook. The result was a mix of ignorance and offensiveness. Check out the photos and her lame explanation: http://bit.ly/1adnww8
18. Don Lemon, Your Mother’s Advice To You As A Child Will Not Save The World From Racism [VIDEO]
Don Lemon faced a ton of flack when he claimed to have the solution of combating racism. After agreeing with Bill O'Reilly and then taking it a step further to offer up 5 points of things Black people can do to fight against racism, including pulling up our pants and picking up trash in your community. Check out Lemon's 5-point plan: http://bit.ly/1hJZvSF
19. Sorry Not Sorry: Barneys Offers Their ‘Deepest Apologies’ By Hiring A Civil Rights Expert
Barneys faced a lot of criticism for making several headlines about racially profiling Black people in their posh stores. Many of the cases resulted in shoppers being followed out of the store and accused of stealing or not being able to pay for the expensive item they chose. Barneys responded by hiring a Civil Rights Expert to help them understand their racist policies. Check out the story: http://bit.ly/19o157j
20. Kanye West Gives Middle Finger To Black Community: Wears Confederate Flag To Barneys
Kanye West added more fuel to Barneys racist fire by not only continuing to shop there, but wearing a Confederate Flag in the process. SMH. Check out the full story: http://bit.ly/19t8RSZ
21. GOP Thanks Rosa Parks For Ending Racism & ‘Black Twitter’s’ Responds With Jokes
Rosa Parks was thanked by the GOP for ending racism. Yeah...as if Rosa single-handedly tackled one of the biggest conflicts plaguing our nation. The GOP honestly thought Rosa Parks ended racism and that's just racist. Do your research! Check out the full story: http://bit.ly/19QxSpg
22. New Miss France Celebrates Her Mixed-Race Heritage In The Midst Of Racist Backlash
Flora Coquerel beat out 33 other competitors to take home the title of Miss France. However, instead of enjoying her new crown, the 19-year-old student, whose mother is from the West African state of Benin, is busy fighting off racial slurs. Check out her story here: http://bit.ly/1fNuMTr
23. The N-Word Vs. African American?! TMZ Launches Poll On What To Call Black People Because Of Suge Knight's Comment
Suge Knight told TMZ that he's perfer to be called, "n*gga," over African-American. So naturally, they launched the most offensive poll ever on their site--"N*gga vs African-American." SMH. Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/19QBBTM