[Full Transcript] David Stern’s Inaugural Speech (The Ten Black Commandments)

The new leader of the black elite speaks.

First and foremost, I want to express how honored and excited I am to be named Commissioner of Black Entertainment. That I would be recognized as someone worthy of overseeing the decorum of all black athletes and entertainers is a testament to years of hard work with the National Basketball Association in improving the image and lifestyle of some of the world’s most gifted. My goal is to use my previous experience to inform my approach to this new challenge, rather than graft old practices onto a broader stage.

Although I don’t believe it is generally necessary to say so, as my reputation speaks for itself, I still want to make clear that my agenda as Commissioner of Black Entertainment is to lift up the race in the eyes of a world that both idolizes and vilifies it equally. The only way to eliminate this toxic dichotomy is to enact and instill a sense of constructive self-government for black Americans in a country whose society has failed them so often.

The main tenets of my agenda are self-awareness and image management. And although my Jewish roots alone should dispel any misconceptions about how my non-blackness will negatively impact this agenda (we Jews love black people), I want to take this time to share with the Code by which all black athletes and entertainers should strongly consider living.

I recognize the importance of transparency here and want to be forthright about the Code so as to not be subject to controversy about future misinterpretations of it. Deputy Commissioner Pat Riley and Minister General Dr. Cornel West will be available to answer any questions about the Code that you all may have afterwards.

So, without further ado, the Black Entertainment Code of Decorum, which will be more conventionally known as the Ten Black Commandments [shocked murmur in the crowd]:

Commandment #1: Ownership or leasing of Sport Utility Vehicles will only be permitted to those who have legal custody of more than 3 children. Short-term rentals of Sport Utility Vehicles (i.e. insurance company ‘loaners,’ vacation vehicles) are permitted. However, constant short-term rentals may land you under investigation.

Commandment #2: A luxury tax of 2 dollars for every one 1 dollar spent on ostentatious jewelry must be donated to charity. Receivers of jewelry as ‘gifts’ may not insure any articles unless the insurer can verify proof of the adjoined donation. In other words, foolish displays of wealth such as the ‘Big Ass Chain’ will cost three times as much as it did before.

Commandment #3: Appearances on ‘lifestyle’ television shows, like “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and the more contemporary “MTV Cribs” will no longer be allowed, as they serve only to alienate and/or misinform.

Hey, if you don't want to improve yourself, fine.

Commandment #4: The act of using dollar bills of any denomination and releasing them from your hands to simulate precipitation, known commonly as ‘making it rain,’ is only permitted in the privacy of your own home. People who decide to circumvent this rule by substituting coins for dollar bills may consequently find themselves under criminal investigation. Coins hurt.

Commandment #5: No spinning rims ever again.

Commandment #6: No pit bulls. Do I even need to say why?

Commandment #7: No Tweeting. Nothing good ever comes of it.

Commandment #8: If you are in an environment where you can be photographed or filmed engaging in behavior that you would have to explain later to preserve your reputation, stop what you are doing and leave that environment immediately. Michael Phelps and Miley Cyrus may be able to salvage their careers after such incidents, but remember: they are white people.

Commandment #9: Stop getting arrested. Believe it or not, this is something you can control.

A thoughtful pause from the High Commander

Commandment #10: All black athletes and entertainers will be required to take a course called The History of American Humanity. Sorry, Shaw, but this course will not be available on-line [laughter]. It will be team-taught by a panel of lecturers, including Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Nikki Giovanni, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Tony Dungy, Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Vivian Stringer and…Hubie Brown. The Keynote Speaker of the course’s graduation ceremony will be President Barack Obama. If these people cannot teach you more about who you are and where you came from, then the money you make isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Of course, violating these commandments will not result in legal punishments, as the Code has no connection to federal or state law. However, every person who deviates from the Code will from now on, without question, stand to feel a deep sense of guilt for contributing to the decline of his or her people.

If I may, I would like to invoke the ideas of President Barack Obama, which champion responsibility of the individual as a means of  strengthening the entire community. And on behalf of all Jewish people, I want to assure you that we will continue to support the advancement of black people, as we often stand to gain just as much from it, if not more [awkward laughter from audience]. Thank you and let’s start the healing.

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