TRUMP DECLARES WAR ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATHLETES — DISSES CURRY, NFL, NBA, LEBRON JAMES REACTS! — Packers & Other NFL Teams Push Back Against President’s Appeals To Racism & Disrespect For Constitution!

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/politics/donald-trump-nfl-nba/index.html

Chris Cillizza writes on CNN:

“On one level, this is classic Trump. He feels as though he is being disrespected — whether by NFL players not standing for the national anthem or by Curry saying if it was up to him, the Golden State Warriors would not visit the White House. (The Warriors, in a statement Saturday afternoon, said they would come to Washington and do events to promote diversity and inclusiveness rather than meet with Trump.)
They hit him, so he hit back.
But, there’s something far more pernicious here. Both the NFL and the NBA are sports in which the vast majority of the players are black and the vast majority of owners are white. In the NFL, there are 0 black owners of the 32 teams. In the NBA, Michael Jordan is the lone black owner of a team.
Consider that in the context of what Trump said both Friday night and Saturday.
In Alabama, Trump called the players who refuse to stand for the anthem “sons of bitches” and insisted that any owner worth his or her salt should fire them immediately.
That got a lot of attention — and rightly so. But it’s what Trump said next that’s really telling. “Total disrespect of our heritage, a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” he said — adding for emphasis: “Everything that we stand for.”
Notice the use of “our heritage” and “we” in those two sentences above.
But wait, there’s more. In both his Curry tweet and his two NFL tweets, Trump expressed frustration that these lucky athletes felt the need to be ungrateful.
Trump noted the “great honor” of going to the White House and the “privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL.” You should just be thankful for what you have and not be making any trouble, Trump is telling these players.
Here’s the thing: Even if we lived in a color-blind society, that would be a dangerous sentiment. After all, freedom of expression is right there in the First Amendment. And our brave soldiers didn’t fight and die so that everyone stood during the national anthem. They fought so people could have the right to make a choice about whether or not they wanted to stand. That’s the whole damn point of the First Amendment.
The thing is: We don’t live in a color-blind society. Slavery sits at the founding roots of America. The goal of racial equality remains a goal, not an achievement. To pretend otherwise is to willfully blind yourself to hundreds years of history.
Even more context darkens the picture for Trump. He played at racially coded language throughout his presidential campaign. He also displayed a stunningly simplistic view of the black community.
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said of African-Americans in a speech to a largely white audience in Michigan during the campaign. When NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot in Chicago, Trump tweeted: “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”” He took an inordinate amount of time to condemn former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. And so on.
As President, Trump has done little too ease concerns about his racial views — and, in fact, has heightened them. His handling of the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests — in which white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in protest of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee — was particularly alarming.
Even as the protests turned violent — one woman was killed — Trump claimed that there were violent factions “on many sides” to be blamed. Days later, he doubled down on that false premise; “I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “And you have — you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now.”
Although his administration tried desperately to move on from his remarks, it was made clear recently that Trump meant exactly what he said. The day after meeting at the White House with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — the lone black Republican in the Senate — Trump was quick to note that he had been right in his initial comments after Charlottesville.
“I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said,” Trump told reporters.
And now, this.
I’ve long believed that Trump is simply saying whatever comes to mind, that there is no broader strategy to his comments. But it’s impossible to conclude that after Charlottesville, Trump is totally ignorant of the racial context in which his remarks on the NFL and NBA land. No one is that oblivious.
When, given all the water under the bridge — both in terms of our country’s history and the more narrow history of Trump’s campaign — you make comments about how the athletes in predominantly black pro sports leagues should just be happy with what they have and not complain, you aren’t doing it by accident. You really believe it.
Play football or basketball so we can be entertained, Trump seems to be telling these athletes. No one wants to hear your lack of gratitude for what you’ve been given.
There’s so many things wrong with that view.
First of all, no one gave these players anything. They worked for it.
Second, just because you are a professional athlete doesn’t mean you don’t get to be a citizen, too. We don’t tell accountants, for example, that they can’t express their opinions on politics and the culture more broadly, right? So why should we be in the business of telling professional athletes? And would Trump feel the same way if the majority of those protesting the anthem were white?
Trump defenders will note that Trump didn’t name names — other than Curry — when he blasted professional athletes. That “we” are adding color to it, not him.

But that doesn’t fly. As I noted above, both the NFL and NBA are majority black. And those refusing to stand during the national anthem are, with one exception, also all black.
Trump knows this. He is an avid consumer of TV and culture. Which means that he is purposely playing at and with racial animus here. That is a dark thing to do as the leader of the United States. And something he deserves to be condemned for.”

As reported in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Packer President/CEO Mark Murphy issued the following statement:

The full statement from Murphy:

“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact.

“We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”

**********************************

Trump’s racism and his condescending attitude toward minorities should come as no surprise given his campaign, his base, the GOP’s racially divisive agenda, and the folks surrounding him. It also should come as no surprise that Trump’s remarks came in Alabama, a state unable to advance beyond its disgusting racist history (except on the football field in Tuscolusa in the Fall) and move into the present.

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow at NFL stadiums. It will also be interesting to see whether African-American athletes put their money, time, and prestige behind encouraging others to vote so that Trump will never happen again and that the GOP stranglehold on our Government and our country will be broken.

Finally, why do we sing the National Anthem at sporting events in the first place? These athletic contests are entertsinment, not expressions of patriotism. We don’t sing it before concerts, movies, plays, and other performances. It doesn’t belong at sporting events either.

It is a bizarre and sad state of affairs when the President of the Green Bay Packers has to “school” the President of the United States on the meaning of our Constitution and an appropriate tone for race relations in our country!

PWS

09-23-17

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “TRUMP DECLARES WAR ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATHLETES — DISSES CURRY, NFL, NBA, LEBRON JAMES REACTS! — Packers & Other NFL Teams Push Back Against President’s Appeals To Racism & Disrespect For Constitution!”

  1. Exactly. Why is the national anthem played at sporting events in the first place? To keep up the illusion that football and baseball are as American as apple pie, and therefore, if you play the national anthem at these sporting events, and the attendees don’t stand, then they are disrespectful of our nation? It seems more like playing the national anthem is to involve the American citizens in a distraction from what really matters…ya know, like health care, world politics, nuclear war or whatever, and keep the home fires burning…..

    I am not surprised to see our “leader” not state that the NFL players have a right to their opinion and their right to do so publicly…unlike in C-ville, where there would good people on “both sides.” That comment is only elicited from this “leader” when the side that begins the “discussion” is white.

    What does surprise me is the number of my caucasian acquaintances who are in fact outraged about the NFL players’ defiance of their caucasian norms. These are the same caucasians who were happy enough to watch brown skinned people pummel each other into traumatic brain injuries and bet on the winners, and form fantasy football leagues….But then, once the NFL began to finally make steps towards reducing TBI in their players, those people became angry when the players were able to finally coherently find a voice against such racist xenophobes like our dear “leader” and took it personally when the brown skinned players and their supporters kneeled during the national anthem in protest of their own exploitation. Millions of dollars a year doesn’t replace your health.

    It is as if Jeff Sessions himself was the conductor of a middle school orchestra, where all the parents in the audience were clapping loudly, in spite of the out-of-sync and out-of-tune music which was clearly poorly played, but they all pretend it was wonderful. Then the president of the 8th grade class came on stage afterwards to say “What a great performance! Did you hear how loudly everyone clapped? This is the best performance our school orchestra has ever given!” And everyone cheers loudly, in spite of the fact they know it actually sucked.

    Not trying to hijack your most informative and enlightening blog, Judge Schmidt, but feeling so outraged by the outrage of “my” people. I hope that you will soon transition this blog to a social media platform, where your opinions will have a broader audience and reach, where otherwise regular people will get a chance to hear your opinions. Fight fire with fire, we cannot let them extinguish the flames of democracy, decency and intolerance with their ignorance.

    1. Thanks, Roxanne. I’m just an old retired judge blogger. And, I am interested in the technical issues of the law and the “bad things” that are happening in U.S. Immigraton Court, which far too few folks understand. Very few U.S. citizens would put up with the type of due process and justice that are dispensed in Immigraton Court every day. And, by and large, that’s not because the judges and staff don’t care. But, they can’t really do the job on fairness, impartiality, and real due process while they are in a highly bureaucratic Executive agency driven by politicos who want to make the Administration “look tough” on immigration. And, that’s true in Democratic as well as GOP Administrations, just a little less overtly racist and mean-spirited in the former.

      So, I’ll leave the social media platform to others who are better at that sort of thing than I am. But, immigration and the U.S. Immigraton Courts are among the top “social justice” issues in America today.

      The attitude that Trump, his cronies, and some fans take toward the many Black stars in the NFL and NBA is pretty much their attitude toward the entire Hispanic community: you’re there to pick our lettuce, build our houses, sweep our floors, make our food, take care of our kids, and entertain us. But, don’t think that we’re going to respect you as equals, recognize your constitutional rights, or give you your fair share of the power. Not going to happen without a fight.

      Interestingly, after hearing the dialogue over the weekend, I’m pretty sure that most of the Black athletes actually have the drive and the skills to have been successful in other fields. No, most of them probably wouldn’t have made nearly as much money. But, they wouldn’t be out on the street either. (Think where Trump might have ended up in a strict meritocracy where he didn’t have the advantages of “white privilege.”) And, nobody would pay to see a bunch of white guys trying to play football or basketball. Even in Alabama, the most racist state in the nation, the “Crimson Tide” would be a “punching bag” in major college football without its Black stars!

      Blacks literally built Alabama. But the truly despicable white majority puts horrible individuals with perverted views on race, diversity, and our Constitution, like Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore in office. However, like the myths about the Confedracy and its racist heroes that are finally being exposed, eventually today’s White Alabamans will be recognized for the appalling 21st Century racists and theologues that they are. And, that’s just something that their descendants will have to live with. The worst part of the weekend was watching the white idiots in Alabama applaud and cheer Trump’s ignorant racism.
      PWS
      09-25-17

      Best,
      P

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