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By taking on black athletes, Trump takes on African Americans
Pushback is part of our historic ties to activism
Published Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:21 pm
by Herbert L. White

President Donald Trump has criticized black athletes like free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick for protests against economic inequality and police brutality against people of color.

If you’re an African American athlete and you protest the way so-called justice is meted out in this country, you’re a “son of a bitch.”

President Trump is talking about folks who possibly look like you and me. Scratch that. He’s talking to all of us. We’re all sons of bitches.

The president, in his infinite wisdom, has turned his focus to talking smack to black athletes and sports personalities as somehow unpatriotic because they dare take action in accordance with their First Amendment rights. You want to take a knee during the national anthem as silent protest against police brutality like Colin Kaepernick?

Say you don’t want a White House invitation even if one is extended to your NBA championship team, Steph Curry? Calling Trump a white supremacist when his action (or inaction) lends all kinds of credence to the claim, Jemele Hill?

They’re all bad and not worth the attention or money of flag-waving, pseudo America-first types.

In Trump world, they’re all bums worthy of being fired from the jobs that pay them handsome salaries. What do they have in common? Melanin. You never see Trump or his White House minions take on NFL or NBA owners, billionaires who are overwhelmingly white, or for that matter ESPN, the Disney-owned media company that employs Hill. Nah. He figures going after soft targets will rile up the base and send the implicit message that what white folks give white folks can take away.

Ordinary black folks know that all too well, and I suspect athletes do, too. And still we’re finding new ways to raise our voices. The athletes, of course, have a much larger megaphone.

Some will argue athletes are spoiled brats with an entitlement complex. “Just shut up and play,” they’ll moan, thinking that providing their pleasure more than offsets the very real possibility of having your skull cracked open by cops for nothing more than the color or your skin is worth selling out. It isn’t, because they, like more black folks, realize that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness means not a whit if your life is taken away.

I understand politics and it can’t be avoided, even in the sports bubble. Billion-dollar stadiums aren’t built without public support. Collegiate programs take tax dollars and student fees to operate. Broadcast rights to televised games don’t happen without government OK. So when athletes stand up to The Man, whether it’s by Tweet or kneeling, it’s a political act. It’s not new. From Jesse Owens in 1936 Berlin to Jackie Robinson in 1947 Brooklyn and Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Bill Russell in the 1960s, it’s part of the legacy of conscious black folks to speak truth to power, and at times, evil.

They’ve paid a price: American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith were kicked out of the 1968 Olympics for their black-fisted salute against the economic and social violence against African Americans in their homeland. Ali was stripped of his boxing license at the peak of his career for refusing induction to the Army during the Vietnam War. Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by an NFL team although he could start for a third of them.

The president certainly will do and say what he thinks, as the Constitution and American law allows. Those tools are also there for us sons and daughters of  bitches to air our grievances. Now’s a good time to do so.

Herbert L. White is editor in chief of The Charlotte Post.


The Black Race should leave babylon now anyway they can for the true sons of ham(the white race) are going under divine destruction Jerimiah ch 50-51 Jerimiah ch50-1 I will send destroying winds (hurricane irma the stephen paddocks n korea iran etc) Total destruction the only solution Jerimiah ch 51 62-64 come back home to Africa now which is really ZION the authentic land of cannan
Posted on October 12, 2017
I engaged in a conversation on Twitter regarding this very issue. People say Colin Kaepernick wore socks depicting cops as pigs or wore a Fidel Castro shirt. But so what? If that was his expression for the day, who is anyone to judge that? I had a friend that went to a NASCAR race over the weekend, who witnessed an older Caucasian male wiping his seat with an American flag? Should judgement be cast on this gentleman for "disrespecting" the flag? Is not wiping a wet seat the same as taking a lighter to it the same thing? The majority of people who express their grievances about these players who are protesting, have no suggestion for how they could conduct themselves differently. Just that they don 't want it in their face. It is hard not to be able to hide behind ignorance.
Posted on October 9, 2017
Herb, I like and respect you. However, we just don't agree on this issue and would like to share a different perspective. Colin Kaepernick has an agenda, wears socks depicting cops as pigs, supports Fidel Castro, butcher Che Guevara, etc. As a veteran and PSL owner this is disrespectful to our flag, country and values. I feel confident Dr. King would not support this type of action and I lived through the 60's. Regarding Kaepernick as an athlete he is not that good, look at his last two years statistics and his decline. From a business owners perspective he is expensive, a liability, a distraction and a high risk. He simply is not a good business investment when you have other comparable or better options available. He did this to himself, it's a self inflicted wound and he needs to be held accountable for his own actions and decisions. Regarding the flag what does it truly represent other than unity and to bring all Americans together. Stripes 13 for original colonies, 50 stars for states, Red Stripes represent hardiness, valor and all the American blood shed for freedom, White Stripes purity, innocence, tears shed by the families, moms, spouses, sons, daughters, etc. Blue the color of the chief, Broad Band above stripes signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. I just think there are more constructive ways to have a civil conversation and meaningful dialogue about this important challenge for our country to resolve. With all this division that exists racism and class warfare fueled by the unaccountable media and some terrible irresponsible politicians, What are we teaching our children and grandchildren? If a nation has a loss in its identity and purpose what do we have remaining to move forward? America is still the best hope for mankind on this good earth and we are being systematically divided by those who want to destroy us, not make us better and stronger as a people, society and nation.
Posted on October 3, 2017
Excellent point of view and to the principle arguments I fully agree. Perhaps someone will embody the message of Dr. King and begin to call for constructive dialogue to bring about positive and lasting change. I did not vote for the current president and am ashamed of his lack of wisdom in expressing his opinion but somebody has to call for a cessation of ths type of behavior on all fronts or we as a society may reach a point of no return. What kind of a legacy will we leave for our children and children's children?
Posted on September 24, 2017

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