Category: White House

White People Everywhere Confuse Patriotism With Racism as African-American Football Players Demonstrate First Amendment Rights

To some, there is nothing that defines America more than the Star-Spangled Banner. Serving as our National Anthem, the tune strikes a patriotic chord with every citizen from coast-to-coast, apathetic to party lines. Whenever the opening verse is sung ever-so-softly, it’s as if the world slows its rotation. A haunting hush sweeps across all men, women and children as they all stand at attention with hands covering hearts, yearning to fill his or her ear drums with more beautiful sound. As the song reaches its conclusion, crossing a wide variety of notes both low and high, tears everywhere are shed. The trials and tribulations of a nation that has overcome copious amounts of hurdles are recognized in just two minutes of harmonic and melodic bliss. The National Anthem IS America.

But as I have previously written, this nation’s faith in symbolic gestures often goes too far. The lines between patriotism and jingoism are blurred, and we suddenly forget what it means to possess freedom; that rights to or to not participate in an action are well within the confines of said freedom. It was not until former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained on the bench for the duration of the National Anthem that I began realizing how conflated we have allowed our love for country to become.

While speaking on behalf of a republican candidate for an Alabama senate seat, Donald Trump did what Donald Trump does best, and opened his mouth. Taking his speech from Main Street to Middle-of-Nowheresville, the President stumbled onto the subject of football, as the state he was in is most widely-known for producing a plethora of football talent (much to the dismay of this Florida State University fan). He began presenting his opinions on the National Football League. After a short rant on how the league’s lack of hard hits is ruining the game, the freshman politician focused his tirade directly toward the players. Stated the President:

But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore anyway…Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’

That the President used an expletive phrase whilst describing a group of U.S. citizens is in itself atrocious, but most disturbingly, he out-rightly suggested that a football player (this was directed at Kaepernick) be fired for taking advantage of the platform available to him to make a difference and spur change. The attack on the NFL triggered responses from every direction, as athletes of different sports, politicians, political pundits, coaches and even owners all had something to say.

Come Sunday, all eyes were focused on players of the NFL, awaiting a reaction to the President’s comments. Around the league, teammates knelt, stood together, linked arms or, in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers (with the exception of one player), remained in the tunnel while the Anthem played.

After Trump again doubled down on his original remarks, he stated that protests are not race-related, but only bring disrespect to the country, and our “great” flag. Up until that point, however, the majority of those kneeling or sitting had been African-American. After his “good people on both sides” remark of Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, it became astoundingly clear that it was neither about the flag or the country for Trump. It is about race. Because it always has been.

These protests, which were an obvious rebuking of comments threatening the first amendment, once again sparked debate among an already-embattled nation. Gridlocked in eternal disagreement are those who agree with what took place Sunday, believing one’s first amendment rights come first, and opposite are those that feel that kneeling or not standing with one’s hand over one’s heart blatantly disrespects our flag, its meaning and what our veterans have fought and died to protect and establish.

Now, it is not too often that I struggle with writing something, as the abilities to turn a phrase or form coherent sentences out of a nebulous thought process are traits on which I pride myself. This, however, was difficult to write, as there are not two sides present to argue.

Colin Kaepernick began his quest for change in August of 2016, wanting to shift his focus toward systemic racial injustices taking place all around the country. White cops taking innocent, mostly-unarmed African-American lives and facing no punishment had become an epidemic, and Kaepernick stated he could not stand for the Anthem, as he did not agree with what the flag had then stood for. Almost immediately, his actions were met with backlash. Some called him an over-privileged millionaire, others shouted that he hated the country, and there were even the few that suggested he live somewhere else if he does not agree with what we stand for…A black man, saying nothing, and sticking up for what he believed to be morally good, infuriated white Americans everywhere. And that trend is shadowed today by the man we call President of the United States.

Our President does not care about America, he does not care about the flag, and he surely does not care for the National Anthem. And as I have learned, neither do those who oppose the efforts to bring race relations to the forefront of discussion.

White people are born with rose-colored glasses attached to their faces; for us, the United States IS the land of opportunity; the National Anthem IS beautiful. Our veterans ARE the bravest humans here. But for those not born white, bravery is waking up every day and living in a world where some of your fellow human beings see you as a subservient species for no other reason than the color of your skin. Where a failure to use your turn signal will land you in prison, ultimately putting an end to your life. This is reality, and to blame it on lack of love for one’s country is both a disservice to the progression of this country, and blatant disrespect to those who have literally sacrificed their lives to get here today.

America has become a nation of flag-waiving hypocrites, dressed to the nines in red, white and blue, too vacuous to understand that love for country does not allow for hatred of others. If showing respect towards a piece of cloth, or listening intently to a song is patriotic, but being black, having opinions and working towards a better future for those that live here are not, please, do not call yourself a patriotic American. Call yourself a racist piece of shit with an American flag.

 

 

Donald Trump’s Idiotic non-responses to Nazism, Charlottesville Cement His Legacy as a Disgrace

Saturday’s gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, which saw a multiplicity of injuries and one fatality — Heather Heyer, 32, and a native of Charlottesville — gave America’s most powerful man the opportunity to quell chaos within the nation, which has been so obviously wrapped in its own cocoon of estrangement. On the most down-the-middle Eephus pitch ever thrown, Donald J. Trump whiffed ‘bigly.’ And then David Duke smiled. And then the Nazis won.

Giving a written speech with just a bit of that off-the-cuff zest we’ve begun to mistake as statesmanlike, Mr. Trump stood behind the Presidential Seal and delivered a statement concerning the rally. Said the President:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides.”

Mr. Trump, on Tuesday, again delivered another incredible response to the domestic terrorism, in which he again laid blame to the “many sides,” but this time named the “alt-left” as the co-contributor. In a response to a reporter, Trump asked the following:

What about the ‘alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right,’ do they have any semblance of guilt?”

He added further, “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.”

Unfortunately, the press conference kept on.

“You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, to them, of a very, very important statue and a renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” Later adding, “George Washington was a slave owner. So will George Washington lose his status?…How about Thomas Jefferson…”

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

While the nation is having trouble keeping its head above water in the deep end of the pool, too busy fending off the resurgence of hateful, extremist rhetoric from white supremacists, it’s drowning because of a Nazi-apologist President that refuses to throw out a life-vest and not forthrightly state how truly disgusting these human beings are. The United States has no leader. It has no President, and no administration to guide its people in the proper, peaceful direction during a time of sickening turbulence.

This country was built on the backs of slaves; African-American, Irish-American, Asian-American and countless others (though not willingly) contributed to making America what it is today. When we are at our most diverse, able to celebrate varying cultures, creeds and colors, we are at our strongest.

Fascism never truly died when Hitler did, and racism in America never truly died when we twice elected our very first African-American president. Donald J. Trump, the man that was elected to succeed Barack Obama, continues to personify an America that I do not recognize. One that hates you because you are different. One that judges not by the contents of your character, but by the pigmentation in your skin. One that continues to make me disgusted to call myself an American citizen.

We have no President.

We have only a disgraceful, xenophobic, 71 year-old Nazi sympathizer.

Donald Trump is not my, nor is he this nation’s President.

Muslims of Seven Countries Banned From United States

Beginning Friday, all Muslims seeking refuge from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen will be banned from entering America for 120 days, while Muslims from Syria will be banned indefinitely.

During his campaign for the presidency in late December of 2015, Donald Trump first spoke of putting a “temporary ban” on Muslim immigrants and refugees seeking entry into the United States. Wanting to quell what he refers to as “radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump believed then and continues to believe now that barring those seeking asylum within the states would bring an abrupt end to terrorism within our country.

Ignorance and irrationality won Friday, as Donald Trump followed through with the campaign promise he had made two Decembers ago. The President signed an executive order which will not only include an aforementioned ban on Muslims from several middle eastern countries, but also “extreme vetting,” which he believes will “keep the terrorists out.”

In a speech given to the Department of Defense the same day, Trump stated, “We are establishing new vetting measures, to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” He continued, “We don’t want them here.” As he signed into action the order, he played directly into the hands of ISIL, submitting to fear of what is not understood, instead of siding with the overwhelming factual evidence that suggests exactly the contrary.

While Trump believes Islam is the be-all-end-all of society, there is little-to-no fact to back the reasoning behind this executive order, making it abundantly clear: Muslims are not terrorizing the U.S.

In an article titled “You’re more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than killed by a terrorist” published in “Washington Post” on 23 November, 2015 (shortly after the ISIL attack on Paris, France) by author Andrew Shaver – a former Pentagon analyst and foreign affairs fellow with the U.S. Senate –  it is explained in-depth just how rare it is for an American to be killed by a terrorist versus various other common ways to die. States Shaver:

“…in the time it has taken you to read until this point, at least one American has died from a heart attack. Within the hour, a fellow citizen will have died from skin cancer. Roughly five minutes after that, a military veteran will commit suicide. And by the time you turn the lights off to sleep this evening, somewhere around 100 Americans will have died throughout the day in vehicular accidents

He ends the article with, “We can refuse to give [terrorists] the fear they so desperately want from us.”

Consider the last five major attacks on U.S. soil: Fort Lauderdale, Pulse Nightclub, Charleston, South Carolina, San Bernardino, California and Newtown, Connecticut. The nationalities of the perpetrators of said attacks were, respectively: American, American, American, American and, you guessed it: American. Not a single one migrated here from one of the seven countries present on Trump’s “banned” list. They were all born here.

And September 11, 2001? Of the nineteen hijackers, fifteen were from Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt and one from Lebanon.

And if you didn’t happen to notice, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon are all absent on the list of barred countries.

None of this is to suggest the seven banned parts of the middle east are currently in states of peace, because they are not by far. They are, however, areas filled with innocent citizens who are attempting to flee from the very same thing we believe we’ve been fighting. For no apparent reason other than fear, those hoping to find shelter in the United States were just denied ingress from the most powerful person in the world.

In June of 2015, “Time” published a study from the New America Foundation, which stated:

“Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have, according to research by the New America Foundation.”

According to the study, “48 people were killed by white terrorists, while 26 were killed by radical Islamists, since Sept. 11.” “Time” author Joanna Plucinska went on to state that the criminal justice system clearly presented cases of racial bias, usually punishing jihadists harsher than their radical non-Muslim counterparts.

It pains me to see a country so deeply divided on this issue, particularly because there should not be two sides. When human lives – innocent human lives – are put in danger, it becomes the duty of other human beings to lift them up out of harm’s way, not to continue pressing them down, allowing them to be slaughtered. As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “For what are we born if not to aid one another?”

Today, we saw our President. We saw what motivates and drives him to make a decision. It was not inspiration, not humanity, not compassion and not factual evidence.

We saw fear.