Preserving the Dream- Martin Luther King Day in the Trump Era.

First MLK Day in the Trump Era

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday of special importance. It’s a day on which Americans come together, to mourn the passing of a man who gave his life for the betterment of mankind, and to celebrate the vitality of the magnificent dream he built his life around.

We celebrate our diversity on this day, together, because we know that’s really what makes America great. Variety is the spice of life.

Past years have seen American presidents take it seriously. In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday. Since then, US presidents have typically observed the holiday publicly, making remarks or attending events honouring the day.

Donald Trump spent his MLK Day at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. The only event on the White House daily public schedule was the flight that brought him back to Washington in the afternoon.

Ultimately, it’s best he didn’t try, as anything he could possibly have said would have been a ludicrous falsehood. He’s said enough already.

” I’m not a racist,” Trump said, to a room full of reporters on Sunday. “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”

Whenever people go around talking about how not racist they are, they’re lying.

Trump also took the opportunity to further deny that he had used the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and a number of African nations, but everybody knows.

The problems with Trump’s attacks on persons who are not rich white men seems to grow bigger every day.

News outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of a whole variety of hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of this kind to take place since last January.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly criticized the president for his attitudes and conduct, categorizing the net of their emulation as “the Trump effect“.

It has called the syndrome a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Charlottesville’s victim Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.

Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.

In other news, Cliven Bundy, the white rancher who decided to forcefully conquer government land a while back, was set free on Monday.  The incident didn’t lead to violence, but that’s only because President Obama happened to be a kindly man. They just turned off their electricity and waited until it got cold for them all to surrender, which they did.

It’s doubtful that even many Trump supporters would argue it would have happened the same way if Cliven Bundy and his followers were black.

During the eight years of the Obama presidency, we made progress in the field of anti-racism. But whenever progress is made, there’s always going to be a period of reaction. We are seeing a wave of reaction now that is very powerful.

Plainly stated, the deplorables will never forgive any one of us that voted for Obama. Those who dared to put a black man in a White House will be hated by this type for all eternity. Because no matter what they do, no matter what laws they unwrite or what executive orders they reverse, they can never go back in time and make it so that all of our Presidents were white again.

And that’s what it’s really all about. Ann Coulter said it with total candor, Adam’s apple bobbing like a cork in a wine bottle. Make America white again. That’s the great America the Trump supporters recall and want back. That’s what they thought was great about it.

It’s a sad thing.

At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.

2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. 

This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders. History has shown us where that goes.

On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray stood in the bathtub of a shared bathroom, balanced his rifle on a window ledge and shot Martin Luther King Jr. dead, as the civil rights leader was standing on a balcony outside of his motel room.

The same animus that drove that hateful crime is alive and well and cavorting in the streets of today’s America. And it is getting stronger. Every day that malignant orange tumour is polluting the Oval Office is another day the problem gets worse.

However, we are not without recourse. By coming together in unity, by organizing, by refusing to accept, we can outlast any dictator. We’ve got to keep raising awareness, and we’ve got to keep speaking out.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Let Freedom Ring, and Let Kaepernick Play Football.

Why is Colin Kaepernick unemployed? It has nothing to do with football. Dan Orlovsky is not a better player. Thad Lewis is also not. The answer was already obvious, by the time the Dolphins called Jay Cutler out of retirement. The NFL was literally resolved on signing any quarterback available, other than Kaepernick, this year.

This has created a real eyesore of a situation for the NFL, and the USA. One would think the bigots might have been a little smarter. All they would have had to do, to make this go away, was ignore it and let it blow over. At this point, Kaepernick has said he’ll stand for the national anthem, if he can go back to playing football. His point has long been made. It’s over. So why is he still unemployed?

One unnamed GM who spoke to Sporting News recently had the following to say.

“The kid is talented enough to play in this league. He is a Super Bowl quarterback for a reason. But it’s the handling of the situation,” the GM said, in part. “It makes you pause … It is an issue of mentality, personality. I think it boils down to maturity.”

He doubted Kaepernick’s leadership, claimed he could “kill a locker room,” described his anti-racism activism as “all that garbage” and as “questionable judgment.”

That’s the modern way of saying that he’s uppity.

It has now been confirmed that NFL ratings are down across the board. The racist billionaires that own it all, have now clearly revealed themselves. They have put the spotlight right on themselves. Before, everyone suspected, that purely athletic considerations were not the only reasons for a player to be hired or not hired. Now, we all know for a complete and total certainty, and that is why no one is watching these games.

Instinctively, every one of us knows what that means. It means the sanctity of the game, the purity of the sport, has been politicized and therefore degraded. If it wasn’t for all these worries, common sense tells us, of course the guys could play better. The human race is capable of playing better football than the NFL is allowing.

These owners are ruining the sport, and nobody can hold them accountable due to private property laws. But a sport beloved by the whole world, cannot truly be private property. That is causing an obvious paradox, and a worsening one. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that all sporting teams should be owned by the country itself. These are national pastimes. Let them be regulated by the same laws as the nation.

In other news, North Korean hackers managed to steal joint South Korean- United States war plans today, but we’re not going to have the time. We found out Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, issued subpoenas to a U.S. firm involved in the Donald Trump dossier without consulting the Democrats on the committee, in a cheap attempt to hamstring the investigation’s outcome, but that too will have to wait. Mike Pence walked out of the Colts game over the weekend, at the personal request of Donald Trump. That’s more like it.

The big news today, is that the NFL is getting ready to pass rules forcing players to stand for the national anthem, instead of the United States getting ready to pass laws to prevent black people from getting murdered. There are people all over America who take greater offense at black people using their voices, than at seeing them silenced forever. That is nothing short of a moral abomination, and one that is tearing this country apart. So today, we’re going to hit this one as hard as we can.

In our lives, when we come up against a wrong too big to be ignored, it forces us to make a choice. We either take a side or turn a blind eye. We are given a voice for a reason. The time has come to use it, for every American. We are in the midst of facing a major existential crisis, one to set the direction for the entire nation’s paradigm.

Simply stated, the question is: Are we going to keep working toward being that great, unselfish, compassionate country that Robert F. Kennedy always said we were? Because there’s a lot of people out there saying no.

The President of the United States of America publicly cursed and reviled Colin Kaepernick, a private citizen, for exercising a perfectly legal priority. He even went so far as to in effect bemoan that a hate crime hadn’t befallen him, at the hands of an owner who would then “be the most popular person in this country”.

A more revolting set of priorities is hard to imagine.

Five years ago, in a gated neighborhood in Sanford, Florida, a young man named Trayvon Martin was followed down the street and shot dead by a paranoid resident. His death, and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, was a major factor in the rise the Black Lives Matter movement. Critics of BLM are always asking, “Don’t all lives matter?” Of course all lives matter. That’s precisely the point. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that in today’s America, black lives simply don’t.

The legacy of Trayvon Martin was to get America to start taking a hard look at the racial bias in America, both by and large and in our justice system. That work is far from finished, and has been badly sidetracked by the catastrophic result of the 2016 presidential election.

When Obama was President, and Kaepernick first kicked his protest off, names like Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant made international news and caused worldwide sorrow. But there have been numerous unarmed black males killed in 2017 so far, and little has been said of it.

One of these was Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old high school freshman who was shot in April by a police officer in a Dallas suburb. An officer in Balch Springs opened fire with an AR-15 rifle on Edwards and his friends as they drove away from a party, according to news reports. How do you bring yourself to unload an automatic rifle, at the back of a young guy like that? One of your own countrymen?

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that every human being shares a bond, but being countrymen with someone is an especially sacred thing.

It means, when the mess comes down, these are the guys you will find yourself standing next to. If there’s a war, we’ll be in uniform together, or our children will be. If there’s a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey or the wildfires slashing through California right now, those are the guys you can count on to be there, regardless of skin color.

That’s what society is for. It’s a fundamentally necessary bond. To discard and overlook that essential connection, based on the pigmentation of a person’s skin is not only vicious; it’s stupid, too. We need each other.

There are only two outcomes, for the ending of this national anthem protest. Either a repressive law will force players to their feet, against their will, to let freedom ring with voices filled with nothing but quiet desperation, or Colin Kaepernick will be allowed to go suit up. One of these outcomes involves taking every single value this country holds dear, and smashing it. The other involves letting a pretty good quarterback throw a football.