Eric Shawn reports: Is Pres. Trump right on NFL protests? Controversy over the president's demands grow.
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NFL team protest during playing of the national anthem on September 24, 2017
With racism clearly evident in Trump's S.O.B. tweets against NFL and NBA players-which I'll allude to later in this piece- I'd like to take a deeper look into who and what we are in today's America.
As to those of us born white in America are we not the privileged descendents of the white supremacists who committed genocide of the indigenous peoples as well as brought slavery of African people to this continent? Then as the slave population grew those supremacists grew fearful of rebellion and early on fomented racial hatred of whites toward the Negro. They projected his "inferiority" next to whites thus in the eyes of whites falsely elevated their status of being white Americans over black Americans. Isn't that a thumbnail sketch our true legacy?
Yet how many white Americans would openly admit to the privilege they have just having been born white in America?
Lest we forget our ancestors from Columbus on saw the indigenous peoples as inferior, savages with no religion. They revealed no "ownership" of the lands they inhabited. That was an alien concept of European civilization and colonialism brought to the "new" world.
Thus white settlers going into the frontier wilderness wasn't stealing the land it was merely new "settlement" by pioneers. And when the Indian "savages" resisted this infringement they would eventually be massacred by Washington's soldiers, all treaties with them broken , their survivors forced to surrender and finally placed on government ordained reservations on the least arable land with their way of life destroyed. Read Dee Brown's 1970's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" that will open anyone's eyes to the plight of the indigenous peoples.
Meanwhile slavery of the former African peoples was primarily for the economic gains of white male supremacist landowners who controlled the government to their advantage.
So we are the descendents of white male supremacist thieves and murderers.
But this history has been mostly forgotten glossed over with innocent sounding "Manifest destiny" as if it wasn't really stealing the land it was just natural progress migrating westward to the Pacific.
Of course "our" government has never formally apologized for the genocide committed against the indigenous people nor paid reparations to their surviving ancestors.
Though slavery, "Jim crow" laws of formal racial segregation, "separate but equal" laws against black people have been formally struck down and overturned we see in our prisons proportionally more black and brown peoples incarcerated, unemployment greater in minority inner cities, real estate "red lining" still prevalent and police killing of innocent black and brown people continue all over the country reflecting the continued racism that exists in America. It is most revealing that white people generally see the police as protecting and serving them while black and brown peoples generally see the police profiling, harassing and murdering them-which is confirmed when police are not being prosecuted and grand juries reject holding police offenders accountable.
One would think with this sordid history of genocide and slavery there'd be some humbleness and humility in the face of it all.
But no, we're so propagandized and indoctrinated with nationalistic slogans, the Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner national anthem, America the Beautiful, from sea to shining sea, respect for the flag, that when some rebel against this indoctrination, refuse to stand for the national anthem as happened with NFL pro football player Colin Kaepernick-now spreading to other NFL players and coaches-even some club owners-to NBA champion Golden State players who refused to go to the White House in light of Trump's S.O. B. comments-there seems to be a growing resistance that could boil over. Or it could just dissipate.
What to make of it all? Are we coming to terms with the old saying, "The truth shall set you free"?
I don't know.