By ANTONIA WILLIAMS-GARY
Right now we need to prepare for the ‘new normal’, and begin to anticipate a much longer future out.
We need to prepare for the raging and sustained storms of life across America.
Now that Harvey, Irma and Maria have passed through the United States, and its territories, we need to return our attention to the continuous raging storms emanating from the Nation’s capital; and generated from our elected leader.
Those damaging tornados of racism, xenophobia, political factions, international isolationism, class divisions, etc., have strengthened, and their paths of destructive winds have touched the entire country.
Nobody remains unscathed. “45” himself has spun into a category 5+, steering his increasingly narrow path toward mass mayhem: threats of war with North Korea; a draconian roll back on civil rights (throw in LGBTs, women’s reproductive health rights, criminal justice reforms, to name a few); throwing a suffocating wet blanket on present and potential immigrants; a stymied Republican electorate; an insecure staff; vacant leadership positons, etc.
And, unlike the recent scientific projections for the paths of the various weather storms, “45” has been unpredictable and subject to last minute prevailing winds; especially if they are blowing unfavorably on him.
While the wide-spread areas affected by mother-nature’s storms, fires, and other natural disasters will no doubt, take many months – and in some cases yearsto recover, I have no doubt that the damage being done by “45” will take a much longer time to repair, if left undeterred.
The plans for elections in 2020 are only short term, and as we continue to prepare for the long storms ahead before we can correct the present course, I have been considering the intersection of the raging country-wide debates about the status of Confederate monuments, reconciling unwritten or unacknowledged history of this country, and the opening of the NFL season’s focus on various kneeling NFL players.
What now? “45” has a new orchestrated target: professional sports leagues; namely, the NFL and the NBA.
Both are, unarguably dominated by African American players and conspicuous white-owners. That’s another story.
Some call it the new plantation system. I’m not too sympathetic to that plantation analysis. Even if it does appear to be an unfair system, the workers/players are volunteers, and they get paid big bucks.
But, make no mistake. Sports has always been political.
Just follow the progression: in 1947 when Jackie Robinson ran onto the field to play professional baseball; to 1970, (20 years after other colleges and universities had already integrated their teams)
when Alabama coach Bear Bryant famously declared “to get him some of those” (black players); to the controversy over the first black quarterback (the history, back to the 1920s, lists several ); the protest at the 1968 Olympics; wearing, draping and dragging the flag over subsequent years; to 2016, when Colin Kaepernick ‘took a knee.’ The current consternation about athletes’ taking a knee, raising a fist, or demonstrating other forms of protests against an oppressive system of laws, rules, regulations and/or genuine illtreatment toward them, is part of longestablished basic civil rights.
Do you like a player’s choice, or call into question his/her loyalty to this country?
Reminder: Protests, demonstrations, acts against an unfair taxation system, and other forms of tyranny, is the American way. That’s how the country was originally formed.
Over the years, various owners and players have inaugurated organized responses (the players have a union), and the pay to play system is supported by merit, loyal fan bases and corporate advertisers.
Enter “45”, who in 2013, himself denounced outside interference with that ‘system.’ Yet, he has rip-roared into this ongoing legitimate negotiation between players and team owners (with much public input) to once again, disturb the natural order of things.
And for what? Pay attention folk. “45s” antics are offered as just another distraction from the real issues about him.
Stripped naked before the entire world, he has been revealed, and surprise! He is, indeed, small.
Small minded. And there is no cure for that.