Even Mo’ Racist #@%*! Trump Says

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There is no tragic event…

A cousin of Dwyane Wade was shot and killed Friday afternoon in Chicago while pushing her baby in a stroller.

Nykea Aldridge, 32, was a mother of four who had gone to register her older children for elementary school when she was shot in the head and arm around 3:30 p.m., according to Chicago’s ABC 7.

Aldridge was in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, caught in the crossfire of an altercation she was not involved with, police reports said.

“The entire Chicago Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the news of Dwyane Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge,” the team said in a statement released Friday night. “We send our deepest condolences to the entire Wade family during this difficult time.”

…Donald Trump won’t exploit.

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At a rally on Wednesday, Trump said, “Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.”

Donald Trump is a sickening, vile, repugnant, repulsive, racist asshole and if you support a sickening, vile, repugnant, repulsive racist asshole, what does that say about you?

What it says to me is the only difference between you and Trump is you ain’t rich.

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Hank Aaron: Still Hammerin’

40 years later, Hank is still hammering home the truth.

 

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

~ Hank Aaron

There must be a whistle going off somewhere only conservatives and Republicans can hear that reveals Aaron really was saying, “President Obama is left with his foot in the stuck in the mud from all of the [racist] Republicans [everywhere, but especially in Congress] with the [racist] way he’s treated.”

That has to be the only answer, because there was NOTHING in Aaron’s remarks that put all the Republicans in America in general or in Congress on blast as being racists which is a term Aaron never used.

It would seem crying wolf about racism is not a malady confined only to The Left.  I guess all those right-wingers losing their shit missed the part where Aaron said, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements,” huh?

Another baseball legend, Frank Robinsonspoke to USA Today in defense of Aaron.

It is 2014, we have twice elected a black president, and Jackie Robinson is an American icon, celebrated annually on April 15. And yet: Hank Aaron is receiving hate mail, which reminds us that black people are still held to a different standard, when it comes to expressing strong opinions on race.

American Hero. Then and now.

“Hank Aaron is a black man,” Frank Robinson told me on Tuesday, after helping to light the Empire State Building in Dodger blue to honor the 67th anniversary of another Robinson’s debut. “He only spoke his mind. I have seen and heard other people in this country say worse things, and they don’t get hate mail. It shows you we still have a ways to go.”

Robinson — a Hall of Fame player, the first African-American manager and MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development — did not list those “worse things,” but here are a few: Tea Party rallies where people hoist signs showing a Hitler mustache on President Obama, activists sending around emails portraying the president as a monkey, Braves fans calling Aaron the N-word, repeating what the home run king endured 40 years ago.

On Tuesday, USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale, who wrote the original piece, clarified that Aaron did not directly compare Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan. “Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist,” Nightengale wrote. “Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan. . . . Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe racism exists in our country.”

Whether or not Aaron meant to invoke the KKK, the ensuing hate mail is a larger story. The Braves received hundreds of calls, emails and letters eviscerating Aaron, according to USA Today. “Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur),” read one of the notes.

I asked Robinson the obvious follow-up to his initial comment: Are we still in a place in our society where a black person makes controversial comments, and is more vulnerable to vicious criticism than a white person?

“I think so,” he said. “We have made great progress, but we still have a different standard. And it’s too bad. But we keep fighting, and we keep going forward, and taking the cause forward.”

I’m not even a fan of baseball. Don’t like the game and don’t watch it, but I know what men like Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson have done for both their sport and to make this country a less blind, less backward and less racist place than it has been.   The fact that Aaron’s wisdom prompts such knee-jerk reactions and bigoted invective is proof of how blind, backward and racist America remains.

There is nothing anyone can say that in way diminishes Aaron’s standing as the man who broke Babe Ruth‘s home run record and was reviled, vilified and had life threatened by bigots every step of the way who could not their tiny little minds around the idea that a “nigger” could surpass the legendary Bambino.

It is laughable that someone tapping on their tablet or laptop can even slightly tarnish the luster of Aaron’s accomplishments. This is a man who took the worst the most hostile racists could throw at him and emerged triumphant and his pride intact.   This is a country that still bitterly resents whenever a Black man speaks the truth about race instead of what they think is the truth.

Aaron was asked why for 40 years he has kept all the hate mail he receives.

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

Can a brother get a “boom shakalaka” from the choir?

The mouth-foaming frenzy of Aaron’s conservative critics proves him to be a prophet. He’s still hammering home the truth.

Speak softly and beat some sense into a bigot’s skull with some wood.

 

Does the Right To Privacy Include the Right To Be Racist?

There is a belief—a hope, really–that racism is so uncool and we’re all too hip to waste time hating someone based on something as silly as skin color.

Reality has a bad habit of shredding belief and hope. A few weeks ago, America messed around and reelected a Black guy as President. This historical event was not marked with universal acclaim.

That is when young White kids went to Twitter and Facebook to show how proud they were of their red necks.

“Since when did we allow monkeys to be President?”

“If Obama wins, I’m gonna buy a coon hound and hunt the nigger down”

“All you blackies only want Obama bec he is black. Bet you know nothing about him. Learn some shit. Then decide who you want. Not by color.”

#MyPresidentIsBlack..#FuckMyLife

“Obama’s a nigger. That’s why he shouldn’t live in the WHITE house.”

‘Romney’s campaign filed a lawsuit today claiming the election was “nigger rigged” ‘

“If I were invited to the White House I’d go to spit in the presdent’s face. NIGGER.”

“We were doin just fine with white presidents…leave it to a nigger to mess stuff up”

“Good news niggers. Four more years of living. Off the white man”

“I hope the White House burns down and Obama and his family are in there…and the whole democratic party for that matter”

These tweets and posts were compiled on a Tumbir page called Hellothereracists. The creator of the page went further than simply reproducing the racist messages. He also included their names, pictures, towns and even the high schools and occupations as well.

This has created a tug-of-war between two core principles. The right of citizens to express themselves even in the most hateful terms against their expectation of privacy. A girl in Methuen, Massachusetts might not really gob in President Obama’s face if she should meet him in the White House, but as bigoted and ignorant as she may be, she is not a public figure.

Does it make anyone less racist if they are outed on the Internet for tweeting something racist?

In this week’s bout of Internet shaming, a Tumblr called Hello There, Racists! is collecting the sentiments of bigoted Obama haters. Many are teenagers, and their tweets and Facebook posts appear with their pictures and the names of the cities they live in and the schools they go to. Scrolling through this collection, I’m so grossed out by the tweets that it’s hard to remember why I think this Tumblr is such a bad idea. OK, right: As my colleague Laura Anderson reminded me in an email thread, “I don’t think strangers should be posting minors’ contact information on the Internet, period.” Internet vigilante-ism at the expense of kids is just a terrible idea, given their youth and the evidence that their brains aren’t fully developed, especially in the impulse-control regions.

I also doubt the public shaming will push these kids to reconsider their views—more like give them more reason for indignation. If you come under attack for something you thought you said privately, however wrong you were about that, wouldn’t you feel anger more than remorse?

I’m not a big believer in the purifying effect of public shaming, but I’m even less so when you’re throwing the dumb things kids say back in their faces. Many adults have learned to their sorrow how that post bitching about the boss and his stank breath ended up on their next performance review. Future employers and college admission boards might not look favorably on choosing someone who publicly called the president a nigger and hopes he and his family die in a fire.

Racism isn’t cool. Most of us already reached that conclusion without having our noses rubbed in vulgar descriptors of Black people. Your mama’s assertion of the threat level posed by sticks and stones compared to stupid words is still correct. Maybe if left to their own devices some of these dumb kids will eventually smarten up.

We don’t let kids get a driver’s license or vote until they turn 18. They can’t drink (legally) before 21. They can’t sign certain legal documents or join the military things until their voices deepen and their balls drop. There are many reasons why kids can’t do a lot of things, but the best reason is they aren’t mature enough to be responsible.

It’s a bad to hold teenagers responsible for every stupid things they say and do when they are teenagers. George Zimmerman’s lawyers want to see records of Trayvon Martin’s Tweets. Set aside how ghoulish it is to go rifling through the spontaneous thoughts of a dead kid and ask why the attorneys want that access. They are looking for expressions by Martin of anger, violent tendencies and dangerous beliefs. Just enough smoke to cast doubt in a juror’s mind that Martin might have been a criminal in waiting and Zimmerman was right in blowing out his flame.

From the perspective of someone who has no patience for racism, causing a little embarrassment to these kids at a point in their intellectual development they might still understand how wrong they are, isn’t entirely all bad.

As someone who neither believes in censorship or heavy-handed political correctness, the black and white response by the Hello there, Racists creator is in its own way just as brash and misguided as the crude bigotry of those he holds up to ridicule.   The spontaneous reactions of kids being dickish in a Facebook post should not include their names and faces, what school they attend or jobs they work. Calling the president a “coon” and a “nigger” and hoping he and his family die in a fire in the White House is vile stuff. In some cases may justify a Secret Service inquiry.

Publicly humiliating Johnny and Sally in a modern version of the pillory and stocks may knock the hate out of them as others are encouraged to throw rotten vegetables at them in cyberspace. Or it may compel them to double down instead.

We can grow up and out of our misguided beliefs. Instead of scrawling them in a secret diary some of our uglier, anti-social thoughts get expressed in social media. That is an opportunity to show a young, impressionable mind where they got it wrong. Scorn and hatred returned to them may only serve to validate their expressions of ignorance.