Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 17 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.
Are the NFL player protests a failure to love America/honor our military/have pride in our country?
No, they’re about racist policing.
So why is President Trump focused on the NFL, when hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are in jeopardy for their very lives and the island lies in ruins?
His base, which is holding, depends on stoking the fires of racism. The same white rage he leveraged with his insistence that President Obama didn’t have a United States birth certificate, he’s leveraging today by criticizing NFL players’ patriotism and Puerto Rican infrastructure.
The promised visit to the 3 million (American) Puerto Rican residents has not materialized. But Trump did find time to travel to Alabama to support Sen. Luther Strange, where Trump spouted inanities such as: “If crooked Hillary got elected, you would not have a second amendment, believe me,” “The wall is happening, folks. Believe me” and “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. He is fired. He’s fired!’”
This morning, it has been interesting to hear right-wing commentators talk derisively about “one-percenter” NFL players protesting racist law enforcement, but not spousal abuse, as the team owners (0 percent Black) are rationally protecting their best interests and acting in solidarity with their players — the same owners who were seven-figure donors to Trump’s campaign.
I guess no owner wants to have the first team to refuse to play on a Sunday.
And did Puerto Ricans (who are all American citizens) really expect better treatment than Mexicans, given Trump’s record to date? Those who did are mistaken.
Racism works with racists, despite racist governance otherwise being ineffective to the issues that drove Trump’s base. There’s no wall being built with Mexican money; it looks like Obamacare repeal and replace is going down in flames again; and North Korea, a country with less than one-thousandth of our GDP, is completely unimpressed with Trump’s threats of annihilation.
There is no parsing racism. Racists do not draw a line where one behavior is okay but another is not. Racism depends on dehumanizing oppressed groups, and fascism needs an enemy to exist.
This country has plenty of faults; racism solves none of them.
Take a knee. BLM. Save Puerto Rico.