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In debate over national anthem, black wealth becomes a target

2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threatwalking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
When A. Scott Bolden appeared on Fox News to defend National Football League players who protest racism by kneeling during the national anthem, he instead found himself under attack.

“You’re wearing thousand-dollar cuff links; don’t give me the victim card!” host Tucker Carlson told Bolden, who is black and a partner in an international law firm. “Those cuff links cost more than my first car!”

After the September appearance, Bolden said racist messages flooded his voice mail and email.

“ ‘You n-word, 🤬 ,’ ” Bolden recounted from one voice mail, censoring the caller’s language. “ ‘You’re making millions as a lawyer while I’m making $10 an hour, and you have the audacity to complain about racism in this country.’ ”

President Trump has said his fight with NFL players is about respecting the flag and honoring veterans — not race. But the president and some conservative commentators have made wealth a part of the debate, inflaming racial resentment among Trump’s white working-class supporters who express no tolerance for black athletes raising concerns about institutional racism while making millions of dollars a year.

Players should be “respectful of the national anthem and flag on behalf of the many Americans who have died defending your right to become a millionaire,” said Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker and Trump supporter, during an appearance on Fox & Friends last month.

Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressman and a syndicated radio talk show host who supports Trump, blasted legendary musician Stevie Wonder for kneeling during the anthem at a September concert.

“Another ungrateful black multi millionaire,” he tweeted.

Tensions over the protests flared anew Friday after an ESPN reported that Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who donated $1 million to Trump’s presidential inauguration, said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” McNair apologized, but most Texans players knelt during the national anthem before their Sunday game against the Seattle Seahawks.

[‘We can’t have the inmates running the prison’: Anti-protest NFL owners are fighting a losing battle]

The argument that professional athletes or high-end lawyers like Bolden are ingrates suggests that they didn’t work for their wealth and reflects a sentiment that people of color receive preferential treatment over whites, said Khalil Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

A poll conducted earlier this year by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found 28 percent of the general public believes whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics is a bigger national problem than the reverse. That rose to 46 percent among those who strongly approve of Trump’s performance.

“The resistance to black advancement is an old problem and repeated pattern in the country, and what whites are reasserting is the privilege of their identity, which translates for many of them into various forms of patriotism and white nationalism,” said Muhammad. “The symbolism of black athletes, a representation of black success, kneeling threatens to take that from them.”

Trump’s attack on the NFL players is a reflection of that belief, some observers say. He first targeted the athletes in late September, when he said during a Birmingham rally, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a 🤬 off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ”

The next day, Trump tweeted that if “a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues” they should be made to stand for the national anthem.

The White House declined to comment for this story.

Gingrich continued the theme on Fox News, saying “If you’re a multimillionaire who feels oppressed, you need a therapist, not a publicity stunt.”

But a recent study found that higher-income African Americans report more personal experience with racism. Among African Americans earning more than $75,000 a year, 65 percent said they had experienced some form of racial discrimination, including racist slurs, negative assumptions and people acting afraid of them. Among black people earning less than $25,000 a year, 40 percent reported such discrimination. The survey, which NPR conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that 92 percent of all African Americans say black people are discriminated against, while 55 percent of white Americans say white people are discriminated against.

[The NFL player protests, broken down by team and week]

Trump has struggled to connect with black Americans. He received 8 percent of the black vote in the November general election — the same proportion of blacks who approved of his performance in a Gallup poll this month.

Since taking office, he has engaged in public feuds with African Americans such as Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon who Trump said was “all talk” and “no action.” He withdrew a White House invitation for the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors after star player Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to make the customary congratulatory visit. The president and his press secretary also said ESPN host Jemele Hill should be fired after she said in a tweet Trump was a “white supremacist.”

And this month, Trump has drawn criticism for a feud with two black women — Myeshia Johnson, wife of an Army sergeant killed during an ambush in Niger, and Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.), a friend of the family who said the president’s condolence call to the widow was disrespectful and upsetting.

Chuck Creekmur, founder of entertainment news site AllHipHop.com, said it was “absurd” for wealthy men such as Trump and Gingrich to purport to speak for the plight of working-class whites, then argue wealthy black men have no credibility to speak about social injustices in black communities.

“There is no separation between a Stevie Wonder and a Tamir Rice,” Creekmur said, referring to the 12-year-old black boy who was playing with a toy gun when he was shot to death by a Cleveland police officer in 2014. The officer shot the child within seconds of encountering him.

“If you don’t feel any pain or anguish about that scenario, I question your humanity. And that’s why people are taking a knee,” Creekmur said.

Leah Wright-Rigeur, a professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, also noted the irony in Trump and his supporters criticizing the athletes for making political statements.

“People don’t necessarily pay attention to the fact that they say in one breath, ‘I don’t want to hear what sports people have to say about politics,’ but then they will listen to a reality TV star or a rock-and-roll star like Ted Nugent rail against whatever is the political hot topic of the moment,” she said. “It’s about who is allowed to complain, whose voices are allowed to be heard and who is allowed to discuss America and its institutions.”

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  • 5 Grand
    5 Grand Members Posts: 12,869 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Its the millionaires vs the billionaires.

    The billionaires are telling the millionaires they should be happy with a million dollars, but they have 1,000 times as much.
  • Go figure
    Go figure Sion the GoGuests, Members, Confirm Email, Writer Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Got into this discussion with this dude at work. Ppl are purposely missing the point or just plain stupid.

    What is the salary requirement for giving a 🤬 about the next human being?

    Are they only allowed to care if they make less than 100k?

    Bc when the average joes protest its "go get a job u bums!" Maybe its between 30k-100k....THEN u fit the criteria to protest.

    And we've always criticized the rich for NOT caring about the less fortunate, now theyre demanding it?

    How is kneeling disrespecting the flag/vets when THE ONLY REASON KNEELING BEGAN was bc a military vet suggested it??

    So many holes in their whiny ass arguments.
  • MarcusGarvey
    MarcusGarvey Members Posts: 4,569 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Black wealth exist?

  • rickmogul
    rickmogul IFNOTYNOT Members Posts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We're penetrating their pressure points right now. I was once told " A man only starts to curse when has no response or nothing 2 say.". 2017, deflection occurs when U've hit bullseye or close enuff 2 it. Keep the momentum going.
  • deadeye
    deadeye Walmart Warrior Kat's buttMembers Posts: 22,883 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't even understand why black people.........unless you're a black Republican or something...........even bother going on Fox News.

    Waste of time.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Who I am is Complex, What i am, simply put. I'm a Threat walking out the lions denGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    rickmogul wrote: »
    We're penetrating their pressure points right now. I was once told " A man only starts to curse when has no response or nothing 2 say.". 2017, deflection occurs when U've hit bullseye or close enuff 2 it. Keep the momentum going.

    fukk that i got alotta 🤬 to say..
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