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Donald Trump is a man known for his impetuous insults, particularly over twitter. Since announcing his bid for the US Presidency, Trump has insulted 370 people, places, and institutions online. The New York Times estimates that based on current projections, he “is on track to insult 650 people, places and things on Twitter by the end of his first term.”
One of his most pointed insults in an extremely thinly veiled insult aimed at NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is currently out of work, as a result of a silent protest of his whereby he would take a knee during the pre-game national anthem.
In response to the growing number of high profile killings of black people by the police, Kaepernick stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Some argue that Kaepernick currently finds himself unemployed because of his declining performances, and not because of his political opinions. This is an argument that is totally devoid of reason. Statisticians at FiveThirthyEight crunched the numbers using the NFL’s “Total Quarterback Rating” system, and found that there is absolutely no precedent for a quarterback of Kaepernick’s calibre having been unemployed for so long a period.
Add to that the fact that NFL owners have donated a combined $7.25 million dollars to Trump, and you get an idea of why protesting police brutality can be bad for your career within the NFL.
When Barack Obama was President, he was asked about Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem. His was a truly presidential response, which strikes a harrowing contrast with Trump’s take on the situation.
Obama answered by saying “The test of our fidelity to our Constitution, to freedom of speech, to our Bill of Rights, is not when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. We fight sometimes so that people can do things that we disagree with. I want the protesters to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain he (Kaepernick) may be expressing about somebody who has lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.”
Trump’s take on Kaepernick’s protest was that an NFL owner ought to yell, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!” He has called ISIS members "losers" in the recent past, but has saved his most heated diatribe for a black athlete protesting police brutality.
This is the third black person that Trump has publically attacked in the past week, with ESPN contributor Jemele Hill and the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry also finding themselves in Trump’s crosshairs.
When a black athlete silently protests police brutality, he is ridiculed by Trump as a "son of a bitch". When Trump is questioned about a neo-nazi, white supremacist march in Charlottesville, he says that amongst the white supremacists are some “very fine people.”
He also points to “blame on both sides”, a stance that seems impossible to defend given that a member of the white supremacist march intentionally drove his car into and murdered a female protestor. Trump argued that the people protesting the white supremacist march did so “without a permit.”
When Donald Trump was elected, America lost their first black president and gained a president who was officially endorsed by the KKK. Minutes into Trump’s acceptance speech when he won the presidency, you can very audibly hear a supporter shout “Kill Obama!”
Trump promised us that as president he’d surround himself with “the best people”, and the first person to be given a job in his administration was Steve Bannon; his wife testified in court that “he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews. He said he doesn’t like Jews.”
Recently, Trump retweeted a gif that showed him driving a golf ball at Hillary Clinton, a gif that was made and posted by a self-avowed anti-Semitic, white supremacist. He routinely retweets posts from white supremacists.
In the latter days of the presidential campaign, he argued that it was “outrageous” that the Central Park Five weren’t charged with the rape and attempted murder of a 28-year-old woman. The Central Park Five were a group of five non-white teens, four of whom were black, who have since been completely exonerated of the crime as a result of DNA evidence, yet Trump still views them as being guilty.
At the time of the assault, he paid for a full page newspaper advert calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty so that the state could execute the innocent Central Park Five.
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino President John R. O’Donnell wrote in a book that Trump said “laziness is a trait in blacks”. This is a quote that he didn’t dispute, stating in a later interview that “the stuff that O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”
He also repeatedly refused to accept the idea that a black man could become president, pushing the infamous ‘Birther’ conspiracy that purported that Barack Obama was not an American citizen, but rather a Muslim from Kenya.
He went even further than this however. Whilst his incessant birtherism is well known, he also claimed that Obama couldn’t have possibly written the memoir “Dreams from My Father”, saying “I heard he had terrible marks, I say Bill Ayers wrote the book.” Trump can’t accept the idea of a black man being president, nor can he accept the idea of a black man penning a wonderfully written memoir.
So, is Trump a white supremacist? The evidence seems pretty conclusive. His ascent to the White House has been based on belittling the marginalised at every turn, and shows no sign of slowing down.
This whole debacle becomes even more absurd when we consider the turmoil that was heaped on Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the Unites States, and their American citizens are currently without drinking water and face with the prospect of being without electricity for six months following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. Instead of dealing with this crisis concerning American citizens, Trump is busy calling a prominent black athlete a “son of a bitch.”
But perhaps the most depressing aspect of this debacle, is the fact that Trump has accomplished exactly what he set out to do. When his legislative agenda takes a pummelling, such as his Muslim Ban and his repeated failed attempts to repeal ObamaCare, Trump takes to twitter or rants at a rally to get his support back on his side. When he fails to pass legislation, he retreats to what he knows best and to what he knows will play well with his audience; a public admonishment of a black athlete who silently protests police brutality.
In times of pressing tribulation, with Puerto Rico being rocked by Hurricane Maria and North Korea ramping up their nuclear rhetoric, it’s good to know that America has a president who will always know what issues should be front and centre; the public take-down of black sporting personalities.