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Kareem Cuts Loose

This IS – the Second American Revolution. Hopefully we can get rid of the hater in the white’s only house peacefully.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar compares NFL fight to American Revolution

Weighing in on the simmering debate over football players kneeling during the national anthem, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slammed President Trump and those who have criticized high-paid players for their apparent lack of gratitude.

“That’s pretty much what the British said about the leaders of the American Revolution — the wealthy were making money by colluding with the British, so they should just be grateful. Fortunately, those leaders couldn’t be bought off,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

“The implication here is that black athletes should be grateful that they’ve been invited to dine with the white elites and if they want to keep their place at the table, they should keep dancing and smiling and keep their mouths shut. The myth of the Happy Negro needs to be dispelled once and for all.”

In two interviews with International Business Times, the NBA legend said that he is encouraged that athletes are unifying in protest against racism that is “getting worse under the current administration” and against “the attempt to curtail the First Amendment by a rich, entitled white man who thinks only he should be allowed to speak freely.”

Responding to IBT questions on Sept. 26, after a weekend in which the NFL protests had accelerated, Abdul-Jabbar praised the now-unemployed quarterback who started the “Take the Knee” movement a year ago.

“It’s to Colin Kaepernick’s credit that he was willing to protest institutional racism when he was almost alone and without much power,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “His goal was to make America aware that there is an underlying racism present and that we need to address it. President Trump’s statements at Charlottesville and about the NFL proved to many Americans that Colin was right. It’s a testament to the bravery and commitment of all those other players, coaches, and owners across all sports who have joined in the protest.”

The former Lakers center — who remains the league’s all-time leading scorer — is no stranger to protest. He attended the famous “Ali Summit,” in which he and other high-profile athletes stood in solidarity with Muhammed Ali as the boxer refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He also boycotted the 1968 Olympics. In recent years, he has written books and columns about political issues — and has publicly tangled with Trump. During the presidential campaign, Trump sent Abdul-Jabbar a handwritten noteslamming a column he wrote in the Washington Post.

Abdul-Jabbar denounced Trump for saying protesting athletes should be fired.

“I can think of instances when a president’s opinion could be worthwhile, especially when trying to uphold principles of the Constitution or the well-being of the players,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “However, Trump’s comments are direct attacks on the constitutional principles of free speech. For someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, this is either an example of immense ignorance or willful treason.”

But asked whether sports team owners should be allowed to fire players for speaking out on political issues, Abdul-Jabbar acknowledged owners’ potential concerns.

“Sports teams are a business and business owners have the right to punish players who the owners think might be harming their business,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “There is a risk when a player chooses to protest. Hopefully, the owners will take into consideration what is being protested and the passive, non-violent method of protest.

“Two things are being protested right now. The original issue of systemic racism is still around and getting worse under the current administration. But the second issue that has brought so many athletes together is the attempt to curtail the First Amendment by a rich, entitled white man who thinks only he should be allowed to speak freely.”

Abdul-Jabbar also addressed the issue of white privilege, responding to a quote from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who recently said: “Race is the elephant in the room, and we all understand that unless it is talked about constantly, it is not going to get better. … People have to be made to feel uncomfortable; especially white people. We still have no clue of what being born white means.”

“Coach Popovich is absolutely right and he stated it eloquently,” Abdul-Jabbar told IBT. “Many white Americans are aware that white privilege is embedded in American society and are eager to fix this disparity. Others have been affected negatively by the economy so it’s hard to see how they have any privilege when they are struggling so much. Naturally, it angers them to be told they have an advantage yet still are fighting for survival. It’s like blaming them for not being more successful.

 

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Living Under a Racist

Kareem is saying pretty much what many of us are saying.

Now is the time for resistance.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What it means to be black during a Trump administration

On hopelessness — and the way to escape it.

 

Nicholas M. Butler, the Nobel Prize-winning American philosopher, once said that optimism is the foundation of courage. Today, African Americans will have to dig pretty deep to find that foundation because there’s not much optimism in sight. Yes, we’re all supposed to come together after an election, let bygones be bygones, and march forward unified as neither Democrats nor Republicans but patriotic Americans celebrating the triumph of the democratic process. But it’s difficult to link arms when the home of the free embraces the leadership of a racist.

Let the other groups denigrated and threatened by Trump speak for themselves. The women, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, the LGBT community and others who now must walk through the streets of their country for the next four years in shame and fear, knowing that their value as human beings has been diminished by their neighbors. I only speak for myself as an African American and I speak with the rage of betrayal.

After numerous police shootings of unarmed blacks every year, national Black Lives Matter protests, and unprecedented expressions of support from pro athletes, black Americans saw a glimmer of hope that white Americans were finally acknowledging the overwhelming evidence of institutional racism that had been glaringly obvious to blacks for many years. But that hope was misplaced. Instead, a majority of white America chose to swallow the blue pill, preferring to, as Morpheus explains in “The Matrix,” “wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.”

Unfortunately, black Americans don’t get to wake up and believe what they want to believe, because they have to face another day of lower pay and higher job discrimination, less educational opportunity and greater health problems. These injustices were easier to endure when there seemed to be a sustained path to improvement that the country supported. But now we have the “What have you got to lose?” non-policy that bulldozes the path to rubble.

The white Americans who made up a vast majority of Trump’s supporters were reacting to much more than the economy (which has been steadily strengthening), or Washington gridlock (which Trump has no specific plan or power to change), or fear of terrorism (which his unconstitutional plan of extreme vetting shows no evidence of combating). What some fear most is the changing shade of skin color of America. As the Latino, Asian and black population rises, the white majority will soon disappear. Between 2000 and 2010, whites dropped from 75.1 percent of the population to 63.7 percent. By 2050, whites will be in the minority at 47 percent. Trump represents the last wisp of the rich white plantation owner holding on to the glories of the past.

His history of racism, from Justice Department lawsuits for housing discrimination to claim that Mexican heritage disqualified a federal judge, has already been well-documented. But his disconnect from black people and black culture was especially evident the weekend before the election, when he complained about the musical performances of Jay Z and Beyoncé at a Hillary Clinton rally. (Never mind that Ted Nugent, who had repeatedly threatened to kill President Obama and Hillary Clinton, was performing at his rally by using profanity and grabbing his crotch.) “Did you hear the other night?” Trump asked his audience. “So many people were insulted, they left. … They hear the worst words, the worst language ever.” What Trump fails to appreciate is that the rawness of the musicians’ language is part of the message. It is the urban-charged patois of anger, frustration and empowerment. Similar to the Trumpites’ chanting “Lock her up!” but with less violence.

How can we hope that this man understands or cares about us? Especially now that white America has rewarded his outrageous racism, misogyny, xenophobia and religious intolerance with a mandate to put those beliefs into policy. For African Americans, America just got a little more threatening, a little more claustrophobic, a lot less hopeful. We feel like disposable extras, the nameless bodies who are never part of the main cast.

What’s important now is to skip the wallowing, finger-pointing, name-calling period and begin an immediate and focused effort on dominating the 2018 midterm elections during which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of Senate seats will be in play. People of color cannot merely play defense anymore. They must mount a long-term offensive that includes relentlessly challenging every act of institutional racism in the country. African Americans make up only 12.3 percent of the population, so it’s imperative that we form a coalition with other groups that are targeted by Trump, including women, Latinos, immigrants and the LGBT community. We have to ignore the self-loathing collaborators among those groups because they prefer the path that makes them think they will be accepted and prized as equals when, at best, they are merely patsies for Trump’s movement.

In “Formation,” Beyoncé says, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.” Donald Trump may not appreciate those words, but those words can inspire all African Americans and others who wish to make America America again. Not hope, but action. Not later, but now.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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