Archive for the ‘racism’ Category

Renaming the DC NFL Team

July 8, 2020

Renaming the DC NFL Team

Last week, DC’s professional foorball team announced that its name, an historic racial slur, was “under review,” evoking the image of a booth full of league replay officials staring at a slo-mo recording of the letters r-e-d-s-k-i-n-s. Owner Dan Snyder once said he would “NEVER change the name of the team,” but that play is clearly out-of-bounds in today’s climate of heightened racial awareness.

It wasn’t the death of George Floyd or kneeling team players that changed Snyder’s narrow mind, but his own bottom linesponsors, investors, and business partners are applying pressure. Nike, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have removed DC team-branded merchandise from their websites and stores. How’s this for irony: FedEx, which owns naming rights for the DC squad’s stadium, now wants the team to change its own name.

Although nobody has suggested renaming the squad “Washington Rappas” in honor of the region’s Rappahannock people, there is no shortage of suggested team names and logos. The current fan favorite is “Washington Redtails,” after WWII’s African American 332nd Fighter Group (maybe you saw the movie). In an only-in-Washington move, two local lawyers have already submitted a trademark application for “Washington Redtails.” Hey, how about calling the team “The Litigators”?

A name change is expected by September.

More:

“D.C. NFL Team Considering Name Change After Public And Corporate Outcry,” Eliza Berkon, WAMU

“An NFL Name Change That Has Been a Long Time Coming,” Leonard Shapiro, Washington City Paper

“FedEx asks ‘the team in Washington’ to dump racist nickname as Nike pulls gear,” The Guardian

“Daniel Snyder no longer has a choice, and he knows it. Battle over name has reached its endgame.” Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“Lawmakers And FedEx Urge D.C.’s NFL Team To Change Its Name Amid Bid For RFK Stadium,” Kavitha Cardoza, DCist

“Trump Supports Washington Team Name. Retailers Pull Merchandise.” Ken Belsen, New York Times

Update:

“FedEx Made a Demand Dan Snyder Couldn’t Afford to Dismiss,” Ken Belson and Kevin Draper, New York Times

 

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Belgian King ‘Regrets’ Atrocities of Ancestor, the ‘Snake of the Congo”

July 1, 2020
Belgian King Apologizes for Ancestor, the 'Snake of the Congo

Image: “King Leopold II of Belgium, Snake of the Congo,” Edward Linley Sambourne, Punch, 1906

On Tuesday, the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgian King Philippe expressed his regrets to DRC President Félix Tshisekedi for the atrocities commited by King Leopold II, who held the Congo as a personal fiefdom from 1885 to 1908 and killed approximately 10 million of its people, many of whom were maimed and tortured. King Philippe didn’t actually apologize.

The atrocities comitted under King Leopold II were documented by African American missionary William Henry Sheppard, who brought a Kodak camera to the Congo in 1900. The “regrets” of King Philippe were motivated by Belgium’s ongoing Black Lives Matter protests which targeted the country’s many monuments to King Leopold II and his generals.

“Beside Leopold, Nero, Caligula, Attilo, Torquemada, Genghis Khan and such killers of men are mere amateurs.” Mark Twain, New York World, December 3, 1905.

More:

“Belgium’s King Sends Letter of Regret Over Colonial Past in Congo,” Monika Pronczuk and Megan Specia, New York Times

“Belgian king expresses ‘deepest regrets’ for brutal colonial rule,” Jennifer Rankin and Jason Burke, The Guardian

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The Shame of the DC NFL Team Name

June 22, 2020

The Shame of DC NFL Team's Name

“If the NFL season opens as planned with training camps this summer, Washington’s team should do so under another name. Under its new name. Whatever that might be.” —
Barry Svrluga, Washington Post

More:

“Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now.” Washington Post editorial

“The Washington football team can’t duck and run on its name ever again,” Mike Wise, Washington Post

“Daniel Snyder has a chance to change the legacy of the team he loves. He should.” John Feinstein, Washington Post

Updates:

“Does Congress have the leverage to force a name change for Washington’s football team?” Clyde McGrady, Roll Call

“Native American Leader Challenges Players on Washington’s NFL Team to Sit,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

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When White Supremacists Overthrew a Government

September 10, 2019

In 1898 thousands of white supremacists expelled the leaders of Wilmington, North Carolina, destroyed black-owned businesses and properties, and killed an unknown number of black residents. A Vox video, produced by Ranjani Chakraborty.

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House GOP Leader on Racist Tweets: We are the Party of Lincoln

July 16, 2019

House GOP Leader on Racist Tweets: We are the Party of Lincoln

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) denied that President Trump’s recent tweets and comments were racist: “I think this party has been very clear. We are the party of Lincoln. Let’s not be false about what is happening today.”

More:

“House GOP Leaders Claim Trump Tweets Not Racist Because We Are ‘Party Of Lincoln,’” Nicole Lafond, TalkingPointsMemo

“House Minority Leader deflects on racist tweets: We are the party of Lincoln,” CNN

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Image (“July 4, 2019, after Bill Mauldin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump: ‘I’M a racist? YOU’RE the racist!’

July 16, 2019

Trump: 'I'M a racist? YOU'RE the racist!'

President Donald Trump, son and husband of immigrants, has tweeted that four U.S. citizens should “go back where they came from,” even though three of them are native-born children of immigrants, one is a naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. as a child refugee, and all four are women of color who were recently elected to Congress.

There was swift reaction from most Republican officials: [crickets].

Others have rightly condemned the president’s statement as racist. Mr. Trump’s reaction to this criticism was predicable: I’M a racist? YOU’RE the racists!

Some suggested that President Trump should apologize for the racist remarks, and his reaction was likewise predictable: ME apologize? YOU should apologize!

There was evidence that Mr. Trump was paraphrasing recent comments by Fox News pundits, and predictions that the president would continue these racist attacks as part of his 2020 campaign strategy. After all, racism got him elected in the first place.

More:

“Republicans embrace Trump’s racism. Blame them as much as him.” Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

“Trump says he’s not concerned about being racist because ‘many people agree’ with him,” Aaron Rupar, Vox

“Trump Is a Racist. If You Still Support Him, So Are You.” Goldie Taylor, Daily Beast

“Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019,” German Lopez, Vox

“President Trump’s Bigotry Is Part of a Pattern,” Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg

“Racism Comes Out of the Closet,” Paul Krugman, Washington Post

“Trump’s America Is a ‘White Man’s Country,’” Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

“‘His only tool is racism’: why Trump’s bigoted tirade could be a vote winner,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Trump Attacks Democratic Congresswomen With White Nationalist Rhetoric,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Trump answers racism accusation with a charge of his own: Anti-Semitism,” Washington Post

“Anti-Defamation League warns Trump to stop ‘throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism,'” Marina Pitofsky, The Hill

“Presidential historian: Trump joins Andrew Johnson ‘as the most racist president in American history,'” Catherine Garcia, The Week

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Jesse, Adolf, and Franklin

October 5, 2017

American Jesse Owens won three gold medals in three days at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You probably think you know what happened next, but you don’t.

“Adolf Hitler famously refused to shake Owens’ hand, not wanting the humiliation of acknowledging a Black athlete’s brilliance, or so the story goes. But the truth is that, after the first day of competition, Hitler didn’t shake any athlete’s hand because the head of the International Olympic Committee told him he must congratulate all gold medalists or none at all. Sure, the führer wasn’t keen on photo ops with Black or Jewish athletes, but he simply chose to steer clear of the stadium altogether. So Owens was never personally snubbed by Hitler, but his story is still defined by systematic racism — not in Nazi Germany, but in the United States.

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President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

August 17, 2017

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks
On Tuesday, President Trump clarified his thoughts on white nationalist protesters, stating that “you also had some very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville. Very fine people like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke  thanked him for his support. Mr. Trump also compared Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Political leaders and commentators were quick to express their appreciation:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):  “Your comments give white supremacists ‘a win.'”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1): “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “It’s wrong. Why can’t he just say that?”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “What the president said yesterday was wrong. There is no moral equivalence between those who are inciting hate and division and those who took to the streets to make it clear that those views are unacceptable. Every one of us must stand against hatred, bigotry, and violence, in both our words and our actions.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7): “Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.”

Admiral John Richardson: “The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1): “We must defeat white supremacy”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “…you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R, MI-10): “You can’t be a “very fine person” and be a white supremacist”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK): “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R, MI-15): “POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville”

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Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

August 15, 2017

Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

After white nationalists descended on Charlottesville Virginia to protest planned removal of a Robert E Lee statue, a car was deliberately driven into a group of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. The car ramming was called an act of “domestic terrorism” by many from across the political spectrum, who condemned the white nationalist movement behind it. While he first resisted calling out the white racists, domestic fascists, KKK members, and neo-confederates behind the fatal attack, two days later Donald Trump finally joined the critics.

Why was Mr. Trump reluctant to condemn these malignant groups? Because they were early and enthusiastic endorsers of his presidential bid, and he never disavowed their support during or after the campaign, until now. The alt-right, white nationalists, neo-confederates, and old-fashioned white racists form a significant part of his core constituency, and Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” was their event.

While many Republicans were quick to condemn the White Supremacists behind Charlottesville, the GOP has been using a white racist strategy for decades. Donald Trump Trump just shinnied up that poison tree.

More:

“‘Blood and soil’: Protesters chant Nazi slogan in Charlottesville,” Meg Wagner, CNN

“How Donald Trump emboldened Charlottesville white supremacists,” Eric Hananoki, Media Matters

“Charlottesville And The Rise Of White Identity Politics,” Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight

“The Hoods Are Off,” Matt Thompson, The Atlantic

“These are your people, President Trump,” Colbert I. King, Washington Post

“How white supremacy morphed into white victimization,” Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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We’ve Been Here Before

August 14, 2017

Don’t Be a Sucker!a short film produced by the US War Department in 1943. It was re-released in 1947 to make the case for the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces.

Watch the 18-minute film here

More:

“After Charlottesville violence, World War II anti-fascist propaganda video finds a new audience,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

“Why an Anti-Fascist Short Film Is Going Viral,” Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic 

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