Posts Tagged ‘racism’

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

 

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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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US cities were segregated by design.

June 4, 2020

The 20th Century segregation of America’s cities was not a natural event, explains Richard Rothstein. Unconstitutional schemes and policies ruined cities and left minority residents to languish. We still live with the consequences.

More:

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein, 2017.

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‘I Can’t Breathe’

June 1, 2020

I Can't Breathe

“Minneapolis police rendered 44 people unconscious with neck restraints in five years,” Emily R. Siegel, Andrew W. Lehren and Andrew Blankstein, NBC News

“A boot is crushing the neck of American democracy,” Cornel West, The Guardian

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

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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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Trump Re-Election Campaign Begins

July 18, 2019

Trump Re-Election Campaign Begins

President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign held its first rally in Greenville, NC on Wednesday, but the campaign actually started on Twitter the previous weekend. Mr. Trump is campaigning against four young congresswomen of color, none of whom are actually 2020 presidential candidates. At the rally he specifically singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who came to the U.S. from war-torn Somalia as a child refugee. “Send her back,” responded the red-hatted crowd.

More:

“At North Carolina Rally, Trump Bets on Divisive Attacks as Way to Bolster Re-election Bid,” Michael Crowley, New York Times

“Trump slams ‘squad’ during North Carolina rally as crowd chants ‘send her back,'” John Fritze, USA Today

“Trump Goads Crowd Into Urging Deportation of Congressional Democrat,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Trump refers to Ocasio-Cortez as just ‘Cortez’ because it ‘takes too much time’ to say full name,” Arris Folley, The Hill

“A new poll shows why Trump attacked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar — and why it could get even uglier,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Trump’s premeditated racism is central to his 2020 strategy,” Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, Axios

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House Votes to Condemn Trump’s Racist Tweets

July 17, 2019

House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Tweets

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn recent racist comments by President Donald J. Trump. Congressional rules prevented members from calling Mr. Trump a racist, but that shouldn’t stop you.

From H. RES. 489
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
July 15, 2019

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.

Read the whole resolution here.

Related:

“Trump’s Tweets So Clearly Racist It’s Spelled Out In Discrimination Law,” Matt Shuham, TalkingPointsMemo

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Image (“In Case You Forgot”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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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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