Racism Rears Its Ugly (Orange) Head

Sometimes world events make it impossible to write about sports. This is one of those times.

(Spoiler alert: if you are a Donald Trump fan, best to stop reading at this point).

For the last three years, I have believed—along with a lot of other people—that the self-proclaimed "stable genius" who claims he wants to Make America Great Again really wants to Make America White Again.

His latest attacks on four non-white Congresswomen have only confirmed our worst fears.

In the past, of course, the president has called Neo-Nazis “very fine people,” dissed “shithole countries” and black athletes who kneeled for the anthem, led the phony Obama “birther” campaign, and years ago advocated the death penalty for the Central Park Five, who were later exonerated. As a New York City landlord, he and his father, almost certainly a member of the KKK, refused to rent to blacks.

But this time, his racism was stunning in its nakedness. His hatred and prejudice were right in your face, in plain view.

The words "go back to where you came from" didn't originate with Donald Trump. Immigrants have heard these racist taunts for decades. But not from the president of the United States.

Trump's tweets were pathetic in their inaccuracy and clumsiness. Three of the four women were born in the United States. All are U.S. citizens. Unlike Trump, they actually won the popular votes in their elections. And unlike Trump, they can read, they can spell and they tell the truth.

Not satisfied with telling them to go back to their "crime-infested countries" (remember, that's the U.S.). Trump and his lackeys are now calling them "communists" and accusing them of "hating America with a passion."

You may not always agree with Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib (I certainly don't), but they do not hate America. Their main goals—raising the minimum wage, making health care affordable for all, and addressing climate change—are honorable and should be applauded, even if some of their proposals and comments are ill-advised.

Instead, they are being vilified by a man who can't spell hamburger (hamberder), people (peopel), and accomplishments (achomlishments). A man who thinks the Prince of Wales is the Prince of Whales, that the moon is a part of Mars and that the kidney is part of the heart. A man who believes wind turbines cause cancer. A man who embraces strongmen and dictators who rape and starve their people and murder their relatives.

A man who brags about grabbing women by their genitals and has been accused of sexual harassment or rape by almost 20 women. That makes this particular racist outburst against women even more troubling.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of all this is the disgraceful silence from Republican leaders, who should be condemning Trump's blatant racism, and the fact that about 40% of Americans still support him.

What does that say about our country? Can it be possible that four out of every 10 Americans are white supremacists? And if so, do they realize that they could be the next targets of Trump, Lindsey Graham, and company?

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, always a calm voice of reason, may have said it best:

"Trump is no longer the kind of racist who dog whistles, he just says it out loud. And if you think you’re safe because you’re not a woman of color, you’re wrong. By the end, if you’re not a straight rich white male, he’ll come after you too."

Americans have always said, "It can't happen here." But now that we've seen children in cages, concentration camps, ICE raids, and these latest blatantly racist attacks, that can no longer be stated with any degree of certainty.

Because it’s already happening here.

Gary Cavalli - Bowl and League co-founder, author, speaker 

Gary Cavalli, the former Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director at Stanford University, was co-founder and executive director of the college football bowl game played in the Bay Area, and previously was co-founder and President of the American Basketball League.

Get in touch//@cavalli49//gacavalli49@gmail.com

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