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Unfolding the NFL players – White House controversy is revealing

By Vernon A. Williams, Gary

Sometimes people just get stuck on stupid. Thinking folk have got to help avoid the traps that encourage the unwitting to drink the Kool Aid – to fall for anything that people are saying they should feel or do. There is absolutely too much at stake to be playing games.

Let us start at the beginning. Number one – the White House is just a building. Bricks, glass and mortar. Do not confuse it with Mount Sinai or Mecca and there is no inherent righteousness making entrance to the place a holy experience.

It is symbolic of freedom, liberty and democracy. Theoretically, it is the place from which opportunity and justice for all emanate. Again, in theory.

In reality today, the White Ho-use harbors a cabal of thuggish, insensitive rogues that prey on the poor, extol the worth of the most affluent, metes out hateful policies, espouses brutal treatment for people of color, disrespects womanhood and ignores inhumanity at home and abroad.

You really want to argue that this is an upright, revered symbol in the context of that track record? No, the White House of today is just an address in the nation’s capital at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The incumbents have proudly distanced themselves from everything the White House is supposed to stand for.

Even after the “Resident” of the United States overtly coerced National Football League owners into following his racist dictates to establish rules that would punish players for protesting social injustices during the national anthem, you still think the Philadelphia Eagles should have accepted an invitation to the White House?

In what parallel universe would it make sense, to tuck your tail between your legs and genuflect into the Oval Office to kiss the ring of the Godfather of Bigotry? You really think that they should pay homage to the same man who a few months ago referred to the players as “sons of bitches.” Really?

What is more pathetic is the fact that prominent Black sports commentators, celebrities, politicians, news analysts and everyday people make the absurd argument that 45 and the White House are two different things.

These individuals are the dupes of con artists that – like illusionists – depend on your short memory or lack of concentration to perform their “magic” right before your eyes. If the Donald and the White House exist separately, why does every news statement that you hear regarding his policies begin with: “The White House is saying ….”

Yes, he has his minions there too. But every White House cabinet member, every executive staff person, every congressional leader working in and around that iconic residence represent their boss and all that he believes, desires and embodies.

There is no separating the leadership of the free world from that iconic and historic residence. You do recall that in one of his moments of vulgarity and irreverence, the “Resident” of the Divided States of America called the White House “a dump.” So much for his sense of reverence about the place.

To accept his invitation to visit, the Philadelphia Eagles would have disavowed all the NFL players who are protesting grave injustices in our society.

With all his outrage over players kneeling during the national anthem, 45 has yet to breathe a word about the catalyst of the protest – wanton public executions of unarmed, non-criminal African Americans under the hypocritical guise of law enforcement.

So we should raise a toast – it can be non-alcoholic – saying “kudos” to the players for standing their ground. They opted to re-fuse the short-lived personal gratification they may have derived from a visit to the White House, instead opting to uphold their principles.

Like the Golden State Warriors and South Carolina women’s basketball team, no championships should reward any tyrant by validating their callous, despotic leadership.

Finally, for those who steadfastly cling to the imbecilic notion that the White House is a “symbol” worthy of the highest honor no matter what the current context – I submit to you that the cross is a symbol of reverence, righteousness, Christianity and respect.

However, it loses all of its dignity when that same “symbol” is menacingly burning in the front yard right outside of your house.

Yes, it is still a symbol. A symbol of hatred.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected]

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