Oh, here we go again with the ESPN/Jemele Hill fiasco that was the sports network’s latest fiasco. In short, Hill, an anchor at ESPN, tweeted that Donald Trump was a white supremacist. ESPN issued a statement saying that these views don’t represent ESPN, and that Hill realized it was inappropriate. Meanwhile, longtime anchor Linda Cohn said in April, that politics might be contributing to the exodus in ESPN subscriptions, at least 10 million over the past five years. She was suspended. That’s a whole other debate in itself regarding standards at ESPN. You can call the president a racist, but can’t offer some constructive criticism of the network. You can call the president a racist and keep your job, but if you mock transgender bathrooms, you get tossed. Yet, for New York Times columnist Charles Blow, he penned an op-ed on whether Trump is a white supremacist and he’s says that he is based on circumstantial evidence:
Was what Hill said untrue, as Trump’s tweet suggests, or is Trump in fact a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with white supremacists and whose party courted white supremacists?
Two of those points can be quickly put to rest. First, there is no question that Trump has hired someone who was at least a booster of white supremacists: Steve Bannon. In a sinister act of double signaling, Bannon was hired as the Trump campaign’s chief executive on the same day that Trump started his fake outreach to black voters in Milwaukee.
Also, while the Republican Party clearly stands for more than white supremacy and the promotion of that intellectually fallacious concept, the party has often turned a blind eye to the racists in its midst and done far too little to extricate them.
But then the question remains: Is Trump himself a white supremacist?
This question is almost unanswerable in the absolute, but there is mounting circumstantial evidence pointing in a most disquieting direction.
I say that it can’t be done. If you are not completely opposed to white supremacy, you are quietly supporting it. If you continue to draw equivalencies between white supremacists and the people who oppose them — as Trump did once again last week — you have crossed the racial Rubicon and moved beyond quiet support to vocal support. You have made an allegiance and dug a trench in the war of racial hostilities.
Hill may have pushed into the realm of hyperbole with a few of her statements — it was Twitter after all — but I judge the spirit of her assessment to be true.
Okay—so, there’s no evidence, just circumstantial and spirited statements from liberals. Also, no evidence that the Republican Party stands clearly for white supremacy, and I say that as a ten-year card-carrying member. Never has a local meeting cleared out because the “yellow peril” (me) entered a room, nor have I ever felt triggered being the only non-white in the room—ever. I never cared. I was among Americans. Yet, back to this column.
Even Blow admits that you cannot absolutely answer this question. Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who called white supremacists a clown show, is mentioned as exhibit A that Trump is somehow an adherent of this odious and vile ideology. Yet, the only people peddling it are liberals. Slate, The Nation, and other left wing outlets that hate the Trump administration are the only ones that keep this bubble well maintained.
Outside of the newsrooms, no one cares. Literally, no one cares, not even black voters who have much more to worry about concerning navigating through every day life. In July, The Washington Post, while reporting on the resistance movement, noted that it was mostly financially well-off white liberals. The black voters simply were not as worked up over an election result:
Mark Woodard, a black hospital technician who lives in Kingman Park in Northeast, said he has not felt compelled to protest because his life has not changed much under the new administration.
“I’m kind of waiting to see — he hasn’t made an impact yet,” Woodard said. “I’m able to go to my job; my benefits are fine. He’s not doing anything to affect me, so I’m not going to support any protests.”
Justina Jackson, 28, a black assistant pastry chef in Brookland who voted for Hillary Clinton, said that she is accustomed to being disappointed in government, no matter which party is in the White House, and that Trump is no different.
“I’m used to stuff not going my way,” she said. “There’s always some kind of obstacle I have to overcome just because I’m a young African American female. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who are upset about Trump."
So, it seems like white supremacy really isn’t making an impact. Also, so what if these clown say they support Trump? The Ku Klux Klan isn’t resurgent. They’ll say anything to get some airtime and what a great way than to tap into the media’s anti-Trump vein by saying “we support Trump” and getting some exposure. If we were to comb through the voter rolls, I’m sure we’ll find that Black Panthers voted for Barack Obama. Heck, Barack Obama marched with Black Panthers in Selma, Alabama back in 2007. That doesn’t make him the president for black nationalists, nor does it make it so that perhaps a few members voted for him. It may not have been the most politically sound move, however.
“Either Trump is himself a white supremacist or he is a fan and defender of white supremacists, and I quite honestly am unable to separate the two designations,” concluded Blow. Well, since there’s no evidence to prove that he is a white supremacist, what the hell are we even talking about?