The Politics of Race

To the Editor:
It is becoming clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are continuing to count on the White backlash to the Obama years to ensure their political majority in 2018 and 2020, that and gerrymandering and voter suppression   Mike Pence’s media stunt of abruptly leaving the Indianapolis Colts game could have not been more blatant to that end, and the NFL  seems now so afraid of losing its fan base that it has joined in on the platform.  One has to wonder how Black athletes feel about being thrown under the bus and how might they react.  Steve Bannon may no longer have a position in the White House, but he is still dominating both the political narrative and the Republican agenda.

Robert Porath

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The QB Who Kicked the Hornets Nest

To the Editor:

As someone coming of age in the times of the Civil Rights struggle, Viet Nam, Kent State, and the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy, I have frequently  wondered just what does it mean to be a “loyal American”?  What is it to “respect the Flag”?  What does “patriotism” entail?  In asking and addressing these same questions, Colin Kaepernick has become the Quarterback Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.  Any number of NFL teams could immediately use his skills, but the reason he is not playing is not a football decision.  It is a socio-political-economic decision based on the fear of teams and the league losing fan and advertising support.  Both Kaepernick and the owners have valid concerns, but the overriding question still is what does it mean to be an American? Or, for that matter, what is it to be a valid person in a still racially divided society?  In inserting himself into the fray, Donald Trump is that guy standing in a crowd surrounding what appears to be a fight about to break out who is yelling for the fighting to begin.  This is for his fan base, but it is utterly irresponsible behavior.

Robert Porath

The Super Bowl? More like Commercial Bowl.

To the Editor:
    I think it important to note that the word “football” does not appear in the title “The Super Bowl” and, judging from the amount of post-game commentary over “winners and losers”, this media extravaganza could more realistically be called the Commercial Bowl.  Further, with either CBS advertising itself or the NFL targetting parents and young athletes to counter recent negative revelations of brain injury from the sport, the official 60 minutes of playing time actually amounts to less than 40 that are commercial-free, and real-time action, from the snap of the ball to the end of the play, is less than 20.  I timed the 2nd half at 9 minutes and I suspect that the Go Daddy commercial prompted as much visceral and glandular response as Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return (and lasted longer).  So is it really “football” that we are watching?
– RP