March 25, 2020

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks: Trump Is An "Example Of What You Can Become If You Remain Close Minded, Ignorant And Uneducated"

[Draft Post, September 24, 2017]

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin released an official statement responding to a series of disparaging remarks about NFL player protests made Friday by President Donald Trump:
I'm not surprised by Trump's comments. He has shown, since the beginning, his dehumanized nature. To think he would be anything different is to not know the reality of his presidency. He has surrounded himself with like minded people and has removed anyone who challenges him. He acts like a child craving attention and any attention will do.

Although these recent comments are not the worst things he's said or done, I do believe that this will be a unifying moment for the sports world. And with as much influence as athletes have on the younger generation, this can be an opportunity for us to change the narrative of society and point to the president as a poor example of what you can become if you remain close minded, ignorant and uneducated.

For all the hate and negativity that has come from Trump's presidency, I am still hopeful for justice and love to win out. As I continue to my efforts with the youth of our communities and engage with this hatred, I will resist the urge to return hate with hate and instead react in love and compassion for those who simply can not.

I encourage others to do the same.

Thank you,

Douglas Baldwin Jr.
Orli Matlow @HireMeImFunny: "NFL players aren't protesting the anthem, they're protesting police brutality. That's like saying hunger strikes are against food #TakeTheKnee"

John Graziano @jvgraz: "Even if #TakeAKnee is disrespectful (it isn't), who cares? There's no such thing as a protest everyone approves of. That's kinda the point."

ChristianChristensen @ChrChristensen: "Funny how "making millions of dollars" excludes you from commenting on US when you're black, but enables you when you're white. #TakeTheKnee

Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig, September 22, 2017:
In America, Justice for Victims of Police Brutality Remains Elusive

Three years after the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement rose to prominence in Ferguson, Mo., protests over a police killing of a black man have once again garnered national attention—this time in the neighboring city of St. Louis. The acquittal of a white former police officer, Jason Stockley, over the killing of a 24-year-old black man named Anthony Lamar Smith shows that justice is still elusive for black victims of police officers. However, the subsequent days of protests by St. Louis residents show that the power and influence of BLM has only grown.

The fact that it took nearly six years for a trial and verdict in this case is quite telling. ... During the high-speed chase that ended Smith's life, Stockley was recorded saying he was "going to kill this motherfucker, don't you know it." After directing another police officer to hit Smith's car, Stockley walked up to the young man's vehicle. He fired five times into the car, killing Smith. Stockley claimed Smith had a gun in his hand and that he killed him in self-defense. But prosecutors suspected that the gun found in Smith's car was planted by the officer since it had only Stockley's DNA on it, and none of Smith's. It took the state more than four years just to bring charges against the man who took Smith's life. ...

Despite three years of intense public pressure over the fatal police shootings of black Americans, district attorneys, judges and juries around the country have rarely held law enforcement accountable. And so the shootings and acquittals continue.

To top it off, Donald Trump has sent a clear message that his Justice Department, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will not be investigating police departments' alleged abuses. In fact, the president has cozied up so blatantly to the notorious police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, and embraced officers, that it is no wonder that in Charlottesville, Va., reports emerged that police simply watched radical right-wingers and self-proclaimed fascists assaulting counterprotesters. In effect, the police have become allies and protectors of the president's supporters. ...

Under Trump, America is even more pro-police than it was before he took office. On Monday night, four days after Stockley's acquittal and subsequent protests, [Lawrence O’Toole, interim chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department] said, "The police owned tonight."

"We're in control," he added. "This is our city." The interim chief appeared to have turned the idea of police as public servants on its head, and instead embraced the type of mentality that dictatorial regimes encourage when using militarized forces to control an angry populace. ...

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch interviewed one activist who was arrested so roughly that he couldn't breathe, telling the newspaper, "It was the most brutal arrest I've ever experienced in my life. I thought I was going to die."

Mike Faulk, a reporter for the paper, was also among those arrested. His experience was described thus:
Multiple officers knocked Faulk down, he said, and pinned his limbs to the ground. A firm foot pushed his head into the pavement. Once he was subdued, he recalled, an officer squirted pepper spray in his face. ...
Police seem to think they have the right to mistreat, brutalize and even kill the very people they are meant to serve. But with every life taken, law enforcement is exposed bit by bit for being the source of violence rather than its remedy.

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