By Beverly Gadson-Birch
President Trump done stepped in it again! Why is it so difficult for Trump to remain quiet on matters that are simply none of his business? The President needs to practice self-control. He is having a difficult time running the country but thinks he can run the NFL? Those of you who grew up during the “baby boomer” era may recall your parents telling you “don’t call people out of their name”. Trump referred to NFL players, who kneeled, sat, linked arms or just refused to come on the field during the singing of the National Anthem, as “sons of bitches”. Is that “name calling” or what? Not only is it “name calling”, it is disrespectful to the players and others seeking to address police killings and racial injustices.
Well #45 can add me to the list of “sons of bitches” or “daughters of bitches” because I don’t sing the national anthem nor do I pledge allegiance to the flag. I stopped reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” shortly after high school. The Pledge was routine and led each morning by a student. I was just repeating words without understanding the meaning. How can I recite the Pledge when it says “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?” I am not pledging allegiance to the flag until I am included in the “indivisible”. Indivisible means America is “united as one”. Stop being bamboozled into thinking you are equal when you are not. Liberty and justice for who? Y’all, not included in the all! Are y’all talking ‘bout all of “we”? Y’all, please ‘scuse my Gullah. I am a little fired up and ready for #45 to go. He does not represent the values I would like to see in my children.
Growing up in racially divided America during the demonstrations of the Sixties, I learned quickly to renounce those who sought to dominate or harm me. Although America didn’t think much of me, my parents and teachers did. I love America but I refuse to allow America to silence or deny me my inalienable rights provided for in the Constitution. During the Fifties, black men were called “boys”, black women “girls” and by their first names. My mother exercised her rights by silently protesting disrespect by not responding and so do I. James Brown didn’t have to tell me that I was “black and proud”. My mother did. I always thought I was somebody because my mother thought she was somebody. That’s the standards she set and the standards she taught her children to live by.
Last week, I visited Houston and toured some of the devastated areas first hand. It’s like Hurricane Harvey picked out some folks to pick on. I am always amazed at how hurricanes can tear a house down on one corner and leave another intact directly across the street. It’s mind-boggling. In some areas, it was like Harvey said I will huff and puff and blow your house apart. And, if her rage was not enough, she flooded thousands of homes and businesses.
The NFL players and supporters chose to exercise their First Amendment rights by silently and peacefully protesting America’s inequities. #45 doesn’t “have a dog in this fight” because he doesn’t understand what the fight is all about. The President doesn’t know what poor or hungry looks like. While touring the devastated areas in Houston, I saw poor. Undeniably, there are areas in Houston resembling third world countries. President Trump is living the dream without the worries associated with being poor, unemployed and disenfranchised. Horrendous as it may sound, much of the money raised to help victims of Hurricane Harvey will not reach the poor; and, they know it. Sympathetically, I watched as the poor sun dried old rugs, furniture and mattresses so they could remain in their homes—homes over time that will become mold-infested, creating health problems and causing premature deaths. On the richer side of town, houses were stripped down to the bare walls, furniture and appliances thrown out, sheet rocks cut out while restoration trucks lined the streets.
It’s refreshing to see Houston making a comeback from Hurricane Harvey one neighborhood and event at a time. On Monday, some of the players President Trump referred to as “sons of bitches” along with Texas Children’s Hospital, hosted a free event Play 60 at Levy Park, for the children.
The adults were having just as much fun as the kids. Members of the Houston Texans were on hand to interact with the children and take pictures. Although the Texans were defeated by New England the day before, the smiles on the children’s faces say otherwise. They are truly winners and “sons of queens”.