How Unifying Can You Get? | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How Unifying Can You Get?
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Tampa-Dallas NFL opener Sept. 9 (YouTube screenshot)

I wonder how many red-blooded sports fans of any complexion got goose-bumps all over hearing the “black national anthem” being played last Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa before the NFL’s first-of-the-regular-season game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was declared by someone, I forget whom, to be the black national anthem, was played before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which the NFL presumably now considers to be the white national anthem. Alicia Keys, backed by the Florida A&M (styled as a “historically black university”) Concert Choir, crooned “Lift Every Voice” while the two teams locked arms in the end-zones. No one took a knee, though it would have been interesting to speculate what would have happened had a white player done so. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — the most overpaid fool on the planet — has made it clear that the league not only will permit but encourages black players to kneel in protest during the white anthem.

Wow. How unifying can you get? Two opposing teams in the stands and in TV-land, just like two opposing teams on the field. Reminds us, does it not, of those old playground, pickup basketball games featuring shirts against skins. Only now, by the authority invested in the National Football League by who the hell knows whom, it’s skin color that determines the team to which one is assigned. If there are segregated national anthems now for whites and blacks, is the next step to be segregated seating? It would follow logically. Though frustration, perhaps madness, lies in the path of anyone who expects logical behavior from social justice warriors and virtue-signalers of all stripes.

The NFL has announced it will inflict this anthem segregation before every game this season in the name of attempting to put an end to rampant anti-black racism in America, which had just about been stamped out in America until the current manufactured racial obsessions, which stand more than a fair chance of reigniting it. If America is systemically racist, as Goodell insists, then who are the racists? Think about this, Homer, before you shell out major bucks for a ticket to an NFL game, or decide to devote your fall Sunday afternoons to watching the gladiatorial exertions of wildly overpaid employees of a wildly rich corporate sports league that considers, on the basis of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that you’re racist scum.

The anthem segregation is so insane and so counter-productive to the cause it was born in the name of furthering, that even Bill Maher sees through it and ridicules it. A fount of frequent error, Maher occasionally gets one right, as he does in this case. “When you go down a road in which you have two different national anthems — segregation — we’re going back to that under a different name,” Maher said Friday on his Real Time TV show. He compares the anthem scam to universities instituting separate graduation ceremonies for whites and blacks as well as separate dormitories. None of these ill-advised policies, or any of the various hustles that fall under the name of affirmative action, are cures for racial discrimination. They are instead malignant forms of it.

To justify the anthem madness and all the superfluous anti-racist messaging the NFL and other sports leagues engage in, we hear much high-sounding but vague boiler-plate about “healing” and “inclusion.” (Hmm. Separating in the name of including. What a concept. See above re logical behavior.)

But how inclusive are we if we only consider whites and blacks? What about Asians? Pacific Islanders? What about America’s various ethnic groups of “European Americans”? Wouldn’t bachelor Norwegian farmers, tucked away in our upper Midwest, appreciate their own anthem? A polka perhaps. I know my remaining relations wouldn’t mind hearing a redneck national anthem before kickoff. (Though many of these are so busy tailgating it’s often nearly halftime before they realize the game has begun.) The consensus among them seems to be for “Sweet Home Alabama.” Now there’s a toe-tapper.

C’mon, Roger. Are we going to be inclusive or are we not? Team owners don’t pay you more than the GDP of a quarter of the countries in the UN just to be half-hearted in your policies. If your practice matched your rhetoric, the pre-game anthem period would take longer than the game. And players and fans alike would be exhausted from all that standing before kickoff. But, hey, it would be a small price to pay for a truly inclusive America. All of our various groups would be satisfied and peaceful. Sort of like in the Balkans. This is your moment, Roger. Grab it.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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