HuffPost: Athletes Not Kneeling for National Anthem 'Are Standing for White Supremacy'
On Monday, HuffPost's Jesse Benn wrote an article entitled, "White Athletes Still Standing For The Anthem Are Standing For White Supremacy." Ironically, he published the article with a picture of the Cleveland Browns, showing some kneeling and others standing. In the center of the picture, a black athlete stood for the anthem. According to Benn's reasoning, he too must have stood for "white supremacy."
"See, for white athletes the anthem and American flag do represent freedom, liberty and whatever other amorphous American values one might ascribe to these symbols," Benn noted. (What a patriotic sentence!) "So, from their view, kneeling would be disrespectful to the privileges a white supremacist nation affords them."
The enlightened HuffPost writer summarized the argument against kneeling this way: "Kneeling during the anthem disrespects the flag and the soldiers who fought for your right to protest and blah blah blah patriotism!" Yeah, Benn. Teach those ignorant rubes!
Naturally, the writer dismissed national pride in America as racist — the expression of white privilege. "If white athletes can't fathom kneeling because they feel soldiers fought for their rights and blah blah blah patriotism, it's because they are treated as full citizens and afforded those rights they imagine soldiers fought for," Benn wrote. "Interpreting their own experience as something more universal, they struggle to understand why anyone should kneel."
"This is the problem of privilege," the HuffPost writer lectured. "It skews our ability to grasp what the world looks like outside our view." He trumpeted the argument of Colin Kaepernick — "the promises that underlie those values remain unfulfilled for black Americans."
Benn argued that this perspective "isn't a matter of opinion." He cited statistics revealing disparities along racial lines in "wealth, education, healthy food, employment, health care, housing, wages, criminal charges/sentences and practically every other imaginable measure of quality of life."
"This isn't a mistake of history or attributable to individual or cultural traits of the oppressed. These are the results of centuries of systemic white supremacy, plain and simple," he concluded.
If so, why does Benn limit his attack to "white athletes still standing for the anthem"? His very image featured Emmanuel Ogbah, Cleveland Browns #90, who did not kneel with other members of the team. Indeed, many black players did not kneel. Are they, too, secretly white supremacist?
Many have made this argument, most notably "comedian" Chelsea Handler, who singled out David Clarke, Ben Carson, and Stacey Dash as "black white supremacists." Then there's Carol Swain, a black former Princeton professor whom the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) called an "apologist" for a "white supremacist."