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The African-American Athlete

Rickey L. Hampton Sr.

Trump's Crass Attempt To Use Death To Lure Black Votes Fails

The murder of Dywane Wade's cousin, Nykea Aldridge, is the latest tragic shooting death in Chicago. It is also the latest opportunity for Donald Trump to show how out of touch he is with the black community.

By Sope Eweje, For The African-American Athlete

Sometimes it seems like no matter how high they rise in society, many members of the African-American community will never escape tragedies due to violent crime. The latest victim in the wave of gang-related violence in Chicago is 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star and Chicago-native Dwyane Wade.

The circumstances surrounding her death are gut-wrenching. Aldridge was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught by a stray bullet fired by one of two men exchanging gunfire nearby. Even worse, she was pushing a stroller with her baby and walking to register her other kids for school.

Wade, who recently signed a $50 million contract to return home with the Chicago Bulls, spoke out against this needless tragedy on Twitter.

Nykea’s death occurred just days after Wade discussed gun violence on a panel with The Undeafeted, and posted a tweet citing the statistic that every 16 minutes, someone in Chicago is killed by a firearm. I’m sure he wasn’t thinking that just 48 hours later, he would end up being affected by the very violence he’s repeatedly denounced.

But to make matters worse, Donald Trump, America’s ongoing political nightmare, has already tried to use this devastating occurrence to appeal to African-American voters. Just hours after the news was released, Trump tweeted:

Let’s try to follow his logic. Trump is suggesting that because he knows violence is a major problem in Chicago, he should garner a greater portion of the black vote. Even from an objective standpoint, that makes absolutely no sense. But now let’s consider it subjectively. Trump is a man who has continued to disparage African-American communities in the media, portraying us as lost and helpless people who have nothing left to lose.

He has a history of racial bias and insensitivity in both his words and his actions in real estate. Finding black attendees at his rallies is like trying to find a needle in a very much oversized haystack. On top of all this, he’s currently polling between 1 and 3% among black voters, compared to over 90% for Hillary Clinton.

Trump does not truly care about this issue. It’s obvious he’s just reaching for votes.

He must have realized his true colors showed in his first tweet because an hour later, he tried to backtrack:

Too little, too late.

Let’s get one thing straight: gun violence is a problem in many communities of color, that is an undeniable fact. It is important that our society that our society acknowledges this, and comes together to create solutions. But Trump’s divisive nature will not help us solve this problem. Someone who thinks about how victimization helps him before showing sympathy for the victims is selfish, egocentric, and not fit to lead our country.

(Sope Eweje, hails from North Carolina, where basketball is king. He is a student at MIT, where he  is studying bio-mechanical engineering. You can contact him on Facebook (Basically Basketball) and Twitter @basicallybball).

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San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the National Anthem Friday night is sure to cause controversy.    

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick made news Friday night when he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem before the start of a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers.

Kaepernick remained seated as players and coaches stood for the anthem. He explained his decision following the game:  

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told Steve Wyche of the NFL Network. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Meanwhile, the 49ers released a statement regarding the incident:

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony,” the team said. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

Although Kaepernick has every right to sit you can be sure he is going to feel a backlash, particularly during this heated moment in America with race and politics.

His decision brings to mind former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, and his stance against the National Anthem in 1994. (Click to read more about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf)

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Dr. Eric Michael Dyson puts today's issues of race and violence into perspective on ESPN's First Take.    

The issue of race and violence have been on the front burner in this heated presidential campaign, where both of the major party candidates have called each other bigots. Here is an outtake from ESPN's First Take that features noted civil rights activists and scholar, Dr. Eric Michael Dyson, and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. Linked is their interesting conversation:

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