NFL Prospect Racially Insensitive Tweets Surface

Over the past 18 months, the NFL has seen an unprecedented amount of protest. The evolution from kneeling during the National Anthem to arguing with the President of the United States, it has become clear that professional athletes play a significant role in the eradication of racism. However, on the eve of the NFL Draft just less than a week ago, Yahoo sports surfaced racially insensitive tweets from top quarterback prospect, Josh Allen. The tweets, sent in 2012 and 2013 when Allen was still in high school, contain offensive language and homophobic phrases, such as,”If it ain’t white it ain’t right.” The unique aspect of the story is the multiple reports that have suggested that an NFL team leaked the tweets, in hope that Allen would fall later in the draft. The Cleveland Browns had the first overall pick along with the fourth pick, selected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield first, ruling Allen out as the first overall pick. Approaching the seventh pick and Allen still on the board, the Buffalo Bills traded up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and selected Allen with the seventh overall pick. Although the tweets only slightly hurt Allen’s draft stock, he was going to have to answer to the media as well as his new teammates. Shortly after Allen was picked, Buffalo Bills leader and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander told the media that Allen would have to answer to his teammates about the tweets but will chastise him for something he tweeted in high school. While talking on the phone with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, he expressed his regret and takes full responsibility for his actions but also referenced that some of the tweets were rap lyrics; also the ‘white is right’ tweet was quoting an episode of popular TV show Modern Family. Alexander expressed that he is going to give Allen a chance to prove himself on and off the field, but also stressed that some of Allen’s new teammates might not be so forgiving. All things considered, Josh Allen is going to have an uphill battle from the moment he steps in the Bills facility with proving his worth as a player and his character as a teammate and friend.

Meek Mill Release and Mass Incarceration

Tuesday afternoon, after five months of incarceration, Meek Mill was finally released. The popular rapper had been held since late November as a result of a failed drug test and violating the travel restrictions of his probation. Mill had violated his probation several times and Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who had overseen Mill’s probation over the years, was clearly fed up with the rapper’s antics and sentenced him to 2-4 years in prison. Immediately, there was outrage among Meek’s associates and passionate fans. After months of silence along with protests, and unrest, Mill was finally released Tuesday and immediately made his presence felt with an appearance at the Philadelphia 76’ersplayoff game; where fans showed heavy support for Philadelphia native.

Although Meek’s release shows the power of the people in the face of injustice, it also highlights a much larger issue in America. Mass incarceration, especially that of African Americans, is a result of the flawed American criminal justice system. After his release, Meek tweeted, “I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues.” As a result of his release, he has the chance to make a huge impact on an issue that is talked about enough. The corruptedness of the prison system in America is obvious and when taking a close look at mandatory minimums, probation violations, and a multitude of other issues. The possibilities of Meek’s opportunity is endless. He could back bail funds, and team up with organizations like Black Lives Matter to spearhead campaigns to fund the release of black men and women in prisons across America. He could start his own social campaign and make an impact within the city of Philadelphia. He could make a documentary or write a book, and give outsiders a first-hand look at the flaws in our prison system and the struggles that one must go through to see the light of day again as a free man or woman. All things considered, Meek must carefully think about the steps he is going to take to make an impact on the lives of African Americans in the present and for the future.

Meek Mill And Mass Incarceration: How Rapper Can Work To Help The Movement

Healthcare and Hospital Segregation

When studying segregation, most people study separate hotels, restaurants, and other various miscellaneous places. However, most people do think of segregated healthcare. I think that is because healthcare is supposed to be the symbol of helping people no matter who they are or where they have come from; the only priority is to make sure they are healthy. During the 20th century, healthcare was extremely segregated. In the South, it was not uncommon to have separate hospitals for blacks and whites with the whites-only hospitals having better resources and facilities. If the hospital admitted both races, they often placed black patients in basements or attics. In 1959, Dr. Paul Cornley conducted a survey on hospital segregation. He found that, “83 percent of Northern hospitals were integrated in terms of patient admissions, but only 6 percent of Southern hospitals were. Of the other 94 percent of facilities in the South, 33 percent admitted no African-Americans, 50 percent admitted them to segregated wards.” Also, blood transfusion donors and receivers had to be the same race, no matter the clinical blood type match. There was segregation at birth too, with black and white infants not being cared for in the same nursey.

It was not only patients that were segregated too, many physicians were segregated as well. In Dr. Cornley’s study,” Only 10 percent of Northern hospitals accepted African-American interns or residents; only 20 percent had them on staff. Only 6 percent of Southern hospitals accepted them as interns or residents, and only 25 percent granted them staff privileges.” As a result of segregation, hundreds and possibly thousands of people died due to segregated hospitals denying them care. Although there has been vast improvements to racial equality in the medical world, there is still much more work to be done. For example, in 2012, of the 688,468 active physicians, only 4% were black. Clearly there needs to be more work done in order to bring equality to arguably the most important profession in the world.


Why African-American Soldiers Saw World War II as a Two-Front Battle

Most, if not all people, remember World War II as the defeat of the Adolf Hitler regime and the prevention of possible German world domination. The death of 6 million Jews and approximately 15-20 million people who were imprisoned and slaughtered by the Nazis. However, for African Americans during the 1940’s, they were fighting more than just one war. While selflessly sacrificing their lives for the United States, the government and citizens supported white supremacy and segregation. While people were celebrating the victory over the Germans, they forgot that the military was segregated, the Red Cross segregated blood donors, and black soldiers came to housing and job denial.

While segregation was still being enforced in the United States, the following quote was written in the SS, the primary Nazi newspaper, “In the freest country in the world, where even the president rages against racial discrimination, no citizen of dark color is permitted to travel next to a white person, even if the white is employed as a sewer digger and the Negro is a world boxing champion or otherwise a national hero…[this] example shows us all how we have to solve the problem of traveling foreign Jews.”

As one can see, it was clear that although the United States was fighting for freedom of the Jews and other prisoners, they themselves were not enforcing freedom in their own country. The same can be said for the United States currently. Throughout the world, the United States is seen as the international enforcer of democracy and freedom. However, events like the Charlottesville in August 2017, show that things have not changed as much as we think they have. We have clearly not learned from the past, therefore, we are condemned to repeat it.

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Building Against Slavery and Racism

Over the past few years, there have been countless protest concerning the continued celebration of Confederate statues. Around the country, there are 1,503 monuments that celebrate and glorify the people of the Confederacy and their actions. Of the 1,503, there are 8 in Statuary Hall in Congress. These statues celebrate the ‘lost cause’ that was the Confederacy. In 2015, after a neo-Nazi killed nine African-American people in a Charleston, South Caroline church. After this tragedy, the protests to remove Confederate monuments grew stronger. Ever since Donald Trump has begun president, he has belittled this movement saying, “the history and culture of our great country [is] being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments”. With the growth of the movement to remove these monuments, there has also been a movement to erect statues that celebrate the fight against racism and prejudice.

If any other president were in office, more monuments celebrating civil rights activists and other social heroes would have already been commissioned; but Donald Trump’s sympathy for white supremacists and racists has delayed this process for years. There are incredible people who deserve to be recognized for their significance in the civil rights movement. Some people who deserve monuments include The United States Colored Troops, Emmett Till, and Nat Turner. Although all the examples were at different times in American history, they all play a massive role in the journey toward equality in the United States.