by John Walters
Statue Of Limitations
Well, okay, now that you mention it…
I’ve lived a few blocks from this statue for decades and I probably never even gave it a second thought. So is that on me? I’ve never bothered much to explore the inspiration behind it (and I could probably stand to read a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, come to think of it).
Here’s what I’m waiting for, though. What happens when enough people become upset about George Washington having owned dozens of slaves (whom I believe, he set free upon his death)? I mean, when that statue gets toppled, it’s going to create a clamor.
And if this is on your front lawn, you may see some up-close toppling soon.
Charles Blow Asks…
We have been doing that here, Chuck, for a couple months now. I’ll go further: He’s America’s all-time most prolific mass (not mask) murderer.
Here’s the piece of information inside that blew (Blow, blew) me away:
During the height of the crisis, some states experienced a shortage of ventilators to treat gravely ill patients. Trump claimed that the Obama administration had left no ventilators in the national stockpile, that there were “empty cupboards.” In truth, his own administration confirmed a few days ago that 16,660 ventilators were available for use when Trump took office and in March, and outrageously the Trump administration had distributed only 10,760 of them as of Tuesday.
Manhattan Transfer Of Droplets
The New York City Marathon? Canceled.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame game, the traditional kickoff to the NFL’s (exhibition) season? Canceled.
Major League Baseball’s 60-game season? Not canceled. Yet. But for just how far will Rob Manfred drive Susan’s parents to the Hamptons before stopping the car?
On Saturday, Kansas State, in what will be a harbinger for the 2020 college football season, shut down its program for the time being. The Wildcats had no coronavirus cases when it welcomed players back to campus in the beginning of June, but by last week it had 14. And so they closed shop in Manhattan.
Is any other sports team or league so arrogant are willfully ignorant about what is happening around us (37,000 NEW cases nationwide yesterday) to think that it won’t also happen to them?
Again, we’re not claiming COVID-19 is a killer among top-tier athletes. Almost certainly not. But is that even the point? And if the virus can infiltrate a relatively remote place like Manhattan, Kans., that quickly, how do you think it’s going to do in Orlando or in MLB cities? C’mon, man.
Check Your Privilege, ESPN
So you go to ESPN’s homepage and you see the headline for a video that shows the face of Chris Fowler. The headline reads, “Fowler: We Need To Be A Part Of The Movement And Not Get Caught In The Moment.”
Click on the video. You’ll find that in a video that is 2:58 in duration, Fowler does not speak until the 2:29 mark. Everyone who talks before him (Maria Taylor, Clinton Yates, Louis Roddick) is African-American. But ESPN.com teases its readers by touting what Fowler said.
Now that’s funny.
By the way, we totally agree with what Fowler says (and with Yates and Riddick, too), but we’ll take it a step further. And I doubt anyone at ESPN would ever say this: Sure, the murder of George Floyd was the spark. But what’s helped sustain this prolonged period of protest and racial activism are two other factors:
- The utter absence of sports on the landscape (one of the many things I’m thankful about in terms of no sports) and
- A horrendous president, and those who support him, who are so nakedly proud of their ignorance and cruelty that it forces you to sit up and take notice.
If we had a moderate president, or even a progressive one, people might not be out in the streets effecting change. You can actually thank the wickedness of Donald Trump (pepper-spraying and rubber-billeting peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park, for example) for helping to accelerate this movement.
One last word on the video. Maria Taylor cited an MLK, Jr. , quote from 1963 about “white moderates” being the impediment to social change (um, nope; moderates are not worse than the Klan; we get your point, but it’s a lazy straw man) and then segues immediately into introducing Fowler. Which is an implication that he’s the problem. She tried to walk it back but the damage was done. And of course Fowler is going to be gracious in this moment but he’s a very smart dude and one who does not take slights well (who does?). Don’t think he didn’t notice that.
You’d expect a sports event held in Mitch McConnell’s state to be expert at gas lighting the public. Taking a page directly from Donald Trump’s coronavirus playbook, the president of Churchill Downs, Kevin Flanery, said, “We will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby,” which will be held on September 5.
Flanery “will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend” except mandate that attendees wear masks. That’s like a student declaring that he will do everything possible to get an “A” in the class except study.
It’s truly incredible how stupid MAGA leaders think we all are. But they do know how stupid their lemmings are. And these quotes are for them. Oh, well. Can’t wait for this statement or event to be abridged.