No one can say Burgess Owens doesn’t know how to make a point.
The former college football standout and ex-NFL defensive back kept countless opponents from scoring points on the field during his playing career.
As an outspoken conservative commentator from Utah and now Republican candidate for Congress, Owens, 68, has made plenty of them in his post-football life.
But the point he made with a Twitter post Wednesday about the NFL’s plans to play “the black national anthem” before the first game of the 2020 season was one for the record books.
“This just in: along with the “black national anthem” the NFL will be assigning black bathrooms, water fountains, and players will now have their own space on the back of team buses!” he wrote.
This just in: along with the “black national anthem” the NFL will be assigning black bathrooms, water fountains, and players will now have their own space on the back of team buses!
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) July 8, 2020
It probably says more about the times we live in than Owens’ audience that he thought it wise to clarify in a follow-up tweet that he was joking, of course.
His message, though, was clear — and serious.
The activists and groups that support the anthem protests that drove the NFL’s obscene announcement might call themselves “progressive,” but what they actually are doing is dragging the country back decades in its strides toward racial equality.
The essential principle of the civil rights movement was its push for integration – integration the public school system demanded by the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which meant an end to the de jure segregation of the Jim Crow era in the South (and sometimes the North.)
But for the ultra-woke left of 2020, segregating activities by race, judging and treating human beings differently based on their skin color, is not only becoming more common, it’s considered an absolute good.
In Owens’ telling, the NFL’s decision to play the “black national anthem” (an actual song called “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was adopted by the NAACP as its official song in 1919, The Associated Press has noted), is just another way of separating the races, one that’s just as ugly as the “whites only” water fountains and other hallmarks of the Jim Crow era.
And he had plenty of supporters on social media.
How long till we have the neg football league ?
How long till they re-segregate school ?
— BrotherB (@aliasmcdoogles1) July 8, 2020
Some diabolical racist found a way to convince black America to cry out for segregation. We live in an upside down world.
— LibertysKeeper (@LibertysKeeper) July 8, 2020
You have GOT to be joking. How humiliating for black Americans to be put through this. We have entered a time capsule going back 100 years…..let’s just separate a bit more why don’t we. UGH!!
— Kerry (@Kerry89756577) July 8, 2020
And this one puts it perfectly.
Is OUR Natonal Anthem just for Whites now? Is it a White Anthem? And a Black Anthem? And the accuse Trump of “not bringing people together”? Seriously
— Jennifer Epstein (@JenniferEpste19) July 8, 2020
There is no better way for an institution with the cultural clout of the National Football League to turn back the clock on race relations than this idea of playing a separate “national anthem” for black Americans on the field or in the stands.
As coverage of President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July speech showed, the mainstream media love to accuse the president of making divisions worse. (CNN called the speech “divisive.” CNBC claimed he stoked “national divisions.” The New York Times called the speech a “Divisive Culture War Message.”)
But liberals can roll out a plan such as this that’s worse than anything Trump has been accused of when it comes to race.
It’s as clear a way of saying “you are not American,” as any slave owner in the Deep South would say in the antebellum years.” The Roger Taney of Dred Scott infamy would have been proud.
No, chances are the United States won’t go back to segregated drinking fountains and public restrooms (liberals are far too comfortable letting any man into any women’s room as it is). But what the NFL is doing is something even deeper – questioning, and besmirching, the actual allegiance of American citizens to their country based solely on an accident of genetics.
As at least one commenter on Owens’ post noted, there’s only one “National” in “National Football League.”
You can’t play two separate anthems and call yourself the National Football League.
— Cari Kelemen (@KelemenCari) July 8, 2020
And there’s only one anthem.
The NFL is doing the country a disservice – its athletes, its sports fans, and its culture.
And as Owens pointed out on Twitter, it’s hurting the nation’s chances of succeeding in making its future look much, much better than some of the undeniable ugliness of the past.
And that’s the point that matters.
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