The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: ESPN reporter is right about President Trump

White supremacy not all it’s cracked up to be, except cracked.
Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the University of Iowa Field house on Tuesday Jan 26, 2016. Trump is currently tied in Iowa with Ted Cruz. (The Daily Iowan/Jordan Gale)


As in, why did Our Great Leader (just last week) reignite his highly controversial remarks on the Charlotteslville protests (there is some kind of moral equivalency between some on the left and the white supremacists, KKKers, and neo-Nazis who marched there and shouted Nazi slogans)? That controversy had gone to wherever controversies go when their 15 minutes are up. I imagine a retirement community somewhere pleasant, where the former controversies wander among the gardens, drinking tea and honey, taking up dominoes and chess, chuckling a little bit about the old days.

Dredging up his white-supremacy sympathies only reminds us how cynical the Trumpster is, coming on the heels of his cutting a deal (or cutting a framework for a deal) with Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on DACA. Not to mention his meeting with Sen. Tim Scott (the only black Republican in the Senate) to discuss violence and race.

And it puts him on the level of Kimberley Paige Barnette.

Who? you say.

She is — or was, by now — running in the GOP primary for mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, and in the first week of September, she got the brilliant idea to post a campaign flier on Facebook. Along with her photo, she wrote: “VOTE FOR ME! REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”

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Yeah, WHITE. In all caps. Apparently, she believed being WHITE was a strong reason to be elected (well, it is, in large swaths of this country, given that historically, this country is well-grounded in white supremacy), and apparently, she also believed that her photo wasn’t strong enough evidence that she was white. (She finished dead last in the GOP primary on Sept. 12 with 5.18 percent of the vote.)

Well, OK, Barnette is sort of minor-league whitey-whitey. (No offense to Charlotte, which I’m sure is mostly wonderful, but it’s no Iowa City. Thank God for that, the good people of Charlotte respond). But Our Great Leader resides, some days, in the West Wing, and so when he goes all buddy-buddy with white supremacists, it changes the topography.

Into that landscape last week ESPN program host Jemele Hill strode, tweeting that the Trumpster was a white supremacist and had surrounded himself with like types, not that they’re necessarily likable. Thus a firestorm of criticism ignited from the right wing. It appears that if you dare mention white supremacists, the right-wingers scurry for the napalm stockpiled in their bomb shelters.

So, naturally and immediately, there were numerous calls for the Mother Ship to fire Hill for her comments, almost as if we didn’t have a First Amendment and freedom of speech. (Yes, we have a First Amendment. But unless you’re a church or a corporation willing to donate a bunch of moolah to a political campaign, you might as well burn it as you try to use it. More patriotic than burning an American flag.)

RELATED: Rosario: It’s not just about statues after Charlottesville

Even the White House got into the fire-Jemele-Hill act, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying Hill’s comments were a “fireable offense.” She went on to say it was outrageous to say the Trumpster was a white supremacist, because he has met black people.

Um, sure. Predictable.

ESPN, also predictably, tiptoed around Hill’s comments, saying they were inappropriate but not talking about firing her. Now, that would create a firestorm.

Let’s see. ESPN is owned by Disney, as is ABC. Is that too big to wail?

Just asking.

Probably satirist Andy Borowitz had the best, and last, word in one of his headlines.

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