After the backlash from his smears of black athletes who spoke out against racial injustice, Donald Trump did what he does best — ranted on Twitter and doubled down on his crass criticism.
Somebody needs to tell Donald Trump he is not actually on the set of The White House Apprentice.
The presidency of the United States comes with a lot of power, but that does not actually include the ability to demand the firing of anyone, anywhere, who criticizes the president or says things he doesn’t like.
All too predictably, though, Trump seems unaware of that fact.
Following backlash to his rude, racist smears against multiple black athletes who have taken a stand against racial injustice, some of them by taking a knee during the national anthem before their games, Trump doubled down on his petulant criticism.
One could note that, if a person wants the privilege of being the president of the country, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect the great citizens of that country for exercising their Constitutional right to speak and protest. And one could also note that many in that country would be happy if that person found “something else to do” besides continue to embarrass himself, and the nation, in the eyes of the world.
Professional athletes are “encouraged but not required” to stand for the anthem before or during games, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in 2016, soon after former 49ers player Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee rather than standing and singing, in protest of systemic racism and police brutality.
Their employment is not dependent upon adhering to abstract tradition, nor is it subject to the angry whims of an unfit president.
That’s something which President Barack Obama understood and valued.
But this administration really seems to think they get to have a say in the employment status of anyone they deem lacking or insufficiently sycophantic to Trump and country.
When ESPN anchor Jemele Hill called Trump a white supremacist, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stood at the briefing podium and declared that it was a “fireable offense.” And she actually went the “black friend” route in Trump’s defense by noting that Trump had met with black Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Now, Trump is playing the daft despot once again, whining on Twitter that black Americans do not have the right to stand up for themselves and others who are victims of institutionalized racism and of the increasing levels of bigotry and hate crimes the nation has witnessed under this administration.
Criticizing the president is not actually illegal, though. After all, if it were, a certain someone would have been hauled away a long time ago.