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Baltimore Ravens players kneel for the American national anthem during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The craziness of events in this nation has been coming fast and furious — so fast that I have just stared at the news reports with my mouth agape. Where do we begin? There were the multiple firings of Spicer, Scaramucci, and Bannon (sounds like a discount law firm, doesn’t it). Then there were the constant reports of the Russian investigation and daily threats to North Korea. When the “leader of the free world” gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly and referred to another country’s leader as “Rocket Man,” I thought we could not sink any lower.

But then he headed to Alabama to support the Senate candidacy of Luther Strange and used the occasion to castigate NFL and NBA players who chose to exercise their Constitutional rights to protest by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. He referred to them as “SOBs” and called on NFL owners to fire them! SOBs!!! Who does this man-boy think he is? How dare he hurl insults at people acting as citizens? What is wrong with him?

One of the people who has been singled out in this is NBA superstar Steph Curry. Curry has decided he would not accept an invitation to the White House should his team decide to go (actually, his team, the Golden State Warriors, voted not to go). Curry is the epitome of the clean-cut All-American athlete. He comes from a strong, supportive family, completed his college degree, married his college sweetheart and is a doting father. On top of all of that, he is an amazing athlete, an avowed Christian, and just the example Americans should want their children to emulate.

But, the Orange Terror (I will never call him his name) was deliberate in his attack against black athletes. It plays directly to his base — white, disaffected, working-class people who swear that they are losing ground because of some perceived advantage that black people have (no data support this perception). His hatred of President Barak Obama is palpable. He still cannot accept that a black man became president and his entire administration has been about undoing any and everything Obama did. His endorsement of white supremacists and racists is on record and yet there is always some apologist who will argue that he, himself, is not a racist.

I’m sorry, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck … it’s a duck!

The reference to these black athletes as “SOBs” hits at the very heart of racist sentiments in this country. Black women have never been able to claim their full humanity or womanhood. They have always been regarded as over-sexualized units of labor. They not only had to endure the N-word, they have also been subject to the B-word. So now the so-called president is calling them B-word!

What can I call his mother — mother of an adulterer, mother of a sexual predator, mother of a liar? Trust me, if I had a chance to see him face-to-face, I would not mince words. I would not pretend that I had to respect the office because he has already disrespected it so many times I cannot count. I would tell him he’s a liar, a cheat, his feet stink, and he don’t know Jesus!!! He just better not call MY sons “SOBs”!

Written by Gloria Ladson-Billings

Gloria Ladson-Billings

Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies for the University of Wisconsin.

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