The idea that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 presidential election has been debunked. However, according to The Atlantic's Jemele Hill, he did carry out the racist dirty work for the 17th president of the United States, Democrat Andrew Johnson. Johnson swore that his government would be grounded in white supremacy, and she claims Trump has now made that a reality.
Hill, who as an ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor tweeted in 2017 that President Trump and his supporters are "white supremacists," made her accusations in light of recent White House visits by two championship sports teams and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Tiger Woods. The Baylor University women's national basketball champions visited Trump in April, while Woods and the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox separately went to the White House last week.
Hill wrote that the tradition of championship sports teams visiting the White House began in 1865 when Union soldiers played baseball on the White House lawn. Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln as president after he was assassinated, was indeed a white supremacist, Hill relates:
"But President Andrew Johnson wasn’t really on board with a message of togetherness. Around that time, The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted Johnson as telling the governor of Missouri, 'This is a country for white men, and by God, so long as I am president, it shall be a government for white men.'
"That divisive proclamation 154 years ago turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Johnson wanted a government where certain people felt excluded. Under Trump, Johnson’s wish came true."
Hill is able to discern that Trump hasn’t made his views as overt as Johnson did, but his actions, policies and treatment of marginalized citizens reveal his underlying attitudes. This has turned championship receptions hosted by Trump into "an uncomfortable experience for athletes of color—who are often asked to cast aside their identity for the comfort of their white teammates, owners, coaches, and fans."
Hill also alleged that White House visits should be apolitical and devoid of drama. "But under Trump’s administration, that simply isn’t possible.":
"Black and Hispanic players and coaches are expected to justify their reasons for not going to Trump’s White House. But the real question is: Why have so many of the white players on the Red Sox chosen not to support their black and brown teammates?"
Hill, a huge fan of former President Barack Obama, says photos of Baylor’s White House visit demonstrated that some team members appeared less than thrilled to be there. Hill questioned the Bears' coach, Kim Mulkey, wondering if she considered how her players felt about being in the presence of a president "who has insulted not just people of color, but also women—and women athletes in particular." If Mulkey didn't discuss this with her team, "then she is guilty of exhibiting privilege and an alarming lack of awareness."
Hill gave national football champion Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney a left-handed "compliment" for his team's January visit with Trump. "Not every red-state coach expects players to grimace their way through an appearance with Trump." She credited him with not pressuring his players to attend the event, and said 45 players stayed home.
The Atlantic writer talks of people being pressured to attend Trump's White House against their will, but offers no evidence of any such thing. She says boycotts are more acceptable now than during the Obama Administration because of the context surrounding Trump.:
"And the truth is that Trump’s hateful rhetoric and policies aren’t so easily forgotten. Forcing people—including championship athletes—to disregard how hurtful his actions can be is disrespectful to those he has hurt."
Plenty of athletes have taken a pass on Trump's White House invitations. Whole teams have opted not to go, namely the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Eagles. This talk of "forcing people" to cast their identities aside by attending White House celebrations is purely a fabrication by Hill in her ongoing campaign to trash Trump. Which doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.