The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has offered a thoughtful take on US society in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.
Last week, Baldwin told ESPN he was “disheartened” by Trump’s victory. On Monday, he expanded on his thoughts in a series of tweets, during which he blamed class inequality rather than racism for America’s problems.
“When I was younger, I was fascinated by what it meant to be the President of the United States. A leader of the people and for the people,” he wrote. “Somewhere in my younger adult hood I lost faith in the system. I hated politics. As an observant child I saw more inequality than equality. Civil rights movement. Women’s rights movement. And so on. How is it that we had to struggle so mightily for basic rights and respect.”
“It goes far beyond racism in my eyes. Because if the slave owners were black and the slaves were white, we’d probably have the same issues. When you pull back the layers of inequality, it exposes classism. One class wants to oppress another class in order to maintain/gain power.
“Classism is the number one enemy to democracy. And in America it is destroying the American dream. But we the people allow it. We allow it by being uninformed. By being uneducated. And that is what the 1% of the 1% want us to be. Ignorant to the facts. The fact is that we are not currently living in a democracy. The fact is that the 1% of the 1% buy politicians and write policies.”
Baldwin’s current contract is worth $46m but he said having experienced earlier life without wealth had given him perspective. “It’s scary to think that we are on a path to granting the wealthiest people in the world, the power to control the masses,” he added. “And maybe that is why so many people were willing to vote for a president that didn’t meet previous expectations for a president.
“The way of life of many Americans is being destroyed. Inequality is greater than it has ever been. And solidarity is no where to be found. The dream that America once promised has become a nightmare for a lot of people. The lack of hope and empathy has created despair and pain. Empathy and sympathy for not only your fellow American but your fellow human has been lost. We are more concerned with status at any means.
“I don’t mean to be discouraging. But it’s hard not to face the problems of our society with discontent. We should expect more … Expect more from each other. But more importantly, expect more from yourself. Do better.”
Baldwin is one of a number of Seahawks who have spoken out eloquently on issues in America. Baldwin’s fellow Stanford graduate Richard Sherman has talked about racism and Roger Goodell’s reign as NFL commissioner in recent weeks, while Michael Bennett gave ESPN an entertaining and blunt interview in August of thus year.
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