June 5, 2018

Trump’s Cynical Politicization of Sports
A Conversation With Michael Eric Dyson
Manafort Faces Jail For Witness Tampering

Program Notes

We begin with President Trump un-inviting the Super Bowl winners the Philadelphia Eagles to a White House celebration today to get ahead of the fact few of the team were going to show up. Ben Carrington, a Professor of Sociology at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at USC and author of “Race, Sport and Politics”, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “You Can’t Separate Sports From Politics Because Sports Are Politics” and how Trump has set himself up as the arbiter of patriotism where he alone decides who is patriotic enough to be invited to the White House. We examine how patriotism and sports have been fused in the rituals of playing the national anthem and having military honor guards open NFL games as military jets fly overhead. With Trump using every opportunity to insert himself into patriotic events such as he did on Memorial Day when he tweeted out that those who died fighting for our country would be happy with the Trump economy, we will assess whether erroneously tarring the Eagles with not standing for the national anthem, American sports fans will fall for Trump cynical ploy which Samuel Johnson wrote about in 1775 warning that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

Then we speak with Michael Eric Dyson, one of America’s premier public intellectuals and the University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University whose latest book, just out, is “What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversations About Race in America”. He joins us on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of RFK to discuss what white America can learn from the black experience just as Robert Kennedy learned after meeting with James Baldwin and other black activists in 1963. And how we can all fight back as Trump tries to turn the clock back on race relations and divide America with dog whistle appeals reviving racist hatred to rile up his base.

Then finally we speak with Louis Michael Seidman, Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University’s School of Law who served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He joins us to discuss the latest twists and turns as Trump tries to discredit, slow and stop the Mueller inquiry. With Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort now facing jail for witness tampering, we assess whether the truth will win and justice prevail in the end as Trump desperately fights his rear-guard offensive against both the truth and the law.

Ben Carrington | Michael Eric Dyson | Louis Michael Seidman