TOP OF THE TOWN – Regardless of what some Republican lawmakers say and others repeat we are a racist country. Our country was set up by whites for whites and laws were passed that solidified the white nationalist bent at the expense of non-whites starting four hundred years ago with slavery right through Jim Crow and reconstruction to today with redlining, unfair laws lending laws targeting mostly blacks. Black families teach their children how to react when they are out in public so as to avoid being singled out for harm especially it turns out from police. That racism has over the years become more hidden and subtle among the population. It lingers in the air and rarely is exposed. But that all changed with the election of 45 in 2016. A racist and white nationalist that was not afraid to express it publically, 45 gave permission by his public airings for that hidden racism among the population to come out of the shadows. Any action creates a reaction and the festering racism has exploded all over social media platforms, has led to Black Lives Matter and mass protests on the streets of America and backlash from the right that has raised the tensions along racial lines. This sudden allowance for racists to expose their inner thoughts in public has begun to affect games we play, most especially in the world of pro basketball where almost 75 percent of the players are African-American. It’s unsurprising that black players are being targeted in basketball arenas all over the country. The New York Knicks just banned a fan from its home arena—famed Madison Square Garden ‑– for spitting on Atlanta guard Trae Young and the Philadelphia 76ers banned a fan that threw popcorn on Washington Wizard guard Russell Westbrook.  Former Seattle Sonic player Nate McMillan, now the Atlanta coach, said this to reporters after a game Wednesday (May 26) “We’re just living in a society where people don’t have respect anymore. In no way should that be allowed, or should that happen, at a sporting event or really any event. … I think New York did what it should have done in that situation. It’s uncalled for.”  The incident in Philadelphia also happened Wednesday and because the fan was a season-ticket holder his tickets were revoked besides being banned from the teams’ arena. Young has been the subject of profane chants from fans through the first two games of the team’s playoff series against the Knicks. “I’m sick and tired of it, honestly,” said Westbrook, who has been a target of fans wrath before. A fan in Utah tossed racial taunts out at him and Westbrook was fined $25,000 for his reaction to it. Utah’s Donovan Mitchell said he’s been in a lot of incidents where fans say whatever they want toward him and they get away with it while the consequences for him are bad if he reacts. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving warned before playing in the playoffs against the Celtics in Boston that he hoped the fans would be civil and players could just play basketball and not be concerned with unruly fans throwing racial taunts at them. Another reporter noted that even a father of player has been targeted. Memphis guard Ja Morant told ESPN that fans had gotten all over his dad with racist remarks while watching him play against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. Three fans were then banned by the Jazz.  “My family should be able cheer for me [and] my teammates without getting inappropriate shit said to them,” Morant tweeted on Thursday. Westbrook told ESPN that, “This shit is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the fuck they want to do ― it’s just out of pocket.” So it goes as things become more violent  — there has been 232 mass shootings this year in the United States, including the one Wednesday (May 26) in San Jose when nine were killed by a shooter (he killed himself) who had been under investigation for racist comments. I don’t know where all of this is heading, but it can’t be good. We even had a President (45) try to overthrow the government with an insurrection, and a major political party voting against a commission to investigate the root causes of it. All I know is the genie has escaped from his bottle, no thanks to 45, and is wrecking havoc on us. Why can’t we get along and love one another? What difference does skin color mean?  Nothing. It’s all about character. And love, which is the foundation of life. I’m tired of all this. We need to regroup as people, hold hands and unite as one. We can be great if we all work together. Enough of this division, this racial divide.  Ok, that is it for today. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.