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  • 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a stir earlier this year by sporting a t-shirt featuring the historic meeting between Fidel Castro and Malcolm X.

    49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a stir earlier this year by sporting a t-shirt featuring the historic meeting between Fidel Castro and Malcolm X. | Photo: Reuters/ Archive

Published 5 December 2016
Beyond the vitriol and hypocrisy spewed by U.S. mass media, the third world, and even colonized nations within the US, admire the Cuban Revolution.

"It is not OK to lionize Fidel Castro in any way.

It’s not that Cuban exiles consider him a brutal dictator, it’s that he was one.

You cannot support Castro.

And for people like Colin Kaepernick—little knowledge is dangerous—either he’s read a couple of books on the subject and that’s everything he knows about it or he knows a lot about the subject and doesn’t have the ability to properly process the information.

Nobody can speak to the suffering of the Cuban people better than them. (referring to Cuban exiles in Miami)

It’s a damn crime that you would even sit up there—I told you to shave that damn afro. Stop actin’ like you’re a militant, you’re ignorant and that’s the bottom line!

He only cares what he cares about as opposed to what’s real. (referring to Kaepernick’s support of Fidel Castro)

Fidel Castro invested in their (Cubans) education system and they have high literacy rates but he also controlled what they were able to read.

He can’t have this surface level knowledge. (speaking of Kaepernick’s understanding of the Cuban Revolution)"

Chastising Colin Kaepernick’s defense of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro last week were three sports analysts of a popular ESPN program called First Take. May we conclude, per the previous shortlist of quotes from said program, that American corporate media outlets had and continue to have a burden?

RELATED: Colin Kaepernick Defends Fidel Castro to Miami Reporter

While the names of these First Take sportscasters aren’t worth mentioning, what is important to note is that ESPN Inc. is a joint venture between the Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company. If a barrage of hard-hitting sports highlights, interviews, fun, and blinding amusement is what you’re looking for, why, just tune in. Now, if you want to see an athlete speak his socially-conscious mind and get trashed for doing so, then you’ve also come to the right place.

The black consigliere at ESPN’s roundtable discussion, grueling at the behest of his corporate paymasters, took aim at disparaging Kaepernick like no other, calling him a "flaming hypocrite and ignorant." Whereas he slammed the American football player for not registering to vote in the US presidential election, not a whisper about the 53 percent of voting white women who cast their ballots in favor of a 70-year old bloke who routinely denigrated their own mothers, daughters, and sisters.

Having a black man on this panel discussion certainly garnered a modicum of affection for the loyal other. Though he’ll never ascend to a full ranking member of the one percent who cut his checks, for the layers of prejudice and racism are far too dense, at least he gains credibility, limited it were, by adhering to the business codes and whims of the big boss. In this sense, John D. Rockefeller’s notorious dreams couldn’t have become truer when he said — In our dreams, we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands.

Shame on Stephen A. Smith for using his platform to oppose a young athlete’s stance for social justice, mainly, Fidel Castro’s investment in public education. Such criticisms won’t go unnoticed, especially by Cedric Edwards, Pasha Jackson, and the over one hundred economically deprived students from the United States, mainly African-American and Latino, who’ve studied medicine, free of charge, at Cuba’s internationally renowned Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).

The suffering of Cuban exiles in Miami was repeated on air. However, not once did ESPN sports analysts refer to individuals like Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch or groups such as Alpha 66, all of whom explicitly engaged in activities that violate the 70-year-old U.S. Neutrality Act to overthrow a sovereign country’s government.

Referring to Posada Carriles, Peter Kornbluh, an expert on U.S. policy toward Cuba at the National Security Archives, stated, “Posada will truly go down in history as a member of the pantheon of the top 10 most prolific terrorists of our time.” Among other terrorist plots, he was referencing Posada’s involvement in the midair explosion of Cubana de Aviación flight 455 which killed all 73 people on board. He added, “That’s precisely why [Posada’s freedom in Miami] is a challenge to U.S. credibility in its security in the war on terrorism.”

While First Take’s fanfare extravaganza came at the expense of Castro’s passing and the Cuban Revolution, greater flaws and shortcomings of the U.S. Revolution and Civil War aren’t difficult to point out in 2016. Indeed, U.S. president-elect, Donald Trump, is supported by white supremacists such as Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and David Duke (an ex-grand-wizard of the KKK). Their ranks piled into the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC a few days after Trump's electoral college victory (no popular vote needed). Spencer’s speech included recitals of Nazi propaganda in German and several attendees performed Nazi salutes while chanting, “Heil the people, heil victory.” After the jubilee was all said and done, more African Americans continue to be under correctional control in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850. Earlier this year, Mireille Fanon-Mendes France, head of a U.N. panel of human rights experts, declared, "Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency." She was speaking, not of Cuba or Cubans, but about the ravaged social conditions of the black community (that is, African descendants) in the US.

Notwithstanding so much havoc at home, the outgoing U.S. president, a man of African descent, tweeted in February: "Next month, I'll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people." After his arrival on the island nation—birthplace of Carlota, Mariana Grajales, Antonio Maceo, Juan Almeida, Victor Dreke, and many other Cubans of African descent who fought against slavery and colonialism—he was allowed to speak, uncensored, on Cuban National TV. Venturing to someone else’s abode to lecture them about better living practices has always been an incredible masquerade act for U.S. presidents. But official state visits abroad are exercised in the good spirit of reciprocity. The outgoing U.S. president, someone who’s painstakingly flexed U.S. ideals of freedom and equality, has yet to extend an invitation to Raul Castro to visit Washington DC and address the American people about ways of improving their lifestyles.

The Hearst Corporation’s ESPN partner, a children’s entertainment conglomerate, must have prepped their sportscasters with Goofy, Donald Duck, and Minnie Mouse this past Monday, or simply disguised these beloved cartoon figures as sports analysts resembling real life human beings. As we’re referring to a corporatized nation where profits precede any other matter, shall we conclude that the latter option, requiring less paid personnel, seemed a more viable choice.

RELATED: How Fidel Castro's Revolution Turned Cuba into Olympics Power

Beyond the vitriol and hypocrisy spewed by U.S. mass media corporations and their salaried minions, the third world, developing nations, even colonized nations within the U.S., admire the Cuban Revolution for its uncompromising self-determination. Though its shortcomings are debatable, its verve in opposing imperialism and neoliberal capitalism won’t be ignored by the people.

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