UPDATED: 7:30 a.m. ET, Oct. 28, 2020 —
Spike Lee, the cinematic champion of bringing important Black imagery to the big screen, has always been a visionary filmmaker. That’s why it should come as no surprise that “Drop Squad,” a film he executive produced, is seemingly more relevant than ever after it was released 26 years ago today.
The truths revealed in the movie that is also an acronym that stands for the “Deprogramming and Restoration of Pride Squad” are all but mirrored in society today in large part because of the election of Donald Trump, which has not only emboldened white supremacists but also had similar effects on Black people eager to prove their loyalty to a racist president. And there is a long line of both, to be sure.
And now, on the eve of his possible re-election, more Black folks are coming out of the woodwork to offer their support for his candidacy as his administration continues to espouse anti-Black rhetoric in no uncertain terms. The collective rhetoric coming from a certain portion of Black America has the potential to do longer-lasting damage to African Americans than perhaps Trump could ever do. And that’s where “Drop Squad” comes in.
The movie depicted a team of proud African Americans who target, kidnap and then brainwash (or re-program) Black people it feels have lost touch with their racial roots. While the movie reviews were nothing to boast of, the film’s underlying message certainly is.
(Editor’s note: To be clear, NewsOne does not advocate the type of violence during the movie’s “deprogramming” scenes. However, the underlying message still resonates: Black people need each other’s support to progress as a race, and anything less is seen at best as taking steps backward. Everybody is redeemable.)
So, in keeping with that theme, NewsOne has assembled a motley crew of what have become the usual suspects of apparent shucking, jiving, self-hating African Americans who seem to need a refresher course in what it really means to be Black in America. While the list keeps growing, the following ten people are consistently Drop Squad-worthy.
For obvious reasons, Kentucky’s attorney general is leading this year’s iteration of this growing list of Black people who sure seem like they could use a little outside intervention from the Drop Squad. All the ways Daniel Cameron let down Breonna Taylor and her family continue to reveal themselves after he all but obstructed justice by presenting to a grand jury a biased and incomplete case that sympathized with police corruption and malfeasance that led to an innocent Black woman being gunned down in her own home. His actions are what prompted social justice activist Tamika Mallory to liken Cameron to the “sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery and helped White men to capture our people, to abuse them, and to traffic them while our women were raped, while our men were raped by savages.”
The woman who NewsOne has dubbed the “Sunken Place Demon” has gone above the call of her apparent self-hating duties to prove that she would be a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan if only the hate group that has supported Trump would allow her to join. NewsOne has compiled a whole laundry list of receipts exposing the fraudulent ways of a woman who is leveraging her conservative hatred for Black people — she has repeatedly blamed Black men for getting killed by police — in exchange for a pat on the head from Republicans that she is still seemingly waiting for. Instead, Republicans sent her tap dancing before Congress to downplay concerns of white supremacy and white nationalism.
Dr. Ben Carson
It’s hard to reconcile this one. Carson made Black history as a brilliant neurosurgeon who rose from poverty to become he very best in his profession. But that legacy has nearly been eclipsed since he ran for president and ultimately called slaves “immigrants,” which led in part to him being labeled a “Black White supremacist.” More recently, Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been working during the pandemic to reverse long-standing fair housing protections that the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says “will make it exceedingly hard for victims of discrimination to fight against systemic racism and discriminatory policies by housing providers, financial institutions, and insurance companies that deprive people of the opportunities and services they need.” Drop Squad time, for sure.
Sheriff David Clarke
The man who has called Black Lives Matter a hate group, shamed Black politicians and disrespected Colin Kaepernick became quite the pro-Trump presence on Twitter after resigning as sheriff of Milwaukee County — you know, the same place where four people died in a jail he ran. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he has given speeches telling people to ignore health guidelines for the coronavirus — a sickness that has disproportionately affected Black people — prompting at least one Milwaukee politician to wonder if Clarke’s rhetoric helped inspire the white militiamen who plotted to kidnap Democratic governors and overthrow their states. Call the Drop Squad right now.
The card-carrying Republican actress has made no secret of her love for Trump. And while personal politics is one thing, defending white racism is another. She has repeatedly called for an end to Black History Month, supported Paula Deen’s overt racism toward Blacks and called Obama an anatomically slang word that Trump once said is where women allow him to grab them because he’s famous. She has actually been Drop Squad-eligible for longer than most know.
This now-fired political pundit-turned Trump White House staffer was a constant TV presence during the presidential campaign, but it was perhaps his argument on CNN with a liberal Black commentator that cemented his position on this list. Not only has Dennard praised Trump’s defense of violent White nationalists at a Charlottesville rally in 2017, but he also earlier this month — after Bob Woodward got Trump to say that Black Americans’ “pain and anger” isn’t his responsibility — claimed Trump “will go down as the greatest champion for the Black community since Abraham Lincoln.” Dennard isn’t only a client, he may need to be the Drop Squad president.
The Super Bowl-winning, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker caught hell for telling Colin Kaepernick to quiet his social activism protesting racial injustices against Black people. Those comments came more than a year after Lewis praised Trump, the then-candidate whose history of discriminating against Black people has been well-documented. For perspective’s sake, Lewis was right there front and center showing all of his teeth in the Oval Office when Kanye West had his manic breakdown during a photo op with Trump purportedly in the name of discussing issues facing inner city Black folks. Drop Squad time.
The former reality TV star who shared the screen with Trump on “The Apprentice” has since become one of the most reviled people in Black America because of her allegiance to the president. She once told Black students assaulted at Trump campaign rallies that they “get what’s coming to you” and caused an uproar at a convention for Black journalists, prompting her Black friends to stop associating with her. She had a convenient change of heart [only] after she was fired and kicked out of the White House, but her tell-all book has failed to ingratiate her with the same Black folks who she willingly alienated herself from by teaming up with a racist president. She needs to be Drop Squad-ed immediately.
The Juice’s friendship with the Donald is nothing new, but the extent of their relationship since his release from prison was uncertain. What was certain, though, was that O.J. was seemingly — at one point, at least — convinced he wasn’t Black. Chances are he still sees himself today as he did in 1969, when a White woman at a wedding saw him and reportedly remarked, “Look, there’s O.J. sitting with all those n****rs.” When asked if he was offended, O.J. was… well, O.J. was O.J.: “It was great. Don’t you understand? She knew that I wasn’t black. She saw me as O.J.’” The Juice may have very well been the one to inspire the concept for the Drop Squad.
While Supreme Court justices are supposed to be apolitical, Thomas was just this week a willing actor in Trump’s political theater by swearing in Amy Coney Barrett even though he knew that her nomination was likely another of the president’s quid pro quo moves that he will expect repayment for. Trump has called him his favorite Supreme Court justice, probably due in no small part to Thomas’ opinion that affirmative action is a biased crutch to accommodate Black people’s laziness that should be extended to so-called disadvantaged whites. That is to speak nothing of his alleged sexual harassment of Anita Hill decades ago. Drop the entire Squad on him.
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