How Loretta Lynch found herself, and the NFL, on the wrong side of history

In 2016, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to hold this position, gave a speech on community-police relations at the White House Weekly Conference of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This was the year that Counteda A study by The Guardian, which tracked police killings in the US, found that black men aged 15 to 34 were nine times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than other Americans, and were killed four times as often. rate of white men. Three years or so passed after the Movement for Black Lives Matter began, and Lynch was addressing the business of the civil rights movement before the diaspora of brown faces in the audience that day.

She sang the praises of four young black men from North Carolina A&T who marched in 1960’s Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina, asking to be served like any other shepherd. I spoke of the persistence and courage of the Greensboro Four, as history calls them. I talked about the seat someone was sitting in.

“This chair is of special significance to me – not just because I was born in Greensboro a year before the Woolworth sit-in, and not just because my father allowed student activists to meet in the basement of his church,” she said. “And not just because this daring act of non-living civil disobedience and the school systems I grew up in. What this excrement shows to me is the ability of the average individual to strike a blow to justice.”

Three years after giving that speech, Lynch joined the law firms of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, and Wharton & Garrison, becoming a partner in the Washington, DC office. and sOn Wednesday, it was announced that the NFL has used Lynch and its partners to defend the league and its teams against allegations of racism from former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores.

An ancestral collective sigh can be heard across Black Twitter.

The NFL has long been a bastion of white supremacy that maintains racial privilege and insulates itself from the real consequences. NFL owners are responsible only to themselves. The owners pay the NFL commissioner. As such, the NFL owners have ignored Black’s ownership inquiries; They ignored qualified black men aspiring to become coaches; They even ignored the protests of blacks. Like the old Kanye said, the NFL doesn’t care about blacks.

She alleges the Flores lawsuit Not only was he unjustly fired, but given what amounted to mock interviews with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos simply because the NFL had to fulfill a formal obligation. Look, the NFL used to be so racist that they had to create what’s known as the Rooney Rule, named after Dan Rooney, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers who was also responsible for the diversity committee. Rooney’s rule originated in 2003 after two black coaches, Tony Dungy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dennis Green of the Minnesota Vikings, were fired at the end of 2002. Dungy’s Bucs had a winning record when they were let go, and the Green’s Vikings had lost Their first season in 10 years of driving when he got the Walking Leaves. Critics saw the dismissal of Dungey and Greene as racially motivated. So the NFL applied the Rooney Rule to appease black assistant coaches seeking high-profile positions. It was a fail-safe affirmative measure that requires NFL owners to interview minority candidates for high-level positions — but it doesn’t say they should hire them. This is exactly what landlords do: They interview black candidates with no intention of giving them the job.

It’s a charade, all of that. The NFL has no problem paying black men to risk bodily injury, but they don’t want them in property chests or head coaching positions, which — that’s the quiet part that’s never said above a whisper — means interacting on a more personal level. Coaches and owners often have a friendly relationship. they spend time in each other’s homes; They go over players’ salaries and potential acquisitions. They talk about the team’s needs and spend a lot of off-season time together. This may explain why before Flores’ lawsuit, the NFL had only one active black coach, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Flores filed the lawsuit, Luffy Smith was hired to coach the Houston Texans, and Mike McDaniel, known as a multiracial, is now the new head coach for the Miami Dolphins.

The point is, the NFL has a huge racial problem, and it’s upsetting to see the first black female attorney general now arguing on the wrong side of history. Lynch was a civil rights campaigner until 2019, when she joined her current law firm. Then things changed. Since then, she has become the number one attorney to defend large corporations against allegations of racism.

One can’t help but wonder: If a lunch table sit-down were to happen in 2022, would Lynch defend Woolworth?

It is astonishing to see the reversal of fate, to watch this brave civil rights hero become the person big business looks for when faced with the accusation of racism. We are literally watching the hero become the villain in real time.

In September 2020 – When McDonald’s was facing multiple lawsuits Of black franchisees claiming that the company was limiting the locations they could buy and often directing them to low-income, all-black neighborhoods — the Golden Arches hired Loretta Lynch to defend them.

In 2021 — when black multimedia mogul Byron Allen sued McDonald’s for $10 billion, claiming the company was discriminating against Black-owned media companies, Lynch was once again tasked with defending the fast-food giant. according to Allen suitMcDonald’s spends $1.6 billion annually on television advertising and “spends less than approximately $5 million annually on African-American-owned media, and has declined to advertise on Entertainment Studios Networks or The Weather Channel since Allen acquired the network in 2018.”

While that $5 million might seem like a lot, it’s only 0.3% of McDonald’s annual television advertising budget spent on African-American-owned media.

“This is about the economic integration of African American-owned companies into the American economy,” Allen told Mark Lamont-Hill. Black News Tonight.McDonald’s takes in billions of African American consumers and does almost nothing. America’s largest trade deficit is the trade deficit between white companies in America and black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity. Economic exclusion must stop immediately.”

It is important to note that Bryon Allen is full of money. If there’s one person who doesn’t get hurt for money, it’s Byron Allen. It is assumed, then, that money is not the reason for Allen’s fight; Date.

Allen told Hill that a conversation with Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, spurred his journey to take on large corporations that love black money but not black burden.

“She said, ‘Listen, Byron, as a black people, we’ve had four major challenges in this country. Number one: ending slavery. Number two: the end of Jim Crow. Number three: achieving civil rights. Allen said. And number four, she said, “the real reason they killed Martin: achieving economic inclusion.”

“She said, ‘You know, Byron, they didn’t kill Martin during the speech,'” Allen continued I have a Dream. They killed my Martin for a speech he gave at Stanford University, The other America. In that speech, he talked about having two American countries, one America that has access to education and economic integration, and the other America that doesn’t. America will not survive two countries.”

It’s annoying to see this juxtaposition of Allen and Coretta Scott King on one side of the fight and Lynch on the other, but I’ve given up trying to sort out what motivates people to oppose the fight for equality. It might be money. (It’s always money.) But that sounds easy, especially considering Lynch hasn’t been hurt financially. It was the highest rank in law enforcement in the country at one time. She could land anywhere, do anything. Instead, the woman who once fought for civil rights has become someone trying to undo years of civil rights work for pay.

My father used to say that there was never a shortage of blacks willing to undo the work of those who helped them get there. Lynch must know that she has become the required blackface in such cases. And I don’t know how to make that true within herself.