NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lashed out at Donald Trump and called some of his remaining supporters “true believing MAGA puppets” in a column published Thursday explaining his motivations for taking part in the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Abdul-Jabbar, who is currently a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, said his participation “is a return to the Age of Reason, in which decisions are made based on evidence from reliable expert sources.”
“The last year has been like a horror movie in which a terrified family battles relentless brain-eating zombie all night, but finally emerges victorious into the bright sun of the dawn,” he wrote. “For me, the inauguration of Joe Biden is like that hopeful dawn in which those with brains still intact emerge from the darkness to reclaim our country and everything it stands for.”
I wrote about my experience & feelings about being a part of the Biden Inauguration for @THR there is the full video of the show at the bottom of the article in case you missed it.. https://t.co/JyL710PGiT
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 21, 2021
Abdul-Jabbar compared the ceremony to “the relaunching of the ship of state with a real sea-worthy captain at the helm.” Without mentioning Donald Trump, he referred to Biden’s predecessor as “a sea-sick imposter who stole the uniform and bluffed his way into the wheelhouse.”
He was one of several celebrities who appeared on the nationally televised “Celebrating America” special hosted by actor Tom Hanks. Abdul-Jabbar recited a passage from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.
“In 1854, Lincoln spoke of ‘the monstrous injustice of slavery,’ so I couldn’t help but wonder what he might think about a Black man reading his words to the entire nation he so ably defended against insurrectionists,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
He went on to accuse the Trump administration of working “hard to suppress the basic rights of so many groups, including women, LGBTQ+, Muslims, Blacks, Latinx and immigrants.”
Shifting to the COVID-19 pandemic, Abdul-Jabbar claimed Trump’s “lies, foot-dragging and incompetence” led to 400,000 American deaths, many of which Abdul-Jabbar said were preventable.
More from Abdul-Jabbar’s column:
Some are touting the inauguration as a kickstart ceremony to end the divisiveness in America. Even President Biden’s inaugural address emphasized his goal of unifying America. I’m all for that. But in fact, we are already more unified than reported. The so-called “divisiveness” that is chanted at us daily from every media megaphone across the political spectrum is not as wide or as evenly divided as they would have us think. The rioters who attacked the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 didn’t just vandalize property, kill a cop and call for the lynching of the vice president — they created a deep, ideological chasm between themselves and other conservatives who previously had been all lumped together as “Trump supporters.”
He maintained that contrary to popular opinion, the country is not divided in half. Citing Trump’s low approval ratings, Abdul-Jabbar estimated “about a third are true believing MAGA puppets who have been used as unwitting tools by billionaire Republicans.”
“This vocal third is easily manipulated by trigger words like ‘freedom,’ ‘socialist,’ ‘radical left,’” he wrote, calling the terms “so vague as to be meaningless.”
“Trump-supporting governors, judges and election officials have all said there was no voting fraud,” he continued. “Yet, that loyal Trump Third still howl at the election-fraud moon because no evidence will convince them. They will always be divided from the rest of the country because they don’t understand what the country actually stands for. They just want a despot to tell them what to think and do. Truth is, I don’t want to unify with those who don’t share the goals the country was founded on.”
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