Otis Sanford: ‘Deplorable’ comments highlights growing cultural divide

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Earle, Arkansas and Cecil Township, Pennsylvania are more than 800 miles apart, but this week they both received unwanted national attention thanks to deplorable and dangerous comments from volunteer fire fighters in each community.

It all stems from the ongoing culture war being waged by President Donald Trump against mostly black professional football players for kneeling during the national anthem.

In Cecil Township, a volunteer fire chief lost that job after posting a vile racial slur against the African American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The ousted chief apologized, but then accused the media of unfairly making him out to be a racist.

Imagine that.

Meanwhile, some 30 miles across the Mississippi River from Memphis, things were even worse. An Earle fire fighter was fired for posting on Facebook that players who kneel during the national anthem should be shot in the head. He even urged the President to send snipers to do the shooting.

The identities of these guys are not important. What is important, and very troubling, is the widening cultural divide in our country where ordinary citizens who are supposed to be public servants are being whipped into a frenzy so that their latent racist views are bubbling to the surface.

Thankfully, most Americans do not share these harmful views and I strongly believe we are more than capable of overcoming the hate.