Does America still suffer from racial disparities and the generational effects of slavery and segregation? My answer would be yes. It matches what I saw growing up in the south and when African-American friends or fellow veterans tell me as much I have no reason to disbelieve them. Do NFL players or Americans of any occupation have to get prior clearance as to what forms of protest are allowable? The answer is absolutely no. Americans can stand, sit or kneel at their leisure and if they do so out of protest that’s up to them. There is no constitutional obligation for forced patriotism and respect. Is taking a knee during the national anthem silly, less than helpful, ineffective and a total waste of public attention? Yes, it most absolutely is. For if their intention is to take a knee until all racial strife and discord is gone from America then it is a good thing they are wearing knee pads. For unless the next time they rise is when Jesus returns in all his glory nothing will have changed when they stand to their feet. A nation will be more divided rather than brought together. Ears that were once open to consider the genuine obstacles many minorities experience will be closed. I’m here to tell you that taking a knee never did nothing for nobody and tomorrow will be no different. Yes I realize that’s a triple negative but grammar is a recommendation in my universe.
I’ll confess that I am a fan and do indeed play fantasy football with my friends. It’s silly and I admit that somehow taking credit for the athletic accomplishments of other men is ridiculous at its core. We even have this one guy in our league who takes it way too seriously. He’s a good dude so I won’t use his real name, but we’ll just call him William. Every year we hold a poll whether or not Will sucks and much to his disappointment the results are unanimous. We’ve even gone so far as to get some NFL players in on the action when one of us happens to run across one in public. AJ Green, Aaron Donald and more have all been caught on film either saying or holding a sign that “Will Sucks.” Its all in good fun and the NFL players were cool sports about it. I actually beat Will last week in fantasy football and the only reason for me to include the above story is rub it in a little more in front of thousands. Suck it William.
Personally I’d actually equate taking a knee to the fantasy football version of protest. Because while the players sit there on bended knee nothing is actually changing in America. It’s tragic because any unlawful killing of a citizen of any race should be something that unites the citizenry rather than divides.
Yes, there are justified police shootings but just as an example the shooting of Philando Castille should have had libertarians, 2nd Amendment supporters and persons of all races in an uproar. I’m not here to 2nd guess the actions of every officer but nor am I here to passively accept poor police work. My plea to officers is the same to all those in authority and that is be good at your craft or find another trade. However, ask yourself this one simple question. When every NFL player rises after the anthem on Sunday will America be closer or more far apart? If the answer is the latter then my plea to this social movement is the same as that to the officers. Namely, be good at your craft or find another trade. Because as far as social movements go you suck worse than William. Perhaps a good indicator as to the unifying ability of taking a knee is that not even all minority players are joining up. If it is divisive there what makes anyone think its going to bring Americans together.
The Thin Blue Line
The American flag represents to us all the good, the bad and the ugly of American history. Yes, America has some serious ugly in our history and that is nothing to celebrate. However, I’ll always be proud of America as we have always self-corrected. As humanity progresses our system is such that sooner or later our government will reflect this new reality. Take a look the world around my friends and I can’t find another country that has it any better. Part of my libertarian appeal is that I am banking on human progress to carry us forward rather than government. Government can’t make us do it first we must progress as humans first. Just ask taxation is theft lady below.
So the problem with pointing out only the failures of police officers is that it disrespects the sacrifice made daily by the many. And many shootings pointed out by this social movement were not failures. The truth is that most officers will go their entire careers without pulling the trigger once in the line of duty. My brother who is also a Marine Veteran had been a cop in a dangerous city for 20 years and he has yet to pull the trigger. Police shootings are just rare occurrences and that is fact. More often than not, police are faced with scenarios below on behalf of the general public.
Kids, don’t do drugs. Police are faced with split second decisions concerning matters of life and death. Which is why I implore any cop not good at their craft to find a new trade. Because I’ll tell you right now I would of shot zombie dude above. When asked why I shot him I would have said, “Because he tried to eat me sir” and then turned in my badge because despite being a Marine I’m not cut out for that. An average week for a cop might include wrestling a naked sweaty crackhead so you don’t have to or perhaps taking a bullet in an obviously justified shooting like below. Yet, shootings at all are so stinking rare in law enforcement which is why the videos are so viral when they do.
I’ll say it again in triple negative form taking a knee never did nothing for nobody and tomorrow will be more different. Taking this form of protest is indeed a choice but a poor one. I will go ahead and stake my claim that, yes, racial disparities persist today and we should root them out. But I’ll also stake my claim that it will take all Americans to do so through multiple generations and as such, actions that divide are less than helpful.
If people march on Washington then America can see and empathize. If you march across I-40 and block traffic Americans will see and want to run you over. If you stand for our anthem so that your support for at least the good of what our flag represents is obvious then perhaps America would be more aligned to rooting out the bad and ugly with you. Perhaps its less than helpful to start the conversation by maligning the good which includes military sacrifice, police sacrifice and those lost while serving under that flag. Just perhaps. I’m going to keep watching football because I like it and nor do I think every player who takes a knee hates America. I think for the most part they are just silly. The whole taking knee thing was going away anyway until a certain Dotard brought back into the limelight.
Being a practical man, I’ll end with a couple of concrete solutions. One, instead of taking a knee take your million dollar salaries and fund body cameras for under resourced police departments. That is change all Americans can get behind. Two, rather than kneeling during our anthem perhaps meet at the coin toss as a team, lock arms, and pray for one another to seek justice for our fellow man. Taking a knee in that light together just might gain some traction. Finally, and this one is specifically for Deandre Hopkins and Amari Cooper I’m going to need at least two touchdowns out of each of you this weekend. Always forward my friends, always forward. Oh, and Will Sucks.
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