Tag Archives: Injustice

The NFL gets the anthem thing wrong again

Today the NFL issued a statement stating that NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer. 

This policy sadly misses the point.  Hijacked by the President the original intent of the protest was never about the anthem. The anthem in this case is simply a means to an end used as the “prop” to bring to light the injustices perpetuated on on people of color on a daily basis. In fact one could say without the anthem there could have been a stage for the protest. 

This action serves one purpose. Silencing the voice of protest by shoving it in a locker room. 

NFL players should respond in kind with a statement stating: We see opting to stay in the locker room during the anthem as a true sign of disrespect. Kneeling during the anthem is our peaceful way of shedding light on the treatment of people of color by a segment of the population while at the same time maintaining respect for the flag and those service men and women who have fought under it to continue to maintain our way of life.  We stand with them and all Americans or as James Baldwin so eloquently stated: I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

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The True Patriot

It is the true patriot who stands
against the slings and arrows in
order to hold their country
accountable rather than turn a blind
eye to injustice. For turning a blind
eye to injustice is in essence a tactical
admission that the country is too
weak to live up to the standards on
which it was founded.

Carl A. Cooke

Who’s the patriot

Listening to sports talk radio I heard it over and over again from callers. This anthem thing is disrespectful and I’m done with the NFL I haven’t watched a game all season.

I get it you’re offended by players kneeling you’re all about the veterans and this is spitting in their face – it’s not by the way – even though you probably wouldn’t give up a day off to volunteer at the VA and you wouldn’t sign off on a homeless shelter for veterans going up in your neighborhood.

I get it you’re all about the flag and this is disrespecting America – it’s not by the way – even though you don’t really care about what the flag is suppose to represent embedded right there in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I get it you’re all about the anthem we should all just stand and be proud of it no matter what type of social and racial injustice may exist in today’s world – by the way we shouldn’t – even though your probably more apt to make that beer run during the national anthem than during kickoff

Protest are suppose to make you feel uncomfortable. Name a time when an oppressed group asked for something and just got it. Those in power will always feel like equality takes away from them. They won’t willingly tune into something that reminds them of their privilege. This country was born out of dissent. As Hubert Humphrey once said “Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.” Let’s be honest with each other the vast majority of those who oppose the protests are people whose family and friends will never be impacted by the social and racial injustices that the anthem protest were meant to shine a light on. For many the players are only important to them as long as they are running or catching the ball for their entertainment otherwise they should just shut up and be thankful for the paycheck bestowed upon them. As if being paid, and in the process making billions of dollars for those that employ them, should mandate their silence. It shouldn’t, in fact risking millions of dollars to bring light to injustice is heroic. Ask yourself honestly how many of those who are angry at the anthem protest would risk their livelihood to right injustice? I would venture to guess not many. Again one of our founding fathers understood this concept as Samuel Adams said “If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.”

The bottom line is that NFL players have a unique platform to bring attention to the inequalities that still exist in this country and nothing is more patriotic than asking that this country live up to the principles on which it was founded. If you can’t get behind that maybe you should question exactly what type of patriot you are.

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The enemies of progress

It is easy to spot the enemies of progress those who are afraid of change. They are the ones who change the narrative to trick you and look to silence rather than engage in meaningful conversation the voices of dissent.

Stay true to the message and refuse to be silenced. Because only when the masses rise up and in one voice demand change will change take place.

America – Status: its complicated

You say it is disrespectful to our servicemen and women but you wouldn’t give up one football Sunday to volunteer at the VA hospital.

You say it is disrespectful to the flag but you turn a blind eye to the basic tenants the flag represents. Such as All men are created equal and individual Liberty: The principle that each person is born with freedom from arbitrary or unjustified restraint.

America is a complicated country founded on the principle that all men are created equal while at the same time it was openly embracing slavery and allowing legalized discrimination until as recently as the 1960s. Full of so called patriots who embrace our military but at the same time are willing to turn a blind eye toward the problems many soldiers encounter after they return home. A country whose richness was built upon the various contributions of immigrants whose diversity is one of its strongest qualities yet still has a large group of people who reject immigration and segregate themselves in their own communities afraid of the unknown from a different race or culture.

Despite all its flaws America remains the greatest country in the world but it can be better. We as a people are tasked with ensuring that it reaches its unlimited potential. To achieve that promise it is sometimes necessary for the people to engage in Nonviolent resistance to facilitate social change through symbolic protests and civil disobedience. Every time this is done there will be those who disapprove those who wish to keep the status quo but as Richard Dawkins said

“when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.

We should never be afraid to raise our voice against injustice it is our moral responsibility to see that our country live up to principles it was founded on. To do any less would to be complicit in the failure of the promise that is America. As H.L. Mencken so eloquently stated

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

So continue to shine a light on social injustice. Continue to demand that America live up to her promise. Reject those who would have you simply accept the status quo. After all dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

We as a country will forever be divided…Until

Another shooting. Another unarmed person of color killed. Another night of unrest. The racial divide continues to grow. Yet here’s what the dimwits who dismiss the protests taking place in the NFL and other places as nonsense and disrespectful or who say to those who do protest if you don’t love this flag get out, still don’t get. It’s not about respect for America it’s about demanding America live up to what it is suppose to be, what it was founded on. In theory if not practice in 1776.

I’m a 50 year old African American who:

Loves both humanity as a whole and America as my country.

Who respects and is grateful to the police and the job they do everyday to keep me and those around me safe.

Who has never been in any kind of trouble with the law.

Yet anytime I see a police car in my rear view mirror there is a sense of anxiety that comes over me as a person of color because at that moment I don’t know who’s in that car and what their intentions may be. That’s a feeling if you are not a person of color you nor your children will ever have to deal with and if you’re not a person of color is something you should be grateful for because the reality is it’s something people of color and their children always have to deal with.

Simply put:

Until we stop telling people to turn a blind eye, chant USA, wrap yourself in the flag and assume that 100% of the police shootings in America are justified.

Until we understand that it’s the principle this country was founded on, we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, not the flag itself that is what is worth defending and worth dying for.

Until we understands there is a problem with race in this country that isn’t going to get better by ignoring it but rather by having an open and honest discussion that leads to real solutions.

Until we stop pushing the false narrative that by calling for justice and the removal of the few rotten eggs that smear the reputation of the hundred of thousands of men and women of all ethnicities in blue who put their lives on the line to keep us safe is not an attack on the police but rather on those racist individual who simply put on but do not deserve to wear the uniform.

Until we start to do these things we as a country will forever be divided.

We are all victims

There is a reason they work so hard to change the narrative.

There is a reason they look to marginalize those who shed light on injustice.

There is a reason they look to divide our society along lines of race, religion, gender, economic status and sexual orientation.

There is a reason they disparage those who educate our youth.

There is a reason they mock intelligence and make higher education unaffordable to the masses.

It is to ensure their way of life.

It is to ensure that we never band together as one but continue to fight each other over the crumbs they toss us.

It is to ensure we are never quite educated enough to understand the game they are playing on us.

It is to ensure we remain victims.

For if we ever stood up as one educated people and said no more to racism, bigotry, misogyny and economic inequality, we would cease to be a victim and become a threat to their way of life.