While the GREAT DISTRACTOR President Donald Trump called the mothers of NFL players, “sons of B—s,” who dared exercise their right to freedom of expression and have kneeled to protest police violence and racism in this country, he may have just galvanized those who want to live in a just US.
The NFL players protest on Sunday won the day, despite the racist detractor. He may have brought the issue of police violence to the fore in ways that could not have been anticipated.
“There are only a few times in a man’s life you have a chance to stand up for what you believe in, to make a statement. Today I had that chance and I took it,” said Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers
While the protests spanned the gamut from strident fist in the air, sitting and kneeling to the more passive and mealy mouthed locking of arms, it was indeed a protest. And there were some strong expressions of support for racial justice and an end to police violence.
Seattle’s statement about their protest was clear.” As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”
Quarterback Drew Brees had to clarify an earlier position and come out and admit what we already know. Even the reactionary conservative Tom Brady had to fake it.
In Detroit, young Rico LaVelle who is Black took a knee at the end of his singing of the National Anthem before the Lions game.
Even more impressive was Meghan Linsey who took a knee while singing the National Anthem at the Nashville Titans game in Nashville.
In an interview with the press she said, “I have a lot of African-American friends, and they can’t stand alone. I couldn’t have gone out there and not done anything and felt good about it, because I have always built this platform on empowerment and loving people — whatever color, whatever sexual orientation … If you don’t take a knee, it’s like, what do you stand for?”, she said.” For me, anything else wasn’t an option….”
On Trump she said, “I think the issue is the things that are happening around us with racism, and Trump will come out and openly condemn NFL players for peacefully protesting, but then these white national terrorists bring their tiki torches and cause this violence, and then he has nothing to say. It was important to me to stand with [African-Americans].”
Those arguing that failing to stand for the anthem is about disrespect for the flag are being dishonest at worst and disingenuous at best, they know the protest is not about the flag, or about disrespecting the military, but about trying to bring about a racially just and equitable society.
There are not two sides, it’s a fake debate. Either you think that your fellow citizens should be treated equally and fairly, or you don’t. Either you believe police violence exists and ought to be eliminated or you don’t.
Legendary sports reporter Bob Costas while supporting the protest, tried to hold on the company line when interviewed by CNN.
“[The protests] need to articulate that WE love our country we support our military,” he said. Truth is one doesn’t have to love the country or the military to protest the wrongs that exist in it. The truth is the military hasn’t fought to defend this country,or the interests of us working folks in over a century. The military in the last 70 years in reality has fought for the interests of the ruling rich, the corporations and the banksters.
Costas also said, “We know that most policemen are not guilty of misbehavior many are heroic. Many are themselves African American or Hispanic.” The implication of course is that the problem is just a few bad apples and that the addition of more police of Color, would solve the problem.
Costas said he thought Kaperneck was an imperfect messenger, because the quarterback has truthfully declared that Black folks are an oppressed people in the US.
Costas like some liberals agrees with the protest, but doesn’t think it should go too far, that is aim to eradicate the problem at its roots.
Trump the Great Distractor/Divider tried to water down his remarks by saying,”this has nothing to do race.” He’s a damned lie and he knows it, it has everything to do with race!
The protest has exposed the racism that some folks say doesn’t exist in the US. There are those who honestly, though naively equate the flag with the military and the military alone. But the majority of those objecting to the protest are hiding behind this idea and patriotism.
If they are honest most are angry because they don’t care about Black people or their issues. And they are really upset that they have to be reminded of the reality of the country they live in and the inequality that still exists, which they simply don’t care about and would prefer that folks shut up about it.
It also wears on those who think Black people should be grateful that they can breathe air in the United States. Imagine their outrage at” those athletes” making millions of dollars playing a sport and they have to work every day, for less than they deserve
Despite the fact that the wealth of the country was built on the backs of African slaves and despite the overall contribution of Blacks to this society, these poor misguided, misinformed dupes of White Supremacist propaganda are absolutely convinced that Blacks have never contributed anything to this country and quite frankly that they don’t belong here.
These descendants of settlers/immigrants forget that this is not their land; technically it was stolen just as the Africans that enriched the place.
No surprise the most adverse reaction to the protest was in Boston where visiting Black players still in this day and age have to endure racial slurs.
Many Bostonians descend from the original “boat people”; the Irish, the majority of whom came to this country starving during the Irish potato famine created partly by their colonizers Great Britain. White folks didn’t even like them. They were so despised that the White settlers already here, saw them as lower than free Black folks. Look it up. Signs in the mid 1800’s have read, “No Irish or dogs allowed.”
Their disdain for Black folks makes them suckers! Just like the poor and working class Alabaman’s who cheered on the billionaire president, who doesn’t think they are fit to have decent or affordable health care. Rather than hating them in return, they should be pitied like little children who don’t know any better.
But they are surely becoming the minority and are headed towards the dust bin of history. Now all that has to happen is that the rest of the peace and justice loving members of this society has to find creative ways to join the athletes and continue to advance the struggle against police violence and racism.
justice then peace