The head of a family business, a retailer of spices, is impatient with conservative critics of NFL protests. Those who kneel during the National Anthem are protesting racism, and conservatives should acknowledge that. Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson is having none of it.
He is a little over-enthusiastic in his objection, accusing the spice critic of conservative critics of NFL critics of racism of saying something that a careful reading does not reveal, that “being upset at players in the National Football League (NFL) who protest during the national anthem is racist.”
Mr. Wigderson does quote his target, “For Veterans Day, out of respect for Veterans, can we all just be honest and admit that the NFL protests really are about racism?” and adds Except they’re not.
Our readers react:
What I always wonder is, is there any form of protest by black people against police brutality that these people would find acceptable? They’re always quick to explain why whatever form of protest is actually being used is wrong, but what are the protesters supposed to do? Other than simply shut up about the problem?
Kneeling during the anthem seems to me to be a textbook case of how protesting an injustice should work. It is not violent. The players are not smashing windows or blocking traffic. The protest is highly visible — as it must be, in order to be effective. It’s not obvious to me that kneeling is disrespectful, but even if it is, perhaps conservatives should put aside their righteous indignation for a few minutes and consider the relative importance of things. Isn’t the death of Tamir Rice a more worthy object of anger than kneeling during a piece of music?
If you could convince them that accusations against the police are not automatically suspect, that accusations against the police from particular minority groups are not doubly so, and that these accusations represent a significant pattern of injustice, you might make some progress. That’s quite a task, though, given their kneejerk reactions to anything critical of law enforcement (and the military), their perceptions of minorities (especially the criminal kind), and their general lack of concern for what happens to criminals (“they deserve what they get”).
Even then, the method of protest violates a sacred act in their eyes. Just as importantly, they are incapable of seeing their own hypocrisy on this matter. How many of them observe the proper ritual at home? How many of them wish that it would hurry up so they could watch the game? How many of them simply go through the motions because it’s expected? How many of them, once the song ends, begin to stuff their faces with food, pray for their god to intervene on behalf of their team, curse at the other team, and generally obsess over the sport as if the anthem had never played? The ritual itself, as with most acts that are expected and repeated over and over again (especially without regard for the relevance that it has to its setting), has become an empty tradition for most people, but it has nevertheless retained its sacred aura. And that means that they get to feel righteous indignation whenever anyone falls out of line or calls it into question. Throw in some rhetoric from conservative figures and media about how not falling in line is equivalent to hating America and you end up with a group of people completely incapable of assessing the situation rationally. It doesn’t matter that the protest is harmless or that it is not meant as an act of disrespect against anything besides the *actual subject of the protest.* These people are trained to think otherwise and they get to feel good doing it. Besides: why should they care when it doesn’t happen to them?
The irony here is that, to the extent that these people define the country, they give us a legitimate reason to actually disrespect it.
Isn’t the death of Tamir Rice a more worthy object of anger than kneeling during a piece of music?
Not at all worthy for angry white con-servatives. They likely won’t even recognize the name.
Any and all of their protests are used to ramp up hate for minorities. Now the angry white con-servatives have a racist ring leader in the Very White House to egg them on. BLM has been declared a “racist hate group” by angry white con-servatives.
While I’m not ashamed of America, I am deeply ashamed, and frightened, of angry white Americans. Their hate and ignorance are ripping our country apart. And this is their time. Trump is their man.
The question remains; is it too late?
Infidel753 writes with wisdom and research here.
Dave Dubya’s discerning observations are here.
Long-time friend of the blog Ryan did once maintain his own site. But he seems to have become involved in real life. We are lucky to benefit from his occasional insights.
Have a safe weekend.