Though there are some, who have tired of the protests of Colin Kaepernick and the conversation surrounding it, since last Friday it has gotten considerably more divisive. Starting with President Trump speaking in Alabama on Friday of last week sounding every bit the plantation owner. Trump was expressing his feeling on NFL players protesting the anthem declaring, "Get that son of a bitch off the field" addressing the predominately white crowd. Trump also used dog whistles asking, were “people like yourselves” as upset about "those people" not standing for the anthem.
The racist undertones came through clear to black athletes over the weekend: and now Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wants to tell blacks how to protest.
John Kass is distraught about how black folks protest. In his column, yesterday NFL Jackets for sale, kneepads not included http://www.chicagotribune.com it is NFL players having the audacity to peacefully protest police violence and racial injustice that has upset him. Kass though has plenty of advice and venom to spew towards blacks that oppose injustice through civil disobedience across the board. One of his other favorite black targets that appears to unnerve him is Black Lives Matters. Kass has equated the Black Lives Matter movement to "hashtag politics about which lives matter, " He wrote a column in response to Black Lives Matter titled Police lives matter too http://www.chicagotribune.com
Kass has shown a definitive pattern in how he is uncomfortable with black folks expressing the continued injustices they endure and too many times a complete disregard for their lives. Kass does not use words like thugs to describe criminal or murderous cops. He will not use the word thug to describe Marines or soldiers committing war crimes. Or reckless military actions that result in U.S. bombings of hospitals and schools https://theintercept.com https://theintercept.com Kass is at ease applying the word thug to black men though. But Kass would rather fawn over men in uniform than critique them the way he critiques many blacks.
Regarding Eric Garner's death Kass argues, http://www.chicagotribune.com "Garner died because he dared interfere with government reach and government muscle that didn't want to lose tax revenue to independent operators." It escapes the mind how someone can have such casual disregard for another human being's life. Then blame a cigarette tax and not the murderous police officers who killed him.
Colin Kaepernick's courageous act of civil disobedience has caught fire to the rest of the NFL, the NBA, and all the way to the White House. Fans, writers, T.V. personalities are debating about athletes being unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military. The truth is it does bother some military people and others like https://www.veteransforpeace.org http://org.salsalabs.com/ support Kaepernick and the players. The argument of military disrespect is diversionary politics.
American political and corporate leaders love diversionary politics. Specifically when it concerns race, nationalism, and militarism. That way the focus gets taken off the core issues. In this case, criminal cops and racial injustice. But instead, we get blanket statements about disrespecting the troops.
The media predominately displays military members who find the anthem protest offensive. It is hard to find a counter-narrative from Veterans or those on active duty who support the players or who are even anti-war. Our leaders and most of our citizens would rather glorify war and use words like hero and defend our freedom. It does not want to talk about the realities of war: like death, destruction, and suffering. And the wasting of trillions of dollars.
Kass uses diversion by embracing the false covenants of nationalism and patriotism while embracing a profound ignorance of what issues blacks are currently facing. For example, he writes "America isn't the Jim Crow South of the 1950's and '60's ". We now have what Law professor, author and activist Michelle Alexander succinctly termed The New Jim Crow. Ms. Alexander's book http://newjimcrow.com and impassioned activism have shown how one caste system was replaced by another. Kass is completely unaware of this.
If anything else is true, the same American fear of addressing the reality of war, human and financial, is essentially the same in regards to racism in the U.S. the truth makes many uncomfortable. Many whites, like John Kass, find the conversation of race extremely uncomfortable and narrow.
What shouldn't be missed in the National anthem controversy is that this is clearly about "boy, you better shut your mouth and get back to work." This isn't just coming from racist leaders like Secretary of State Jeff Sessions and President Trump. It is the hypocritical NFL owners who last Sunday were doing nothing but engaging in damage control. It would be nice if NFL owners were genuine with this sudden concern for black lives: instead, they are realizing Black Money Matters. Blacks contribute a lot of their hard earned money from tickets to television viewership and NFL merchandise.
Shaun King of the Intercept wrote in his latest column https://theintercept.com of Cecil Township's white Fire Chief Paul Smith who informed everyone on social media he has a "no-good nigger list." This list includes a recent addition: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Smith was upset that Tomlin kept his players off the field during the national anthem. King argues that Smith isn't the only one with a list. Some will say King is using race and the word nigger to be a provocateur.
But King is right. Those showing the strongest disagreement to Kaepernick and NFL players protesting are white. The veins in their necks are bulging in righteous indignation and engaging in a lot of animated finger-wagging. Trump has a no-good nigger list, and so does Jeff Sessions.
When a journalist continuously attributes the word thug to black men. When he mocks and is dismissive of human rights movements like Black Lives Matter, and shows a prideful ignorance of black history in America and its ongoing struggle one begins to wonder: do you have a list too?
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