• author
    • Tom McMasters-Stone

    • October 10, 2017 in Columnists

    Colin-oscopy… what other ways can we protest?

    So, let’s take a gut-level look at Colin Kaepernick, and the NFL.

    The United States is still the greatest country in the world, but we have problems. In a clear case of socialized militarism for the world, we spend over half our budget on soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. We could afford to simply protect the U.S. for much less, but Japan, Germany, Israel, South Korea and many other nations benefit from this acceptable-to-the-right brand of socialism. Measuring penises is always OK with them.

    Instead of looking at that expenditure ratio in a non-declared-war status, we are focused on healthcare cutbacks, helping the rich get richer, and playing juvenile games with North Korea.

    Civil disobedience is a proud tradition in this country, all the way back to the Boston Tea Party. And, certainly, Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus was another iconic moment for us, as well.

    Now, starting with Colin, and then the other, late-on-board NFL players and owners, a silent protest is taking place in recognition that the playing field, so to speak, is still not level. Even the Sacramento HS football team has gotten into the protest business. Certainly, many of those particular players know about the inequities that exist.

    And that’s what they are protesting: injustice, inequality.

    Just because the President of the United States says they are disrespecting our country and our military doesn’t make it so. He does not get to decide who is disrespecting what, and he is hyper-sensitive on his best days anyway. Either you love him completely, or you are the enemy.

    Trump has decided to raise this issue for one simple reason, and that is to take peoples’ minds off the Russia investigation. This is hardly the first false statement he has made, or not even the 100th.

    Of course, I support the protests. That’s no surprise to those who know me well. They are doing what they believe is right, and I applaud them.

    Is the greatest country in the world as fragile as the critics would have us believe? Hardly.

    The flag does not represent this country, nor does our military. The Constitution represents what America stands and is striving for, and it’s the greatest document in history since the Magna Carta in 1215. That’s what America is all about.

    Our Pledge of Allegiance seeks liberty and justice for all, but we are not there yet. Minorities don’t get the best schools, they don’t get the best teachers, and they certainly don’t have the best living conditions.

    It’s sad but true. And I don’t want to hear any crap about their parents not working, or being welfare kings and queens. Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. These are children being raised, in many cases, in poor conditions, with sub-standard education and unequal opportunity.

    And I always love those idiots who bring the black-on-black crime statistics into the argument. WTF? What does that have to do with anything? White people kill the most white people as well, usually a family member.

    Of course, once the military is done with their personnel, it casts them loose, and we allow them to wander the streets in the grasp of PTSD, depression, alcoholism, and/or drug addiction. We delay medical appointments for weeks before they, if ever, get help. Amerika.

    Where did this blanket support for the military come from? It’s a backlash from Viet Nam, where they were spit upon and called “baby killers” upon their return. The children of both sides, and grandchildren, are horrified by that, and have swung back the other way with a vengeance.

    Relax. Our country survived those demonstrations and activities, and we will survive the current administration, as well.

    I love the people who talk about boycotting the NFL. Yeah, right. These are also the same people who discount the Dixie Chicks, and the liberal Hollywood elite, but embrace the likes of that admitted-pedophile Ted Nugent, or that shallow Moses-look-alike from Duck Dynasty.

    And Clint Eastwood, and his horrific “empty-chair” moment — a very sad episode in the life of a good, versatile actor. How does a guy who gave us all those great movie moments find himself in that position? The former mayor of liberal-but-capitalist Carmel, California, has all his contributions overshadowed by his appearance at the GOP convention.

    White people tend to believe in Horatio Alger, to believe that this is the land of opportunity, that hard work will get you all you want. Bullshit.

    All this being said, and my support for the protesters notwithstanding, I applaud those teams that kneel before the National Anthem, and then stand while it is played. It’s the perfect solution, and their concerns and motives are not lost in the diatribe about respect.

    When we protest something, we should commit ourselves to the best possible scenario, one that focuses on the message, and does not get lost. In some ways, it is similar to gay rights protests or demonstrations. While I will fight to the death for their right to do so, the gay message is often lost in the more flamboyant demonstrations. Those who need persuasion to live and let live often do not see past the “outrageous” costumes and dress.

    Sad, but true.

    The thing is, protesting once a week, or three times, if you count Thursdays and Mondays as separate, is not enough. We need more.

    Community involvement. Adopt-a-kid. Visits to team practices, and players visiting more schools.

    How about a unique baseball cap, as they love their ball caps, and they could be used all week, every day.

    I don’t know, actually… where we should go to keep the message alive, to make a difference.

    I only know it has to be done!

      • Pat Kinnett

      • October 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm
      • Reply

      Very well said.

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