Colin Kaepernick is standing up just by sitting down


kaepernick

(Colin Kaepernick photo courtesy SF 49ers)

By Ron Borges

Talk of Fame Network

Colin Kaepernick’s stand not to stand for the national anthem seems to have hit both a nerve and a confused understanding of what the brave men and women of the military actually fight for.

The 49ers’ former phenom quarterback announced last week he was not standing for the National Anthem because too many minorities in America are not as free as their white counterparts. This seems to have made some people nervous, others angry and a few lose their minds.

Kaepernick has been heavily criticized on anti-social media and by a number of NFL players and coaches for taking this position. To me much of their criticism is bogus and if one goes to #veteransforKaepernick you begin to see the other side of things beyond the knee-jerk reaction of many.

One does not have to agree with Kaepernick’s stance, but the idea that it is disrespectful to members of the American military to exercise one of the rights they fought … and, in too many cases, died to provide us … is about as mistaken an understanding of what they fought for as one can imagine.

They did not fight for a 100-yard piece of cloth strung out across a football field or for some symbol of what America stands for. They fought and died not for a flag or a symbol but rather for people to have the right to do exactly what Kaepernick is doing without, as some have suggested, losing his job.

Kaepernick gave a calm and reasoned explanation for his feelings and made some good points, including that a cosmetologist in California has to undergo more stringent training (over 1,600 hours) to operate a curling iron than armed police officers have to do in some cities and towns (800 hours to graduate from the police academy. Anyone think that’s not a little concerning?

His former coach, Jim Harbaugh, at first disagreed with Kaepernick’s motivation but quickly backed off and said it was his method he abhorred. Fair enough. But is it better if he harbors these feelings yet stands like a phony, hand over heart, muttering words he doesn’t believe are true?

Harbaugh’s brother, John, almost got it right when he quoted Voltaire’s ‘I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend it until death your right to say it,'” and said, “That’s a principle that our country is founded on. I don’t think you can deny someone the right to speak out or mock or make fun or belittle anybody else’s opinion.”

Had he stopped there he seemed on the right track. But then, being a football coach, this all became about distracting your team. Hey, coach, maybe it’s time we all got a little more distracted by what’s going on in the streets and a little less distracted by the Red Zone Channel. You think?

To his credit, Colin Kaepernick has not complained about the vitriol he’s faced. It comes with standing up for something more than a song. Which is why too many people stand for the anthem but not much else.

A 20-year Navy veteran named Jim Wright wrote an eloquent blog message in support of Kaepernick that went viral on Tuesday night. The essence of what he said is this: He joined the military so that Colin Kaepernick can do what he is doing. But he went farther, and that’s what made his piece so compelling.

In a nutshell, Wright pointed out that for things to work as our founding fathers intended, respect must flow from the strong to the weak before it can be expected to flow back. Anything else is just power, forcing the weak to act as if they respect you when they really don’t.

His suggestion to those who found Kaepernick’s gesture so off putting was a powerful one. He said prove him wrong by making America more of what it hopes to be and less of what it is today.

Made me wonder why Jim Wright isn’t our candidate for President. As of today, he’s mine.

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23 Comments

  1. Mike Avolio
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    I’d like to point out Kaepernick never cared about these issues until he slipped as a player.

    If he truly cares about anything other than himself, I’d like to see him do something productive about the issues .

    Sitting for the anthem does nothing other than bring attention to him.

    • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      That may be but I don’t know that we know that. All we know is that he took no public position until now. We may also want to remember he was a kid when this all began and may well be evolving as a person as I would hope we all do as we grow up. Presuming when he cared about what is part of how a lot of these problems come to be.

    • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      Mike, I agree with you. I dont deny he has the right to express himself. Hey, its a free country. But if he is as outraged as he says, then do something about it. As his college coach said, you never get anywhere by sitting down. Not standing is symbolic; Id like to see him commit time, money and energy — something more than rhetoric — to a cause he seems committed to. For the moment, this is all about Colin Kaepernick … and little else.

  2. Bear fan Bob
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    Disrespectful, keep it on the field not personal issues. Hope he gets cut

    • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      I fail to see why a man should lose his job for exercising his right to a quite peaceful protest. while points of view may differ I don’t find it disrespectful to exercise the very rights the anthem and flag symbolize.

  3. Mike
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    The Black Lives Matter narrative, which Kap seems suddenly enamoured with, is FALSE and a politically contrived and driven stunt. The media is guilty of making more out of it than out of the thousands of black people killed by other black people every single year in places like Chicago, Detroit and LA.
    I’m not giving a pass to the police, but this a MINOR issue compared to the REAL issues facing black Americans. Things like over 70% of children being born out of wedlock. The last census showed 13% of the population is black, yet they commit well over 50% of murders. Yet it’s become trendy and fashionable to jump the police and criticize them. Ridiculous!
    I’ll take Kap seriously when he works to address the REAL issues blacks are facing, not this kangaroo court.

    • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      The issues you raise are legitimate. So is the one Kaepernick has raised. Maybe if both sides listened to each other more and argued less we might one day get out of this mess which has existed for the past several 100 years in America.

  4. Rasputin
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    I just posted a rebuttal to your piece that’s not appearing. I thought it might be a glitch, so I tried to repost it and got the “duplicate” message saying I had already posted that, but it’s still not visible and I haven’t gotten the follow up email. Any idea what’s happening?

    • Rasputin
      August 31, 2016
      Reply

      Guess it was the links, because I just tried without those and it worked. Not sure why they were blocked, since I and others have posted various source links here before.

  5. Rasputin
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    Everything you said is wrong. First, Kaepernick is a hypocritical moron whose complaints are too vague for any corrective action to be taken even if people wanted to agree with him, and who sported a shirt celebrating oppressive communist dictator Fidel Castro at his press conference. Castro is as anti-freedom as you get. Ironically he even outlawed criticism of racial inequality, because he had supposedly “fixed” that. Ask Kaepernick why so many have risked and lost their lives trying to escape that prison island to America, while no one has tried to flee in the opposite direction, and he’d likely look at you with a blank, deer in the headlights stare for a while before trying to change the subject. The man is an ignorant buffoon.
    Second, it’s disingenuous and reprehensible to pretend a few far left activists trying to get a hashtag trending on social media are even close to being as representative of broader military opinion as guys like Lt. Colonel Allen West (google “Message from a non-oppressed black man to Colin Kaepernick”) or Marine Sgt. Johnny Joey Jones, who lost his legs fighting in Afghanistan and now can only naturally stand in spirit (google “Marine Vet Who Lost His Legs in Afghanistan: I’ll Stand With Pride For Both of Us, Kaepernick”). Most veterans are extremely offended by Kaepernick’s antics, as are most veterans’ families and most Americans.
    Third, did you pen an article defending Dolphins player Don Jones’ “free speech” when he tweeted the word “horrible” in reaction to Michael Sam’s draft celebration? Jones was fined, suspended, and had to attend mandatory re-education sessions. And that was for something he said on his own time on his own social media account. Kaepernick is pulling this stunt while in uniform at the stadium, where he’s representing not only himself but the company he works for. The NFL has the right to punish and even fire people for “detrimental conduct”, and it does so quite frequently when players do something even slightly politically incorrect. Kaepernick is free to spew his ignorant anti-American idiocy, but he doesn’t have the right to do it as an NFL player if the league decides he doesn’t. The millions of NFL fans, most of whom are patriotic, who fund all this and allow grown men to make a living and even get rich playing a kid’s game, certainly don’t have to keep doing so if the NFL doesn’t get on the right side of this. If other players do start following suit and the NFL is exposed as an anti-American league then they’ll have a PR nightmare on their hands. Goodell could go down as the commissioner who presided over the end of the NFL’s reign as the #1 US pro league.
    Fourth, as Mike pointed out, the underlying complaints Kaepernick clumsily alluded to are completely bogus. Black Americans aren’t oppressed. They’re some of the luckiest, freest, most well off people in the world, as are all Americans. Virtually every high profile police-killing-black man case activists have highlighted in recent years has turned out to be a legitimate shooting once all the facts were known. “Hands up don’t shoot” was proved to be a lie. Even the extremely rare cases that aren’t justified haven’t seen evidence of racial malice produced. Out of millions of interactions a year only a few hundred people are killed by cops (most of the killed are white), and almost all of those are justified killings. Blacks disproportionately interact with cops because they commit crimes at insanely disproportionate rates. That’s not oppression. The problems in black communities are caused by urban pathologies that have grown up within those communities in recent decades. Police aren’t the problem. Blacks’ lives would be way worse off without the police. Real oppression is what’s happening in Cuba, where people don’t have free speech or other freedoms. Black Lives Matter is an inherently bigoted movement that views everything through a racial lens. They call for cops’ deaths, vandalize businesses, shout racial taunts, and occasionally, like in Dallas, actually murder cops. Kaepernick’s ignorance on this issue isn’t harmless. He’s perpetuating false narratives that distract from the real problems and solutions and is creating racial division and resentment where non existed before.
    Fifth, even if Kaepernick had a legitimate grievance, which he doesn’t, he’s going about it the wrong way. All political sides criticize aspects of the country and want certain changes, but spitting on the country itself is quite different. In doing so he’s undermining the very thing that gives him the freedom to express himself.
    Sixth, let’s don’t pretend that Kaepernick was anything but a formerly over-hyped has been who had been reduced to 3rd string on the 49ers’ depth chart and was campaigning to be traded. While I’m sure the scumbag’s general anti-American views are sincere as far as they go, it wouldn’t require much cynicism to suggest he’s pulling this stunt out of spite or to create a PR headache for a team he clearly doesn’t want to play for anymore. There’s nothing noble or praiseworthy about this whatsoever. And no, his critics haven’t “lost their minds”. Many of them are bright, well informed people calmly and cogently explaining to him and you why you’re wrong.

  6. Richard Quodomine
    August 31, 2016
    Reply

    First of all, we have no idea what Colin Kaepernick thought, or didn’t, before this. These may have been his thoughts years ago – or not. Maybe he felt it was his duty to voice them. That’s fine. I think anyone assuming we know how he felt is presuming what we can’t.

    Second, he has every right to stand in solidarity with a perceived problem. There are issues with police officers shooting unarmed black men, even if that’s not the norm. The biggest issue is perception – if a large amount of the black populace perceives the problem, then there is a problem, if not in practice than at least in communiction. For example, here’s a 2014 Gallup poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/175088/gallup-review-black-white-attitudes-toward-police.aspx and a recent one: http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/193586/public-opinion-context-americans-race-police.aspx

    What Kaepernick is saying is a commonly held perception. And that perception is an issue, in and of itself. A perception of bias creates action based on fear of the police, rather than them being viewed as a partner in community safety.

    As for veterans, Kaepernick didn’t, at any point, direct word one towards the US military. I understand that standing for the flag is a sign of patriotism and is often correlated to respect for military service. Heck, my Dad, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, all the way back to the Revolution have documented military service. I always, at ball games, stand for the Colors. HOWEVER, last I checked, they fought for the right for everyone to freely express themselves, sitting or standing. While I think Kaepernick does himself no favors, he seems to have gotten his issue talked about. I don’t find him to be unintelligent on the issues, and I would hesitate to call him ignorant or a buffoon. While I disagree with his actions, he is hardly the first person to voice the issue nor do something somewhat controversial. I find the name calling directed his way to be troubling. People who shout down others do a disservice to thoughtful debate.

    In addition, there’s a greater issue with calling for his release for anything other than football grounds: there are many Americans who have liberal, conservative, or other sentiments – sometimes they have both depending on the issue. I dislike the concept of an employer firing a person for expressing an opinion. I understand that some people think it’s “conduct unbecoming” or a fireable offense, but I don’t think the NFL or the NFLPA want a collective bargaining agreement fight over that. The NFL has no rule requiring players to stand for the anthem. There’s a difference between a person (me, you, or anyone else) taking personal offense at someone’s actions, and actual conduct becoming. Too many people who are bright and productive are fired for things not directly related to their jobs. And standing for the anthem is not a requirement for throwing a football. Even if I were deeply offended by his refusal to stand, it has bupkis to do with his quarterbacking.

    In short, while insults over politics have always been a national pastime, I find that it denigrates rational thought. Colin Kaepernick is calling attention to an issue he feels for. He has not violated any rules that I am aware of. He has not ducked the criticism, despite some pretty horridly racist ad hominem attacks in the various comment sections of electronic publications. I disagree with his actions, I think there’s better ways to do it, but maybe he doesn’t. It is not my place to judge that.

    • August 31, 2016
      Reply

      Well said and in total agreement. Happy to see there are now veterans coming out in support of him, or at least of his right to exercise the freedoms they fought for. Maybe this will start a meaningful conversation, Maybe it already has.

      • Rasputin
        August 31, 2016
        Reply

        Hey, Ron, you didn’t answer my question about your stance on Don Jones’ “freedom” to express himself on his own social media account without being fined, suspended, and forced into re-education sessions. Seems a bit hypocritical. You do realize that the freedom veterans fight for (and again, the vast majority are offended by Kaepernick’s stunt) are from GOVERNMENT punishment, not guaranteeing that you get to hold a particular job you want no matter what you say or do, don’t you? A conversation can only be “meaningful” if some actual thought is put into it.

      • Rasputin
        September 7, 2016
        Reply

        *Crickets*
        Guess not. It’s a been a week and you haven’t answered this vital, pertinent question. A vapid drive by post about “freedom” and “meaningful conversation” doesn’t do either cause any good. A dialogue involves listening to and engaging with the other side. The truth is Colin Kaepernick is ignorant at best, and even if he did have a valid complaint, which he doesn’t, disrespecting the entire country and the principles for which it stands (which is what that “cloth” you dismiss represents, and why it means so much to typical veterans and patriotic Americans in general) isn’t the right way to go about it. The pig socks mocking cops and pro Castro shirt, which you’re apparently fine with, tells one everything else one needs to know about Kaepernick.

    • Rasputin
      August 31, 2016
      Reply

      Richard, that false perceptions have been cultivated by political agitators and enabled by an irresponsible media is why this matters, and why it’s long past time that people started pushing back on this crap. Kaepernick’s false perception isn’t harmless. Several dead cops stand as proof of that, with more likely to come.
      That said, something as basic as not being disrespectful during the national anthem shouldn’t be a partisan issue. You don’t even have to be an American to simply stand there quietly and politely. At international sporting events where multiple national anthems are played the athletes stand respectfully while the foreign anthem is played too. It’s basic courtesy. It doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with that government’s policies. This is exactly the type of thing that “conduct detrimental” to the team or league is supposed to cover. He’s branding the 49ers as not just anti-American, but crass. There isn’t currently an NFL policy specifically about standing during the anthem, but the NFL could enact one tomorrow and would be well within ITS rights.
      Anyone trying to defend him by claiming that he should be allowed to freely express himself while at work in uniform should also be severely castigating the league for all the players they’ve punished in the past for something they said or did. The gross hypocrisy, not letting the Cowboys wear decals showing solidarity with police, for example, just ratchets up the disgust factor for millions of Americans.

  7. Richard Quodomine
    September 1, 2016
    Reply

    It is hard to reply directly, so I’ll leave a new comment here. This may be a google chrome issue, I am not sure.

    If you take the long history of authority vs. those not in authority, the lineup of those who are dead at the hands of authority is much longer than that of the dead who are in authority. The problem with your argument, Rasputin, is that it’s projecting your personal views: You’re offended, therefore the NFL / 49ers should do something about it. A lot of people are offended, or at the very least, disagree with Colin Kaepernick’s actions, as you and I both do. However, we risk falling into the trap of false patriotism by making equivalent one’s actions in protest as the equivalent of disrespecting the United States. The US was formed on the basis of protest: when mercantilist policies established by Great Britain limited our commerce, Americans protested. When taxation became oppressive, Americans protested – they felt that their views were not represented. We call those people patriots now. Colin Kaepernick is just using that right.

    As for the Dallas police, I absolutely have no issue with the decal and I think the league is in the wrong here. However, in 2015, 39 Police officers were killed by gunfire in the line of duty https://www.odmp.org/search/year/2015. The Washington Post, who has been doing an outstanding job documenting police shootings, point out that the black populace, when adjusted for total population, are shot more readily than white suspects in similar situations. Of 93 unarmed shootings, 38 were black, 32 were white, and the rest Latino or other race. Of total shootings, 494 were white, 258 were black. On the surface, this means that half of the police shootings were white, a quarter were black, roughly. The white population, according to the 2010 census, is about 72% of the US population. The black populace is roughly 12%. This means that despite being 6x the population, they represent only twice as many shootings, a delta of 300% when adjusted for population. Further, when testing for likely signs of mental illness: white suspects were identified for mental illness at a rate of over 4x more likely than the black population, despite both populations having roughly equal numbers of mental illness. This shows a predisposed bias towards not identifying mental illness in black suspects and changing police tactics accordingly. (Sources at http://www.census.gov and https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/?tid=a_inl)

    This is the problem Colin Kaepernick is calling attention to. The application of justice to black Americans is, in basic factual numbers, unequal in its application when compared to whites. These are stone cold facts. I’m an old Boy Scout, in my opinion, you always stand with your troop to salute the flag. I can see why other teammates might have an issue with Kaepernick’s not standing. However, I would be equally worried if my employer started dictating my political beliefs or attaching my paycheck to a point of view. Maybe I’m not the target of this policy of ownership, but I might be the target of the next policy. That creates a slippery slope I don’t want to travel down. The NFL and NFLPA have a collective bargaining agreement to make sure that arbitrary issues not related to on-field performance or certain proscribed off-field behaviors are not subject to discipline. If I’m the NFL, the last thing I want to do is muzzle an athlete for his political or religious beliefs, so long as the stance is personal. It leads to a dark place of coerced repression of thought.

    • Rasputin
      September 1, 2016
      Reply

      With respect, Richard, you didn’t really address almost anything I said. You just repeated the straw man stuff about people having the right to protest. No one’s disputing that (though the American rebels were AMERICAN patriots, not British ones; they certainly weren’t racial patriots), but the NFL also has rights. It can hire, fire, and regulate the behavior of those who voluntarily accept the privilege of representing the league as employees. As with most jobs, the NFL has a code of conduct designed to protect its brand. Surely you don’t dispute any of that.
      Borges hasn’t answered, so I’ll ask you: are you upset by the NFL’s past punishments (fines, suspensions, Orwellian style re-eduction “counseling” sessions) of players who, for example, have tweeted something allegedly “homophobic” on their own time on their own social media account, or who have been caught in a video (also on their own time) saying “the ‘N’ word” or some other racial epithet? That heavy handed regulation seems far more like the “dark place of coerced repression of thought” you claim to be concerned about than anything suggested regarding Kaepernick. Where was Don Jones’ freedom of expression and thought, and where was Richard Quodomine when it came time to defend Jones from the onslaught that followed? Where do you stand on that even now? For that matter where did you stand on Roger Goodell using his influence to prevent Rush Limbaugh from becoming even a small owner of the Rams, despite there already being various left wing owners and musicians with controversial lyrics? Do you truly care about defending everyone’s freedom of thought, or only if they agree with you on the issue?
      By contrast, Kaepernick’s stunt is in uniform while at work “on the field”, on the NFL’s time in front of millions of people. As I just explained, the criticism by me and others is primarily over HOW Kaepernick is expressing himself. I would still take issue with his ignorant regurgitation of political talking points if he was doing it on his own time, but I wouldn’t be calling for NFL action on the matter as long as they were consistent.
      The behavioral regulation I’m discussing isn’t about his views, but about him behaving disrespectfully during the national anthem. If athletes from around the world can respectfully stand for the North Korean national anthem at the Olympics, the least Kaepernick could do is exhibit the same fundamental decorum during the US anthem, even if he loathes the country. He’d then be free to spout his anti-American views in other venues, berating the nation that has secured his freedom to do that.
      At first I actually didn’t mind the NFL saying “no” to the Cowboys’ pro cop decals, because it’s understandable that you don’t want the league to become overrun with NASCAR-like labels pushing various pet interests and sentiments. The focus should remain on football. But given their failure to require basic respect on the field during the national anthem, their hypocrisy has become glaring.
      Fans have free speech too and we’re all stating our “personal views”, so it’s unclear what point you were trying to make with the “projecting” line. Most of us don’t have Kaepernick’s millions of dollars or megaphone. Most of the media is ideologically aligned with him, contrary to his whining about people lacking a voice. People like ME, conservative libertarians, are the ones who lack much voice in the public arena. The great masses of Americans who reject leftist premises have little to no representation in the media/entertainment industry, especially in sports journalism (despite sports fans and athletes skewing conservative). It’s possible for someone like Kapaernick or others who broadly agree with his outlook to spend much of their lives in the bubble of an ideological echo chamber, not exposed to unfiltered arguments and facts from the other side. It’s much harder for someone who disagrees with them to do that. Things like these online posts and potentially withholding our funds from operations like the NFL or a particular team are the only methods we have for effecting change WE want, meager as they are. Curt Schilling gets fired from ESPN merely for making a legitimate, factual observation on his own social media account about radical Islam, while Tony Kornheiser goes on his national radio show and stupidly compares the TEA party movement, aka conservatives, basically half the country, to ISIS terrorists, and doesn’t get so much of an admonishment from his ESPN employers. That’s the entrenched, intolerant double standard that’s been in place for a long time. So spare me the lecture on repressing thought, and don’t pretend that it’s something new that hasn’t already been happening. I promise I’ve got far more scars from fighting that battle than you do.
      It’s really unclear what kind of dichotomy you were trying to establish with the “authority” versus “those not in authority” line, but hopefully it wasn’t some oversimplified attempt to divide people by race. The “authority” is a black president and black attorney general. At the local level in urban areas where most of the recent high profile alleged “abuse” cases of occurred, it’s typically been dominated by one party liberal Democrat rule for several decades, and often features black leadership. If there is racial “oppression”, as Kaepernick alleges, are these the people responsible? The millionaire Kaepernick himself was adopted by two middle class white parents and raised in a well off town, Turlock, California. From what I’ve heard from him the “oppression” he’s alleging seems to not be so much about his own life experience as from the various high profile media cases we’ve all seen recently, and from some hard core activists he’s gotten close to.
      I haven’t seen Kaepernick himself raise the specific issues you cite and put into his mouth, or that others have exploited the opportunity to rush and put out (some even attacking the song itself, lol, which he didn’t mention), but his vague summary indicates that kind of biased media coverage and activist propaganda was roughly the kind of thing he was alluding to.
      I guess your number of killed police in 2015 was intended to diminish the problem or what the Cowboys wanted to do, but you missed the point. This was a local thing, and the city of Dallas hasn’t had a mass slaughter of cops like that in a long time if ever, where someone was intentionally targeting police for racial/political reasons. They weren’t calling on all teams to wear a decal. That said, your own source said 130 have been killed in the line of duty, so I’m not sure why you singled out “gunfire”. Only a subset of the gunfire deaths were due to militants targeting cops, but that there IS now a growing chunk of cops nationally being EXPLICITLY targeted and killed for racial/political reasons should be disturbing to everyone.
      Your claim that the “application of justice” is “unequal” “in basic factual numbers” is absurd, and indicates you may be ensconced in an echo chamber yourself. Of course subjective interpretation comes into play in a complex issue. I’m aware of and have been amused by the Washington Post’s weak attempt to spin the facts, in this case the fact that roughly twice as many whites as blacks are killed by cops. But simply adjusting by their ratio in the general population is meaningless given the fact that blacks commit violent crimes at much higher rates, SEVERAL TIMES the rates of non-blacks, and therefore are more likely to end up interacting with police.
      A recent Harvard study found that when you control for the situation cops aren’t more like to shoot blacks than whites, and in fact in certain areas cops are more likely to shoot whites than blacks (20% more likely in Houston; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/11/no-racial-bias-police-shootings-study-harvard-prof/ ). The study was by a black liberal who conceded he was surprised by the results. He did find cops were somewhat more likely to use low level physical force against blacks than whites, though one could easily potentially explain this by considering other variables like blacks possibly being more likely to resist arrest, or cops having to be more on edge and quick to physically secure the scene for everyone’s safety in a high crime neighborhood. One shouldn’t leap to the unfounded assumption of racial discrimination.
      This reinforces a series of studies out of Washington State University in recent years finding that cops are actually more likely to shoot whites than blacks in similar situations, a phenomenon they dub the “reverse racism effect” ( http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/2/police-more-reluctant-shoot-blacks-whites-study-fi/ ).
      Regardless, we’re talking about a tiny number of blacks killed by cops each year, 258 in 2015 according to your own Washpo count, almost all of them legitimate shootings. These cops didn’t get up planning on killing anyone, let alone killing someone because of their skin color, unlike the BLM Dallas shooter who shared Kaepernick’s grievances and said because of that he wanted to kill “white” people and cops.
      Meanwhile according to FBI stats in 2014 6,095 blacks were murdered, 51% of total US homicide deaths ( https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_1_murder_victims_by_race_ethnicity_and_sex_2014.xls ). Almost all of them were killed by other black people.
      Blacks committed 53% of murders, despite, as you point out, only being 13% of the population ( https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide ). Most crime is same race on race, but blacks killed almost twice as many non-blacks as non-blacks killed blacks ( https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2014.xls ).
      These are stone cold facts. They show that there are serious problems within black communities that impact both blacks and non-blacks, but the cops aren’t the problem. As Sheriff David Clarke observed, the real problem is a set of urban pathologies that have developed over the last several decades, including the sharp rise in single parent homes, a lack of respect for authority, and a subculture with destructive tendencies. Diverting from that by absurdly blaming cops for the problems in black neighborhoods, let alone the entire USA itself, will only postpone real solutions and get more people of all colors hurt.

    • Rasputin
      September 1, 2016
      Reply

      My response is apparently “awaiting moderation”, maybe because of the links to the FBI crime statistics database and Washington Times articles covering the Harvard and Washington State University studies. If it doesn’t drop by tomorrow I’ll try again without the links.

  8. Richard Quodomine
    September 2, 2016
    Reply

    Rasputin, in order: I do have an issue with Schilling’s firing, but unlike the NFL, he’s not, to my knowledge under a CBA. I disagree with Schilling’s take, but expressing a personal opinion shouldn’t be cause for firing, unless there’s an aggregate group of issues we don’t know about. I was unaware of Don Jones’ item until you mentioned it, I’ll check it out sometime over the holiday weekend. Here’s my general rule: If you denigrate a person, you’re over the line – for example being gay is an orientation and therefore the opinion that it’s wrong becomes bigotry. If you denigrate an action – terrorism linked with Daesh’s narrow and false interpretation of Islam, then you’re in the clear. And I don’t like the cop / pig socks at all. That’s denigrating to all of the people who are officers.

    The Fryer study has its own issues, and I suspect the truth is far more complicated. http://scholar.harvard.edu/jfeldman/blog/roland-fryer-wrong-there-racial-bias-shootings-police and the fact that it has yet to be peer reviewed. I use the NBER regularly, I was an economist for the Dept. of Labor on a fed/state shared economic analysis program. The study is a good one, but one completed study does not a peer-reviewed case make. Nor, by the way, does the Post’s data. The truth is very muddled, and I suspect we’re still looking at a lot of different grounds that make up the issues.

    As for the crime rate, no one that I know of is denying that. Kaepernick is calling attention to a real issue, but it is far from the only one facing the black community. Understand, I am not blaming cops, in general. What I am pointing out is that there is a perception issue, and that perception issue is clearly resonating with the black community. That perception, in my opinion, impacts the whole community and causes mutual mistrust. In return, that makes police work, or the honest work of people living their every day lives, much more difficult for both. If we don’t solve the perceived and real issues of intercommunication and racism within black communities and police officers, we’ll see more of these killings, both of cops and of unarmed black people.

    And finally, to speak to rules about political protest or standing: This is what Daniel Patrick Moynihan might have called a time for benign neglect. If you let the protest out, let it breathe, there’ll be time to reflect on its strong and weak points. If the NFL stamps it out, it creates resentment over an issue that I think will lose its air over time as policies and people become more responsive. Of the hundreds of players who played last night, 3 did some form of protest – sitting or kneeling. That’s miniscule. Taking the hard line over a small issue will cause players to get angrier at the NFL at a time where angry words (and angry Tweets) have made the waters toxic between league and player. It’s a fight I think both the NFL and NFLPA want to avoid.

    • Rasputin
      September 2, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, so now you’re placing qualifications on players’ “freedom of thought”, and endorsing the NFL taking aggressive action to silence dissent on certain issues where you disagree with the player. The problem is people disagree on some premises, and even on whether something is “denigrating” to someone or not. For example, the science on “orientation” hasn’t really established what you claim; it’s been outstripped by the politics. Regardless, people can criticize and certainly express disgust over certain types of behavior (actions) without necessarily meaning to denigrate an entire person. Visceral revulsion at certain forms of sexual deviancy (siblings making out for example) is perfectly normal and healthy for the species for reasons that should be obvious. It doesn’t mean you hate the people involved and it certainly doesn’t make you a bigot. You can be coworkers and even friends with people without approving of everything they do. You may not realize this, but by claiming that simply believing homosexual behavior is wrong makes you a bigot, YOU just denigrated the religion of Christianity and most major religious adherents around the world, along with millions of atheists in Asia.
      You apparently don’t think disrespecting the flag and country itself is denigrating anyone (I’m glad you recognize that the cop/pig socks do), but most military vets and, I’d wager, most Americans disagree with you. See how tricky this gets when you start trying to be selective in policing thought?
      I’m not sure what about the CBA makes you think the NFL can’t regulate player behavior during a game, but this looks like a textbook case of “conduct detrimental”, way more justified than the times the NFL has taken action against guys for totally off field comments on their own time.
      The Fryer study is a lot more scientific and higher quality than an ad hoc running count by the Washington Post accompanied by their biased, half-baked prose spin, but I agree that no single study conclusively solves this issue. Saying “the truth is very muddled” is a far cry from declaring that “basic factual numbers” conclusively prove there’s “unequal justice” in this country. Certainly “unarmed” killings aren’t necessarily unjustified either, so one should avoid pretending that’s a proxy for “wrongful shooting”. In fact the vast majority of police killings of “unarmed” people are totally justified, and typically involve something like someone going for a weapon (e.g. the cop’s gun) or pointing an object that in the dark looks like a gun, along with a failure to cooperate with police orders. The exceptions are too rare to justify the hyperbolic term “oppression”, let alone “racial oppression”, racial malice not having been demonstrated. That such abuse is illegal and prosecuted when it’s established further undermines the “America oppresses us” line.
      What has been established by concrete numbers is that cops aren’t the problem when it comes to blacks being murdered, let alone non-blacks being murdered (non-blacks matter too, let’s not forget about them).
      I think the perception problem grows when it’s enabled (by outfits like the Washington Post and other irresponsible media) and not enough people are pushing back on it. That’s how bandwagons get rolling. Once Kaepernick announced what he was doing, it didn’t take long for some others to follow, so now, by your count, the number has tripled in a few days, and the season hasn’t even started yet. If the NFL did the smart thing and moved in now to end this, I doubt it would cause any more anger among players than the crackdown on Don Jones did. Many may even be relieved that they won’t have to choose between disrespecting America and being viewed by their racial peers (at least the vocal, celebrity-tinged minority) as “sell outs”. Maybe the protest will quickly burn itself out anyway, or maybe in a few months we’ll be treated to the spectacle of dozens at each game making a show of sitting down during the anthem. Given that the latter would be an apocalyptic nightmare scenario for the NFL’s PR, it makes sense to squash this now while the story is still mostly about one player hating the country and the police, rather than how the NFL has degenerated into an anti-American, anti-cop league. You’ve already got the largest police union in the country blasting the NFL for its apparent anti-cop sentiment and the double standard exhibited by preventing the Cowboys from expressing pro police sentiment, and rightly so.

  9. Rich Quodomine
    September 8, 2016
    Reply

    Please forgive the late response, I was with my family.

    Woah, who are you to speak for all Christians? I have family members that are gay and go to church every Sunday. That’s one interpretation of Christianity, which I suspect is your own. There are many denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and other religions that have dropped any objection to homosexuality. Don’t let your personal objection project onto others.

    And as for science on sexual orientation, are you kidding me? THat’s been established for years. Since 1975, publications include the American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx and http://borngay.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000006

    I could go on, but as the research indicates, homosexual behavior has been observed in multiple species on earth. Agree with it or not, it’s here. All of this, however, is immaterial to the original line of thought. There’s been a perception issue with years, and while not taking away anything from the violence within black communities, you can both want to improve policing and its perception in the black community and respect cops and the overall circumstances and danger they face every day. The two aren’t incongruous, and Colin Kaepernick is entitled to call attention to the problem. I thought Roger Goodell’s stance was right on the issue: He supported the right to protest, but he would not have done as KAepernick did. There’s no need to ban something that isn’t espoused by 99.9% of the league. Let it go, and let it exhaust itself or transform from protest into substantive improvement.

    • Rasputin
      September 11, 2016
      Reply

      I didn’t say I was a Christian. I am, but I was just objectively describing Christian doctrine. I also mentioned other religions and millions of atheists in Asia (not all atheists share the same views on such matters, even in the West). I’m someone who knows what I’m talking about, apparently unlike you. Sure, there are a few fringe Christian groups that have invented their own PC views (they typically don’t do as well in attracting converts as what you’d likely call “conservative evangelicals” do), but the opposition to homosexual behavior is orthodox Christian doctrine rooted in scripture, not my personal whim, just for the record, and there’s more to being a Christian than attending church service. The vast majority of Christians in the US and around the world adhere to orthodox doctrine and consider homosexual behavior a sin (even most liberal denominations do, including some led by people who explicitly support legal recognition for same sex marriage but separate that political stance from personal morality; you’d be surprised at how nuanced these issues can be).
      I’ll forgo clicking on your links to activist websites for now, since I’m short on time and you didn’t feel anything specific from them was worth quoting. But regarding your claim about it being “observed in multiple species on earth”…so what? So is cannibalism, incest, mass murder, the killing of one’s own young, etc.. Animals do all sorts of things we don’t want to emulate, especially (but not exclusively) if you’re looking at deviant behaviors. You don’t seem to have a point there. The “science” on orientation is most definitely not settled. It’s almost non-existent because it’s become a third rail for researchers for political reasons. I haven’t heard about any “gay gene” being definitively identified, for example. Even if it was, again…so what? People can be predisposed to alcoholism, violence, mental illness, or all sorts of other things. One could argue that a truly compassionate society would classify homosexuality as a disorder (which it was until a couple of decades ago when the gay lobby gained significant power), since it undeniably interferes with the natural reproductive cycle, and research potential treatments so those afflicted could at least have the option of treatment if they wanted it. Thought experiment – if we enter the age of genetic manipulation that humanity appears to be on the cusp of, some “gay gene” is discovered, and parents gain the ability to identify and manipulate their offsprings’ genes, do you think the gay population will (A) Stay about the same (roughly 3% of the US population is gay or bisexual according to the CDC) (B) Increase or (C) Drop to about nothing, along with blindness from birth, natural obesity, inherited schizophrenia and other genetically driven maladies? Be honest.
      These are all tangents though. My point is that you’re being selective when it comes to standing up for free speech and expression. You don’t care about defending speech you find offensive. Millions of people certainly take offense both to Kaepernick’s disrespectful display and the Orwellian punishment imposed on Don Jones. One huge difference in the two players’ behaviors is that Kaepernick is doing it while in uniform at an NFL game, and it impacts a vastly broader population.
      Goodell is a weasel and hypocrite who doesn’t support the right of NFL players to express solidarity with police or honor first responders with patriotic socks on 9/11. Saying he doesn’t “necessarily” agree with how Kaepernick is expressing himself is even weak by cop out, fence straddling standards. No action has even been taken on the socks he’s allowed to wear for some reason mocking cops as pigs.
      Kaepernick is only “entitled” to behave at games within the parameters the NFL establishes, which is why I and others are being as hard on the league as we are on him.
      Kudos to the team USA hockey coach who said he’d bench any players who sit during the national anthem. And Kudos to the Washington Spirit soccer club owner Bill Lynch for having the national anthem played before the players were let onto the field for the game against Megan Rapinoe’s visiting team, eliminating her copycat “protest”. The team explained in a statement that while they respect Rapinoe and her right to raise any issue she wants, hijacking the national anthem to do so is unnecessary and inappropriate. Lynch is a veteran who’s lost friends overseas and finds it particularly offensive. He observed that the tradition of playing the anthem at sporting events really took off in the WW2 era and is both a way to honor the military and a unifying force for the country (Rapinoe’s comically stupid response was to accuse Lynch’s act of being “homophobic”, I guess just because she’s gay and he disagreed with her, despite the issue having nothing to do with gay or sex topics, and Lynch not mentioning anything like that).
      We saw the positive impact the NFL could have as a unifying force with the patriotic displays after 9/11. What’s happening now is the opposite. The NFL is dividing people along racial and political lines. It’s disgusting.
      Kaepernick is ignorant on the issue he’s supposedly trying to raise awareness of. His “protest” is fueled by half baked propaganda and this “conversation” people are supposed to be having has already been happening for years now, though in most of the media (especially in the sports media) it’s been more of a sensationalistic, one sided bundle of vague assertions than a dialogue that would entail listening to or presenting the other side.
      Black Americans aren’t “oppressed”. Cops aren’t more likely to shoot blacks than whites when similar situations are called for, as the Harvard and Washington State University studies show. There’s certainly no hard evidence they’re more likely to shoot blacks, much less that they do so in enough numbers to justify Kaepernick’s moronic oppression statement. His protest and the BLM movement in general aren’t noble or harmless. They haven’t yielded “substantive improvement”. They’ve only made things worse by cultivating hostility and disrespect. Enabling and even praising them validates that “perception” you keep speaking of, which is a false perception. The protest has spread to other players as I predicted, because Goodell lacks the patriotism or basic good sense of the USA hockey coach and Bill Lynch.
      Regardless of one’s views on the issue of race and policing, the manner in which Kaepernick is protesting is fundamentally rude and disrespectful. It’s essentially flipping the middle finger to millions of Americans on national tv, and is as healthy as that to discourse. The NFL could end that while still respecting his right to use his celebrity to push the issue on his own time. You could agree with BLM and Kaepernick on the issue without supporting his anti-American protest or being a hypocrite by supporting the NFL’s double standard on expression.

      • Rasputin
        September 11, 2016
        Reply

        Meant “Cops aren’t more likely to shoot blacks than whites when similar situations are controlled for, as the Harvard and Washington State University studies show.”

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