“…Black men flooded towards professional baseball, basketball and football, attempting to breach tight opportunistic spaces…Few…bequeathed any significant long-term ‘self-help’ resources to troubled urban sanctuaries…”
Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 14: The Bible As A Weapon In The War On Gays, page 291.
“It is…my duty…to talk to you journeyman…about what is happening with radio & television.” “…if…historians about 50 or 100 years from now…preserved the kinescopes of…all 3 networks…They will…find recorded in Black & white & in color evidence of decadence, escapism & insulation from…realities of the world in which we live.”
“We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable & complacent…have a built in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information…mass media reflect this.”
“…unless we get…off our fat surpluses & recognize that television…is being used to distract, delude, amuse & insult us…those who finance it…look at it &… work at it, may see a totally different picture…too late!”
Edward R. Murrow addresses “media colleagues.” October 25, 1958. From the 2005 movie: Good Night, & Good Luck.
Greetings heart filled readers!
There’s an old saying that says, “If I’d blinked I would have missed it!”
Well, through all the hoopla when I stared at & examined the televised photo—several times after news media’s first post—I still continued to “miss” it.
Of course I’m talking about the initial photo showing Colin Kaepernick’s “sit” during the national anthem before a San Francisco 49er preseason football game—probably the 3rd time. Apparently Pro Football Talk exposed the “sitting” after the Green Bay game.
So it seems to be a network “spotting,” self-initiated & set into a public blowup campaign—media creating a news sensation by & for themselves.
We all know that people literally foamed at the mouth from coast-to-coast, berating Kaepernick over the photo (some setting fire to his jersey). And Kaep made it clear that yes, it is a personal protest: he’ll continue sitting during the anthem to highlight hugely disproportionate injustices heaped on people of color—especially abuse & murder by police.
And who didn’t know that a predictably outraged segment would seek to amplify the sting of their “attacks.” They claimed vets (who fought for everyone’s “rights”) & the very country itself (benevolently allowing protest to begin with) were gravely insulted by the “sit down”—“personal insult” declared & blown up by detractors; their notion says sitting tramples “everyone’s patriotism.”
Gaudy fallout from the “faux patriot” sector is absolutely what media “newsmakers” hoped to trigger—and they sparked it—but these provocateurs may have gotten more than bargained for.
That initial wave of outrage flip-flopped, giving way to a tide of support from across the board. And rumbling in the tide’s countering force is dialogue, driving “focus” on the issue at hand: people of color still aggressively subjected to inequities & social injustice in the U.S., whose “creed” professes to provide otherwise.
Yes! We see back-up from fellow football players & the public—actually emulating Kaep’s position during the anthem.
Most Black former players-turned-media-pundits I’ve seen, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar seen with Muhammad Ali & Bill Russel, support Kaep (even while others “emphasize” that they choose not to follow suit that way). And how inspiring that vets themselves spilled out in force, overwhelmingly in support (not feeling “demeaned” in the least) validating the right & need for outspokenness in this country regarding “justice for all.”
A powerful & inspiring example is shown by Chicago based vet Rory Fanning. A photo of Fanning seated at a Cub’s game, holding a pro Kaepernick sign, first got my attention. But his being interviewed on CNN is what grabbed it completely. See this interview here & a damning critique of the pundit’s truer motive (by an online personality) here as well.
Fanning’s white male, clean-cut appearance (being a decorated vet) obviously was misjudged by CNN’s status-quo host John Berman—who hoped to trip him up at least & discredit him at best. An articulate & compassionate Fanning (well informed on the horrible stats & personal victims) stood his ground, dealing that pundit an embarrassing surprise; the host’s disgraceful priority & focus (so swiftly exposed as shallow) found the interview cut-short most awkwardly—but quite expectedly.
Of course in the land-of-the-free Kaep’s “stand” (poking the underbelly) reveals more stinging fallout:
Student Leilani Thomas in a California high school had points docked from her “participation grade.” Thomas, a Native American, has sat during the “ritual” since 2nd grade (her parents had said why they—for “cultural” reasons—don’t participate). She’d never been punished, until placed under Kaep’s shadow.
Since the SCOTUS ruling of 1943 all does know that it’s totally illegal to punish anyone for this. Hence Konocti Superintendent Donna Becnel defends Leilani (& another student) saying, “They have the same [1st amendment] rights when they walk into the schoolhouse that anybody else does!”
The 2 students were allowed to change teachers—I though, think the offending teacher must be disciplined to the fullest.
Add this: Megan Rapinoe, the 31-year-old pro women’s soccer star (who’s openly gay) took heat from kneeling before a recent National game—those offended say she “didn’t have her arm twisted” when selected to the team (as if “selection” means players must loose citizenship rights).
The ever expanding range of “protest participants” during the ritual brings inspiring surprises:
The entire San Francisco Mission High School football team knelt in Marin on Sept., 17; Oakland’s Unified School District Honor Band knelt while playing the anthem for a Sept., 20th A’s baseball game; the entire football team of Seattle’s Garfield High knelt; & Oakland High’s entire team (below at right) laid on their backs “raising their arms”—Kaep kneeling by their sides (after a pep talk); these to name a few.
Conventional media’s “tone” during interviews (& apparent shock over snowballing support) strongly suggests agitation under a facade—it seems they hoped the sting of backlash would crash on Kaep, to punish an “uppity” spoiled ingrate.
It’s reminiscent of America’s privileged monsters that I addressed in my last blog, spilling out of our 500 year social “cooker,” hurling injustices—while demanding the abused go through the motion of “worshiping” patriotic principles.
Surprise over veterans overwhelmingly backing Kaep’s “cause” (& method) speaks to a flippant, cruel elite’s mindset:
Veterans are treated like crap by the government—& all know it; complaints & battle scars (mental & physical) flagrantly ignored; servicepersons (i.e. women filing rape & “sexual harassment” charges) discarded like rags—yet expected to suck-it-up—honoring the “illusion” of U.S. allegiance to justice (over promises of critical care & internal protection that is soundly “reneged on”).
The same mindset is shown by cops (the crux of national complaints): locally Santa Clara’s police union threatened to boycott 49er games—usurping crowd safety—until action reins in Kaep.”
Again, “faux patriots” (especially cops) angrily protesting the “protesters,” feigning some sort of patriotic injury, flip their finger at both the participants cause & the country’s constitutional creed. The elite (& hoards of “wanna-bees”) merely wish to carryover a nasty tradition—they want the disenfranchised to actually worship them.
It smacks of when Blacks looking whites in the eyes, or not moving when they pass, or daring to “talk back”—or not following “abusive orders”—could be lynched (the exact dynamic driving “cop culture” that rockets situations to extreme escalation—“unnecessarily”).
Otherwise, instead of ordering protesters to “leave,” haughty detractors would remove themselves to a country like N. Korea & “happily revel”—in a place where no protest is allowed.
Here’s the irony: effective “demonstrating” happens right where you get complacent (& “complicit”) people’s attention—where a thing professes to be important to them—otherwise the “cause” remains conveniently ignored.
Hence, whether by cruelty (or massive guilt) “faux patriots” hope to divert from the fact that they do absolutely nothing about murderous social inequities (or broken promises to vets) except look the other way—digging in to altruistically continue the trend.
And Kaepernick’s #7 jerseys is currently the hottest selling sports item.
Yet, a thing is troubling: Black former players-turned-pundits mostly offer support, but too many seem to straddle the fence (protecting their image for wealthy “white employers”)—saying they wouldn’t do it that way.
It begs a question: In which way are they protesting (or contributing)? And where are they doing it? If they are “proudly” contributing why don’t we know it & why the big secret?
Pundit wobbling smacks of cosmetic monsters “selling out,” like Black cops committed to servicing the “blue code” but not to initiating change.
Case & point: CNN’s Brooke Baldwin interviewing the (Black cop) “best friend” of Charlotte’s Officer Brentley Vinson (who killed Keith Scott); he was asked if they as Black men actually “talked” about this national problem. The answer was a point blank “no!” How shocking!
Brooke should have had swift questions: “isn’t it odd that 2 Black officers in such a relative (& pivotal) position—in such explosive times—don’t even talk about it? Are you not impacted? How does this miss your conversations?”
Yep, it’s another “pipedream” expectation of major journalism.
Black’s lost allegiance to “Blackness” (monstrously stunted humanity) feeds unchecked social catastrophe—hence the subtitle of my book that tragically sees Blacks: Worshiping the New World Politics of Saving Souls.
Like steps taken in Baton Rouge & proposed in Charlotte, Blacks nationally should be launching into action; they should be stringing isolated “activist beads” together—but don’t hold your breath!
Black entertainers & sports figures who don’t speak up, selling out arenas (& to politically hostile moguls) have gotten “passes” way too long—fans lost in adulation truly will not take them to task.
Wobbling pundits (& players) must be called on it! The Seahawks should not have locked arms—they should have “sat,” period! Corporations stripping players of endorsements should be boycotted! (“Century Link” who dumped Denver’s player Marshall, owns the naming rights to Seattle’s stadium.)
One Black former player declared Kaep is racially unqualified—only to offer an embarrassing retraction when learning he’s half Black. Also, Muhammad Ali’s ex wife Khalilah “altruistically” doubts his motives, though youngest daughter Laila Ali applauds Kaep’s doing it his way!
All-in-all by sitting to take a stand Colin Kaepernick has done more than many preachers, entertainers, “so-called” leaders, sports figures & public segments combined.
Stay steadfast Kaep—you & our “action taking” communities deserve the flowers.