A Parade of Fools and Hypocrites

Snellville, GA- I found this on Dave Emanuel’s ‘Cut to the Chase‘ blog and I think he hit the proverbial nail on the head.

The recent parade of professional athletes refusing to stand for the national anthem is allegedly fueled by a dedication to right the wrongs of racial inequity and to stem the tide of police activity that results in the death of people of color. The concerns are legitimate; the manner of protest is not.

Irrespective of a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, social standing or lack thereof, he or she has a Constitutional right to free speech, and to protest in the non-violent manner of his or her choice. Specifically, the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Although freedom of speech has come under assault over the years, it continues to be a hallmark of the American republic. The attacks are typically in response to speech that inflames or disturbs, yet even speakers of the most inflammatory words are protected and even encouraged. Consider a perspective expressed in, of all places, dialogue from a movie. (American President).

“You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.
That statement captures the essence of free speech, and the sitting and kneeling protests being staged by NFL players bring those words to life. A disturbing aspect of these protests is the rush to defend the players who are symbolically “burning the flag” in protest, and to castigate the critics of those light the fire. Apparently, we have arrived at a point in time when the only protests that are “politically correct” are those which show opposition to the flag and “the republic for which it stands”.

Those considerations aside, protesting racial inequities and police actions by sitting or kneeling, in a public venue while the national anthem is being played, smacks of mental challenges and an agenda focused on building personal notoriety, rather than on bringing attention to injustice. How smart is it to stage a protest that denigrates the people and institutions that guarantee the right to protest? Rather than sitting on their collective asses, the players would be better advised to take positive action that directly addresses the issues. Inequities aren’t resolved by sitting when the national anthem is played, any more than football games are won by receivers who squat when they get the ball.

Certainly, the fools and hypocrites refusing to stand for the national anthem have placed themselves squarely in the arena of public attention. They have gotten the attention they so deeply crave. Yet they have done little to address their stated issues. Their actions are so offensive to so many people that their message has been obliterated; rather than a discussion of the wrongs that the sitters and kneelers are protesting, the national discourse has become focused on the offensiveness of the actions, and the right to be offensive.

As might be expected of fools and hypocrites, the protesting NFL players are symbolically attempting to burn the flag that protects them. By sitting or kneeling, their protest becomes little more than a slap in the face to the men and women who have served, and continue to serve, a nation that protects freedom and sings an anthem that celebrates, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Councilman and blogtalkradio host Dave Emanuel
Councilman and blogtalkradio host Dave Emanuel

10 Comments

  1. “Member of the Military” and “Confused Reader”- as Mr. Williams points out, you have zero credibility by hiding behind an anonymouns name. Apparently you have convictions, but lack courage.

    As for “Member of the Military’s” diatribe, may I suggest a course in reading comprehension. Or perhaps a review of the definition of hypocrisy. My article points out, “Irrespective of a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, social standing or lack thereof, he or she has a Constitutional right to free speech, and to protest in the non-violent manner of his or her choice.”. Yet what you’re saying is that the players have the right to protest, but I don’t have a right to present an opposing point of view. Reread the article and you’ll find that it doesn’t attempt to tell anyone how to protest, rather it takes issue with the form of the particular protest in question, which I find to be a slap in the face to those men and women who have defended the freedom we enjoy. If you want to wallow in despair over the inequities of the past, that’s certainly your decision. For my part, I would rather address current inequities, and the best way to resolve them.

    You might also give some thought to the foolishness of comparing the protests of the civil Rights era to those of the NFL players. The protesters of the 60s addressed the issues head-on and participated in the process that brought change. They didn’t speak from sidelines while enjoying a privileged lifestyle.

    • Mr Emmanuel you stated “You have zero credibility by hiding behind an anonymous name” why does identity matter? Tell me this, when people vote, do they do so anonymously as in is it automatically known who they voted for? Do you have a problem with that anonymity? What about the historical data of my post? Was my post historically incorrect? Was it not factual? Anyone can give a name but that wouldn’t mean the words spoken are any less true. Or would you prefer a name so you can use your political influence in a potentionally dishonorable way. You’re right in saying that I have conviction and wrong in saying I lack courage. I have courage bit have seen first hand what happens you when have a different point of view or provide a different narrative. Everything and everyone has a season and I know courage is more than a name. Again…the message is being lost because you’re focusing on the lack of a name. A name would not change a thing.

      You should take your own advice and take a course in reading comprehension, or just reading in general because not once did I say you didn’t have the right to present an opposing opinion. Furthermore you taking an issue with the form of the particular protest in question absolutely is a way of stating how someone should protest.

      Emmanuel your white male privilege is on full display with the comment “If you want to wallow in despair over the inequities of the past, that’s certainly your decision. For my part, I would rather address current inequities, and the best way to resolve them.” So discussing the history of this country is wallowing in the despair over the inequities of the past yet this countries past is often celebrated. What happened t9 “Never Forget”!!! Or does that only apply to inequities not committed by this country? Do you tell Jews to get over the inequities of the past? 9/11 was a few days ago, when are you going to tell those family members to get over the inequities of the past? What constitutes as the past? 10, 15, 50, 70 years?

      You say you would rather address current inequities and the best way to resolve them and then you had the unmitigated gall to speak down on people that are actually ads dressing the current inequities. You said “give some thought to the foolishness comparing the protests of the civil Rights era to those of the NFL players. The protesters of the 60s addressed the issues head-on and participated in the process that brought change. They didn’t speak from sidelines while enjoying a privileged lifestyle.” This is a show of ignorance from a person who apparently lacks the ability to see humanity in those who have encountered situations that you will never have to endure. So comlaring Tamir Rice to Emmitt Till is foolishness? The NFL players are protesting the lawlessness of some police officers. They are protesting the well documented events of minorities being killed by police, within police custody and no justice being served. Tamir Rice was killed within 4 seconds of police arriving to the scene because he had a toy gun in an open carry state. I have every right to compare the protests of today to those of the Civil Rights Era because the same things are being protested. Peaceful protests were frowned upon then too. That change you so cavalierly mentioned was brought about through protesting. The corner stone of the civil rights was the protesting. Why exactly do you have a problem with these men speaking from the sidelines? Is the problem that they are speaking at all? There were several positions in the civil rights Era including those that were not center stage, everyone that wanted a role, had one.

      It’s very disheartening that you call speaking out about the genocide that is taking place within the black community foolishness. According to you being killed at 11 is foolishness. Being found dead while in police custody is foolishness. Having your neck severed while in police custody us foolishness. Being executed for following a lawful command is foolishness. Fighting for equal protection under the law is foolishness. Calling the police because someone is trying to carjacking your wife and then being shot upon the officers arrival is foolishness. God forbid that your home or family is ever rocked by this type of tragedy because only then will you see the humanity in others that have ensured that type of situation. Only then will you care. Only then will it no longer be considered foolishness because you have been affected personally.

      You have shown you have no idea what the civil rights Era was about, how and why black people are still being affected and why blacks are protesting. You have shown content and disdain for black people by saying that speaking upon the history of this country, the history of the national anthem and the history of the flag is wallowing on the despair and inequities of the past because you unequivocally fail to see that some of the inequities of the past are the inequities of the present.

      This could have been a moment of open dialogue, communication and an attempt at understanding a different perspective but the white male privilege who possess received a bruised ego instead. And to think you are a city representative with this train of thinking. You could not address any of this historical facts I mentioned concerning the national anthem and the flag. You actually called the history of the flag and national anthem inequities of the past that you don’t want to wallow over yet your quite upset over people sitting and kneeling instead of standing and singing..oh the hypocrisy. If you can’t embrace and discuss the history of your beloved anthem and flag then why shouldn’t people sit and kneel?

      • You still just don’t get it, or don’t want it. You are obviously either very bitter about events in your life, or a troll. In a discussion, as opposed to a voting both, identity is relevant because it establishes legitimacy. Are your really a member of the military community? Are you a black person speaking from that perspective or a white person motivated by a personal agenda?

        You have misinterpreted what I have written and then had the temerity to use your misinterpretations to tell me what I think and how I feel. And you then go on to assume that you know what I have or haven’t endured.

        Your position is that because I am white, I have lived a life of privilege, an obviously racist assumption. And your suggestion that I would use my “political influence in a potentially dishonorable way” is beyond insulting.

        I wrote an article that presented my point of view. If you read and comprehend it, you understand that I said the players absolutely have a right to protest. My disagreement is with their manner of protest which I see as disrespectful to the people who defended and continue to defend their right to protest. Apparently, my being white makes that viewpoint unacceptable to you.

        Your presumption that I see foolishness in protestations of black people dying at the hands of the police is not only insulting, but expected, given your dialogue. Again, you’re confusing disagreement with the manner of protest with the subject being protested. And the fact that I disagree with the manner of protest doesn’t imply that I’m telling anyone how to protest. It simply means I disagree with a particular tactic.

        As for my “wallowing” comment there is a difference between acknowledging history and learning from it, and wallowing in it. There’s a difference between speaking about the past and having having the past become the sum total of a discussion. Yes, slavery, an evil and disgusting condition, existed in this country. Yes, discrimination against black people existed and continues to exist, and it’s equally evil and disgusting. But what purpose does it serve to wallow in despair over situations in the past? The point of remembering is not to wring your hands over the events of the past, but to use those events as motivation for positive change.

        I’m not upset over people sitting and kneeling while the national anthem plays. I simply disagree with that as a method of protest. Further, I feel it’s disingenuous in a number of cases.

        In spite of your accusations, I’d really like to have an open discussion with you. Unfortunately, I can’t because I don’t know who you are.

  2. How and why do “Confused Reader” and “Member of the Military Community” get to remain anonymous? If one crawls out from under a rock, takes a “shot”, then dives back under, why should anyone give them credence?

    • Lack of identity does not negate or take away from what was written. Why should credence only be given when an identity is attached? If an anonymous person can receive a reward from the police, the credence can be given to an anonymous commentator.

      With that said, credence was not requested nor required. Who asked for credence? Your belief in or acceptance of something as true is irrelevant when history can validate what was stated. When was the flag made? Was the flag flying during slavery, during Jim Crow, during EVERY horrific situation that has occurred in this country?What year was the national anthem written? What year was the anthem adopted? When was slavery abolished? What years were the Civil Rights Era? What was accomplished by the Civil Rights Act? What rights did black America gain under the Civil rights activists? How many years after slavery was the civil rights activists passed? When we’re black citizens given the right to vote?

      The message, questions and answers do not change with knowing the identity of the commentator. Identity of the speaker is not what’s important, the questions posed and the historical facts given are what’s important.

      Howard, your focus on the anonymity of the person who commented instead of what was written is right in line with those upset about American citizens using their constitutional right to kneel or sit instead of their message behind their actions. You may not be able to comprehend situations that you may never have to encounter, but just because you are not affected by them does not mean they do not exist. Obtaining approval or credence from anyone, especially from those that are unwilling to consider indisputable facts, is not the mission as approval and credence was never sought after.

      • To “Member of the Military Community” as you continue to desire to be addressed evidently due to your cowardice. I could have used that anonymous alias too but since I am not a coward, I use my name. That being said you called me by my first name like we were some kind of old friends. Maybe one day we can be, God willing, he does work in mysterious ways His wonder to perform. Until then I would appreciate Mr. Williams, or at least Major Williams, Army of the United States, Retired. Of course, you have the ability, but not right, to call me anythiing or nothing as you choose. Credence, like respect, is earned by the writer from the reader, or not at all. Right now, you have disdain. Your continued anonymity negates anything you say to my thinking.
        Your second paragraph with it’s history lesson was a waste of your time on me because I already knew it. Maybe some other reader will take those baits, search out the answers, and be better informed than when they awoke.
        I have some confusion how you get your apples mixed with your oranges in the last sentence, paragraph three of your September 15, 2016, 7:10 P.M. comment “The problem is that the name Emmitt Till has been replaced Philandro Castile”. Makes no sense to me. Before this, in your September 14, 2016, 11:07 P.M. comment, in paragraph four you say “So comlaring (sic) Tamir Rice to Emmitt Still is foolishness?” I’ve read this over four times and refuse to see the analogy between the two instances other than poor judgement on the part of the individuals and/or the parents/relatives/friends/caretaker/ etc. entrusted to guide and direct them.
        Member of the Military Community II.

  3. So the comments have to go through an approval process. How long does that take and do you only approve the comments that support the prefered narrative?

    • The approval process is designed to edit out comments that are vulgar for the most part. No comments have ever been censored because they disagree with the point of the article. If Admin has a busy morning or afternoon and do not check their email often enough they are not aware comments had been made. Thank you for reading and responding.

  4. I find the premise of this article to be hypocritical. Who are you to say how a person should protest. Or when for that matter. The purpose of a protest is bring awareness to issues that are important to the person doing the protesting not for the convenience of those observing it. The flag and national anthem does not mean the same thing to all people. So while the Steve Pace and Dave Emmanuel appear to have the same affinity for them, others apparently do not. Why is it ok for some Constitutional rights to be exercised and not others? Oh the hypocrisy that exists.

    The fools and hypocrites are those that believe those kneeling during the national anthem are the fools and hypocrites. The fact that you have a problem with someone executing their constitutional right is a problem. It is not about denigrating those that give them the right to protest but protesting because they have the right to do so. Those in the military do not serve or did not give up their actual lives for a piece of material and a song; at the end of the day that’s what it is. They gave up their lives for the rights of the citizens for this country. The use of rights should not only be okay when it conforms to the status quo.

    The problem that the author and Emmanuel have is not the type of protesting that is occurring but the issue. When people block traffic, it’s the wrong way. When people riot (except at sporting events apparently), it’s the wrong way. When people march, it’s the wrong way, when people sit, it’s the wrong way. When people stand, it’s the wrong way. When people peacefully and quietly protest, it’s the wrong way. Well please do tell what exactly is the right way? The problem is clearly the message. The problem is that in 2016 people are protesting the same things that occurred in the 50s. The problem is that the name Emmitt Till has been replaced Philando Castile.

    There is so much uproar about people opting to sit or kneel when they have the right to do so out of the supposed respect for veterans and military personnel. Where is the outrage about all of the cuts happening to the military? Where is the outrage about all of the homeless veterans? Where is the outrage about the high suicide rate for military personnel? What about that? If the ONLY way you have to honor the military is through a 2 minute song, then that is a problem; DO BETTER.

    Apparently what is important is people sitting during a song that was written September 13, 1814 that contains the line “the land of the free and home of brave” when slavery ended in 1865 thus that revered line did not apply to blacks. This song became the national anthem March 3, 1931 yet the Civil Rights Era was between 1954-1968 which is when many rights were gained. So do tell me again how this song and flag means equally for all.

    Slavery is over while the slave owner mentality is still present. The thing is that free folk are no longer bound under the thumb of slavery to commit acts they disagree with because they now have the constitutional right to choose for themselves.

    It was with protesting that brought about change during the Civil Rights era. It was frowned upon then, just as it is frowned upon now. It was necessary then, just as it is necessary now. History has a tendency to repeat itself, so try to not be on the wrong side of it.

  5. I agree with Dave Emanuel so won’t repeat it here. So what can be done to quell the disrespect being shown to the nation, forget the flag itself? Punishment for bad behavior ignored, is action condoned. I suggest each and every owner of a sports team require any and all protesters to remain in the tunnel or locker room until after the National Anthem. Out of sight, out of mind. If that means all of one team or both teams, so be it. He who controls the purse strings has power. Use it or the public will.

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