How can it be that a professional, first string NFL quarterback can’t get signed for another year in the NFL? I don’t even watch football. I don’t really care for the whole football mentality. You have to choose one team or the other, and then everything you do in life is based on a football metaphor. No wonder we’re having trouble with the communist pinkos, no one is capable of thinking in independent terms anymore – you’re either part of team a, or team b. The real world doesn’t work that way, as I say, there are always at least three sides to every story.
When Kaepernick first got things started this season by “taking a knee” I said on Twitter that ultimately an “employee” has to do what is expected by the employer. In other words, Colin would have to suffer the consequences of his insubordination. I was wrong about that because, after thinking about it, it boils down to something that isn’t really job related. Not only is allegiance to the national anthem not job related, it is a loyalty oath of sorts that carries with it all sorts of implications and innuendos. Would all the patriotic zealots who have decried Colin’s anal retentive insubordination be equally incensed if the NFL imposed a loyalty oath to Islam? It’s not about “Islam” vs. the “Flag,” it’s about an extortive, indoctrinating, loyalty oath where there shouldn’t be one – IT’S A FOOTBALL GAME!
Don’t get me wrong. I really do love my country, but as far as I’m concerned the blind loyalty that is cultivated by saluting the flag in whatever manner is partly responsible for causing many of the problems we have in this country today. I understand veterans feel so strongly about the flag and it’s symbolism – they went to fight for that flag. That’s part of the problem too. No one should put their life on the line to fight for a flag. The symbol isn’t that important, especially when the symbolism overshadows the concepts it is supposed to embody. In other words, soldiers and citizens and football players alike should be fighting for the concepts embodied in the United States Constitution – not the flag.
Some are going to say I’m splitting hairs and it’s all the same thing. But it’s not. I have no doubt whatsoever that Colin Kaepernick and the other players who “take the knee” love this country and value the freedom they have, even when they, i.e. black folks, have had to fight an extra round for their rights to be recognized. And, that’s the problem. When constitutional rights aren’t recognized, the flag becomes meaningless.
I have fully supported the Black Lives Matter movement. But, this is a good time to say, that it isn’t a perfect concept. Case in point. Just last week police in Wichita, Kansas responded to a “swatting” call that was made from Los Angeles. They responded to the address the caller had given them, and then proceeded to attack a man on his own front porch who was nonethewiser and shoot him dead. Andrew Finch, as it turns out, was white.
It could be that the bias of police towards black people might be just bit more blurry than the black folks would like to admit. I understand the statistics and what I see on the evening news, and it is a decidedly dark picture. However, much of the problem has to do with economics and cultural differences and classicism. And while that is also part of the larger discussion, it isn’t entirely fair, especially to white folks like Andrew Finch, in failing to realize that the corruption and incompetence of law enforcement isn’t always completely racist.
And to be sure, in my estimation, Wichita police are guilty of manslaughter. The incident really does illustrate the underlying attitude in law-enforcement. Look at it from Mr. Finch’s perspective. Sitting in your living room easy chair, watching a football game, someone barks out aggressively banging on the front door. Suspicious, a bit nervous, you go to answer the raucous and find a terrorist dressed in paramilitary fatigues shouting out commands that he understands, and that he has rehearsed, but you don’t really hear because fight or flight has just kicked in and you don’t really know WTF is going on, except maybe, the shiny thing might be a police badge and then again he’s not really dressed like police are supposed to be and you quickly check your own pockets thinking where is my identification… BANG! BANG! BANG! You are one dead ass muther f*er. Literally, it happened just that quickly. Andrew Finch would have been well within his legitimate rights to have killed the police officer that attacked him on his front porch. Of course, because of “patriotic” corruption and psychotic hero worship, he would’ve gone to jail for it.
Part of the problem with law-enforcement is the arrogance that allowed Wichita police to attack, with no verification, without temperance, with no substantiation whatsoever, apparently without so much as a call back to the house they went to raid – essentially presuming guilt of the individual they targeted on nothing more than a single unverified phone call. It’s either corruption, or incompetence, either way – it’s manslaughter. There simply is no excuse for that level of unprofessional incompetence. Especially not on an advanced unit like “SWAT.”
I believe this illustrates the kind of thinking by law-enforcement that has led to so many deaths of mostly black men who didn’t deserve it. And, unfortunately, that the black men are simply in compromising circumstances, maybe aggravated by their own poor judgment, to begin with. The bottom line remains, police cannot forsake legitimate methods and protocols because they think maybe there might be a problem. And guess what cop, in my book you don’t get to take your football and go home. If you want the job, you WILL take a loyalty oath that is job related – to protect and defend. That means EVERYBODY in the community, and that means your job is dangerous, and that you have to put your life on the line, maybe even more than you think you do already. Shoot ’em all and let God sort ’em out just don’t fly.
The equation is complicated and exacerbated by the reality that many police officers are veterans. There really is little question that municipal police departments have been overly militarized by the large influx of veterans. Veteran’s are great guys who deserve our respect and honor, but a combative mentality of “us against the enemy” has absolutely no place in law-enforcement. In truth, the evolution of that mentality is part of what happened in Wichita.
Now, add one more toxic ingredient to the equation. I noticed just last night that there is a new program on CBS called “SWAT.” In the advertising trailer that I saw, one of the grandiose, over-rehearsed, very combative, SWAT officers gets notice – he is “benched.” Well, it’s probably a jolly good god damn thing. I sure as hell wouldn’t want that terroristic goon on my front porch. But, the trouble is two fold. Being “benched” may be an accurate reflection of how the locker room of the SWAT squad is run in real life, but of course – there’s that sports metaphor – very inappropriately in play.
Worse yet, I also noticed the CBS Evening News downplayed the manslaughter by Wichita police opting instead to focus on the admittedly illegal behavior of the swatting call. The swatting call did not kill anyone. But, it occurs to me that CBS is obsessed with police shows, investigative shows, crime scene shows, – I quit watching most prime time on CBS long ago – and that a lot of law-enforcement get off watching the grandiose portrayals of themselves on TV. The CBS Evening News calling the manslaughter in Wichita “manslaughter,” might not be too good for their ratings, especially with a brand new program focused on the very game of SWAT.
So, where is Colin Kaepernick? Well, he got swatted by the NFL because he’s not good for ratings anymore. He’s been subjected to punitive measures, for being a United States citizen who has done the right thing, not unlike a veteran who fights for his country. When patriotism doesn’t make big corporations money, it isn’t politically correct anymore. I hope Colin Kaepernick sues the bejesus out of the NFL and walks away rich enough to own a pharmaceutical company and never need to play football again.
© 2018 – Jim Casey
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Alabama Confederate Monuments Are Racism Pure And Simple
As a native Alabamian, I am sick and tired of the perpetuation of stupidity that the damn monument represents. If you wish to honor your relative dead for more than 150 years, let it be done in Maple Hill cemetery, where this particular monument belongs.
Huntsville Black Lives Meets Fallen Officers
Never-the-less, it is my opinion that municipal police departments throughout this country are suffering from deeply ingrained corruption, that often is based on classicism just as much as race, as opposed to a few bad apples here or there. Therefore, I wonder if the change in plans might be just a bit more sublimation than propriety warrants. Cop lives certainly matter, but the imbalance in perception after Dallas was clearly evidenced by some who suddenly decided there is a war – where the hell have they been already?