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Article: Feel Free to Take a Knee

     
  1. Feel Free to Take a Knee

    15 Comments by *censored* Published on 09-28-2017 08:08 PM
    Feel Free to Take a Knee
    By Drew Pelto, AKA *censored*

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “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.”

    While the exact right to protest is not specifically named, it is largely covered under the right to peaceably assemble. After all, an assembly of one is still an assembly. As long as the protest remains peaceful as is delineated, there should be no issue.

    And this is why I fail to understand why people are responding so vociferously to protesting during the national anthem.

    There's no rioting. There's no destruction. There's no violence. It doesn't make a sound. It isn't disruptive. But yet, we have seen the response from the disturbed masses.

    You complained over rioting in Los Angeles in 1991. In Ferguson. In Baltimore. You complained about the Black Lives Matter movement. You complained about players' use of the "Hands up, don't shoot" pose when coming onto the field. You cited Martin Luther King Jr. and how he favored non-violent protest over racial issues while conveniently ignoring that he pointed out that "A riot is the language of the unheard." Well, it seems there are plenty who aren't being heard due to an even larger number who are unwilling to listen.

    Protests aren’t there to make you feel good and comfortable. They’re there to make you think. You can either be reactionary and let your baser instincts to demonize those with whom you disagree take over, or you can use it as a moment to stop, to think, to try to understand WHY this protest is happening. This isn’t about hating America, and those who choose to believe it is are only fooling themselves.


    They found acceptable middle ground. So why can't we agree to it?

    Let us also realize that the idea of taking a knee was promoted by a Green Beret. Nate Boyer never played a regular season snap in the NFL, but he was a long snapper for four seasons with the University of Texas and in the Seattle Seahawks’ camp and preseason in 2015. Boyer spent six years in the military from 2004-2010. After witnessing Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem—which was done as a protest against law enforcement’s treatment of civilians of color—Boyer wrote an open letter that didn’t exactly condemn Kaepernick’s actions, but instead tried to understand, express his disagreement with it, and eventually offer an alternative. The two met, talked things out, and Kaepernick accepted his idea. It was later picked up by several other NFL players, as we have seen. If you want to call a Green Beret’s idea to both honor and draw attention to an issue somehow unpatriotic, I think a lot of people would highly disagree with that assertion.

    The most tone-deaf responses that I have seen this week have come from the NASCAR world, where owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty said they would fire any employee who chose to kneel.

    Let’s go back: the point of the protests is to draw attention to law enforcement’s treatment of civilians of color. Most of those who have taken a knee have been those same people in the victimized group. Between the top three levels of NASCAR (the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the "minor-league" Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series), there are 99 full-time drivers listed on NASCAR’s official website. Of them, only Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. of the Xfinity series is of a racial minority. The last black driver before Wallace, Bill Lester, competed in 145 races from 1999 through 2007. When asked about the owners’ responses to the protests, Lester pointed out to CNN's Brooke Baldwin:

    “[W]hen I came over (to NASCAR), believe me, I was not really embraced. I have been booed, and it was surprising to me because I think that I did a great job behind the wheel… I’ve never made disparaging remarks or offended anybody to my knowledge… When you’re getting booed loud and clear for nothing that you think you deserve, it makes you sit back and take pause.”

    So with this being a protest rooted on the grounds of a racial cause, why exactly are we asking for opinions on the protests from hose involved in this sport?


    Bill Lester, former NASCAR driver

    I can't even agree with the idea that sports are not the time or place for a protest. In your eyes, what is the appropriate time and place? Is it in a place and time where you can choose to ignore it? That accomplishes nothing. And besides, if sports isn't the time or place, then why did it allow the Department of Defense and National guard to pump in several million dollars over the last decade to use players as unwitting tools for recruitment? While it is in vogue to bash Roger Goodell for many things-- and rightfully so in most cases-- at least he is giving multiple sides an opportunity to be seen and heard on this issue and I commend him for that. Sports is not a propaganda tool. If it chooses to allow one side to speak for its cause, it can, it should, and clearly it does allow for multiple sides to do so.

    As a white American from a relatively high socio-economic background, I do consider myself privileged. Sure, my grandfather was an immigrant who never finished high school, worked fifty years underground in copper mines and another twenty farming raspberries, coming over from Finland in 1909 without even having shoes on his feet, but the advantages from something so trivial as skin color are surprising to one who has never had to fight against it. I was lucky to have gone to private high schools my whole life, and also fortunate that my graduating class actually reflected the racial makeup of the Cleveland metro area quite well. I have friends from many different backgrounds: black, white, Hispanic, Asian, straight, gay, bisexual, rich, poor, Christian, atheist, Jewish, Muslim. I may not ever fully understand the plight of minorities that still exists today. But I am willing to listen. I am willing to learn from them and their experiences. I am willing to try to understand where they are coming from. As Dale Hansen stated after everything with Michael Sam, “I don’t understand his world, but I do understand that he is part of mine.”

    It is possible to protest while also being respectful of others. Protests are not meant to be an attack, but rather to draw attention to a perceived injustice. Those who do not want to recognize that are often the ones with the most vehement, vitriolic responses. Those who willfully misunderstand a problem are truly the most ignorant walking among us. You can disagree. That is the beauty of the free world. But you should at least make an effort to discern. No one can ever advance in a positive direction by being unwilling to listen, to learn, to understand.

    “You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone/For the times they are a-changin’,” warbled Bob Dylan more than fifty years ago. If you are taking a reactionary stance to the protests, please ask yourself why. Are you truly trying to understand your fellow people? Are you willing to adapt to changing times? Or will you choose to drown in your own ignorance?

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Drew Pelto is a Cleveland native who lives in Texas and has family members who fought in World War Two and Korea, including a great-uncle who was killed in 1944 and is buried in the American War Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands. He stands, but he stands by those who choose to kneel.

  2. Total Comments 15

    Comments

  3. #11
    Thanks Jameis1of1 for your comments and I agree about ESPN Max Kellerman political propaganda comments. ESPN and announcers of sports games have became very bias and I would rather watch the game with no volume.

    I have changed my view of protesting the flag as spitting on me because most of the players have never been in the military and don't really understand pride for there country. The protesting is like you said what really are they protesting. Let's play the game and not protest on the field but protest on your own time since you are who our kids look up to and want to model and what are you telling the kids by protesting.
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  4. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bakemeister52 View Post
    Thanks Jameis1of1 for your comments and I agree about ESPN Max Kellerman political propaganda comments. ESPN and announcers of sports games have became very bias and I would rather watch the game with no volume.

    I have changed my view of protesting the flag as spitting on me because most of the players have never been in the military and don't really understand pride for there country. The protesting is like you said what really are they protesting. Let's play the game and not protest on the field but protest on your own time since you are who our kids look up to and want to model and what are you telling the kids by protesting.
    Well said!
    I collect true 1/1 autographed RCs of Jameis Winston with my son Hidden Content

    We champions ... through everything that we went through, through all the haters ... we came out victorious. And God did this. I’m so blessed.
    – Jameis Winston, after winning BCS National Championship game

  5. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jameis1of1 View Post
    Now, to some specific questions for the OP:
    1. The “you” is intentionally generic: primarily directed toward the view of the vast majority of white America. I can’t even count how many times people (rightfully) spoke out against the riots I brought up, and how many of them cited MLK’s non-violent actions while ignoring his quote that I brought up that could be considered to justify some cases of rioting. It's meant to ruffle the feathers a bit. It’s meant to make the reader look at themselves and truly examine their own thoughts and actions when it comes to everything that has led up to these protests. Apparently it succeeded.

    2. Everyone has their own reason for taking a knee because everyone has their own different experiences in life. As I also said later in the article I can’t say that I directly understand the plight of black Americans, but I support the response in drawing attention to an issue that affects them. I do understand that many have had a far different experience in their lives than I have, often related to nothing more than skin color. And if it happens repeatedly, they’re likely to have a strong response, such as the AmeriKKKa comments. If any of us were dealing with something heavily against us that seemed to be institutionalized and accepted by the majority, I think we would likely respond similarly. It’s not about hating America so much as drawing attention to an injustice in any legal way possible in an effort to change it.

    3. While whites killed by police are 3x more killings than blacks by police, this fails to differentiate why and how they were killed. How many of those whites killed were of the mentally-ill “suicide by cop” variety? How many of them were shot in the manner of John Crawford III who was simply moving a BB gun back to its appropriate place inside a Walmart? How many were like Eric Garner where the police served as judge, jury, and executioner over an incredibly minor crime? Lastly, the rate statistic would make sense as being equal if there were less than three times more whites than blacks in America. But based on the 2010-2015 American Community Survey, the racial makeup of the United States is nearly SIX times more whites than blacks (73.9% to 12.6%). If their populations were more even, then that 3:1 stat would mean something. Instead it displays the opposite: blacks are killed by police twice as often as whites. Those charts are therefore quite misleading due to the failure to take racial population percentage differences into consideration.

    4. Many of those tributes involved alteration of the uniform. As with any corporation, the NFL takes their branding very seriously. There are multi-billion-dollar contracts that they have to uphold when it comes to that and unless there is special permission granted for a team or the entire league, they aren’t going to jeopardize that. If the players were putting BLM decals or something like that on their uniform, I would be 100% in favor of fining. Had the Texans removed the logo from their helmets after their owner’s comments, the league would be completely justified in fining them. Actions are typically permitted, displays that change the physical branding are not. Sure, you can claim the protests can also affect multi-billion-dollar contracts, but puts the onus onto the sponsor to choose to remove their support, and not something that they could enforce in a court to terminate that contract. As a political libertarian (pro-freedom, pro-equal-opportunity, and pro-choice-in-all-aspects-of-life: more left on social issues, more right fiscally) I’m not here to argue left vs. right, so your “left-leaning” and “left-of-center” comments are moot.

    5. This is about the NFL, not whatever direction you’re trying to take this. Any abusers, whether sexual, physical, mental, whether of a child or an adult, man or woman, are violent criminals and there is no justification for it. Nothing with the protests is criminal. As with my comments in #4, once again turning this into a left vs. right issue is taking away from the central point. This is yet another strawman that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    6. So Christianity and protest are somehow incompatible? I think the many Christian players in the NFL who are taking a knee would disagree with that assertion. How many times in the Bible did people overlook those in need on the Sabbath (Luke 13)? Jesus healed on it-- and most would agree this is the right course of action even though religious leaders said this constitutes work and thus a violation of the Commandments. Could this be seen as a protest against the inconsistency of their ideals, much as Kaepernick started this as a protest against the inconsistency of the American ideal? Jesus wanted the Sabbath to be in its original intention; Kaepernick and others want true liberty and justice for all, as the flag should signify. I'm not trying to equate Kaepernick to Jesus, just trying to show that Christianity's top guy has some definite elements of protest in his actions. The cleansing of the temple, to boot. Christianity and protest are not incompatible, and just because some chose to lash out against Dylan for a change in his life should not be any sort of argument against citing his words in an area where it most certainly applies.

    7. This is again in reference to those who choose to willfully ignore the original intent of the protests and refuse to look at WHY they’re happening, and would rather just make an assumption of the worst possible reason for it. Unfortunately, as we see from the vehement reactions to them, that is a significant number of people. The fact that booing has gone on even when a knee was taken before the anthem and not during it seems to indicate this maybe isn't about their beloved song.
    Last edited by *censored*; 10-31-2017 at 11:42 AM.

  6. #14
    *censored* ... I'd still love to hear your reply to my above posts and questions ...
    I collect true 1/1 autographed RCs of Jameis Winston with my son Hidden Content

    We champions ... through everything that we went through, through all the haters ... we came out victorious. And God did this. I’m so blessed.
    – Jameis Winston, after winning BCS National Championship game

  7. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jameis1of1 View Post
    *censored* ... I'd still love to hear your reply to my above posts and questions ...
    I responded ten days ago, individual point by individual point.

  8. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by *censored* View Post
    1. The “you” is intentionally generic: primarily directed toward the view of the vast majority of white America. I can’t even count how many times people (rightfully) spoke out against the riots I brought up, and how many of them cited MLK’s non-violent actions while ignoring his quote that I brought up that could be considered to justify some cases of rioting. It's meant to ruffle the feathers a bit. It’s meant to make the reader look at themselves and truly examine their own thoughts and actions when it comes to everything that has led up to these protests. Apparently it succeeded.
    I wonder, in today's pc thought police culture if it's even okay to quote MLK anymore, now that the JFK files revealed he was holding massive sex orgies and the like all the time? Of course, since the media is basically ignoring revelations from the JFK files that don't fit their identity-politics agenda, who knows ...

    2. Everyone has their own reason for taking a knee because everyone has their own different experiences in life. As I also said later in the article I can’t say that I directly understand the plight of black Americans, but I support the response in drawing attention to an issue that affects them. I do understand that many have had a far different experience in their lives than I have, often related to nothing more than skin color. And if it happens repeatedly, they’re likely to have a strong response, such as the AmeriKKKa comments. If any of us were dealing with something heavily against us that seemed to be institutionalized and accepted by the majority, I think we would likely respond similarly. It’s not about hating America so much as drawing attention to an injustice in any legal way possible in an effort to change it.
    I can understand that ... though I think with the obvious anti-white sentiment currently in the media and the massive identity and race-based politics dominating America, there are going to be many whites that feel every bit as disenfranchised as various blacks currently do, in the future ... I wonder if a "White Lives Matter" or a "National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP) or "White Entertainment Television (WET) will be popular in the future ... although since "Black Pride", "Brown Pride", "Asian Pride", Latino Pride" and even "Gay Pride" are all acceptable to the media but "White Pride" is immediately considered evil ... probably not.

    3. While whites killed by police are 3x more killings than blacks by police, this fails to differentiate why and how they were killed. How many of those whites killed were of the mentally-ill “suicide by cop” variety? How many of them were shot in the manner of John Crawford III who was simply moving a BB gun back to its appropriate place inside a Walmart? How many were like Eric Garner where the police served as judge, jury, and executioner over an incredibly minor crime? Lastly, the rate statistic would make sense as being equal if there were less than three times more whites than blacks in America. But based on the 2010-2015 American Community Survey, the racial makeup of the United States is nearly SIX times more whites than blacks (73.9% to 12.6%). If their populations were more even, then that 3:1 stat would mean something. Instead it displays the opposite: blacks are killed by police twice as often as whites. Those charts are therefore quite misleading due to the failure to take racial population percentage differences into consideration.
    You're cherry picking stats and using "what if" arguments that can't be proven.

    The last FBI stat I saw on arrests said that 2.44 times as many whites were arrested as blacks (6,214,197 to 2,549,655), which means that whites still suffered more deaths per arrest than blacks.

    You also seemed to completely ignore the first chart I posted which does examine relevant factors AND STILL shows that whites were killed by police at a higher rate than blacks when "not attacking when killed"!


    4. Many of those tributes involved alteration of the uniform. As with any corporation, the NFL takes their branding very seriously. There are multi-billion-dollar contracts that they have to uphold when it comes to that and unless there is special permission granted for a team or the entire league, they aren’t going to jeopardize that. If the players were putting BLM decals or something like that on their uniform, I would be 100% in favor of fining. Had the Texans removed the logo from their helmets after their owner’s comments, the league would be completely justified in fining them. Actions are typically permitted, displays that change the physical branding are not. Sure, you can claim the protests can also affect multi-billion-dollar contracts, but puts the onus onto the sponsor to choose to remove their support, and not something that they could enforce in a court to terminate that contract. As a political libertarian (pro-freedom, pro-equal-opportunity, and pro-choice-in-all-aspects-of-life: more left on social issues, more right fiscally) I’m not here to argue left vs. right, so your “left-leaning” and “left-of-center” comments are moot.
    I said the NFL and ESPN are left-leaning, not that you were ... my points are valid and I stand by them.

    5. This is about the NFL, not whatever direction you’re trying to take this. Any abusers, whether sexual, physical, mental, whether of a child or an adult, man or woman, are violent criminals and there is no justification for it. Nothing with the protests is criminal. As with my comments in #4, once again turning this into a left vs. right issue is taking away from the central point. This is yet another strawman that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
    There is no strawman ... you stated, "
    No one can ever advance in a positive direction by being unwilling to listen, to learn, to understand" and I completely disagree with that statement, simple as that.

    6. So Christianity and protest are somehow incompatible?
    I never said they were; why put words into my mouth?

    I think the many Christian players in the NFL who are taking a knee would disagree with that assertion. How many times in the Bible did people overlook those in need on the Sabbath (Luke 13)? Jesus healed on it-- and most would agree this is the right course of action even though religious leaders said this constitutes work and thus a violation of the Commandments. Could this be seen as a protest against the inconsistency of their ideals, much as Kaepernick started this as a protest against the inconsistency of the American ideal? Jesus wanted the Sabbath to be in its original intention; Kaepernick and others want true liberty and justice for all, as the flag should signify. I'm not trying to equate Kaepernick to Jesus, just trying to show that Christianity's top guy has some definite elements of protest in his actions. The cleansing of the temple, to boot. Christianity and protest are not incompatible, and just because some chose to lash out against Dylan for a change in his life should not be any sort of argument against citing his words in an area where it most certainly applies.
    I don't disagree with anything you said above, though I still stand by my initial statement. You simply read something into my statement that wasn't there ... I simply said Dylan's words cannot be used as a justification for every new idea or protest that comes down the pipe ... and I stand by that.

    7. This is again in reference to those who choose to willfully ignore the original intent of the protests and refuse to look at WHY they’re happening, and would rather just make an assumption of the worst possible reason for it. Unfortunately, as we see from the vehement reactions to them, that is a significant number of people. The fact that booing has gone on even when a knee was taken before the anthem and not during it seems to indicate this maybe isn't about their beloved song.
    I don't disagree with your above, more reasonable and logical statement ... but in your original article you were not as reasonable and logical and basically insinuated that ANYONE who disagreed with the Protests was ignorant and I simply don't believe that to be the case.

    All of the above said, thank you again for writing the article and even more so for taking the time to reply ... I love debate, especially when it's with someone who has done their homework and has enough intelligence to make solid points and debate like an adult ... so ... keep up the good work! I look forward to your next article :-)
    I collect true 1/1 autographed RCs of Jameis Winston with my son Hidden Content

    We champions ... through everything that we went through, through all the haters ... we came out victorious. And God did this. I’m so blessed.
    – Jameis Winston, after winning BCS National Championship game

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