I’m always curious when people say “it’s got a national conversation going” … when, exactly, did the national conversation stop? Because it seems to me like we’ve been talking about this for years on end.
To me the real issue is peoples’ perceptions on why there appears to be disparities between police action, including police shootings, of non-whites. There are lots of explanations, and racism on the part of individuals within law enforcement can never (and will, as long as humans are involved) be ruled out. But there are a LOT of other factors to look at, the vast majority of them cultural and exactly zero of them genetic save the genetic correlations (which we all know does not mean causation … and that can be pretty much proven in this case) between the victims and the shootings.
The biggest problem is, no matter how much “whites” acknowledge the issues and how unfair it is to innocent non-whites, the fact remains that as long as the cultural issues prevalent in certain non-white populations persist, a sane and natural correlation between appearance and behavior will continue to exist – and this will contribute to even the most conscientious people, even non-white people will continue to subconsciously use the correlation to make an unfair judgement on an individual (ask Juan Williams … he gave a real, personal illustration of this several years ago and got canned from NPR for being honest about it) .
Which is, lest we forget, what is wrong with racism. It causes us to make unfair judgement on people. It’s the unfair judgement that is actually wrong, the fact that in the case of racism it’s based on ethnicity is actually incidental. I think we’ve gotten so far down the road from this that too many forget this, and try to cure the disease by infecting a different population with the very disease they are allegedly trying to cure.
The answer cannot be arrest quota — as multiple studies have shown, police action corresponds to reports of crime to police, as do subsequent arrests and the occasional shooting. A disproportionate number of reports come from areas dominated by minorities, and they’re generally other people of the same ethnic background as the alleged criminals doing the reporting. Thus it is quite understandable that arrests and shootings are going to be lopsided in that direction. Police haven’t declared open season on minorities, that’s just the narrative given by those who wish to divide us — and believe me, those who wish to divide us do not wish to see this problem solved. There is too much hay to be made from it.
So fast-forward to a football game, where people have come to have a good time. And before every football game there is this tradition that the national anthem is played and everybody gets up and does this ritual action of … unity … honoring the symbol of that which we all supposedly believe in. It’s the one thing, now that the country has been sold on the religion of multi-culturalism, that is left that we can all stand up and say “yeah. THAT.” Even if we sometimes fail to live up to it, that is what we strive for.
Now before I continue, I need to make one thing very clear. The protesters have the inalienable right, protected by the First Amendment – to do whatever they want to do during the National Anthem. I absolutely support that right, and to my knowledge nobody has proposed getting rid of the right to do it.
On the flip side … when you sit it out, when you don’t join in the ritual, what you are telling the 70-100K people in the stadium and the millions of people watching is, “I am not one of you”. Further, since they know why you’re doing it, you are telling them “I think this thing you believe in is fundamentally racist (which means it’s evil), and that means you are all fundamentally racist for believing in it.” That is the worst kind of insult you can hurl at a decent human being. It’s heinous.
Again, they have every right to do it, but that is the message they are sending regardless of the message the mean to send.
When you tell people, “I am not one of you, and you all suck”, they are probably going to have a negative reaction to that. AND … they have the same right to that reaction as the protesters had in their action.
You cannot simultaneously reject society and expect it to embrace you.
Most of the people in the stands and watching TV are decent human beings who don’t want to see innocent people wrongfully harrassed, accused, arrested, or especially shot. The people behind this movement are telling them that deep down, they don’t really care.
You know how we just went over that wrongful accusation is a bad thing? People tend to have a really negative reaction to it. And when they have a really negative reaction to it, they’re going to stop listening to you.
Trump, for his part, did not cause this division. The rise of the most recent flareup in this happened right here in Missouri in 2015 while Obama was president. Trump … just picked a side. And he was his usual ham-handed self about it. Picking a side in and of itself wasn’t bad. Many valid arguments exist in support of the side he chose. But his language and his tone certainly have been lacking which is no shock to anyone who’s paid attention to him at all.
The NFL’s reaction has been equally bad, because they made it about Trump instead of the issue at hand, and their fans lose here. And they also lose fans.
And the division is made worse, and we are no closer to solving the root cause of all of these problems.