September 25, 2017

RIGHT ON SCHEDULE: The NFL Protests Are Patriotic.

Protest is patriotic. Protest has played a critically important role in elevating the voices of the most vulnerable in our nation. Protest in America has been essential to ending war, to demanding equal rights, to ending unfair practices that keep citizens marginalized. If we quell protest in the name of patriotism, we are not patriots. We are tyrants.

Would there have been a Civil Rights Act without the Birmingham protests? When Bull Connor unleashed his fire hoses and dogs on the schoolchildren taking to the streets, racial disparities and the violence facing people because of the color of their skin became the issues of the times. With savage images of the brutal attack in the news every day, President John Kennedy had little choice but to push for a Civil Rights Act that demanded equal services and equal rights.

Protests in Selma, Alabama, changed the trajectory of this nation and catapulted the Voting Rights Act into being. Soon after images of Bloody Sunday flooded television sets, President Johnson presented to Congress the Voting Rights Act, which would remove barriers to voting like literacy tests. If you think these protests were irrelevant, consider Johnson’s words to Congress: “[A]t times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom … So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.”

And so it is now for multimillionaire athletes showboating at taxpayer-subsidized football stadiums for the ultra-high-definition videocameras of multibillion-dollar media complexes.

UPDATE (from the comments): “We must remove the Confederate flag because it is racist. Now the standard of the northern armies that ended slavery, is racist.”

Racism is whatever the Party requires it to be, comrade.

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