August 2016

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, stayed seated while the national anthem played. He did so to protest the shooting of unarmed black men by the police. The conservative, racist community lost its mind. Hours of TV were devoted to the treasonous traitor –  the punditocracy harrumphed about patriotism.

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Kaepernick takes a stand by sitting.

They overacted – as they always do. Kaepernick’s act was to sit while others stand. No one has been hurt; no pocket has been picked. His ‘crime’ pales in light of what he protests – violence against unarmed Americans.

Every American – unless they are a threat to another’s life – has the right not to be killed by police.

Police forces in other first world countries rarely shoot anybody – let alone unarmed men. They receive training in de-escalation. They don’t believe that tactical retreat is a sign of weakness. And they don’t start off confrontations by yelling.

Back to these self-appointed keepers of the nation’s honor. Who are they? Usually, the least qualified for the job.

Veterans have a right to voice anger at Kaepernick’s actions. They have fought for the country whose anthem he protests. But the armchair quarterbacks – whose patriotism extends to a lapel pin – are nothing but sanctimonious lip-flappers. What have they done?

First responders respond. Teachers teach. Workers work. But what value do these pontificators add? None. In fact, they do more harm than good. Take their reaction to terrorism.

ISIS causes grown right-wingers to pee their pants. But terrorists kill so few Americans they lag behind lightning and dog attacks. And way behind deaths due to deer.

Yes, terrorists struck gold with t 9/11, and no one objects to vigilance by intelligence agencies. But the money we spend on homeland security is severely disproportionate to the threat. In 2017, the Dept of Homeland Security’s budget is $6 billion more than the National Institutes of Health. Yet most every American will die of a disease.

The hysteria engendered by the media’s talking heads – and the tough talk of presidential candidates – has mandated that fear, not facts, direct a major amount of the nation’s discretionary treasure.

Kaepernick might be today the black lightning rod for today’s conservative – but another black man has been the butt of their derangement since 2008. Barack Obama was criticized for being too slow to stare uselessly at the Louisiana floods. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress dick around with anti-Zika funding – or they will as soon as they get back from their 7-week vacation.

As yet conservatives haven’t been able to figure out how Zika is Obama’s fault – so the freaking out has been muted. But an even more significant threat to America has been dismissed as a liberal conspiracy -enabled by scientists on the make – to whit, climate change.

Global temperatures have been increasing at a rate unseen in the last 1,000 years. The effects will be somewhere between bad and worse. But Republicans tells us not to worry – winters are still cold. The numbers are a chimera. Global warming is just an irritation like dandelions.

To conservatives, the great climate threat is the absence of the Chief Executive at a devastated red state. Just as they think the nation’s self-worth depends on whether a pro footballer stands or not.

 

 

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