What The NFL Protest Debate Reveals About America in 2017
It’s very important Americans understand the NFL protests have NOTHING to do with the American flag, the national anthem or our veterans. Those who wish to reframe this debate to a litmus test for patriotism have done so to purposely avoid discussing what the American people should really be talking about right now, and that’s police brutality. Why? It’s an uncomfortable conversation for those with privilege which hampers their ability to even listen much less commit to working to diminish these racial disparities in US policing. The NFL protest debate reveals a few troubling aspects about our culture in 2017.
It’s engrained in the culture of white America to fear and feel threatened by black dissent even when it’s non-violent. As a result, black dissent is totally unacceptable even when it’s non-violent. Further, black dissent is something that should be dismissed and shut down as soon as possible.
Even in 2017, a condition of black wealth/financial well-being or prominence is NOT engaging in dissent whether on or off the clock, even if it’s nonviolent. To do so, is to risk your livelihood and social standing. In other words, being a socially conscious black person, activist or advocate is just not synonymous with success and material wealth or at least it shouldn’t be as far as many in our country are concerned.
Our need to be entertained has diminished our ability to be empathetic to the plight of others. It’s how people can be entertained by pornography, sex workers and exotic dancers, without thinking about the fact that some of these individuals are in these positions due to childhood physical/sexual abuse, sex trafficking or possibly in the throws of an addiction. Sports fans are traditionally quite comfortable cheering for their team, placing bets, drinking beer to their favorite player in uniform on the field, yet indifferent to how they are treated as black men in society, particularly by law enforcement once off the field and out of these team uniforms.
Although this debate has brought out the worse in many, I’m confident it will eventually bring out the best in most people.