Peaceful vs. Violent Protests: Updated June 2020
Let sleeping dogs lie
Last Friday, the president of the United States tried to bully NFL owners into firing certain players that had been protesting racial injustice by refusing to stand for the National Anthem, which is a customary procedure. He included terminology in his remarks, which is the norm for him, that offended every rational human on this planet.
This protest had been started by one individual player, Colin Kaepernick, whom to my knowledge, never asked another player to join him. Eventually other players did join and one player, Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, became the subject of an arrest in Las Vegas a few weeks ago after attending a fight there.
His arrest was captured on video showing him in complete compliance with the police as he was put on the ground and handcuffed. After his release, the Las Vegas police department wrote a letter to the NFL asking them to investigate his behavior claiming he had disrespected the flag. Because of the video footage of the incident, the NFL found no wrong doing and declined their request.
Up until this preseason, the protesters had been African American players. So when the president said to an Alabama audience that these son of a bitches should be fired, it was basically a racially motivated statement.
What this did was arouse the whole league to respond to the president en masse , including the owners who each issued statements condemning the president's request. Each of the statements defended the players' right to peacefully protest what they felt was an increasing injustice in America. So every owner allowed his team to join in unified protests more to the president's comments than the cause for which they had been protesting.
This sent a clear message to the president that you are not a dictator and that this is the United States. It was a beautiful sight to see how each team chose to stand together in support of their teammates, including coaches and owners. There were even a couple of instances where the individuals who sang the National Anthem took a knee when they finished.
Why were so many people moved to protest in this manner? Well when asked in interviews following the games, a lot referred to the fact that the president refused to condemn the violent protests by the nazis and KKK in Charlottesville, Virginia and tried to place the blame on the people who were there to protest the hate groups that were protesting. So when you take the time to attack Black players who are peacefully protesting racial injustice, you woke up a lot of people.
You will hear comments that they should find another way to protest other than disrespecting the National Anthem. Well, lets look at the fact that this has drawn more attention than anything else they have tried, and thanks to the president's remarks, it has drawn more attention than the people who don't understand the injustice in America can understand. It is now a national issue.
Not only were the president's comments distasteful, they were also illegal. Obviously this president doesn't know, and maybe most Americans have forgotten, that he is a public servant and we tell him what to do and how to act and represent us, not the other way around. Having said that, his statements were in direct violation of the law.
U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 11 › § 227 states the following:
Wrongfully influencing a private entity's employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch.
(a)Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—1)takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act, (2)influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States..b)In this section, the term “covered government person” means—1)a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress (2)an employee of either House of Congress; or 3)the President, Vice President, an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, or any other executive branch employee (as such term is defined under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code).
So Mr. President, you and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have clearly violated the law with your comments asking for privately owned businesses to fire their employees. We the people tell you what to do and that message was sent to you yesterday by the NFL and the people of America.
You didn't listen
It is now 2020 and many more unarmed Black people have been killed by police nationwide. In May, George Floyd is shown being tortured and killed on video by three police officers and a fourth cop refusing to listen to bystanders' pleas to let him up so he can breathe. We watch as he takes his last breath with one cop on his neck and two on his abdomen.
At first no charges are brought and protests start. They insult the public by charging one officer. So now protests are beginning to become destructive to property. The protests are also spreading across the country because people are tired of all of the killing of unarmed Black Americans by police.
The authorities are baffled because there are so many white people leading the protests and committing the destruction of property. At first they claim white supremacists have joined the protests and are causing all the trouble, but now they are saying they are trained militia and Antifa. Whoever it is, they are fed up also.
Listen and Learn
The first part of this article dealt with how Colin Kaepernick started to bring attention to this injustice in the most peaceful way one man could four years ago. As other players joined in you ridiculed them and changed the narrative of the protest because you didn't like what they were saying. Every time they were asked they said they were protesting the injustice of police brutality in this country. You changed the words to say they were protesting the flag or the National Anthem.
Four years passed and police continued to kill unarmed Black people. With each incident there were some protests big and small. For some reason this was the incident to make White America wake up. The protests have become destructive and sometimes violent.
Once again you are complaining about the method used to protest. Both methods got your attention. but maybe now you will listen. Quit trying to tell us how to protest and concentrate on what the problem is and how to solve it. You don't stop protests over police brutality with a show of police brutality.