Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Would you defend football players waving the confederate flag and dressing in Ku Klux Klan garb during the playing of the national anthem?


Would you defend football players waving the confederate flag and dressing in Ku Klux Klan garb during the playing of the national anthem? 

And if you are one of those journalists writing passionate columns about the freedom of speech now, when so many are taken a knee, would you write the same passionate columns then?  Would you eloquently explain that these players then truly, really shouldn’t be fired by their club owners?  Such columns surely would be even more necessary then, because I would bet that it would garner a lot more criticism than the current knee-taking to protest remarks by President Trump. 

Think about it.  I almost want to see a few football players try.  Aren’t there some that are reasonably suspect of sympathizing with Trump and the alt-right?  There got to be, I imagine.  Let them bring a large confederate flag and spread it among them to show it off, on national television.  Bring some Ku Klux Klan gear, and quickly put it on, while that anthem plays, while the cameras are zooming in.  There would be wide-spread storms of protests and indignation, right?  And if you are one of those journalists now writing all these impassioned columns about the freedom of speech, you will probably deeply despise the message of these players.   But if you are such a journalist, and if you then stand up for their freedom to speak and give a passionate plea that this is all ok, and that they should not be fired, despite the despicable message (yes, I would despise it too!!) and despite the widespread indignation, then you have truly mastered how to defend the freedom of speech and you have my respect.

Now?  Don’t get me wrong.  Of course, these football players have the right to express their views about the treatment of blacks by the police, they have the right to protest President Trump and they have the right to kneel during the national anthem.  Club owners have the right to fire them because of it, by the way: so Trump actually did not attack the constitutional rights of football players, but what an annoying and pesky detail, right?

In any case, it is pretty clear, that the current kneeling and the current defense-of-freedom-of-speech is not about some courageous act of standing up for democratic values.  I would so love that to be true, really.  Instead, it is all just Anti-Trump-ism. I get it.  It feels good to show you are against his remarks, and to show you are on the other side.  His ratings are down, so beat him up some more, right?  Way to go!  Let’s all join hands now, and stand up for freedom of speech, while we all agree with one another and all agree with the anti-Trump message that gets sent that way!  How wonderful and delighted we now all feel, right?  But folks, seriously.  This isn’t an act of bravery, this isn’t an act of standing up of a minority,  whose views you despise, but whose rights to peacefully state their views you staunchly defend.  This is all about defending the right to speak for those that you agree with in the first place, dressed up as a proud defense of the constitution.  This is an act of a majority ganging up on one who is down. What a phony act of cowardice and pretense.

Why not instead simply say, that you don't like Trump, and that you are therefore happy with people protesting him, like those football players?  It is your right to do so, and it is the honest thing to say.  Just don't pretend this is about you defending the freedom of speech.

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