Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: The NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck, Part One”

I don’t like only covering one ethics topic on a given day, but the NFL National Anthem Train Wreck posts certainly generated enough high-level commentary to justify it this time. My two posts on the topic also sparked several candidates for Comment of the Day. This one, by Chris Bentley, challenged the central premise of the NFL kneelers, to the extent that they have a premise: they certainly have been neither persuasive nor consistent in articulating whatever they think they are kneeling for.

Here is Chris Bentley’s Comment of the Day on the post (by Chris Not Bentley),Comment Of The Day: The NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck, Part One:

“…of a man who said that he couldn’t honor a nation that “oppressed” blacks…”

Sincerely asking, Chris, because I took issue with when Kaepernick made the initial claim, and take issue with you repeating it. How is ours a nation that oppresses blacks?

That is a bold, and wide ranging claim to make. And, as I have invoked before (and at times you’ve shot down, at times legitimately, and at times not, IMO), how can a country that oppresses an entire race of people, a group of people that share the same race as I, somehow not oppress me? Not oppress my father? My brother? My sister, uncle, niece, cousins?

If there is something that makes us different, that makes Thomas Sowell, and Jason Riley, and Walter E. Williams, and Derrick Green (writer for Project 21, a leadership network for Black Conservatives), and many other blacks who are apparent immune to this different, then why is no time devoted to identifying what that secondary component is, that causes us to be excluded from this oppression? We spend so much time discussing intersectionality, but ignore the intersection where systemic racism meets some unknown, unspoken characteristic possessed by some of us, where we become immune to that aforementioned systemic racism. If that’s our goal, eradicating racism, why is no one asking those of us who aren’t finding racism around every street corner, what our secret is? Why are the cameras consistently shoved in the faces of the victims of our racist society, but never us? (You and I both damn well know the answer)

To me, it’s be like someone claiming that Jack is biased against ALL commenters that have “Chris” in their screen name. If Jack’s never been biased against you, can that claim be credibly made? Shouldn’t there be a deeper dive, to identify other characteristics held by the group being infringed upon, rather than lazily basing it on a trait that’s also held by many people who haven’t been affected?

But, to my original question…by what metric can one claim that America is oppressive towards blacks?

Is it the ritualistic, indiscriminate killing of blacks by cops? B/c according to the Washington Post Police Killings tracker, in 2017, twice as many whites are killed by cops than whites (164 to 326). And while, yes, Im fully aware that means (since whites outnumber blacks 5 to 1) that blacks are MORE LIKELY to be killed, it also means that whites are killed in high enough number, that police killings cannot be solely about race. And 95% of police killings involve men, but there’s no outrage about that…so if we’re being intellectually honest and consistent, it cannot be about police killing rates relative to a particular demographic’s representation in the population, right? Unless we’re willing to admit that men are over represented in activities that bring them into violent contact with police…but that can’t be it, unless we’re ALSO willing to admit (I think you see where this leads)…

Is it about black poverty rates? 46% of Black families with children that are headed by single Black women live in poverty, vs 8% of black families where the parents are married (which obviously trails statistics for while single mom headed households/married households), but as of 2014, only 29% of black adults were married, down from 61% in 1960. It stands to reason that a 2 income household leads to more financial stability, and is something that can be created regardless of how racist our society is (I mean, the black marriage rate was 80% in 1890, when the US was still in the immediate shadows of the Civil War and Reconstruction). Did the legacy of slavery just…skip a few generations? Is systemic racism somehow preventing us from marrying one another?

Is it black property ownership? According to Jason Riley in his book “False Black Power”, “74.2 percent of black homeowners completely owned their residences as of 1900, versus only 68 percent of white families.” And yet, according to Ebony, that number for blacks “was down to 41.2 percent in 2015″…some 115 years after a time when laws were in place specifically to prevent and deter black progress.

So, what exactly is it about our modern society, with the number of social liberals who live in the US at an all-time highs (as bound by the length of time that Gallup has been polling for this statistic), and the number of (dirty, racist) social conservatives at all-time lows (also bound by the same Gallup limitations), that makes us MORE of a racist society that we were in 1960? or 1900? Or 1890, when discriminating against blacks was still codified by law?

Help me understand the oppressive society that exists all around me, but repeatedly finds a way to stay out of my path, time and time again? I promise I won’t accuse you of Whitesplaining…but only if you catch me in a good mood*. 😉

*-As a minority, I reserve the right to accuse you of any particular “-splaining”, “-ist”, or “appropriation” that I see fit…usually, depending on which direction the wind is blowing that day. I dont make the rules, I just follow em.

Citations:
http://blackdemographics.com/households/poverty/
http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/brief/why-has-marriage-declined-among-black-americans
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/book-excerpt-jason-rileys-false-black-power/story?id=48521842
http://www.ebony.com/news-views/black-homeownership-decline#axzz4tiw3Acej
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/22/socially-liberal-poll_n_7422440.html

24 Comments

Filed under Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights, U.S. Society

24 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: The NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck, Part One”

  1. Glenn Logan

    And 95% of police killings involve men, but there’s no outrage about that…so if we’re being intellectually honest and consistent, it cannot be about police killing rates relative to a particular demographic’s representation in the population, right? Unless we’re willing to admit that men are over represented in activities that bring them into violent contact with police…but that can’t be it, unless we’re ALSO willing to admit (I think you see where this leads)…

    Honestly, isn’t this Frank Zappa’s “crux of the biscuit?” If we were willing to admit your last implication, the protests wouldn’t make near as much sense on casual inspection.

    But we whites can’t go there, can we? Glad somebody can.

    Great comment, and not just for the highlighted section.

  2. Well done Chris Bentley! This is solid. Though I will regrettingly say, I am truly baffled how we even need this explained to us. It’s like a whole half of the political spectrum needs there to be grievance, strife, and division. It’s like that same half of the political spectrum needs an entire demographic still held back by some “force”. So much so that when that force isn’t present, that whole half of the political spectrum will actively encourage the conditions that replicate the effects of that “force” and do everything to convince the demographic that force is still actively present in the *other* half of the political spectrum.

    I wonder why they do that? Seems like something movie villains do.

    • Thank you, everyone for the kinds words. And Tex, I agree…I am often baffled when confronted with people for whom even considering this concept, this side of the coin, seems foreign.

      Im not that smart…I mean, relatively speaking, I am, I guess…I’d put myself in the upper 45-40% of the population, but that doesn’t mean that Im so smart that these should be original ideas, because they seem pretty plain as day to me.

      What I do do (ha ha) is spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about the world around me, which I am certain does not make me unique on this blog, but it does when compared to the general populace. I work 4 jobs, run a small business, and have a ft gf….but I always carve out significant time each day to think about the state of the world, usually related to race relations, around me. A lot of times that happens during, or as a result of visiting this blog.

      Thomas Sowell once remarked that (paraphrasing) many political or societal concepts aren’t hard to grasp, but most people dont feel like grasping it anyways. He surmised that people want easy and quickly digestible narratives, and easy to identify villains. Most people aren’t willing to do the deep dive to view an idea from multiple angles, which is often necessary to identify hypocrisy and faulty reasoning. This short-attention span issue is exasperated by smart phones, ever present Wi-Fi, and at-your-fingertip access to information, 24/7.

      And fortunately for the left, many of their narratives fit the bill. It takes 5 seconds to say “raise minimum wage so poor people won’t be poor”, and another 5 to say “Conservatives are against raising the minimum wage, so conservatives hate poor people.” To anyone not willing to do a deep dive, that’s all they need to hear to shape their reality.

      It takes a lot longer to explain, with data, that x% of families in poverty have no one working, so minimum wage hikes not only do nothing for them, but make it harder for them to get a job….or to explain that x% of min wage earners are 16-18, and thus, not head of household earners, and are often coming from middle or upper class homes, which allow mummy and daddy to keep more $ in their pockets, thereby widening the income gap….or explaining the law of diminishing returns, and how the higher the minimum wage gets, the more non-poor people you end up helping, and at a certain point (and that point is well within the $8-$15 window), you end up helping many more people that don’t need the hep, than those that do. These concepts take time to explain, and mental energy and capacity to consider, and a willingness to fact check, and yadda yadda.

      Its just easier, for the lazy thinker, to accept that “George Bush hates black people”.

      So all that to say, is it really all that surprising that a large chunk of the populace need these things explained to them?

  3. Tour de force, Chris!

    Your “immune” reference is a Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando in “Apocalypse Now!”) “like I was shot with a diamond… a diamond bullet right through my forehead” moment of monumentally crystal clarity.

    I believe Lefty calls it “woke.”

    Anywho, I read a great oped piece by one of those “immunes” (Walter E. Williams) that fleshes out a few of your assertions, and several others.

    https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/09/17/liberals-in-a-tizzy

    The title, “Liberals In a Tizzy,” wasn’t so much the hook as where I read it.

    The Daily Globe is the local paper of Ironwood, MI; an Upper Peninsula/Gogebic Range former mining town of < 5000 on the MI-WI state line, populated by what Lefty would call "dumb @$$ country f**ks.''

    Maybe it being printed up there is preaching to the choir, to put things in perspective, I read it before going to the sports page.

    But I wonder if Creators Syndicate gets much ink in the NYT, the LAT, the WaPo, et al, places where they might win the hearts and minds of others.

    Also, a number of months ago you posted that were anyone needing to siphon off any of their White Lefty Guilt, they could forward due recompence (AKA: reparations) to you at a P.O. box in the MD/D.C. suburbs.

    Of the many maladies from which I suffer, White Lefty Guilt isn't one of them. Nonetheless, the selfless nature of your humble request resonated deep within me.

    How deep? Despite the only reason I ever let go of a dollar is to get a better grip, I still sent you a bronze-plated nickel “Loonie;” it came back “undeliverable.”

    I’m out some mighty fine stationery, tape, ink, a stamp, my time, effort, and infinite patience. Yet the desire remains and the “Loonie” is still taking up space on my desk.

    In or out?

  4. Oh, for goodness sake, now they’ve found condescending and oppressive sexual stereotyping here:

    “Katie Casey was baseball mad,
    Had the fever and had it bad.
    Just to root for the home town crew,
    Ev’ry sou,
    Katie blew.
    On a Saturday her young beau
    Called to see if she’d like to go
    To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
    I’ll tell you what you can do:…”

    Beginning tonight, all correct thinkers will kneel during the interval between the two halves of the seventh inning

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      What does “Ev’ry sou, Katie blew” mean, in today’s plain words?
      I found a source that says the girl spent every penny she had.
      I can live with that, unless someone has something better and true.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Back to LoSon’s point: Yeah – it’s “condescending and oppressive sexual stereotyping” – for a GIRL to like BASEBALL. [rolls eyes]
      Backward thinkers, those critics of such melodic verse.

      Katie’s got the power-trip ultimatum down: No ballgame, no date.
      I’d say the old ballgame has inspired her to be pretty well liberated.
      But then, that’s today’s “progressivism:” rejecting what is truly progressive.

  5. I had an interesting experience last night.

    I volunteer to help low income students with their school work, essentially a free tutor in a predominantly black neighborhood, usually it’s helping with Math, Science, History, Reading and Writing but once in a while there’s a little life counseling. Last night before the few students arrived I over heard one of the regular adults around there say that blacks are being oppressed and slavery still exists in the USA; he was dead serious. I interrupted the conversation and asked him to explain and he said that black people are being oppressed and forced to live in poverty and they are owned by their state welfare departments. I asked him to explain some more. I can’t quote everything on his list but here are some of the things that jumped out at me; he said that the state controls where they can live, the state controls what they can buy with the money they are given, they are limited in how much money they can earn or possess and still receive welfare and other benefits from the state, some states are imposing that they be drug tested to receive welfare money, they can’t get a good job because the state will cut off their welfare and other benefits, if they get a job it’s usually too far away because there’s no work in their neighborhoods and takes to long to get there on the bus, they can’t buy what they want because they don’t have enough money, they won’t let them vote because they don’t have ID’s, they can’t get a decent education because their local schools hire idiots instead of good teachers, the neighborhoods they live in are dumps because the government won’t clean them up and gangs are running wild in the streets, they can’t go to college because their grades are too bad and they are poor, the police think they’re all criminals (this guy is an armed robbery x-con, an “x” gang member, and a recovering alcoholic), when they protest they get abused, he actually used the phrase Warsaw ghetto, and of course white people are racists, the list went on and on.

    As he was ranting a few others in the room were voicing affirmation of his claims; it sounded like one of those choreographed movie characterizations of a preacher and his congregation in a southern baptist church for a minute or so.

    This guy has called me a racist to my face just because I’m not black a few times, last night was one of those times, and the usual response he gets from me is “Ok Asshole, Prove I’m a Racist”. Every time we get to this place he just stands there, we’re face to face, staring at each other and I almost always end up saying “F*** You Too (his name)”, and then we move on to helping students for a couple of hours. He’s one of those in-your-face kind of people and I don’t mind going toe to toe with him. I don’t think he really likes it much that I challenge him in front of others but I think he has some level of respect for me. I’m not sure if he actually thinks I’m a racist but his overall tone is that all non-blacks are anti-black racists; he’s got a huge chip on his shoulder.

    This is also the same guy that when walking out one evening we saw a small group of teens messing with my bike, they got a severe verbal tongue lashing from both him and I for messing with it. The relationship, if that’s what you want to call it, with this guy can be “interesting”.

    This guy is not a complete box of rocks, I have no good explanation for why this guy, or those affirming him, feel the way they do about oppression and slavery. There are times that I feel like I’m walking into a fog of genuinely stupid people; one evening I stood up and said “If that’s your idea of working together to solve problems, then I’m outta here” and I walked straight the door – the next week when I showed up again they apologized profusely with a solid #1 on the apology scale. Last night the fog was pretty darn thick.

    Thought I’d share that interesting little experience.

  6. Other Bill

    Here’s a great comment from an NFL alumnus:

    Former NFL safety Burgess Owens appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the current NFL kneeling controversy. Owens said this is not a black or white American problem, “it’s a Democratic, elitist problem.” Owens called on players to stand up against the corporate and liberal elites in the NFL who are “using my race.”

    “My concern with this whole process is what the flag stands for,” Owens said Monday night. “When I stood on the sideline I remembered getting teary-eyed at points because I was so excited about being there, I was so proud to be part of that process. But I also grew up in a time where 70% of black men were mentors to us. They were in the home, doing things they needed to do, teaching us that this country is the greatest place to be and to grow in.”

    “We have come to the point because of liberalism, because of what Democratic policies do, 70% of black men do not stay around. They don’t have these parents and these fathers to tell them what they should be proud of and how they should stand up for this process,” the former New York Jet said.

    “We are dealing with an ideology that first of all bans God, has destroyed the black family in the ’70s which we led the country in terms of the strength of our family unit,” Owens told host Tucker Carlson. “They have destroyed our history. No one even knows about how strong the black American history was. And now they want to take away our pride in our country. And I think it’s a bridge too far.”

    “At the end of the day, we love our country and we’re going to make sure we stand against those who take away the hope of our kids. That’s what these liberals are doing,” Owens argued.

    Owens also said if an employee decided to demonstrate during work time they would come back and find their desks empty.

    “The NFL corporate office right here in New York City. How about their employees on lunchtime decided they decided they wanted to demonstrate. They’ll finally come back and find out their desks would be vacated. Any day. This is what is happening, liberals at the top, elitists, they are using my race, they are bringing misery to my race and then using this misery to make sure they keep their power,” Owens said.

    “We need to make sure that we’re standing against corporate elitists, liberal elitists like the NFL,” he said. “I will be boycotting every single team that does this. But we also have as black conservatives get into the black community and let them see what the Democratic party has for years done to them. It’s not a white American problem; it’s a Democratic, black and white, elitist problem.”

  7. Chris

    Congrats on the COTD, Chris Bentley. As I said yesterday, these are very challenging questions, and I plan on answering them; I’m still chewing over many of them at the moment.

    I would like to clarify one thing. I didn’t actually say blacks were “oppressed;” that part of the COTD was actually my quote of Jack, who was using the term sarcastically. I think “oppressed” is a strong word, and I personally don’t like to use it to describe others in this country, though I know many blacks do use it to describe their own position in the U.S. I do think blacks, as a group, face structural/systemic disadvantages compared to whites, however.

  8. I don’t understand any of it. It’s truly a train wreck. What happened to the good old days when world leaders would give anything to have someone bend the knee to their banner? I mean, Daenerys Targaryen roasted two dudes because they refused to bend the knee. I think this whole thing is sending mixed signals.

  9. Chris

    So, as I’ve said, I don’t like to use the word “oppression.” I won’t condemn any black person who says their people are oppressed in this country, but nor will I condemn Chris Bentley for saying they’re not. It’s not my call.

    I do believe blacks, as a social group, have systematic disadvantages in this country. This does not mean that every single black individual faces those disadvantages equally. Chris, if you really feel that you have never experienced a significant amount of racism directed toward you, how can I tell you that you are wrong? All I can tell you is this: I’m happy for you, but your stories of your experience don’t erase the stories of other black peoples’ experience I’ve heard.

    But of course, you brought more than just your experience; you brought statistics.

    Is it the ritualistic, indiscriminate killing of blacks by cops? B/c according to the Washington Post Police Killings tracker, in 2017, twice as many whites are killed by cops than whites (164 to 326). And while, yes, Im fully aware that means (since whites outnumber blacks 5 to 1) that blacks are MORE LIKELY to be killed, it also means that whites are killed in high enough number, that police killings cannot be solely about race. And 95% of police killings involve men, but there’s no outrage about that…so if we’re being intellectually honest and consistent, it cannot be about police killing rates relative to a particular demographic’s representation in the population, right? Unless we’re willing to admit that men are over represented in activities that bring them into violent contact with police…but that can’t be it, unless we’re ALSO willing to admit (I think you see where this leads)…

    It is weird to talk about ways that dominant groups in our society are actually disadvantaged.

    I refer, of course, to men, who still vastly outnumber women in positions of government and corporate power in our country. For this reason, among others, I believe that “male privilege” exists; how could it not, when men are the social group that has the most say in how our country runs? If women vastly outnumbered men in the halls of power, I’d expect female privilege to exist as well.

    But I have never taken this to mean that men have advantages over women in every area of life. You are right that we should be talking about the way men are treated by the judicial system. I would not be surprised at all to find proof that men are treated more harshly by this system than women. I would only say that I see this as not a contradiction of a male-dominated society, but a result of it.

    How can that be? If men run society, why are more men locked up? Well, what is masculinity associated with? Strength. Power. Toughness. Responsibility. A typical man might be treated more harshly by the judicial system than a typical woman because it is believed that we are more in control of our actions, more able to “take” the punishment, and more inherently aggressive, therefore “worse” than a typical woman in the same situation. The woman might be seen as weaker or inherently more “good” because of the exact patriarchal values that tell us they shouldn’t be in positions of power.

    Of course, some of it might have to do with biology and/or male culture making men more violent and/or criminal than women.

    But wait! Can’t these factors also help explain why blacks have a higher rate of conviction than whites? Sure, it’s possible. I don’t find the “biology” idea very persuasive, because while there are clear and proven differences between male and female brains, there are no clear, proven differences between black and white brains; biological racial differences are nowhere near as strong as biological gender differences. Blacks do not produce different hormones than whites. So barring more evidence, we can close the book on that idea for now.

    As for socialization…yes, it is entirely possible that black culture is more violent or prone to criminality than white culture. Culture has a huge effect on us. My opinion is not that we should give “black culture” a free pass if it demonstrates all the values FOX News says it does, but rather that we look at why black culture has developed those values. What were those values developed in opposition to? Blacks are not the dominant culture in our society, and their culture was developed largely under the violent, unconstitutional and damaging institutions of slavery and Jim Crow, institutions that were imposed on them by the dominant culture. We are only six decades removed from the latter institution; that is not a very long time for a healthy culture to grow and thrive.

    But of course, you argue that black culture actually showed some signs of health that were better than today. I am skeptical of the conclusions you seem to drawing from these, however:

    Is it about black poverty rates? 46% of Black families with children that are headed by single Black women live in poverty, vs 8% of black families where the parents are married (which obviously trails statistics for while single mom headed households/married households), but as of 2014, only 29% of black adults were married, down from 61% in 1960. It stands to reason that a 2 income household leads to more financial stability, and is something that can be created regardless of how racist our society is (I mean, the black marriage rate was 80% in 1890, when the US was still in the immediate shadows of the Civil War and Reconstruction). Did the legacy of slavery just…skip a few generations? Is systemic racism somehow preventing us from marrying one another?

    Marriage has declined across the board. I don’t know why marriage rates among blacks have declined so much faster than other cultures in our society, only that nearly all problematic trends affecting the dominant culture in our country seem to adversely affect blacks to a greater extent. The increased levels of incarceration of black Americans, which can be attributed largely to the drug war, “broken windows” policing, and other recent social factors can also help explain the rapid decline in marriage rates.

    Is it black property ownership? According to Jason Riley in his book “False Black Power”, “74.2 percent of black homeowners completely owned their residences as of 1900, versus only 68 percent of white families.” And yet, according to Ebony, that number for blacks “was down to 41.2 percent in 2015″…some 115 years after a time when laws were in place specifically to prevent and deter black progress.

    No clue on this one. However, I’d again advocate looking at home ownership rates among the dominant population. Haven’t those fallen too?

    So, what exactly is it about our modern society, with the number of social liberals who live in the US at an all-time highs (as bound by the length of time that Gallup has been polling for this statistic), and the number of (dirty, racist) social conservatives at all-time lows (also bound by the same Gallup limitations), that makes us MORE of a racist society that we were in 1960? or 1900? Or 1890, when discriminating against blacks was still codified by law?

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone argue that we are a MORE racist society today than we were in 1960. You seem to be implying that may be the case with your stats, but again, I’m skeptical of that conclusion for the reasons above.

  10. joed68

    Well, the numbers are out from the FBI as reported in the New York Post. And they don’t support Kaperneck and his stupid protest. Last year there were 7900 blacks killed in the US; 900 more than the previous year and 1305 more than white people killed (white includes whites and hispanics). There were 233 blacks killed by police nation-wide last year and of those only 16 were classified as unarmed. Police were 18.5 times more likely to be attacked by a black suspect than a white suspect, with 42 police officers murdered by black suspects last year. Tell me again what we are protesting?

  11. I saw this on Facebook.

    There is a distinction.

    With the former, I had not comes across a comment, either on Facebook or Twitter or Usenet, which claimed that those football players should be prosecuted, or the NFL fined.

    With the latter, I saw plenty of comments claiming that hate speech is not free speech, including comments in the very Facebook post I linked to.

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