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.