Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants Manager
Kapler, who is what is considered a deep thinker by the standards of Major League Baseball, refused to stand for the National Anthem. His explanation before the game:
“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.”
Erma Bombeck once wrote that it is impossible to argue with a six-year-old without sounding like a sic-year-old, and this applies to my going into much detail explaining why Kaplar’s gesture of protest is shallow, facile grandstanding and nothing better. He was a major league player from 1998-2010 and always respected the Anthem. Nothing that happened during those years made him feel the U.S. wasn’t doing the right thing? I don’t believe it. Nor is the National Anthem meant as a means of endorsing national policy. Nor is the fact the Kaplar’s father has a distorted concept of what showing respect for the nation, it’s history, its sacrifices and its values by joining your fellow citizens in an expression of gratitude and honor an excuse for his adopting a similarly infantile view.
On Ethics Alarms, I don’t allow commenters to pass moderation if all they can muster is “I agree” or ” I disagree.” It’s a lazy and useless response. It’s easy to say, “I don’t like this,” especially if you are ignorant and have nothing to contribute. OK, Gabe: what would you have the U.S. do about school shootings? We’re all ears. But he knows he works in San Francisco, where the USSR national anthem would probably attract as much fealty as The Star Spangled Banner. Insulting the nation is good enough: he doesn’t need to articulate an argument.
Gustavo Arellano, LA Times Columnist
“When I heard that a gunman had killed multiple schoolchildren in a predominantly Latino town in Texas, I immediately thought: white supremacist. How could I not?,” Arellano wrote.
That’s funny: when I heard about the shooting, I immediately thought, “It must have been one of those illegal immigrant Mexicans who come here and rape and murder.” Oh, is that racist? Biased? Prejudiced?
The LA Times is happy to allow a purely racist assumption to make it onto its opinion pages, but that is only because the race being denigrated is mine.
How could he not? None of the previous mass shooters in schools have been “white supremacists.” Pundits like Arellano are so consumed with hate that they feel compelled to spread it far and wide. They are slightly more civilized than the Uvalde shooter, but may harm society more.
Singers Don McLean, Larry Gatlin, Lee Greenwood, and Larry Stewart
All four of the singers, whose political views span the ideological spectrum, pulled out of their commitments to perform at the National Rifle Association convention this week. I hope the NRA sues all of them for breach of contract. All they were doing was pandering to the emotional mob and harming the NRA by appearing to endorse the false assertion that the organization bears any responsibility for the tragedy in Uvalde. This is the epitome of betrayal: metaphorically stabbing a business partner in the back to avoid the cognitive dissonance scale.
Greenwood’s statement–his big hit is “God Bless the USA” was a non-sequitur:
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas.After thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.”
Apparently showing that respect means tacitly endorsing their emotion-based attacks on the Second Amendment. How brave and principled.
Gatlin’s statement was worse:
“I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde— in my beloved, weeping TEXAS. I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple.”