Tuesday, September 13, 2016


I've decided that finishing the #A-to-Z-CHALLENGE on my time line isn't such a bad idea after all. This gives me the chance to not only write, or make up some nonsense about my 'hood, but also to take a look at some of the more idiotic nonsense that is going on as regards to peoples' understanding of what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are all about in this here us. Emphasis on the “us” because I sure as HELL don't recognize this as the country of the U. S., that I was born in anymore.

The latest flap has devolved into what constitutes “patriotism”, I guess, with some people agreeing with Colin Kaepernick and others disagreeing in a very disagreeable fashion with his display of choosing NOT to stand during the National Anthem before a football game. The question is not one of patriotism and Kaepernick should be either supported or ignored, according to others' feelings. I get why he feels this way and I cannot disagree with him. But, for him to have been moved down to back-up quarterback and to be taking all of the abuse he has been given is unforgivable. He is merely stating something that he feels is wrong with our country, a right all of us share and if you don't believe me, read this, the 1st Amendment of our Bill of Rights:

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitutions prohibits the making of any law respecting and establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religions, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a government redress of grievances.”

This was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

What Colin is doing is protesting; as is his RIGHT. It is our right to disagree, but not to interfere, nor to demote, nor to say stupid shit, as did Kate Moss, when she said Colin was denigrating a “symbolic song”. It's an “anthem”, meant to rouse a group, a cause, a country, and there is no symbolism in the thing. But, hey, Kate's just a hair-do. Nor is Kid Rock (and I love Kid's music, plus, he's another Michigander) correct in yelling F*ck Colin Kaepernick! during one of his concerts. If he wants to engage Colin in intelligent discourse he should. Kid, you're way smarter than that, I thought.

courtesy: gettyreuters

Colin Kaepernick has been demonstrating since the pre-season, but his message has spread and more and more athletes (not just football players) have joined him in his silent protest against the deaths of many African-Americans to police. In all fairness, many other people have died at the hands of guns: police, whites, Hispanics, children, the elderly. I live in a 'hood where my night-time Lt. regularly comes to my house on a "shots fired" call. I do not advocate for gun-control, but for stricter background checks. All lives DO matter and Kaepernick is taking a huge risk and a brave stand by doing what he is doing to START A DIALOG, not be treated like scum.

We used to have passionate discourse and disagreements in this country on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat, and I guess Harold Stassen was along for the ride too, for several elections. People would have some damned heated discussions, but they ultimately led to compromises, or would at some point realize, both sides were unworkable and start over. It's what made us so strong. What kept us so flexible was the knowledge that you could walk out on any street corner, climb up on your soap box and spout just about any gibberish, with the exception of trying to foment the overthrow the government. That worked for YEARS and there's no reason to stop doing it now.

However, we're in this weird Joseph McCarthy-like era, where people are afraid to say what they really think – just look at what Reince Priebus did to his own Republican Party; by having them swear an oath of loyalty to their own party, so that they would support the EVENTUAL nominee. This has never been done in the history of any democracy and it undid the GOP, as everyone HAD to swear their fealty to Trump. No one dared say what they really thought.*

Protests, especially passive ones such as these are meant to foment a dialog. People need to look BEYOND what Colin is doing and question WHY he is doing such a thing. He certainly knows that he is not making himself popular; he's not doing this to be anyone's hero. He is trying to draw attention to a grievous wrong in this country that has just been recycled over and over and over and over and there is no relief in sight of it ending.

All of this hollering about #Blacklivesmatter, #Bluelivesmatter is just that; hollering, but I agree, it needs to be hollered. Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. It's creating nothing but more fear on both sides, and it's a terrible fear.

Before one more person dies on ANY side to any accidental gunshot, we should all ask ourselves, “why is this young man doing this? Why is he so willingly making himself an object of controversy and derision? Why is he making people react this way?” I have an answer. He's forcing us to look at ourselves. By following his own belief that there is a problem and it's a big one I agree, he's hoping he can change other people's minds. He's hoping that maybe in his humble way, he can make us look into our hearts and see if yeah, we're not part of the problem and we take all of this way too cavalierly. He may ruin his future and his career, but by God, he's doing something he believes in. Can you say the same?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is his right. Doesn't mean we have to like it.
I just think there is a better platform for it. Forming a peaceful rally or a march or founding an organization might be more effective.

Crystal Collier said...

Does that mean I have to uncover the mirror? =)

Awesome thoughts. This society we live in really will beat you to pieces if you decide to express a different opinion than the masses. I'm fine with that. I do it frequently, but I don't get national TV time while doing it. I just wish people realized that they negativism is not benefiting anyone.

Viola Fury said...


That is true and I think he is using the one platform that is giving him the widest possible audience, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (I think of those Black Panther Athletes of 1968 on the Podium during the Olympics), but it does raise the question, "Do we really need to politicize Sporting Events?", and I find it a hard call, because Colin has probably pretty much ruined his career over this. While I agree with the IDEA, I'd rather see a peaceful rally, but the last time that happened, some folks died, so I'm for founding an organization and an outreach program to talk to people on all sides and find out what we can do so that we can all begin to trust one another and work together. The current political climate is not exactly helping with fomenting fear and distrust in ways that were never there to begin with, Alex. But, I do agree that we don't have to like what other people say. My mom, an emigre Scot and feisty as hell, used to say, "I don't have to like what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it!" She was a proud American! Thanks for stopping by and I'm looking forward to the October cohost, Alex! <3

Viola Fury said...

Crystal, Ha!

I know right? Thanks for the kind words. We used to bicker and carry on and discuss and argue and ultimately come up with a better plan than what we had started out with - on both sides. Somewhere along the way, people became afraid that their own ideologies were not so great. Maybe because some demagogues had tampered with the recipes and made them a bit weaker and rather than holding true to our beliefs, we kind of gave in. I remember when Edwin Meese, Ronald Reagan's Attorney General, allowed the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News to "merge" in 1984, rather than letting them duke it out in the free-market place, thereby allowing a great newspaper to emerge. What we were left with was a tepid, middle-of-the-road mediocre newspaper, Free Press in the am and the News at night. It was terrible and it was completely antithetical to anything a REAL Conservative would have believed or done. That was a sign that the death knell had pretty much been rung over the GOP.

Now, I'm not a Conservative, nor am I a Liberal. I kinda hew to my own standards, but they are moral. I look around and wonder just what has happened in this country. It's perfectly okay to me for people to express different opinions, and I will not break a friendship or cut off a family member because of such beliefs; it's horrible when I hear about that. The negativism you talk about is just feeding on itself more and more and it's ugly. I'm not a Trump supporter, but it hurts when people start beating up Trump supporters; that is just terrible. I have to think a long way back and I can only think to 1968 in Chicago, when Richard Daley's police beat up the Democratic supporters outside the DNC convention and that was one instance and it was rightly vilified in the press.

That is the other problem. Our press is currently owned by 4 huge corporations and there is no one to oversee the truth or lies and verify what is what. We mostly know that that the press is biased and I, for one pay no attention to anything that comes out of the United States press, which is awful. We used to lead the way in honest reporting. Now, it's just a joke and it's unbelievable what comes out of the "National Desks".

Anyway, Crystal, I'm ranting now, and it's time to stop. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad that we CAN speak the truth, and we should all be able to. It's what our country is about and I want to see that continue. I don't care if I agree or not, I just think we should all have that freedom, along with the freedom to worship as we please; that is also tantamount in a free society. I NEVER want to lose any part of what applies in our 1st Amendment! <3