Hello Truthful Realists,
Today, I come to you with a bit of annoyance. This has been something that has been racking my mind, as well as the source of many conversations amongst those I surround myself with. That annoyance is the Nike Protests. You see, there is a guy who decided to start kneeling before football games, as the national anthem was playing. This player, during an interview after the game, said that he is doing this because he will not “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” and also because “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”. You would think that would be something people could get behind, right? Protesting to stop murder and oppression? Well, it didn’t quite go that way. Here’s what did happen though.
After this man decided to protest in this form, he was met with a lot of resistance. Sure, there were some people who understood this protest for what it was. Those that didn’t understand it, though? They got mad. They burned his jerseys, called for protests where this man worked, called for protests of the companies that worked with him and essentially took his job (South Park Voice sound-bite not found). It got so crazy that even the President of the United States of America even called for his man to be fired. That is not a typo. The Got-Dang-President-of-Murica called for this mans head. Mind you, this is all because he protested during the national anthem.
Here is where the annoyance came in. In September 2018 a company that primarily dabbled in shoes decided to give this man a platform. It was their 30th Anniversary of one of their ad campaigns and they felt that this man was the one to celebrate it. The people that didn’t understand the protest decided to protest themselves. They took this shoe companies merchandise and burned them, cut them, smashed them and did whatever else they could to them. There are videos of everyone from Police Officers to School Principals to Mayors of popular locations burning, tearing or just plain old badmouthing this company. All of this, because of a protest that was meant to stop the oppression, murder and, mistreatment of people of color in the United States of America.
As I sit here typing this, I kind of wonder if this is just a prank. I keep thinking that maybe Fox teamed up with Donald Trump and Ashton Kutcher, they both managed to sweet talk the government into the mix and then went to town. Ashton hasn’t popped up though. There is no catchy theme song or prime time ad slots. This is real! There are actually people in the United States of America (Please make note that I will continue to use “United States of America” instead of “America” – If you understand why then you’re in the right place) who have a problem with someone wanting to stop the oppression, mistreatment, and murder of people of color. There are really people who feel so strongly against this that they are willing to burn their hard earned possessions in an attempt to prevent this.
Now, as I continue to write, I keep wondering why this is happening. I mean, this mans goal is not heinous or devious in nature. He is not saying other people should be treated this way instead. He is just simply wanting it to stop, period. Depending on who you ask, the reason for not supporting his movement has different reasons. Some say his statement is Anti-American (more on this in another, not directly related article). Some say it is Anti-Military. Some say Anti-Law-Enforcement. Some go as far as to call it Treason. After all of this useless soul searching and numerous discussions with people from all different ethnic, religious and regional backgrounds, I’ve come to a pretty good conclusion.
I have good reason to believe that this is all a test. It’s an intelligence test. The people of this great nation are being tested. They are being tested on their comprehension skills. They are being tested on their critical thinking skills. They are being tested on their knowledge of the laws in the United States of America. They are being tested on their understanding of the United States Constitution. Most importantly of all though, they are being tested on their morals. As shocking as this may (or may not) be, quite a few people in this great nation are failing. They are failing because this man has put the most basic test in front of them and instead of studying, understanding, preparing and trying to pass with flying colors (Red, White, and Blue, of course), they are simply throwing the test back in the teachers face and walking out of class like a hungover, overprivileged college student who spent the night out drinking with their friends and realized they have a trust fund so they don’t need school.
Here is my issue with the Nike Protest. Most of the people protesting against Nike are the same people who question the victim in cop involved shootings, cite exaggerated (if not flat out made up) statistics about crime rates and tell people they can’t say certain words or speak certain languages around them, their families, in their work environments and on their TVs. You see, a lot of people claim this hate for this football player stems from him having an “Anti-Military” stance. Nate Boyer proved that wrong. Some said it was because it was an “Anti-Law-Enforcement” stance. Frank Serpico proved that wrong. A vast majority will say that he has an “Anti-American” stance. That’s where I go in.
When I hear people say that this football player has an Anti-American stance, I usually pause. First, because of how ridiculous it is to say “American” and not realize that we are located in the United States in the Northern part of the Americas, which is not the entirety of the Americas (or even North America). Secondly, because of how idiotic it is to think that the ideals of this country are so sacred that they cannot or do not need to be changed. If someone is protesting for equality and basic human right, why would you ever object? How is it that whole groups of people being mistreated is an “American” value? That, right there, is the reason why I say quite a few people in this great nation are failing.
You see, I’m not sure if a lot of people have noticed but the “American” way of doing things isn’t exactly right. “Americans” have murdered a whole group of people to rob them of their land. “Americans” have enslaved another group of people to force them to build this great nation. “Americans” also exploited groups of people for labor and then enslaved them while they bombed their homeland due to mistrust. Now I know if you are looking at it from a business standpoint, they are doing quite well. They sourced the land, eliminated the competition, sourced free labor to build it and acquired additional free labor to expand it. Well, that’s what Bill O’Reilly informed me is called “Spin”.
The “American” public needs to realize that the way this country has used the “spin” technique to make its history seem so wholesome and pure is wrong. This country was built on a fucked up foundation. Being “American” doesn’t mean you have to support it blindly without questioning. A lot of countries were built on fucked up foundations. It is okay to admit that your country might be the same. It is okay to accept that a system you love may have flaws. If you can admit your own flaws, why can’t you admit your countries? I know a lot of people are afraid because of what may follow. When a police department has to admit it had some bad apples, it brings shame and mistrust. When a company has to admit to fraud, it brings stock drops and severed ties. When a family has to admit that their child has done something heinous, it brings shame and anger.
Well, when something is wrong, you have to face the consequences. The consequences for some of these things may be bad, but they are necessary to start building an equal and good-willed stable foundation. Frank Serpico, as mentioned earlier, had to break the job he thought he loved in order to make it the job that he knew he loved. Dr. Jiffrey Wigand had found fraud and murderous intentions and dedicated himself to exposing it for the safety of its customers. Sue Klebold had to not only admit the wrongdoings of her son but write a book detailing how she missed key things or could have done more so that other parents can have insight on what to look out for that she might not have acted on that could have prevented so many horrendous deaths. All of these people could have just hidden for the rest of their lives but they knew that they witnessed, ignored and stayed quiet for enough. They had to expose the wrongs with themselves and the things that they loved or helped create, in order to try to save others.
I think it is safe to say that if all of these people can admit that people, products, organization, and systems that they loved are fucked up, we shouldn’t be too shy or prideful to admit ours are either. Everyone and everything has its flaws. Whether they are actual flaws or ones perceived by others. Some things are out of date. Some things lose their relevance. It’s part of life. You can either update things to make it fit your current situation or you can live in the past. It would be smart to make a note that just because you want to pretend it is a different period of time doesn’t mean everyone else has to play along. People are “woke” now if you will. I would prefer to not end up dead.
Just some funny side thoughts and facts I’d like to add to all of this.
- FACT: Nike stocks went up after the protest.
- THOUGHT: In 10 to 20 years from now, there will probably be a move for this football player.
- FACT: Donald Trump, The President of The United States of America, has personally attempted to cause unemployment of several athletes for doing nothing against the law or rules.
- THOUGHT: How many people are going to buy Nike stuff one year from now and talk about their old stuff in a fond way as if this whole protest didn’t happen?
- FACT: The population of every other country in the Americas calls themselves by their country name except the United States.
- THOUGHT: Donald Trump did not criticize Nike as harshly as he does others because they do business with him.
- FACT: The true winner in this whole situation is Nike.
To end this all, I just want to say that there should be absolutely nothing stopping you from wanting to help your fellow person. Nothing should stop you from wanting to help out your own neighborhood/town/city/county/region/country/continent or those of others. Our purpose in life is to get through it together, as long as we can. If someone you know is standing up for something that is morally right, it should feel like your obligation to stand up with them. Fighting for separation will only lead to further separation. We are a country of immigrants that came to this land that was stolen from the Native Americans (The real Americans – ALL OF AMERICA!). Whether you or your ancestors were brought here, kidnapped to here, snuck over here, sold to here, exiled to here or born here, you are here now. Instead of trying to claim it for your own, why not try to share it with everyone else? Strive to see your fellow person prosper. Strive for them to be treated the same as you and you the same as every other. You never know how long you’ll be here and it would be a waste to spend it all hating those you see every day.
I’ll let you all think on that one.
If you care to debate this one further, feel my points are incorrect or want to add on them, feel free to post along or email me. I’m always happy to shoot the breeze. By the way, in case you didn’t already figure it out, the guy in the story is Colin Kaepernick. Shocker, right? Everyone else is also pretty famous in their own rights.