Tuesday, September 27, 2016
When Colin Kaepernick did his first kneeldown, as I recall he said he was protesting the America that had decided it would be perfectly fine to have either a criminal or a blowhard as president. I think he did mention the social justice view of racist police activity, but that was pretty far down his list.
Since then a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon. Most of them are young and impressionable, have never been anywhere or done anything, have never been taught or helped to learn about the way our American system is supposed to work.
I have to cut them a lot of slack because they are young and dumb. I'm not giving them a complete pass, but I remember being young and dumb and filled with certainty and self-centered righteousness about complex issues. I said and did a lot of dumb things.
Furthermore, when I was young and dumb the government and media and the educational system weren't openly fomenting race war.
I feel a lot of sympathy for these youngsters. They're being manipulated, being treated as objects to be used by the millions of people who live in this country but do not find fundamental human equality a self evident truth.
I strongly disagree with nearly everything these folks say they kneel for. They're wrong about institutionalized racism and brutality. It's not that there aren't racists aplenty in this country, but the poor dumb clucks of the klan are far outnumbered by sophisticated racists and bigots who will not behave in a civilized fashion.
In a very real sense, the kneelers are correct in that there is something horribly wrong with America, but they haven't yet realized that the real racists are the diseased souls of all color who seek to divide and conquer at any cost.
The kneeldown came to Nebraska last week. I don't approve, however, I have to respect the fundamental humanity of these young men, respect their right to speak and opine, and perhaps most importantly respect their right to be wrong. I cannot be an American if I do otherwise, and god knows I've got more experience at being wrong than these kids do. It's not easy. I feel strongly about the issue. But I have to take up the very hard task of being a principled American, or I am lost.
I very strongly endorse and approve of Mike Riley's leadership and guidance. If you're interested, his remarks on the subject begin at 7:53 in the first video, and at 10:58 in the second video.