arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Sunday, October 01, 2017

Deflect, Deflect, Deflect!



I can say many things about our President, and as a matter of fact I already have said them.  Here’s a brief, but not altogether comprehensive listing of my thoughts about the President: infantile, immature, thin-skinned, self-centered, egotistical, untruthful…and I could go on, but this list should suffice for a first paragraph.   We can say what we will about him, but we must admit this:  he’s a genius at the slight-of-hand art of deflection.

The last two weeks offer so many examples, but let’s focus on just one. Just days after exchanging insulting tweets with the equally mentally damaged leader of North Korea Kim Jung Un — where both skated perilously close to the brink of global nuclear apocalypse — he questioned the First Amendment tactics of professional athletes protesting conditions in their communities.  The President believes the athletes who kneel and not stand at attention for the National Anthem are being disrespectful of the anthem, flag and, following right-wing jingoistic logic, all the wonderful ideals for which America stands.  The number of people agreeing with the President on social media is shockingly high.

Ignore the bright while light and rapidly approaching intense heat coming on the horizon…deflect, deflect, deflect to those shameful displays on the football field sidelines!

First, everyone, the athletes posture during the playing of the National Anthem — standing, kneeling, or standing with clenched fists raised to the heavens — are all protected by the First Amendment.  You know, that pesky little set of words that guarantees even the most disgusting human beings (I’m looking at you, neo-Nazis) the right to spew their hatred in public without fear of being persecuted by the sanction governing authorities.  Of course, the rest of us who disagree with either the athletes or the alt-right have the same right to voice our opinion.  We just need to remember that our opinions are most effective when we do it without physical injury to those with the opposing point of view.

And wow, have those who disagree with the athletes made their opinions known.  The result has been a lot of verbal and written sparring back and forth about the act being an unpatriotic swipe at the flag, at military members fighting for our ideals, at veterans, and the ideals themselves.  I have argued on social media that the kneelings are not directed at any of these things, but rather directed at the many events over the years, or dare I say centuries, committed in the name of the Stars and Stripes which have run counter to the American ideals of justice and equality.  

This is another list of those events, and again by no means meant to be a comprehensive list: forced slavery; denial of basic human rights; denial of opportunities to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; riots and lynchings; hate crimes; and the shooting of young people in the streets without due process of the law.  None of this fits or ever fit our definitions of American equality and justice.  Yet, most of these events still persist.

Unfortunately, this debate about patriotism has taken time and resources away from where the conversation should be.   We all know what the problems are (see above), but the point is many of us are afflicted with “white privilege” or that societal ailment which prevents those of us born as a certain race who are seemingly blind to the injustices perpetuated on other communities in our nation.  Trust me, many of us do see the injustices, but seeing is different than living with it.   And there lies the crux of the problem and the kneeling protests.

The conversation should not be about denouncing the actions as unpatriotic.  We should instead realize that the athletes — as successful and as privileged as they are in our great country — want to call attention to flaws they see and live within the system.  We should approach the protestors thusly: “We see that you think there are problems we need to address.”   Then follow this up with the simple and albeit naïve question, “What’s wrong?”  

Sure, we’ll draw the understandably quizzical look like “Are you really that blind to the problem?”  Maybe we are that blind, but the question as simple as it is, may get the great conversation about race moving forward.

Deflection of the conversation from a thin-skinned, ineffective leader won’t accomplish this. And you all know who I’m talking about now.

(Thank for reading.  Oh, I left out the President’s obvious bigotry and misogyny from the first paragraph. I beg forgiveness from the readers.)

6 Comments:

Blogger mistress maddie said...

I already can't wait to see what the buffoon will say this week to insert his foot into.

October 1, 2017 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

I think you should write and tell us what your really feel about him.

October 1, 2017 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Bob Slatten said...

Perfection.


Sadly.

October 2, 2017 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

It's a couple of hours since we've heard the absolutely unbelievably shocking news from Las Vegas. The entire world's sympathies are due to the very many victims and their near ones.

Without trying in any way to belittle the massiveness of the tragedy, and whatever the motive turns out to be, looks like for once D.T. may not have to engineer any distraction for at least the next few days. Let's hope that he can handle the situation with heartfelt care, efficiency and dignity (though I'm not holding out much chance of the latter happening). All our thoughts are with those suffering.

October 2, 2017 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Maddie. After I posted this the Las Vegas massacre happened, This event will distract all of us for at least a week. He may get to rest his wittle Tweeting hands for a few days.

Thank you, Spo. Unfortunately there is not enough room for that in the entire blogosphere.

Thank you, Bob.

Thank you Raybeard. Thoughts and prayers are always appreciated, but too many people in this country think that's all we need to do to prevent the next massacre.

October 2, 2017 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

Of course, RTG, we all know that the 'Wizard in the Sky' let it happen because he's sending us a message, don't we? Whatever that 'message' is, you can be sure that it's very conveniently in accordance with the opinions of the one who makes such a claim. (Sheesh!)

October 3, 2017 at 12:44 AM  

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