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The Lie of the Anthem and the Flag

James Harrison punching Hitler, one of the most popular comics we ever did at http://cosmichellcats.com

Being an American means I get to bitch and moan. Today I am going to bitch and moan about America.

If you joined the military to “fight for the flag”… well, I’m sorry that you were lied to. I don’t automatically thank you for your service. I don’t think you automatically deserve my respect… in fact, it’s quite possible that I don’t respect you at all. I’m sorry if that gets under your skin. I will happily live my life complaining about shit that I don’t like and sometimes that might include you. And it sucks that you have to deal with that… I’m just kind of a dick. I mean… I’m not going to stop or anything… I’m not even going to slow down. Because my right to complain and bitch and moan is what you actually fought for. This kind of sucks for you. And it’s not your fault. Because you were lied to.

My grandfather was a WWII veteran and member of the fabled Red Ball Express (a predominantly black military convoy that has the distinction of being an early example of mass whitewashing in Hollywood film, but that’s a story for another day). When I was a kid, there was a big controversy about flag burning as free speech. Whenever my grandfather heard someone say that flag burners should prosecuted because “people fought for the flag” or “people died for that flag” he would say “I didn’t fight for a flag. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If you fought for a piece of cloth you’re an idiot.” See, he understood that he was fighting to protect the interests of a country. A country that in 1944, quite frankly didn’t give a shit about him. A country that treated him like he was somehow less than human because he was black. But he did it anyway. Why, because he had another saying. Something that I, my mother, my uncles, my brothers and cousins heard quite frequently… “who ever told you life was fair? Point them out to me so I can tell them they lied to you.” And he was right. Life isn’t fair. But in my grandfather’s case he was also fighting for a dream. He was fighting for the hope that one day I would get to have a better life in that county. A life where maybe I wouldn’t be treated as less than human because of the color of my skin. And for the record… for that, he gets my respect. I’m not saying he should have your respect. He wouldn’t want it. You didn’t know the man. I respect him because he was my grandfather and I loved him. He earned it. And part of his earning it, for me, was his understanding what he was fighting for. More on that later.

Lets do a little history lesson.

In 1773, a group of terrorists in the city of Boston got together and rioted against their sovereign government because they felt that their tax structure was unfair and that it wasn’t right that they weren’t allowed to complain about it. There were protests, bitching and moaning, civic disobedience and a fair amount of breaking the law. This would eventually lead to them illegally openly revolting against that government three years later. After a bloody seven-year war, they won and formed their own country. One of the founding principles of this new country being the idea being that everyone was equal and had the right to bitch about whatever the fuck they wanted to.

Of course, “everyone” was kind of limited to white men who owned land. The land owning thing was dropped through people protesting a couple years later, but it would take about 80 more years for the white part to be dropped. And it didn’t happen easily. Getting there involved a lot of protests, bitching and moaning, civic disobedience and a fair amount of breaking the law. On both sides. In fact, the people who wanted to maintain the status quo of NOT treating black men as human beings actually revolted and separated from the country. There was a war over it and everything. And in the end, the side that was fighting for more rights for more people won.

Well, not all people. It still didn’t include women. That took another 50 years. Somehow this happened without a war. But it did take a lot of protests, bitching and moaning, civic disobedience and a fair amount of breaking the law.

And that’s not all, even with the right to vote technically guaranteed by the 15th amendment, Jim Crow laws effectively shut down this right (among others) for black people in many cases until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And it wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act of 1991 that black people got the right to protection from work discrimination. And these anti-discrimination acts didn’t apply to sex, sexual orientation or gender identity until TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO. And each and every one of these things required a lot of protests, bitching and moaning, civic disobedience and a fair amount of breaking the law to happen. It also required a lot of people being killed before anyone paid enough attention. And these are just big popular ones. I could go on and on.

Why do I bring that up? You see, it’s simple. In each and every one of these cases, the country… that is, the government… was on the wrong side of what we, for the most part, now consider basic human decency. That means every time someone, including my grandfather, fought a war to protect the sanctity of the United States, they were defending something that at the time was wrong and inhumane by our standards today. Why did things change? Because people, not the government, not the armed forces, and in many cases not even citizens yet, protested, bitched and moaned, engaged in civic disobedience and broke a fair amount of laws. They did this until enough people paid attention and changed their mind… and then waited for the people who refused to change their minds to fucking die. Because cultural change is hard. I could go into a lot of the reasons why. I could explain hegemony and cultural shift and backlash… but the details don’t matter for what is already going to be a very long post. The point is, change happens… people gain rights… the world gets better… because a lot of people bitch moan and piss off the people who would attempt to maintain the status quo and deny those rights. That’s how it works.

One of the big civil rights things going on right now is #BlackLivesMatter. Because in 2017, some 152 years after the end of the civil war, it turns out we still have a problem with police randomly killing black people. I don’t want to argue this point. I’ve done it before. It’s not what this post is really about. If you don’t think that happens … just… fuck you… really… Fuck you!

Anyway, a couple years ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, started silently protesting in favor of #BlackLivesMatter by refusing to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game. He’d actually been sitting for a couple games before anyone noticed, because it turns out no one really gave a shit about the 2nd string quarterback for the worst team in the NFC West during preseason. But once people noticed, this became a big story because it pissed off a lot of people because … uh… “how dare he protest something by disparaging the soldiers who died for that flag?” See, told you I’d get back to this. Several other players joined him. And some complained that he was being disrespectful. But really, the big deal was the random people across America that it pissed off.

This weekend, Marshawn Lynch did the same thing. Once again the controversy flared up. Oddly enough, some people were actually more pissed about this than they were the tragedy in Charlottesville this weekend. An irony that was not lost on the internet which helpfully made a lot of memes explaining how stupid it was for people to be more upset about player protests than they were about a fucking Nazi riot. I prefer to not make the equivocation. They aren’t the same thing. That said, if you do actually think that Marshawn Lynch not standing was the most important thing that happened this weekend, again… fuck you.

Anyway, something interesting happened to me yesterday. I spent the better part of the day arguing on Facebook with someone (who I won’t name here, but is welcome to out himself) because they posted a link to an article claiming that James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers said in an interview Sunday morning on KPLX radio that “Anyone on my teams sits for the national anthem, they better be in a wheelchair.” This immediately rang false to me… for one thing, I know who James Harrison is. I’m a big fan, in fact. But he’s not particularly known for being patriotic. In fact, this is the guy who told THE LAST TWO US PRESIDENTS to fuck off when they invited him to the White House after his Super Bowl victories. It didn’t seem like something he’d do. So I did about two seconds of research and found that there was another claim that Harrison had said something similar last year. That also turned out to be fake. And then I thought it through and remembered that I live in Pittsburgh… and there is no station named KPLX here. See, KPLX is a country radio station in Dallas… which is… uh…. not Pittsburgh. And their Sunday morning programming is a local news show followed by a nationally syndicated country music countdown show. There was literally no place for Harrison to have even done this interview. It was clearly a fake news article (so fake that in less than 24 hours, Lockerdome, the website where it was posted, has taken it down).

I informed the person who posted it that it was fake and how I knew and that he’d been trolled.

This set off a big argument. See, the guy who forwarded the article was very much of the opinion that it “doesn’t matter whether he said it or not. Because he should have said it.” I pointed out that the problem was that he’d likely not like Harrison’s actual politics and that there are plenty athletes who actually ARE against the protests. Harrison just apparently isn’t one of them. By posting an obviously fake news article he actually weakens his point. It makes him look like he’s not very smart. This was apparently unimportant to the guy. See, this person is a big armed forces supporter… very much of the “you owe veterans respect. You owe it to them to stand for the national anthem. And if you don’t like it get out of the country or just die.” This devolved into me kind of making fun of him, including making a reference to him being Col. Jessep from A Few Good Men, which he apparently took as a compliment because he seems to not realize that Jack Nicholson plays the villain in that movie.

It also involved me trying to explain logic to him (yeah, yeah, I know… losing battle… and I’ve pointed that out before… but still). He claimed he didn’t care whether it was true or not because it doesn’t matter what the image is, it’s the message that is important. I asked him if he’d feel the same way for any image. Would he have still forwarded the post if it had been attached to an image of Hillary Clinton? He said of course he would, and in fact it would be even better but that he would never live long enough for “her to say something that made that much sense.” I pointed out that he hasn’t lived long enough for Harrison to say something like that either. He reiterated that if he had photoshop he would have added a pic of Hilary to the quote right then and there. Because it’s the message that counts not the image. So I posted the most recent tweet from @PresVillain, a great Twitter feed that simply adds actual quotes from Trump to comics featuring the Red Skull.

He didn’t seem to like that at all!

So he called me an asshole (I am) and then once again complained that I deserved to die because I don’t respect the tradition of standing at NFL football games. You know, that age old tradition that dates all the way back to 2009. Oh, you didn’t know that? Yeah, 2009 is when the NFL started having players stand for the national anthem. Before that the players weren’t even on the field until after the anthem, and for the most part everyone in the crowd just ignored it. They mostly didn’t play it on TV, except in big games like the Super Bowl. It was just a thing that people vaguely knew happened and nobody cared about. So if you care about it now, it’s not really tradition… unless of course you’re really married to an idea that happened “a little while ago”. No, what you care about is disparaging the black guy who is basically doing nothing except annoying you because he won’t step in line to your expectations just to point out the hypocrisy of the fact that you think your non-tradition is more important than his right to NOT DIE.

And that is kind of the point. That is why the flag protest matters. The specific thing that he is fighting for is to NOT fucking die. To show people that what he deserves is basic human decency… and to NOT DIE. A lot has been made of “well, then he should protest some other way.” But see, that’s the key to a good protest. The entire point of the protest is that it bothers people that you don’t agree with. Sure, Kaepernick could protest in a way that doesn’t offend people who don’t agree with him, but that’s not much of a protest. See, there’s one kind of protest where people go and march somewhere… and that’s all well and good. But the most useful protest isn’t the one that energizes the people who agree with you. It’s the one that pisses off the people who don’t. That’s where change happens. Why? Because at the end of the day, all Kaepernick is doing is… nothing… He’s literally just doing nothing. It’s not very notable. Where all the press comes from is people who disagree with him complaining. They’re the ones doing all the work! The brilliance of Kaepernick’s protest is that his press is generated almost entirely by people who don’t agree with him.

When my grandfather returned from WWII he came back to a world that still didn’t give a shit about black people. Because veterans don’t automatically get respect. When veterans came home from Viet Nam, people literally spit on them. Again. No respect. And the flag? Well, the Supreme Court ruled that the flag was so not sacred that it’s completely ok to burn it just to piss people off way back in 1989… you know, two whole years before the country decided that as a black man I had an actual right to a job. And all of these things are because the actual foundation of this country… the actual ideology behind us existing in the first place, the very thing that soldiers are actually going to war for and dying for, is defending is the right to complain about things you don’t like. Specifically, you are defending Kaepernick’s, Lynch’s and even my right to complain, bitch and moan, and generally not respect you! You are defending our right to engage in civil disobedience just to make things better for ourselves whether you like it or not. That’s why it’s called service. Because you serve.

And for that part, I actually am thankful. Thank you for spreading the message inadvertently with your poorly conceived complaints. Every time you do, other people… people we cannot reach, see your complaints and think “wow, that guy sounds really, really stupid. Maybe I don’t want to think like him” and cultural change happens. I am thankful… but I’m also sorry.

I’m sorry that you were lied to. I’m sorry that you were made to believe that you were fighting for a piece of cloth. I’m sorry you were made to believe that serving entitled you to some level of respect. See, because if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t think Kaepernick should be allowed to kneel… if you’re the kind of person that is offended by it… well, then frankly, you were tricked. You shouldn’t have served to protect the rights of a country and an ideology that you don’t believe in. You were tricked into serving a country that you don’t actually understand. You were tricked by being sold a bill of goods wrapped up in some pretty colors and a catchy tune. You tell me who told you this so I can go and tell them they lied to you. It kind of sucks and it wasn’t fair. And life isn’t fair.  Sort of like being born black in America. And so I’ll make you a deal. And I’m betting Colin Kaepernick will agree with me… I’ll start respecting you and the flag and standing for the national anthem… as soon as cops stop killing black men.

77 comments for “The Lie of the Anthem and the Flag

  1. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Great piece. FTR I knee jerked on Kaepernick and eventually changed my thinking. You’re absolutely correct that his strategy is brilliant.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 5:34 am

      Which is actually kind of the point. If nothing else, people like this are really good at making smart people go “wait, the person I’m inclined to automatically agree with is kind of an idiot. Maybe I should rethink things.”

  2. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Word.

  3. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 2:37 am

    I wish that there was a standing ovation emoji. All well said.

  4. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 4:12 am

    I know it is only mildly pertinent, but I wanted to point out that Lynch has been sitting for the anthem his entire career. Somebody just happened to notice it this last weekend because of Kaepernick.

  5. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I chose love for a few reasons. One, thanks for being outspoken and placing more importance on putting things in context than on keeping it to 140 characters (which, in my book, is really just social media euphemism for “ok, say what you want, but shut the fuck up about it”). Two, we are in desperate need of more philia…not gullibly (it’s not wise to stick your neck out to someone holding a knife), but with understanding, as in the opposite of phobia (cause ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds hate; white nationalists chanting, “we will not be replaced” evidences this)…And few, if you are in fact an asshole (I didn’t think you were, but I’ll take your word for it), then you’re using your powers for good, which is difficult, but worthwhile.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 5:39 am

      Oh, I was totally an asshole. i was on purpose. I often am. But thank you.

    • avatar
      August 18, 2017 at 3:39 am

      Chris Maverick – I confess, I too, am often an asshole. Whatever gets the job done….

      Great post.

    • avatar
      August 18, 2017 at 3:40 am

      Thank you. If you’re up for some good assholery you’re welcome to jump on my most recent post where I am current arguing with an idiot racist who clearly can’t read beyond seeing that I mentioned BLM so he’s all about spouting rhetoric.

  6. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Great piece! Kaepernick’s protest is brilliant. Do you think his protest is the reason why he isn’t working in the NFL? I do want to understand more about how social and cultural change occurs sometime…. I feel like it needs to happen on a number of issues I care about.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Partly…. a large part… but not entirely. The truth is Kaepernick really is just not very good. He’s not BAD or anything. But still, he was the 2nd string QB on a team that went 2-14. If he was Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger, teams might be more inclined to take a chance on him… but since he’s not, basically I think the teams are not willing to deal with the drama kick-back. Lynch on the other hand is that good… so teams will put up with more.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:12 am

      I can name nine NFL teams that have crappier starting QBs than Kaep though.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Right. And if he were good enough to reverse a franchise then you put up with the drama.

      But Kaepernick is not going to take the Browns to the Super Bowl so is he worth losing support over? That’s the thinking here. If you’re at an F do you take PR heat just to go to a D?

  7. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I’ve had similar thoughts about the Charlottesville solidarity protest over in Durham last night where protesters tore down a Confederate Monument.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Right…. it’s a weird little conundrum actually. And acts why I tossed in “breaking laws” throughout this. What the Durham protestors are doing is unquestionably breaking laws. And maybe some will even go to jail for it…. and that’s kind of the price of progress…. it’s not fair… and as my grandfather said… neither is life. And sometimes you just have to do that.

  8. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 6:15 am

    People tried to cause this kind of fuss in Canada this year because they didn’t like the commemorative flag for Canada’s 150th anniversary (in part because it contained the LGBQT colours, in part because it was angular and funky). Part of the argument was that it was the Trudeau gov’t insulting the regular Canadian flag that “people died for.” But the modern Canadian flag wasn’t designed and adopted until 1965, so nobody died in the World Wars for it (and conservatives hated it then, because it didn’t include the Union Jack); the 150th commemorative flag had been chosen by contest under the previous, Conservative gov’t; and it was a temporary thing anyway, just like the flag for our 100th anniversary in 1967, so soon the only place you’ll have to worry about seeing it is at Liquidation World. There are a few Canadians who think we need Trumpism up here…

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 8:57 am

      I think cultural memory is very short. Once you’ve justified your position in the current cultural frame, it’s much easier to rewrite your understanding of the past to just sort of map onto it.

      The fact that the understanding of the past is wrong is irrelevant.

  9. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Agree about 98%, just want to make two comments. 1) I don’t think Col. Jessup was a true villain (in some ways he reminds me of my own grandfather, also a Marine, but never made it past Sergeant… but anyway) He was a man whose heart was in the right place but made bad decisions, and that’s why the movie was so damn good despite having Tom Cruise in it. 2) Not disagreeing with you in any way but I think the purpose behind putting words in Harrison’s mouth is that Harrison is an undisputably first team player. Love him or hate him he’s damn good. So I think the point was to be able to say “hey, look, this second stringer is making a fuss about this but the real player is telling him he’s full of shit.” (I believe there’s an actual uncomplimentary name for what Harrison supposedly did, but not being black myself, I won’t repeat it.) And while I already was a Harrison fan, I’m glad that he spoke out and said it was bullshit.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:00 am

      1) jessup is absolutely the villain. There’s a key thing the narrative does to establish this. He covers up the crime. His view on code reds and their importance is defendable. But he doesn’t acknowledge that view because he knows it’s illegal. And he covers it up because his moral righteousness isn’t as important to him as not getting in trouble.

      2) Harrison is a “man’s man” and he’s black. That’s the usefulness of lying about him. “Look this black dude says I’m right”

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

      1) well, not only does he cover up the crime, but his hyper-macho persona led him to commit the crime. He couldn’t allow private santiago(?) to just leave the base. He considered him weak and ordered the code red to punish the guy for being weak (not considering that perhaps he had some underlying medical condition responsible for his inability to perform, as that would require empathy, a decidedly un-masculine trait). At least that’s my memory and take on the movie

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Oh, that’s absolutely correct. But I think that could even be justified as “I’m doing what I can to make the country safer” if you subscribe to Jessup’s morality. But i think the coverup is key. I think that’s the point where you go “even if you believe this… then he still did something wrong.” (Which is basically how Caffey gets him in the end)

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:05 am

      That was kind of my point. He lost sight of human decency but because he truly thought he needed to be harsh and relentless for the good of the country. There’s plenty of examples of real life figures that have fallaciously told themselves that the ends justified the means.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Sure… but Red Skull thinks he’s right too… He’s still the bad guy.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      I was thinking more of someone like Oliver North, but I suppose Red Skull works as and example too 🙂

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      “2) Not disagreeing with you in any way but I think the purpose behind putting words in Harrison’s mouth is that Harrison is an undisputably first team player.”

      Interesting timing. http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/12627960-74/steelers-lb-james-harrison-fine-with-backup-role

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      I mean, he is 157 years old…. lest we forget… technically he retired three years ago…

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      I know, I just thought it was funny that the 2nd link I clicked on after reading that comment was about Harrison being a backup. No serious dispute of the overall point intended.

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Yeah. I figured.

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      To be fair I haven’t been paying attention to football yet because I’ve been busy at work. I know my priorities are all screwed up. But I’m sure it was a case of ‘my black guy is better than your black guy.’ except for the whole making stuff up part.

  10. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

  11. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I was not lied to. I entered the military to protect your right to be an asshole. Not you in particular, I believe I was thinking of Larry Flint at the time. That, to me, is what the flag stands for, 315 million assholes all trying to make the country into their personal dream.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Awesome. I totally should have referenced the people vs Larry flint.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

      You weren’t lied to? But I thought “your recruiter lied to you” was part of boot?

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Dave Van Domelen One of the march songs included “My recruiter screwed me too,” there were others with lyrics not appropriate to repeat.

      Dark humor is issued along with the uniform.

  12. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 8:02 am

    ” the world gets better”

    Who defines “better”…

    Also, people can and should protest anything they like, just so long as they understand that saying something, truly believing it, does not make it so. It does not make them righteous to point out injustice that they perceive, even if their view is shared by others.

    You make some good points, even if I do not agree with your overall assessment.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Ummm…well in this case I define “better”

      I’m not sure where you’re going here. Is your stance really “who says it’s better for more people to be equal. Maybe black people and women shouldn’t be allowed to vote”?

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Chris Maverick I am not “going” anywhere with this. You answered my question.

  13. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Very nice very nice!

  14. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Could not agree more

  15. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Such a smart piece of writing.

  16. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

    would 100% pay cash dollars to see james harrison punch a nazi.

  17. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Mav’s grandfather had all the best quotes.

  18. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Awwww….. the guy blocked me. I am sad….. now I am told that I am missing him literally defending the white supremacists who’s are getting unfairly blamed while the liberals are looting national monuments.

    And you know what…. good… because this is exactly the usefulness that I was getting at…. as unpleasant as it might be to have people saying that, i maintain that it is far better for him to be showing his colors to that level than not.

  19. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Just finished a 2 hour-long debate with this guy. I had to give up. He just kept turning the conversation into “liberals” this and “liberals” that. He kept insisting the Nazis were a liberal party because they were “socialist” and “anti-gun”.
    He kept comparing “liberals” and the counterprotestors to the “Real Nazis”. No matter how many times I said, I think the Nazis WERE THE ONES WITH THE SWASTIKAS!
    I finally posted an article from the Encyclopedia Britanica explaining the origins of the National Socialist Party. And he DELETED it! And said “I don’t want to read your trash”. Actual quote. That is when I gave up.

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Yeah. The reason he was mad at me was literally for pointing out “this is a fake story.” Like I didn’t bring any of my politics into at all. I was just pointing out that his source was in error and he should find a good one (there are actually plenty)

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      I didn’t bring up personal politics either. My initial comment was to point out that the National Social Party was a conservative party founded on the values of old Germany. All I said at first. He immediately started attacking me for being a “liberal”. Then once I started claiming the protesters were the ones responsible for the violence, he got really pissed and started calling me a “Nazi”. I’m tired now. LOL.

  20. avatar
    August 15, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    A couple of things Chris:
    1) I also say “mic drop” on this

    2) It amazes me how many soldiers that I have worked with (Marines and now Army) have the belief “Hey, I’m serving so you can do what you wanna do and be an asshole if you want” and how many non-military people get offended when they feel someone is being disrespectful to the flag or country or soldiers when they have never served.

    3) I was never against CK. I was against people who were against him for kneeling. I used to point out to MANY people who complained that the National Anthem – as you pointed out – used to only be televised during big games like the Thanksgiving Game or the Super Bowl. But I did find it kind of interesting that once he started kneeling, the NFL suddenly saw fit to broadcast the National Anthem on televised 49er games.

    4) I also have made similar points about “effective protests”. What’s her name from The Blaze… Tomi whats-her-name drives me crazy… kneeling in “wrong”, marching is wrong, voicing your opinion is apparently also wrong – unless you’re a young, white conservative chick… Like so many have asked before, exactly what is the “Tomi approved method of protest for a POC”? I would REALLY love to know…

    Anyway, those are just my thoughts. 🙂

    • avatar
      August 15, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks. Yeah, there’s a point where outrage becomes performative. “I want you to see that I’m more of patriot than you because I am outraged about this arbitrary thing that I don’t really understand. And you’re less American than me because you aren’t.”

    • avatar
      August 16, 2017 at 3:59 am

      Chris Maverick that pretty much sums up Toni what’s-her-name fairly well. ?

  21. avatar
    August 16, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    This. Is. Amazing.

    Thank you!!

  22. avatar
    August 17, 2017 at 3:56 am

    The military swear to uphold the constitution. Those that serve have by and large have earned my respect. I worked for and with them for years and most are great Americans. The flag worship is, IMHO, compensation by those that didn’t serve or that feel (appropriate) guilt for how vets were treated and project it onto everyone else. Most military folk know history and the constitution a lot better than the folks feeling misplaced outrage on their behalf.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 4:29 am

      Well the individual in question is technically a vet. Was in the navy in the 80s. And will remind you every second. His refrain is “oh, you have an opinion? Tell me, when did you serve?”

      So no, in this case he doesn’t know the history. It’s just a play for respect.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 4:57 am

      Hold up. That motherfucker was acting like he was in a war.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 5:15 am

      yeah…. that’s why I never actually address it when he brings it up (you can go back and see prior comments on other posts). He graduated form HS in ’77, which means even if he went immediately his “service” was in peace time. But he is o the type that believes that this entitles him to being a superior human being. (well that and the fact that he is white).

      Every time he said it, I wanted to point out that “you know, I designed software for the military… (same projects as Jake) and for the federal government (different projects). I have probably saved far more people than you ever did. In fact, I designed the software that FEMA uses to manage every emergency in this state. So I’ve saved your life. Show me respect.” But he wouldn’t have understood it anyway, so it would have been lost on him. Far easier to just ignore that part of his argument since it clearly frustrated him that I never acknowledged it.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Oh! That guy! The guy that thinks Starship Troopers is real life and you are only a “true citizen” if you served in the military!

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Yep. That’s him.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 8:48 am

      I didn’t care for that guy.

    • avatar
      August 17, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Perfect description of that puffed up jagoff, Matt.

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