Symbol over Substance

I wonder how it feels to have your protest stolen.

To be honest, I’ve never been a 49er or a Colin Kaepernick fan. When he sat down for the national anthem to draw attention to the inequities that still exists in our culture for people of color, I thought him disrespectful of our country.

But then he, and others, decided to kneel instead, not wanting people to mistake their protest as disrespect for flag, country, or its men and women in uniform. They just wanted our society to confront the fact that racial inequality still exists in our society. It does you know. You’d be a fool to think otherwise.

But most white people it seems would rather ignore that fact, thinking it was fixed fifty years ago when we passed civil rights legislation. While we do have equality under the law, we don’t yet have an equitable society given the great economic disadvantages that hold over from slavery and segregation. The escalating fear between police and the black community has led at times to innocent people being shot, and white America for the most part ignores it. It’s a problem for the ‘hood, or so they want to think.

What these athletes were hoping is that the majority white audience of the NFL would be confronted with a problem that is as yet unresolved in our culture and stand the powerless who live in neighborhoods most people wouldn’t choose to live in, who are incarcerated at disproportionate rates with disproportionate terms, and who lack the opportunities to better their lives that others have.

Why are we in white America so uncomfortable that we don’t want to take a look at the problem? Yes, it’s huge. No we don’t have enough governmental funds to throw at it, but the first step to change isn’t a new program, but compassion for people who weren’t born with the same advantages you were. You don’t have to be a racist to ignore it; you just have to be uncaring for humanity and too content with your own advantage.

To ignore the deeper issue others twisted it to make it about patriotism, the very thing these athletes were bending over backward to make sure we couldn’t do. Even President Trump has decided that to make America great again we have to despise those people who want to confront us with the truth that the ideals of this great nation don’t yet apply to all of us. I’m weary of those who want to defend his denigration of fellow American citizens expressing free speech as “sons of b*****s” and demand they be fired rather than take their concerns seriously. His actions simply underscore what began the protest in the first place and it is disappointing that he doesn’t see it as his responsibility as President to bring us together on these issues, rather than polarize us for the popularity he craves with his base.

Even the NFL teams who are linking arms, or staying in locker rooms are subverting the original issue by making it about free speech or team unity, rather then the inequities of race still inherent in our culture.

I wonder how it feels to have your protest stolen, to watch people care more about a flag than they do the lives of those living under it. Our soldiers fight for freedom overseas, but their work is not done if we’re not willing to fight for it at home—-for every American. Black lives suffering under oppression, fear and poverty do matter and their plight needs to move us all.

We need a better conversation about race in our culture and finding ways to nurture greater opportunities for those who are disadvantaged, not by our intent perhaps but by ignoring a history that didn’t treat us all fairly. We need reasonable men and women to come to the table and take up the task of making our society safer, fairer, and more equitable for all.

Nelson Mandela fought against bitterness for peace in post-apartheid South Africa by believing none of us are free until we all are free.

He was right. It’s not the symbol of liberty that’s at risk here, but liberty itself!

37 thoughts on “Symbol over Substance”

  1. Seems disingenuous to argue symbol over substance when that’s all kneeling is. Let’s face it, it’s now become the new fashionable protest, egged on by a President who lets his passion overrule his judgment and drive his mouth (or his Twitter thumbs). A few years back it was “Hand up! Don’t shoot.” Of course, that turned out to be a lie. But no bother. The pop-culture lexicon had moved on to the next great unifying act of meaningless conformity. I have no beef with football players, but it irks me that they are being equated with activists who have shed blood for their causes. Yes, these guys and their owners are sending a message, and it’s not that the world needs to wake up to the plight of minorities. It’s that you can’t mess with a billion-dollar industry and get away with it.

  2. Wayne,
    First of all, the protest was originally about police brutality. It is interesting that those who want to call attention to that do so while ignoring far deeper problems in the AA community. Children growing up without a father, crime against its own members, drug abuse, etc are daily realities that none of the protesters talk about.
    Second, if an average viewer of NFL games decided to protest at work, they’d at least be reprimanded and probably be fired. Yes, there is a First Amendment, but protesting at work without repercussions has never been shielded by it.
    This is not about white people ignoring the problem. There are a gazillion “white people” in ministries who daily try to help those who are in need, regardless of color. You’re white, and I would venture to say that you have tried to help people throughout your life.
    Colin Kaepernick originally was disrespecting the flag and the country and the anthem. He wore socks with police officers as pigs. Most people, white or black or whatever respect the police and would not condone such a portrayal.
    I personally do not know any white supremacists or racists. I know a lot of people who are working hard and trying to get along. If you looked further into some of the protests, you’d see that they are not comprised of average folks, but often are made up of people bused in from other places who are radical agitators and want to foment hate and racism. I’ve seen this in North Carolina.
    I’d encourage you to point people to the amazing love of God, and not use the platform God has given you to try to cause your readers to feel “white guilt” or shame. Again, most people are trying to make a living and are not caught up in racism and hate. This is a large part of why people are reacting negatively to what they see on their televisions. They want the respite that sports brings. They don’t want people who are making 7+ figures just to play a game, to complain about the very country that has given them the opportunity to make that kind of money and play a game.
    Finally, Kaepernick’s concerns at the time were real. There were several incidents that were alarming involving the police and people of color. But, there has to have been a better way to bring those concerns to light than by wearing cops as pigs socks.

    1. My recollection, Mark, was that it was more than police brutality at the beginning, And, yes the pigs-as-police socks were reprehensible and was one of those one-time acts that shouldn’t distract from his larger message. As I said I’m not a CK fan. And yes I know many people are involved in bettering life in the inner city. That wasn’t my point either. This is about systemic inequity, that has to be solved at a higher level. I”m looking at this through the eyes of black men and women I know personally who do feel as if the white world is largely ignorant of the challenges they’ve faced in this country. In Richard Rothstein’s new book, THE COLOR OF LAW, he points out that “government functionaries across the nation have aggressively worked for decades to keep black people in inferior, segregated housing,” and outlines the generational impact of doing so.

      And this isn’t about “white guilt” for me, and I’m not encouraging it for anyone. “White guilt” is the way we dismiss concerns on one side like “white privilege” is the cry on the other side to be dismissive of hard work and generosity. Such language does not fit into my hope that reasonable men and women can help us work through the racial divide in our country so that all have the benefits of liberty.

  3. There is a time and a place for everything. Inequality exists in lots of places, not just amongst blacks and the police. It happen with woman, other races, the poor, and the underprivileged everywhere. Why just choose blacks and police. Why not put some of the millions footballs players are making back into their cause and really do somehthing to change their situation. How easy to take a knee, how about mentoring, leadership, and education. Mandela loved those who persecuted him, he didn’t smash other people’s businesses and ruin innocent people’s lives. He showed the world how to love and really make positive changes.

  4. John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.”

    I’ve been reflecting on this passage spoken by John in the midst of all the controversy over the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, Trump, etc. It seems to me that as a Christian, I can be so easily distracted by the controversies in this world that I forget that the world is not going to be getting any better; except at Christ’s return during the Millennium. Peace will reign then, ONLY because He’ll be ruling with an iron fist and NOT because man has all of a sudden gotten better at being loving and creating peace. It’s in the Lord’s plan that our fallen society and nation continue to break apart.

    There’s such a tendency for me sometimes to act shocked about the world being the world. Instead, I could be seeing the Lord and show compassion, seizing these as opportunities to pray that the Holy Spirit touch their lives to see Jesus. In reality He is the only answer to anything and everything – not exhausting myself in endless conversation as to whether they have the right to kneel or not kneel or whether they are being disrespectful to our nation. Jesus’ heart towards the world was, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

    One of the world’s favorite terms for Christians is “hypocrites” and aren’t they accurate, when I am so busy taking the splinter out of the world’s eyes rather than taking the boulder out of my own eyes – the boulder of unbelief, of not seeing the Lord’s hand in all that is crumbling down around us in the world? Am I so busy charging them with disrespect for the country, while I’m at the same time showing disrespect to the Lord by not trusting Him, His omniscience, His omnipotence and His word, resting peacefully in Him, being His light in the world? I believe I need to be growing in how to “judge not” and learning at the same time to discern and judge what is truth/Truth. Is He in me here to save the world instead of condemning it?

    Matt. 12:36-37 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”

  5. This is Liberal claptrap. Progressives are going after another American Institution that stands for masculinity, individual achievement and becoming the best you can be…The American Dream. There is nothing stopping these pampered millionaires from helping their communities with their celebrity and money to build Centers, improve neighborhoods, Mentor, invest in businesses or join with Police Departments for outreach and education. The Left has been after the NFL for years and has finally found their useful idiots to do their dirty work. You need to wake up to this agenda by the Elite Globalists (George Soros, Vasnderbilts) who are funding all the disruptive groups and slogans to pit black against white, using racism, sexism and every ism they can to tear our institutions down, erase our history, destroy our symbols, deny American Exceptonalism and they do this by liberal education and indoctrination, constant barrage of Fake news (“Hands up, Don’t shoot” is a lie) and fake issues. Every community suffering what these players want to protest are run by Democrats for 50 years who scam and skim and are as corrupt as the rabbis in the temples. They convince blacks that they are victims and to vote for them by handing out govt freebies and then fleece their communities on the back end. Read “The Lie”ANN by Dinesh Dsouza for starters then try Mark Levin’s latest, anything by Victor Davis Hanson and other educators like Walter E Williams and Burgess Owens “How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps”

    1. All that is smokescreen, Anne. All you have to do is step back and ask if most black children are growing up in the same America as most white children? Do they have the same safety and opportunities? Don’t let the extremists on either side take your eye off of the basic humanity we can share with one another out of love and compassion. I’m not a liberal and I don’t believe everything I read from either side. This column came out of conversations with black brothers and sisters that I know personally and looking through their eyes at the equity in our culture. You are free to disagree with me, but please be part of a positive conversation that can make a difference not just shout slogans from the grandstands.

      1. Wow, you just accused Ann of shouting slogans from the grandstands, after claiming to want to have a honest dialogue about what is taking place. The humanity of the brokenness and pain, does not exclude the larger battle that is raging that many are asleep to. The ramifications of the reality of the appearance of things, not being exposed will cause more human evil that we have not seen. Compassion and and understanding, is not at the exclusion of other important truths taking place. It’s okay to call out something if you think what is being done is disingenuous. God’s heart is so pure to man’s plight of suffering throughout history. Also, mans inpure intentions have used many truths to push forward an agenda that was not for the better of the original problem. The powers and forces propelling this forward in this way, I believe is one of them.

  6. Well said, Wayne! All from the commenter above may be true, partially true, or completely false, but the fact remains that there is inequality in this nation and it is felt by black Americans and others. To walk around as a white person without being conscious of the disparity is ignorance (I’m not saying at all that Ann is doing this). To say something like, “I don’t see color, we are all the same,” is ignorance. To know what to do about it all is complicated and difficult. But to know there is a problem and to keep your eyes open to those that would use it to capitalize on their own agenda (like Ann mentioned) is important as well.

  7. When I see that I have an email and it’s one of your blogs, I look forward to reading it with great anticipation. I came to trust you to deliver a spiritual message that would feed my soul. I love what you write about the pure love of our triune Father. I love it when you write about our coming Bridegroom, our forever home. That’s what I so love and need!

    1. Hi Betty. Thanks for your feedback. Of course that’s mostly the kind of posts that I do, but I’m not just one-dimensional. I’m an engaged part of the world I live in and have some opinions even if others with whom I share faith disagree or would rather not read it. That’s why God gave us all a “delete” button! 🙂

  8. Wayne,
    I do agree that there needs to be more conversation on this issue, but I do not think you can throw it back on the the white mans and woman, when blacks are Lilly each other daily, and more white people are killed by police than blacks are. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I worked for everything I have. Plus, I was raised in Tulare, CA on the south side a block from P street. This was what we would call the hood! I think if everyone continues to blame the church going white guy fot their problems we will never be free as you have stated. I watch a debate with a black democrat, and a white republican. The democrat was constantly blaming the white guy, and would not listen to the other mans point of view. Please tell me how do we set down and talk, when our political parties cannot even have a civil discussion? The church needs to be more engaged in this discussion.

    1. Yes, there are whites who have worked their way out of similar circumstances, and their are blacks who have as well. Yes our public debate on all this is horrendous. It helps not to look to the extremists on either side, but simply to see people for who they are and our society for what it is. This may start at local levels, since our politicians act like children, and greedy ones at that.

  9. I appreciate Wayne that you have posted about this issue. We need to have discussions. As you say blacks obviously continue to suffer inequalities. I just wish the protest wasn’t during the national anthem as this can be perceived as disrespectful and ungrateful to our veterans. It doesn’t help that our President talks in some provocative ways. If only the President has shown some empathy and suggested a different solution. It also doesn’t help that those who claim to fight for the rights of black lives don’t take a stand against violence. I am not much for “programs” but at the minimum I wish national leadership would initiate discussions for solutions at some level with representation by those discriminated against. But, as you say maybe not more programs but all reading this post look at their own individual heart and don’t turn a blind eye to their friends who don’t see a problem.

    1. Mike, I appreciate that you can look beyond the form of these protests and see the issue behind it and hope for something better. Too many are so distracted by HOW they are doing it, they miss WHY they are. As a consciousness raising exercise, however, I honestly don’t know what else they could do that would get the attention this has. I don’t have a problem with someone kneeling during the national anthem. That’s a respectful gesture that veterans don’t need to take personally. Now, if they sat down during it, or spit on it, that would be a bit of a problem. But in the end it’s just a song and a flag. We’re talking about people’s lives here and the feeling that most of America doesn’t care about the situation many of them live in. No, these athletes don’t live that way with their high-priced salaries, but isn’t it wonderful that they haven’t forgotten where they came from and others they want to help lift up? And as someone else said, I hope they are doing the mentoring, and assisting behind the scenes and not just making a public show of their discontent.

  10. Hey Wayne
    First time at this forum.
    As a Believer, a Veteran, a former football player, and an American, I find the choice of platform and execution of this “cause” to be disrespectful of everything that makes us American and at best, its suspect of those who have greatly enhanced their station in life on the backs of those they allegedly care about. Regardless of who is in the White House during this season, our political system has not prepared a single person to deal with the broad issues that lie before ALL of us. We must move beyond what the Government can do for me and to blame everyone else but myself for much that happens in my life. The Federal government wasn’t formed to fix every personal issue.

    It is very unfortunate that in 2017, most all of our so-called systems have been corrupted. A quick glance reminds me that whether its our family, political, social-economic, education, 4th estate, immigration, and/or even our spiritual beliefs, they ALL have been perverted. If this is a valid attempt to bring light to not just one issue but several, then stipulate such. Any of these Pro ballplayers can be on TV with a phone call! And, even if there were those of us genuinely interested in getting involved, how would we know if we were making progress? No one has presented a succinct reason, argument, or goal for these escapades. Its now the President’s fault.

    Over the past 6 or 7 years, I have spent quite a bit of time in Atlanta’s urban neighborhoods and can tell you first hand there has been a complete breakdown in the black community by those who are predominately black. I have witnessed pure contempt and vile accusations towards those not black offering suggestions on how to better these neighborhoods. Yet, we have had a black President, a Democratic-controlled congress, and Atlanta has a black Mayor and still nothing has changed. Unemployment, poverty, welfare, HS drop out levels, and loss of hope have all grown exponentially!!! Where were the legitimate protests and outrage over the last 8 years?

    As to the violence, the shootings in Chicago are >90% black on black. This is a National disgrace and inhuman to allow happen. Yet, No One wants to have a genuine discussion on the underlying catalysts. I believe black killings by police are less than 5% of all black deaths in the US. So, we are going to skip over the thousands of deaths for the 2,3, 4, or dozen mishaps? That, simply stated, doesn’t sound practical, sensible, or a genuine attempt at correcting anything. And, just maybe, that is what the powers to be want – protests that don’t generate a platform for solutions. I don’t concur that anyone’s protests have been stolen. If, anything, the platform for real, substantive change for the better has been high-jacked by the elitists and so-called civil rights leaders of the past generation.

    The USA is an experiment of biblical proportions. If we, as a people, allow our history, both the good and bad, to be erased then who are we? If we, as a people, allow for the only true reflection that enables ALL creeds, races, and walks of life to be as one (American), then, maybe Glubb Pasha is correct with his thesis on the 7 steps in a society’s lifecycle – and we are in stage 7: decline and collapse. We have become so inept as a “People” that the experiment has come to its natural ends. And to those who believe that, please find another country to live in and send us a post card on how great it is..


    Living Life Loved…. or at least giving it my best…

    1. Hang in there, Jason. This isn’t easy. And as is true of any group of people, the worst examples don’t make the fairest ones. The challenges in the inner city are huge, but it’s also true that the reasonable people who want to make a difference don’t have the tools or the resources to win against the criminal element. It always helps me to think of the kids in these environments and realize if we don’t make a difference the generations will just keep repeating itself.

  11. Kudos, Wayne — Well spoken and not once did you use what I believe is a most divisive term, “AFRICAN American”. Your use of the old and easily understood– “black” / “white” –adequately describes our skin variety and in part our appearance as Americans. I have 4 great grandchildren– two of whom are “black & white…. I call them the “chocolate chips in our family cookie ” They are beautiful little boys, and hopefully, know their “GGMo” just happens to be white. My prayer for them is they will consider themselves “Blessed” to be AMERICAN.

    1. It’s hard to know what terms to use today without offending some wing or another, but I figure the issue is big enough that we can get past terminology as long as were not using it pejoratively. 🙂

  12. My heart has been aching over the last several days while engaging in conversations within my community about this. Your post arrived in my inbox with perfect timing! Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write the post and send it.

  13. Wayne, I’m glad you have the conviction and courage to write what needs to be said, especially by people with your platform. Thanks for taking the time to respond thoughtfully and graciously to those who don’t share your perspective.
    I formerly held the same point of view as some who have commented here. Two powerful resources that have helped change my perspective are the address by Tom Skinner at Urbana in 1970,
    along with Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk
    and book Just Mercy.

  14. I appreciate what you wrote. In my former years, I was one of those “that’s disrespect for our country” or something of the like. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to see that I failed to walk a mile in my brother/sister’s shoes and it showed in my speech and attitude. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t see. So much has changed and now my eyes have been opened in a new way. It wasn’t without pain, either. We are humans. All of us. When we are cut, we bleed. We all want dignity and respect. My fellow humans, red and yellow, black and white want to be heard. They want to be loved. And they want to tell their children that they matter as much as the next guy. There is no such thing as color-blind, I don’t believe. But there is such thing as, I see you and I love you and you matter enormously!! May Christ’s willingness to show compassion and love change us all!

  15. It’s so true what you said and so obvious when you’ve suffered injustice, not necessarily racial. You’ll think of others with empathy and painful understanding of their suffering and you’ll have a passion to see things maked right. But for the powerful, for the beneficiary of the injustice, why would they want to see it? They can’t afford to have a conscience. Would mean to give up their advantage, their comfort for justice.

  16. When most people in America are fighting just to make ends meet, many NFL players included, they simply do what they have to do to survive. They’re not thinking about the bigger picture. They’re thinking about, what can I do to keep a job and keep food on the table. They look at a Colin Kapernick and decide that is too high a price to pay to go down that road. Until it became the norm in professional football to kneel, stand, lock arms, what have you, in response to the President, very few if anyone did it. Idealism gives way to reality. In the inner cities many times the only alternative is to join a gang or deal drugs, again, to simply survive. How does someone with a better way truly cut through that? MLK tried, and was killed. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Jesus was treated like a common criminal. People give lip service, may get a nudge to do something, but at the end of the day, they go back to what they know. And what they know, is simply, do whatever it takes even if it doesn’t seem the right way or the best way to others.

  17. Wayne, in one of your comments above, you said ” it helps not to look at the extremists on either side.” That’s a great starting point. I get annoyed when I hear anyone, liberal or conservative,Christian or non- Christian talking in generalities or categorizing everyone. Racism is real.

    1. Thanks Christine. That’s how I see it now. The extremists (and those influenced by them) are sitting in the stands yelling at the other side some chant they’ve learned. And the other side is screaming back their slogans trying to drown them out. There is no interaction that leads to healing. We need to find the reasonable adults in the room from both sides who can find their way to the field, shake hands, and find out enough about each other’s concerns to actually seek solutions that are fair and helpful. Both sides have something to bring to the table and the best solution will encompass all the concerns.

  18. Wayne,
    I must say from reading this thread that your pants are down and you are definitely ill equipped in both knowledge and experience in this particular matter. Ann, Linda, and Jason articulated their positions very well-nothing ambiguous or hard to understand. Your condescension was palpable. I can respond both from where I grew up and from history even before the civil rights movement to say that you are supporting just one more form of slavery. Like the Occupy Wall Street crowd, no one will remember what the protests were about next year because the facts and sources were both unsubstantiate nor specific nor were tangible solutions offered in how to handle them. Instead, this just boxes aimlessly at the air. Real and effective protests present the facts as known and admit what isn’t yet known but should be looked into. This approach lacks all the slightest of that intelligence and will fail miserably for it. The very unity and justice that maligned black individuals from various communities is not being heard and has produced alienation with some hardening of hearts that might listen to verifiable cases in another venue. This is one of the worst approaches ever to resolving real oppression, and you are deeply participating in being part of the problem not the solution. I’m sure that you have many valuable things to say about other subjects, but here it’s obvious to me and others that have both written posts and read your comments that you don’t grasp the solution well at this juncture.

  19. Wayne, what do you suppose, is the disparity between blacks and other races caused by inequitable laws targeting blacks or a constant stream of culture lies that bind them to their poverty? Who are these NFL protesters siding with? Perhaps groups like Black Live Matters? What are the values of BLM? Let’s pull some info straight from the source. He is a statement of belief from their website. “We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.”
    They are commited to fight against the number one problem in their community!!! Sadly, almost everybody who views and treats blacks like some special needs race (liberals) who must be condescened to offers the same broken solutions, which do more to hurt than heal. The democtratic/ progressive party cannot survive without a victim. So far, the AA community has been glad voluteer. If you believe you are victim you will act the victim. Thankfully, there is a large population of the AA coommunity who is starting to wake up. They are speaking out againgst the never ending narrative of victimhood. Those who have rejected it have faired much better. These same individuals wood strongly disagree with your conclusions. Those who offer real solutions within the AA community are dismissed as Uncle Toms and sell-outs. I wonder if the NFL players taking a knee would consider what this bright young lady has to say?

  20. Racism is real. Protesting nebulously about nothing specific in a general arena produces no good fruit. The Remington Group Research Poll demonstrates across America it has produced widespread alienation. This is not the goal nor is it the solution to dissolving racism. That requires boots on the ground, not sympathy. One on one respect and love for anyone of color that seems to be struggling looks more like the good Samaritan than anything else. This looks a lot more like the Pharisees that beat their chest. White skinned, growing up in an all black neighborhood and public school in South Central during the Watts Riot days from near birth until 13, being Jewish, then becoming a Christian later at 18–these things have taught me what is real help and what is pretension lip service born out of fear and guilt. The NFL arena is absolutely breeding the latter. This will insure an Occupy Wallstreet type filing of this protest as one more miserable failure in bridging gaps. Don’t participate in it and fuel the gap to grow wider still. Help these guys–persuade them as I’m sure the NFL owners are doing right now in threat of future play and monetary gain per Monday Night Football response where both teams stood last night–find another constructive venue. Take your money and do good. Promote speaking engagements where the media will come and listen. And most of all, articulate your position, with concrete solutions and respect. So many of the cases that BLM and other groups have protested have forensic evidence that counters their agenda. Instead of acknowledging that, that the groups could be wrong in these particular incidences and instead go after real offenses and hit much harder against those–they make themselves out to be fools and those that participate to help their cause become fools and tools of the devil as well.

    1. Why not both? There’s no doubt their life her began in slavery and was perpetuated past the civli war in segregated housing and schools and discrimination in employment. And there’s also no doubt that some in government want to make people a dependent welfare class to keep their vote aligned with that party. And there’s no doubt that the break-down of the family has negatively impacted minority youth as well. There are lots of factors. The point of the protest, though, was to raise awareness. And to that end it has worked, not always to their benefit for sure, but the WHOLE country is talking about it. Unfortunately it is not in a productive way yet, on either side. Too much misinformation, stereotyping, blame and anger. We need some reasonable men and women to help chart a better course for all concerned.

  21. From the first time I saw CKap sitting during the anthem I doubted very much that he would gain what he was hoping to. I believe the heart of the protest then and now is genuine and not meant to be disrespectful. I don’t believe that it’s a slap to the face of any military man or woman or desecrates the US flag in any way, regardless of the “privileged white spin”, put on it. They aren’t saying that they don’t appreciate the men and women who have given their lives so they may enjoy freedom, not at all. What they don’t appreciate is that, through their eyes, it appears as though these lives are being given in vain, that what America claims to be, and was fought for and founded on, is nothing like that, not for all Americans. Was there not a significant angle to your civil war based on the emancipation of slavery? Were black slaves not offered full freedom and equality if they would join the brotherhood and fight for freedom for both black and white? Unfortunately, fighting, and winning wars may change laws and alter constitutions, but it does not win hearts and it does not win respect, especially when the stakes are high and there are passionate winners and losers on either side, who “know” they are justified and “right”. While I believe that racism is real and that inequality between black and white is an obvious reality, I don’t believe that public rally’s and protesting is useful. To the contrary, I believe it is detrimental to the cause as a whole as it provides the haters with more fuel, a brand new platform, from which to hate. I think it was the following week that I was watching Cinci (not a Cinci fan by the way) play, when Jeremy Hill hammered through the line, scoring a goal line touchdown while knocking a defender or two clean on his a**. Hill then reached out his hand to an opponent on the ground, pulled him to his feet, flipped the ball to the ref, and jogged back over to the Cinci sideline. I thought, “that was awesome, what power, what class, what humility, what a man.” The way he went about playing the game and the way he respected his opponent during the struggle touched something in my soul and I was won over, I liked him. Respect isn’t gained in this lifetime through rally’s and protesting, self-promotion, clever writing, or articulate speeches. Respect is gained not by what is said before, after, or during the game (life), but by playing this game well-with a love for brotherhood, power, speed, ability, humility, and intelligence,…consistently. This is not a matter of awareness, legislation, or enforcement, as all laws apply to all Americans with equality,…on paper. This goes far beyond laws written in ink, on paper. What this comes down to is ways and a law which is voluntary now, taught by model and example, an invitation to have no fear, to know true freedom, written on the hearts of individuals, and cannot be expediated, coerced, manipulated, or enforced. This will take time. Keep loving Peeps!

  22. Thank you. Finally a honest man with Empathy. If this isn’t about Racism, how about just looking at things from the perspective of just plain humanity. I know, appreciate the risk you have taken to write this piece Wayne. I often imagine if I lived in a parallel universe and the roles were reversed, and White men, women and children are being shot for minor infractions, would I speak out? Or would I just wish these injustices go away, and let me get on with the business of living my “safe life?”

    Well I don’t live in that parallel universe, I live in this one and when I received the Holy Spirit, I am a witness that God is color blind, if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be God at all would He?

    I am a father of 4 and the saddest moment for me was when I had to sit them all down and make them appreciate that society may not value their lives as it should, they have to be careful and never give any law enforcement officer any reason to fear them. Speak with a smile, in a friendly voice, calm down and never panic. Ironically having to protect the Police that is meant to protect them.

    I will end by saying I hope humanity evolves beyond color, and the exploitation of any for the benefit of any.

    1. Philip. Thanks for your comment. The conversation you have to have with your kids makes me sad too. I wish others could understand what that would be like. And it’s not because all police are bad. The vast majority are doing their best to protect ALL citizens. But it’s always those FEW that do great harm.

  23. Hello Wayne,
    Taking on the hot button, I like it… I read your blog and almost all the responses… I think some of the folks gave you great responses and I think you are missing the boat on this a little…. I am glad, it helps us to keep our focus off our heroes and our favorite whatever (author, blogger, talker, team, political party…).

    The method sucks and is not bringing positive attention to issues that still linger. But it does shed light on issues that don’t exist…. And now it continues to create more division… Taking you own advice, the method should have changed, when we have a style or method we cling to, we are losing are reliance on the Lord…

    Glad to see my author hero can be wrong… I was wrong at least 3 times this week… It’s not so bad when we learn from it. I am smiling as write this, and I hate email because it’s so one dimensional!!

    One last thing, neither “side” is all right or all wrong, it just feels that way when get all worked up about our position – I know I am right on this one! (Insert smiley face)

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