file [09/27/17] Here's a thought... (Trump/NFL Conflict)

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28 Sep 2017 06:46 - 28 Sep 2018 16:05 #1 by Nockess
September 27th, 2017

Here's a thought…

Quite a few athletes who play on American sports teams were not born here and are not American citizens. I wonder how they feel about being told HOW they are supposed to show respect to the flag and the anthem of a nation that is not their own. Do we expect citizens of other countries who work here but are NOT athletes to sing our national anthem and salute our flag? (My guess is no.) When our citizens work in other countries - and many do - do they salute the flags of those countries and sing their anthems? (My guess is seldom, if ever.)

What about our citizens who work in countries with policies or situations of which they don’t approve - human rights violations, racism, sexism, violence, etc.? Should they be obligated to salute the symbols of the country promoting or allowing those policies? Many, many, many people in the United States currently feel that we as a nation allow racist situations and policies to persist - if our citizens who feel that way wouldn’t support those attitudes in another country, is it appropriate to demand that they support them here?

I firmly believe that respect is always good. But respect does not have to mean agreement. Peaceful protest can be respectful. Disagreement can be respectful. In fact, “I respectfully disagree” is a phrase that is widely used in our culture - although I see far more mud-slinging than respectful disagreement these days. In addition, choosing a different approach - such as taking a knee during the anthem - doesn’t not necessarily imply disrespect. Perhaps it reflects a respect for values that we claim to support but which are not being upheld.

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Last edit: 28 Sep 2018 16:05 by Nockess.
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28 Sep 2017 17:01 - 28 Sep 2017 17:02 #2 by Frostfire
I say ship these guys to other countries and let them protest there. They're in such an incredibly safe situation that they're able to throw dirt on the flag with no consequences. If you do that in north korea you get tortured to death. Some of them are black men - rich black men - who are thriving enough in america to be able to get some of the highest-paying jobs in the world - and yet they say that black people on the whole are oppressed.

That said, trump dealt with the situation in his usual inflammatory way, can't expect anyone to back down after that
Last edit: 28 Sep 2017 17:02 by Frostfire.

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28 Sep 2017 17:24 #3 by Eguy

Frostfire wrote:
I say ship these guys to other countries and let them protest there. They're in such an incredibly safe situation that they're able to throw dirt on the flag with no consequences. If you do that in north korea you get tortured to death. Some of them are black men - rich black men - who are thriving enough in america to be able to get some of the highest-paying jobs in the world - and yet they say that black people on the whole are oppressed.


I must say that oppression is a real thing in the US and our president is doing nothing to help it but rather swerve around the issue and claim that people are disrespecting the flag. Our own Bruce Maxwell, who became the first MLB player to protest on friday by kneeling for the anthem, made sure he got the support of those around him before taking the action -- it was clear he did it in full respect to our country, but was against the actions of our president. While I agree that you may not say this about everyone (i. e. Colin Kaepernick) it seemed he was being respectful and making a message. Free speech is still a privilege we have here as opposed to somewhere like North Korea, and this is only people exercising their rights at a high level such as sports.

Also, Trump is saying that these people are disrespecting the military, while on the other hand, there are black people getting repressed whose parents and grandparents have served in U. S. defense.

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28 Sep 2017 17:35 #4 by hPerks

They're in such an incredibly safe situation that they're able to throw dirt on the flag with no consequences. If you do that in north korea you get tortured to death.


Gotta say I've never understood this line of reasoning. "You have the right to protest against your country, so you'd better not use it!"

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28 Sep 2017 17:51 #5 by Frostfire

hPerks wrote:

They're in such an incredibly safe situation that they're able to throw dirt on the flag with no consequences. If you do that in north korea you get tortured to death.


Gotta say I've never understood this line of reasoning. "You have the right to protest against your country, so you'd better not use it!"


That line is trying to say, if your country is lenient enough to allow you to protest against it, then what reason do you have to do so?

You'd need a really good reason, and racial inequality as a whole is not a really good reason. Sure, there are blips of racism throughout the US, but no more than other countries. Protesting the flag (and thus the country) is implying the US is worse than other countries (on the racial front, in this case). And yet these black men are raking in some of the highest paychecks ever; so how can the US be oppressing blacks on the whole?

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28 Sep 2017 18:02 - 28 Sep 2017 18:10 #6 by hPerks
Then that's where I think the discussion should be. If you think the players are misinformed about, or misrepresenting, the state of race relations in the US, then I think that's separate from the question of whether they're patriotic, or deserve to be American, or whatever. Talking about North Korea and other oppressive countries just seems like a non-sequitur; our government should hold itself to a higher standard.

Why are these people protesting from their position of privilege? Because they have the power to direct attention towards this issue through peaceful protest, whereas the marginalized in question are often ignored unless their protests become violent. The fact that some of these privileged protesters are black doesn't at all invalidate the claim that black people as a whole face systemic racism - there will often be certain people in a marginalized group who become successful anyways.

To back up their claims about systemic racism, there are many knowledgeable people who will point to statistics about incarceration, education, employment, etc. or talk about implicit bias and the ways we should continue to correct for it (as we do already I believe in police training and stuff). This is the conversation that the protesters want people to have, and that's why they're making a statement on the world stage that will give the issue the attention they think it warrants.

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Last edit: 28 Sep 2017 18:10 by hPerks.
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28 Sep 2017 19:10 #7 by Kalle29

I wonder how they feel about being told HOW they are supposed to show respect to the flag and the anthem of a nation that is not their own.

When you're in another country you respect its traditions and customs. If they disagree with how Americans treat the flag then they can go work somewhere else.

The fact that some of these privileged protesters are black doesn't at all invalidate the claim that black people as a whole face systemic racism

You're right, reality invalidates that claim. White people and males actually do face systematic oppression by the state, you can for example look at how it's easier for blacks and women to get into university, this is real systematic discrimination. Or we can look at crime statistics to see that blacks are 64 times more likely to sexually assault or rape a white woman than the reverse. These stats were ended by Obama to systematically hide facts around black crime stats. That sounds like extremely favourable treatment from the state and not "a country that oppresses black people and people of color" like Kaepernick said.

All in all, these people are whining idiots who blame the host nation for their own failures despite their favourable treatment.

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28 Sep 2017 23:33 #8 by Battlecube314
Replied by Battlecube314 on topic [09/27/17] Here's a thought... (Trump/NFL Conflict)
This flag issue, in my opinion, really should come to rest. It's free speech and personally, I think people should be appalled by the state of our nation. We have elected a narcissistic, selfish, racist, bigoted, sociopathic, and inexperienced president who wants to undermine the values our nation was founded on. So the many of us who knew that electing Trump would be a disaster should have the right to show our opposition to our government's choices.

If the government really wants to curb protesting, they should focus on violence committed by extremist groups, such as Antifa at the far left or neo-Nazis/KKK at the far right. These people are actually a threat to our society and need to be stopped before their actions cause more damages/injuries/deaths...
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29 Sep 2017 01:50 #9 by Regislian
If the goal is to reduce the 'oppression of black people and people of color', why go and specifically seperate yourself from the traditions a country has? "Let me just openly disrespect the country, that'll change those racists' minds."

People don't seem to get that by looking at black people as if they are a people that everyone should feel sorry for, or that people should put in extra effort to make them not feel disrespected, you are also looking down on them. Possibly even more so than the people that are openly against them. The people that are against them at least consider them a threat, the people that think they need constant help and guidance see them as if they are incapable of surviving on their own. I'd personally prefer to be looked at as a threat to be honest.

About Trump.. He should've just stayed out of this and not add fuel to the fire
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29 Sep 2017 11:26 #10 by hPerks

When you're in another country you respect its traditions and customs.

While I agree with this in most cases, I think a blanket statement like this doesn't seem reconcilable with our principles of allowing peaceful protests and open dissent against our government. If we get to say that your free speech ends where our traditions and customs begin, then we're no longer distinguished in this way from the oppressive countries that the pro-anthem side always likes to bring up.


Let me just openly disrespect the country, that'll change those racists' minds.

That isn't the point of all public protests. Sometimes, the point is simply to draw attention to an issue, and to outrage, annoy, or inconvenience people enough that they have to talk about it. Sometimes a proper debate about an issue, where minds can be changed, isn't possible until the issue has enough public attention. This has been a core principle of peaceful protests and civil disobedience throughout all of recent history.

Trump should sympathize, because he uses a similar technique all the time to shape public opinion. He says something outrageous, or some exaggerated statistic, and in doing so shifts our attention towards whatever it is he wants us to find important - usually an area where he is already strongest. He did it at the beginning of his campaign with immigration, and later on with media coverage of terrorist attacks and voter fraud, to name a few examples. The protesters only want to bring the same kind of attention to their issue.


People don't seem to get that by looking at black people as if they are a people that everyone should feel sorry for, or that people should put in extra effort to make them not feel disrespected, you are also looking down on them.

Regardless of whether oppression of black people is still a serious problem (which I think is a much more complicated question that I'm uneasy about answering definitively from my position of ignorance and privilege), I'd imagine that most oppressed groups throughout history would have preferred this kind of mild patronization over the oppression they faced.

Public opinion is a complicated and fragile thing, and anything you do to try to influence it is probably going to do some good and some harm. For every potential racist who is influenced towards a better worldview by what they hear in the media, there will probably be a more well-adjusted person who is negatively influenced by that same media to develop that kind of patronizing attitude towards black people. Everyone falls somewhere on this kind of spectrum, and there are probably going to be extremes on either ends no matter what. It's all about which direction you want to push this spectrum as a whole; which area of the spectrum you want to calibrate your message to.

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29 Sep 2017 16:15 - 29 Sep 2017 16:15 #11 by Eguy

hPerks wrote:
Trump should sympathize, because he uses a similar technique all the time to shape public opinion. He says something outrageous, or some exaggerated statistic, and in doing so shifts our attention towards whatever it is he wants us to find important - usually an area where he is already strongest. He did it at the beginning of his campaign with immigration, and later on with media coverage of terrorist attacks and voter fraud, to name a few examples. The protesters only want to bring the same kind of attention to their issue.


I absolutely agree, and another point is if I was hearing one set of statistics during Obama's presidency and a completely different one during Trump's (like Kalle was saying) I can't say that either of them can be fairly trusted over the other because of how much they differ. But these protests, like Perks said, are meant to bring a topic up to the table and that's the best we can do as people.

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Last edit: 29 Sep 2017 16:15 by Eguy.

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29 Sep 2017 16:25 - 29 Sep 2017 16:31 #12 by Frostfire

Eguy wrote:
But these protests, like Perks said, are meant to bring a topic up to the table and that's the best we can do as people.


What topic are they supposed to be bringing up? Surely not racism? Otherwise these mass protests would have started ages ago, rather than the instant Trump bludgeoned the NFL. Do you think the best way to go about stating their dislike for Trump is to disrespect the whole country (which, btw, includes the freedom to protest?) They are protesting their own ability to protest when their real target is Trump.

hPerks wrote:
Regardless of whether oppression of black people is still a serious problem (which I think is a much more complicated question that I'm uneasy about answering definitively from my position of ignorance and privilege)


What puts these football players, who are even more privileged than you (im assuming :p), in a position to make the same call?
Last edit: 29 Sep 2017 16:31 by Frostfire.

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29 Sep 2017 20:47 #13 by Trace
Frostfire you're sounding dangerously like a racist atm btw. "Black people can't be oppressed because football players make lots of money."

Just an outside point of a view.

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29 Sep 2017 21:03 #14 by Kalle29
Trace you'll need to define what you mean when you say "racist" if you're gonna use it like that.

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29 Sep 2017 21:18 #15 by hPerks

What puts these football players, who are even more privileged than you (im assuming :p), in a position to make the same call?

Colin Kaepernick has done a lot of charity work and other philanthropy, including starting a "Know Your Rights" camp for underprivileged kids last year. I'm certain he knows a bit more about what he's talking about than I do, and most of you guys as well. And besides, I don't want to impose my own standards (for how much I need to know about something to express an opinion) on others; that's why I'm not calling out anyone else here for expressing their opinions.

As for the other footballers involved, I think quite a few of them had joined in the protests by the time South Park parodied it over a year ago, before Trump was even elected. More have joined in in response to his response, and I think that's fine too.

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30 Sep 2017 00:04 #16 by Trace

Kalle29 wrote:
Trace you'll need to define what you mean when you say "racist" if you're gonna use it like that.


He's literally saying that people cannot be looked down upon in a racist way if they have a lot of money. That is a racist comment.

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30 Sep 2017 00:06 - 30 Sep 2017 00:06 #17 by hPerks
Definition can't contain the word in question. ;)

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30 Sep 2017 11:17 #18 by Frostfire

Trace wrote:

Kalle29 wrote:
Trace you'll need to define what you mean when you say "racist" if you're gonna use it like that.


He's literally saying that people cannot be looked down upon in a racist way if they have a lot of money. That is a racist comment.


no, i'm saying the money (success... status as professional football players) they have shows that it is entirely possible for loads of black people to succeed in america, at the highest level. We just had a black president. the point is that i'm saying black people on the whole aren't oppressed. not sure how that gets translated to racism

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30 Sep 2017 12:21 - 30 Sep 2017 12:46 #19 by hPerks
I don't think it's racism, but again, the existence of these outliers doesn't invalidate any broad claims about black people as a whole. Even in the days of segregation there were hugely successful black athletes like Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson, and Frederick Douglass was a major political figure and a VP nominee before slavery was even abolished. The fact that now there are more examples of these successful black people only tells us that race relations have most likely gotten better since then, which is of course obvious. It doesn't tell us, however, whether the problem has gone away, or is still a big deal. For that, we need to look at the whole picture, and not these exceptional cases. (Even Kalle agrees with me on this. :p)

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01 Oct 2017 00:54 #20 by Kalle29

Trace wrote:

Kalle29 wrote:
Trace you'll need to define what you mean when you say "racist" if you're gonna use it like that.


He's literally saying that people cannot be looked down upon in a racist way if they have a lot of money. That is a racist comment.

No, actually, he literally did not say that. You're just throwing out the racism insult immediately without any real addition to the discussion.

And you completely avoided my request to define the word itself. If you feel like using a word like that then you have to define it so we know what you mean, especially when you use it in a way that doesn't comply with standard definitions of it (going by oxford standard here).

A general tip to everyone is to attack the points and comments of others when you're debating, not just "you're [something I don't like]".

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01 Oct 2017 07:29 #21 by Isoplere
Kinda not surprised how this turned into a huge flame-war debate.
*shrug*

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01 Oct 2017 10:18 #22 by hPerks

Jiquor wrote:
Kinda not surprised how this turned into a huge flame-war debate.
*shrug*

It didn't; not sure where you're getting this from. It's possible to have a long and in-depth discussion like this without it being a flame war; how else would these issues be resolved and people's minds be changed on these important and complex topics? I think this thread is very tame and respectful as far as debates go around here, not to mention on the Internet as a whole.

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