Historically, kneeling has always been viewed as a sign of respect. People kneel in church. Kneel before royalty. When a player is injured on the field, players take a knee out of respect. General Zod didn’t demand that Superman stand up as a sign of respect, he made him kneel.
Sitting has been viewed as disrespectful. Turning one’s back? Disrespectful. Giving the middle finger salute?
Disrespectful. Dropping trou and taking a dump? Sure, I think we can agree on that. But not kneeling.
Until black people do it, then, suddenly, kneeling is disrespectful.
Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem last season represented a protest against police brutality- a subject of considerable significance to African-Americans. Kaepernick didn’t kneel simply to draw attention to himself- though I suspect he was fully aware his gesture wouldn’t be universally applauded. He took a knee to draw attention to what’s undeniably a problem in this country. Too many young African-American males are dying at the hands of (predominantly White) police. White America seems content blithely ignoring what some African-Americans consider racial genocide, so Kaepernick decided it was time to use his platform to draw attention to the problem.
We are reminded that this weekend was our umpteenth reminder that the core of Donald Trump’s political strategy is exacerbating cultural conflict to distract from his policies and results.
His one-man protest grew into a movement which, until the President poured gasoline on smoldering embers, appeared as if it might have run its course. Now America once again finds itself embroiled in a conversation in which the only winners are the ones who continue fanning the flames. A controversy such as this one, which stirs strong emotions on both sides, serves as a useful distraction for an Administration unable to boast much in the way of accomplishments. As they continue playing the propaganda game it’s become clear Panem et Circenses is a staple of the White House diet these days.
At the risk of running afoul of Godwin’s Law, this is a propaganda technique straight out of Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany Josef Goebbel’s playbook. America’s Lowest Common Denominator © isn’t going to focus on the real issues facing this country if the President is continually able to distract them with shiny objects. It’s what despots do…and it’s become clear that this President and his administration have little interest in the trappings of democracy.
Ultimately, it won’t matter that he has no legislative accomplishments to brag about if he’s able to keep America’s Lowest Common Denominator © distracted and angry. This is how democracy dies….
Nice work, America,.