Return of the Protest

Hey, remember back when the biggest problem we had was a bunch of guys kneeling before football games in protest of police brutality against black people? Seems like ancient history, doesn’t it?

You might have heard we’re having some protests now, too. These have been more intense than some guys kneeling on a football field. In the midst of the mayhem yesterday, the Vice President tweeted this:

In case you missed it, he said,

“We will always stand for the right of Americans to peacefully protest and let their voices be heard.”

I grant that it’s hard to remember (and maybe even imagine) a time when people could actually attend football games, but in the grand scheme of things it hasn’t been that long ago. And during those kneeling protests, that same Vice President spent around a quarter of a million dollars of your and my tax money so he could stage1 a walkout from a football game. Where players were, you know, “peacefully protesting.”

He tweeted after that, too. You will be shocked to hear that he did not tweet, “I stand for the right of those football players to peacefully protest and let their voices be heard.” No, of course not. He said he wasn’t going to “dignify” an event that disrespects our soldiers, flag, or National anthem. (We’ll ignore for the moment that none of those were disrespected.) Of course, the joke was on him, because he did dignify the event.

By leaving.

Anyway, what you have yesterday is the Vice President of the United States telling a bald-faced lie right out in front of God, Jack Dorsey, and everybody. An easily-verifiable lie, as the sometimes hilarious (and often NSFW) replies to yesterday’s tweet show.

When you’re wondering how we got here, remember those tweets. Remember the administration that praised a bunch of rifle and machine-gun toting white guys marching on a state capital and condemned a few black guys that kneeled during a song.

Remember when a different group of people got fed up with being oppressed and abused and not being heard and decided to do something about it. You’ve probably heard of it—our schoolbooks call it the American Revolution. It was in all the papers. Of course, it was a bunch of white guys, so it was A-OK.

Remember also that there’s a difference between understanding events and condoning them. You don’t have to condone something to take the time to try to understand why it happened, or to listen to the ones involved.

One of the things that bothered me during those kneeling protests is that almost none2 of the protesting players’ white teammates joined them. Let’s change that. Write. Kneel. March. Do something. It’s past time for all of us to stand together against all injustice.

But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:24

  1. Meaning he attended the game knowing the protest was going to happen for the sole purpose of theatrically, with great pomp and absolutely no integrity, stomping out of the game before it had even started.
  2. I don’t want to be absolute because I probably missed one, but “none” is accurate to two decimal places.

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