The phrase has a strange ring to it-"anthem protests". Who would protest the playing of their own national anthem? The anthem, after all, and the displaying of the flag, and any other civic ritual you could name, aren't some sort of declaration that a nation is flawless.
We celebrate America, or at least acknowledge its worth, as a sort of truism of shared values-that a people, with a given set of civic beliefs, have created and sustained a nation in line with those values. But what happens when those values are no longer widely shared?
I don't intend to wade into all the political controversies that have me convinced we're a nation in name only. I'll just mention that we have a founding document that establishes the rules of the civic game. Increasingly that document, and the laws that operate under it, are seen as just so many words on paper, when one side is unhappy with the results. When such a point is reached, where the consequences of a long-established democratic process are "illegitimate" because the wrong party wins or the wrong policy is instituted, we are in the process of rejecting what made America succeed. The entire system is based on the idea that the results of our political process are by definition legitimate.
The essential orientation of America-as a nation organized towards the promotion of freedom and prosperity-is now rejected by half the nation. Freedom is dicey because people can use it for purposes not tending towards "social justice". Prosperity-the creation of new wealth, with the ultimate purpose of starting and maintaining families-is irrelevant. Redistribution of existing wealth (with the exception of Silicon Valley's vast hordes of same) is paramount. The fact that greater redistribution doesn't yield greater economic equality is irrelevant.
So we have one side wishing to maintain the old order, and another rejecting it entirely. What the latter would establish may still maintain some of the forms of democracy, but they will be toothless relics. Whatever means necessary to get to nirvana will be acceptable.
UPDATE: Miriam has some interesting thoughts on what was intended to be a cost-free exercise in virtue-signalling.
FURTHER UPDATE: A further reason not to watch the NFL-an appalling percentage of these guys are thugs. Here are detailed NFL arrest records.
ONE MORE UPDATE: "The brontosaurus in the room": Roger L. Simon on the lie behind the protests-the notion that cops are what's wrong with the black community.
AND FINALLY: No matter how you play with the numbers, it is black men who are doing most of the killing of black men.
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