A PROTEST WITHOUT A PURPOSE ISNT A PROTEST, IT’S A TANTRUM The Birmingham News – October 13, 2017
By State Rep. Rich Wingo (R – Tuscaloosa), who serves House District 62 in the Alabama Legislature. Wingo was a member of the University of Alabama football team from 1974 to 1978, and played for the Green Bay Packers from 1979 to 1986.
As a former linebacker for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the University of Alabama, I had the opportunity to play for two of the finest men to ever serve as head coaches – Paul “Bear” Bryant and Bart Starr.
One of the most important lessons Coach Bryant and Coach Starr taught me was plain and simple respect — respect for ourselves, respect for our coaches and teammates, and respect for our great nation. They also stressed showing your class in every situation and being humble.
The current “protests” being staged against our nation’s flag and anthem by players throughout the NFL violate every principle of respect those two great men drilled into players like me during their careers. The NFL is currently suffering from a complete lack of good leadership and it hurts me to watch it happen. The two coaches under whom I played simply would not have allowed the current situation to come to pass, and, instead, would demand that their players show proper respect for the patriotic symbols of our nation and its people. Like many Americans, I do not view the act of NFL players “taking a knee” during the National Anthem as an acceptable form of protest.
Most of the players who have chosen to sit or kneel have not outlined a specific reason, stated a goal, or defined what constitutes a victory in their eyes. If they have no goals to achieve by kneeling, how can they know when to start standing again?
A protest without a purpose is not a protest – it’s a tantrum.
The sadness of the situation was only compounded when players for the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee when the “Star Spangled Banner” was played before their recent game on foreign soil in London, but they stood at attention during “God Save The Queen.”
I do believe that every American has the right to protest or to have their voice heard, but they must be prepared to accept the consequences. Americans are likely to abandon the NFL by the millions if players continue to betray and insult our nation and its enduring symbols of freedom.
There are other, more effective and less offensive methods players may utilize to express their dissatisfaction with whatever is angering them. They could easily stage a rally, hold a press conference to protest, or, more importantly, invest or volunteer in their communities and do something constructive to change lives for the better.
We do not have to look too far into our nation’s past to see where the disrespect for American values and symbols took root. Activist judges and weak leadership in past generations forced the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer to be taken out of our children’s classrooms, and Hollywood has joined forces with the mainstream media to promote a radical social agenda that has turbocharged moral decay. Millions of brave men and women have fought, bled, and died on foreign battlefields across the globe in order to defend our nation and the symbols that define it.
In my opinion, the NFL players’ actions are one step away from burning an American flag on the 50-yard line, and the commissioner, team owners, and coaches need to do what Coach Bryant and Coach Starr would have done by demanding an end to the on-going sideline shenanigans immediately.
note: I would like to add that I remember “Bear” Bryant having a very low tolerance for disrespect, bad behavior or breaking team rules. His players were mostly proud to be held to tough standards and high expectations. It may have been old school, but many have continued on to have successfull and fulfilling careers. -cat-
Category Archives: First Amendment
In the interests of full disclosure, I freely admit that I am not a professional sports fan. I sometimes enjoy college football, when my team is winning, but my interests lie elsewhere. Living in Alabama, however, I am completely and totally surrounded by football fanatics and so have had no choice whatsoever but to cultivate a healthy respect and a minimally respectable body of knowledge regarding the sport.
The First Amendment only protects the citizen’s right to free speech from government control. It does not apply in employment situations, in clubs or societies with rules and regulations that govern such things, in any situation not involving the government or a government funded entity. Keeping this in mind, it should be immediately obvious to anyone with even half a brain that the First Amendment does not apply to guaranteeing random hired football players the right to disrespect the American Flag and the National Anthem in the course of their employment.
The issue is not “social justice”. If that were the issue then peaceful protest, meeting with community leaders, working through churches associating with other churches, petitioning the President or requesting a meeting with the White House or the Governor’s office. The issue is not “freedom of speech”. If these players want to work towards social change or if they feel that they must speak out against social injustice then they should do what the entire remainder of the employed United States does…..PURSUE YOUR PERSONAL POLITICS ON YOUR OWN TIME!
President Trump is not dividing us by calling out the owners for allowing this. He is expressing the opinion of millions who either believe that a football game is no place to air your political views or who believe that disrespecting the flag and the Star Spangled Banner is the wrong way to express yourself and will not encourage dialogue at all. Real facts and statistics work much better, preferably the sort that cannot be debunked.
All of the rest of the commentary revolving around this “issue” is nonsense.
After a great deal of serious thought and Kafka-esque consideration I believe that perhaps Black Lives Matter and the “Antifa” movement might have a workable idea. Sanitizing our history is just a way to clean it up, a bit like we clean up our homes. We just need to all take part in the process to ensure fairness and equality, I am quite sure that if we research and work diligently together we can produce a non-offensive, easily read, beautifully crafted and well assembled history in just a few years. My esteemed grandparents would have said, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.
I am very sure that our Native American citizens would support removing all statues and busts of President Jackson who ignored the Supreme Court in order to force the Cherokees down the long, painful “Trail of Tears”. He would also likely warrant having his name removed from state capitols and streets and etc. for such an egregious action. He did break numerous treaties but this was the worst sin of all in my humble opinion. He was not an honorable man.
In addition, although I am a very great admirer of those intrepid men the Kiowa named Buffalo Soldiers, there are undoubtedly a goodly number of native Americans who feel that the label carries less positivity and heroism. In consideration of those many native Americans who lost their lives to Buffalo Soldiers in defense of their homes and families, perhaps the monuments erected in honor of those first African American army units (the 9th and 10th I think) should be removed and placed inside a museum. Remember that the Indians were being Invaded.
Manzanar National Historic Site would likely also be on the list simply because it is so deeply offensive to most every American today. Manzanar was one of the ten camps set up for our Japanese American citizens during WWII. The camp housed over 100,000 people and over 100 of them died while they were imprisoned there! Those that lived built this monument, however, if it is an affront to the sensibilities of others it will naturally have to be taken down.
On a more personal level, there are thousands of conservatives who feel that the evils of our ever expanding administrative arm of government became permanently entrenched and set forth as precedent under the guidance and leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many educated conservatives would agree with me that in spite of the good he contributed at the time, he set the stage for normalizing progressivism. He encouraged citizens to depend on the government for sustenance and he expanded the role of government in ways the Constitution does not support and never even envisioned. Why should we have statues that honor him?
These are just a few possibilities that might come up. I believe that there is a national registry of monuments and statues which could be reviewed by each and every race, religion, political group, historical society, club, citizen’s organization, etc. There might be a few monuments and/or statues left that we could all agree on!
Everything else might be replaced with modern art…..after all, no one even knows what it is!
Most of us wouldn’t treat anyone we knew like this!
Have we forgotten what gossip is and what it does to people? Why have we now decided that some people are human but other people are not? Just because the media spreads gossip, lies and rumors does not mean that We The People should follow, give credence to, believe or even listen to the destructive things they say.
What ever happened to believing that a person was innocent until “hard” or incontrovertible evidence proves otherwise? Nothing good ever came out of these historical periods of accusation and hysteria. Think back to the Salem witch trials, those were our not-so-distant ancestors who thought they were being practical and rational. After all…everyone agreed! Or what about the practice of slavery, not just in the United States but throughout history. We are one of, if not the only, country to eliminate it and then sincerely try to repair the damage! Full grown allegedly intelligent adults accepted it as common practice in the Middle Ages and in various countries it has continued until today. People can be conditioned and can become “hardened” to almost anything. If you don’t think people accept crowd defined norms then you need to go back and
Because I have standards of behavior, because I try to live by the Golden Rule, because I believe every person is a child of God I am not going to accuse my customers of stealing, I won’t say that my neighbor is cheating, I refuse to pass along rumors I know are probably untrue. I think most Americans are like this but have not really had the time to actually stop and think about what the media is doing to us. Ten or twenty years ago I would not have had time either.
Some vague accusation, a wild rumor, an anonymous tip, an unsubstantiated leak or even unverified gossip is front page news today and inevitably reported as fact (or as being under investigation by “authorities”). Since the Democratic Party has joined with the MSM in a joint mission to remove President Trump from office the press has become corrupt and agenda driven. They have not been objective or even decent in their coverage. There is no attention to detail, no verification of sources, no allegiance to truth. There is no value on American virtues, the Constitution, law and order or respect for family values and Christian faith. They try to manipulate their audience instead of informing them.
We should not allow this awful main stream media to affect or influence us in any way. America’s people have always been innovative, honest, generous, principled and we have always stood for what was right and good. None of this can be applied to the MSM in any way.
Until the bulk of the press can pull itself out of the gutter, disassociate itself with any and all political parties and become honest journalists once more, I am no longer going to listen to or read any of them. There are plenty more reliable sources who are striving to uphold traditional journalistic standards.
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”~Abraham Lincoln
You can close down a discussion (free speech) in many ways.
You can protest and riot thereby shutting down not only the speaker or event, but in the process one achieves the added impact of destroyed property, terrorized innocent citizens and (they hope) national media coverage. The extreme left on many campuses has done this to great effect.
You can simply call the person a racist. It does not matter whether or not it is true. In fact, yell the accusation loud enough and you might be able to provoke option number one above 👆! It is a wonderful strategy since it eliminates the need to memorize facts and figures, slower members of the group do not need to “think on their feet” or step outside of talking points and since racism is such an emotional issue it is uniquely difficult to fight even with facts. This also has had a great success rate and is a major reason that the Republican Party has been branded a party of racists when history and honest research proves otherwise.
Those are two of the radical ways, almost always employed by the more extremist democrats because they do not have a successful argument or any good endings for their ideology. If you “shut someone up”, if you close down an event, if you prevent the dissemination of an idea you are restricting everyone’s freedom. We all have the right and the freedom to listen to, and walk away from, speech and ideas of every sort.
No political party, No foreign national (think Soros paying protesters and rioters), No college academic or gang of students, Not even the government has the power to change our absolute rights under the Constitution! Free speech is number one in the Bill of Rights and its placement is an indication of the importance it held in the political discussions of the day. It was important in the discussions held in almost every state during the ratification process. We tend to take it for granted now, but this freedom can be nibbled away, gradually eroded without most citizens even paying attention.
Protected speech is not comfortable speech. Protected speech is usually different, objectionable to some, offensive to others, it may make you angry or it may make you stop and think. Protected speech is free speech not because it makes you uncomfortable but because the free expression of ideas is part of true Liberty.
Each generation is challenged to maintain and preserve our Constitution and Liberty. The circumstances differ and the environment, both social and political, changes. The younger generation has not been grounded in a complete history of this nation and it constantly amazes me how jaded and anti-American they can be. There is much about our history they just are not taught. Depending on the school, what they are actually taught varies from a slanted version of events to skipping over all but the darker parts of our history and then concentrating on those. All nations have them, they should be acknowledged and taught, but only in context with the rest of American History!
Without a more thorough and balanced approach to US history we will be missing at least one generation of patriotic and knowledgeable Americans to watch the politicians and fight for free speech and our other guaranteed rights.
So, will we have our rights and freedoms in twenty years?