You know who we haven’t heard from in awhile? Those protesters who kicked Bernie off his own stage.
The Antifa protests backfired.
Burnings at Berkeley are passé.
Those ‘spontaneous’ riots seem to have evaporated (Was it the economy, the weather, or have organizers just stopped recruiting agitators on Craigslist?)
And how long has it been since you read a headline like this one?
For all the criticism Trump got for his “sonofabitch” line that got the whole nation talking about the NFL protesters, one writer at the Wall Street Journal thinks the NFL protests were the turning point.
Are we, as a nation, finally getting past the soft racism lowered expectations? Or as it was summed up elsewhere:
With so many whites turned off by the NFL protests, Steele wonders if white Americans have finally “found the courage” to “judge African-Americans fairly by universal standards.” –Breitbart
(And before any of the perpetually offended start cranking up the whine machine to start complaining, notice his use of the first-person ‘we’ in his language.)
Selections from his article here. Quotes below are from that piece.
1) Throughout living memory, protest had been “the primary means of Black Advancement In American Life”
Naturally, it makes sense to return to the old playbook.
2) The NFL Protests seemed to be Ritualized play-acting, not passionate men with ideals.
There was a forced and unconvincing solemnity on the faces of these players as they refused to stand for the national anthem. They seemed more dutiful than passionate, as if they were mimicking the courage of earlier black athletes who had protested:
That was the same point Doug Giles raised some time ago.
3) The Sacrifice, Risk, and Achievement associated with the great historical protests are lacking in this one.
Martin Luther King Jr. , the archetypal black protester, made his sacrifices, ennobled all of America, and was then shot dead.
For the NFL players there was no real sacrifice, no risk and no achievement.
4) The NFL protest didn’t work for a very simple reason.
(This is where we will remind readers that the original author is using the language of ‘we’.)
They had misread the historic moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.
What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.
5) Being ‘Released From Captivity’ carries certain hazards
Four centuries of dehumanization had left us underdeveloped in many ways, and within the world’s most highly developed society. When freedom expanded, we became more accountable for that underdevelopment. So freedom put blacks at risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us.
To hear, for example, that more than 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism.
6) Some Thrive on the new-found Freedom… others retreat to the excuses of past oppressions.
For any formerly oppressed group, there will be an expectation that the past will somehow be an excuse for difficulties in the present. This is the expectation behind the NFL protests and the many protests of groups like Black Lives Matter. The near-hysteria around the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others is also a hunger for the excuse of racial victimization, a determination to keep it alive. To a degree, black America’s self-esteem is invested in the illusion that we live under a cloud of continuing injustice.
When you don’t know how to go forward, you never just sit there; you go backward into what you know, into what is familiar and comfortable and, most of all, exonerating. You rebuild in your own mind the oppression that is fading from the world.
7) The NFL Protests released the accused from the shackles of undeserved shame
They overplayed that hand, and with the NFL protests, everything backfired.
Protests that scapegoated other people for the problems that writer was describing no longer found an audience willing to self-flagellate over sins they’d never committed.
The jig was up.
NFL viewers weren’t willing to be shamed into taking ownership of problems they didn’t cause. They simply changed the channel.
And we agree with the Wall Street Journal’s contributor, Shelby Steele, that the protesters themselves should be changing the channel too.
It’s a big world, with some enormous opportunities.
Rather than moping about what you don’t have, do what everyone else who ever laid hold of the American Dream did…
…get up early, and go after it.
by Doug Giles
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