Monday, September 25, 2017

A Hero For All Seasons

Alright, everybody, STAND UP AND KNEEL! 
If you happen to read this site with any degree of regularity, you have probably figured out by now that I don't give a rat's rear about sports. Next month when everyone else is watching the World Series, I'll be taking a drive in the country; Or maybe I will be curled up with a good book, or perhaps I'll be watching C-SPAN. I'm not trying to make myself seem like some sort of cultural supremacist - for all anyone knows I might  be passed out drunk somewhere (always a distinct possibility). The point that I'm trying to make is that life is short, and people (American men in particular) waste too much of their precious time on this fragile planet pondering and obsessing over the subject of sports. Because of my indifference when I was growing up, a few of my peers questioned my masculinity. Perhaps some of them still do.  I could never figure this out. Watching a bunch of guys in tight-fitting uniforms jumping around an Astroturf field was never my favorite way of spending a Saturday afternoon. My favorite sport has always been Figure Skating. Some of those gals are gorgeous!
So it may seem out of character for me to inform you that I have a new sports hero - only the second one in my entire life! The other was Babe Ruth - not so much for his prowess as a ball player - but due to the fact that the Bambino could out-party any other player of his age, something I've always admired. (FUN FACT: I was born on the tenth anniversary of the Babe's passing).
My latest (and greatest) sports hero is a guy whom a month ago I could not have identified in a police line-up. His name is Colin Kaepernick!
He conjured up a right wing shit storm of protest in the late summer of 2016 when he refused to stand for the National Anthem at the start of a game. At first he sat it out. Then, after some reflection, he decided to genuflect in prayerful solemnity. He wanted to make a gentle statement about what was happening to African Americans in his country, that too high a percentage of them are being killed for no good reason. He didn't give anyone the finger, he didn't hold his nose or grab his crotch - he merely got down on one knee. 
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Colin Kaepernick

Quite predictably the right wing SCREAM MACHINE went into immediate overdrive. He was disrespecting the flag, some said; he was advocating the murder of policemen, howled others. I imagine everything would have been fine if he hadn't mentioned the reason for the genuflection. Had he told the country that, by getting down on one knee, he was merely doing his impersonation of Al Jolson singing Mammy, these extreme-right-wing nincompoops would have been quite pleased with the gesture. A lot of them would have applauded him, I'm sure, for reminding America of what the good old days were like when these darkies knew their place. That's always an admirable thing to these clowns. No doubt he would have won the heart of Pat Robertson immediately. Pat might have invited him the next day to co-host an edition of The 700 Club. I can envision him of obliging poor, senile old Pat with a special rendition of the tune:
"I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles
My Maaaaaaaaammmyyy!"
Of course, our esteemed Common-Pervert-in-Chief just couldn't resist throwing his two cents into the national conversation (and I'm being generous here. Two cents is a vastly inflated price for Trump's word on any day). At a rally a couple of days ago in Nuremberg - I mean Alabama - he publicly referred to Kaepernick as "that son-of-a-bitch", This prompted Colin's mom, Theresa, to offer us, on a silver platter, the best line of the week: She said that she was one "proud bitch" indeed. I wanna party with that woman.

An amazing and beautiful thing is happening this week: other athletes are following suit - and not only the black ones. An entire Little League team even! These kids, of multi-races, got down on their knees in homage to their brother-and-sister Americans who are persecuted for no other reason than the color of their skin. As strange and as hideous as the times in which we live undoubtedly are, something beautiful is emerging from the carnage. It's something to ponder with wonder and awe.

Colin Kaepernick is a hero for all seasons; Not just Football season.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Didn't you just figure?



At 3:50 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I love people who attack Kap for "disrespecting the flag" while THEY try and deny him his CONSTITUTIONAL rights. Neither the flag, the anthem, or anyone attacking those who kneel were HARMED in any way by this protest, and they disregard the ACTUAL harm police do to people out of sheer racism.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Clueless It Seems said...

Just the best. I went to Plimouth (yes, that's how they spelled it in the olden times) this past Tday. To hang with the natives (they certainly didn't know they were amerikans, did they?) who consider it a day of mourning and not a day to get stuffed (a feast day) and watch football games. I stopped watching TV about 40 years ago so I've missed out on lots of pop kultur.

It's time for amerika to get way beyond it's inborn, innate racism. There's this strain of machoism that also runs through our society. And when I did Blossom (the Cleveland Orchestra's summer festival at Kent State) they coached the young figure skaters for the Olympics. We used to go watch their practices. Head crushing thighs!

At 7:03 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...


LOL on the "Receiving Orders From Moscow" photo!

Maybe the phone number is the same one Hillary used to take an order for a Uranium mine in the US in exchange for Slick Willie Clinton getting $500,000 for a speech in Russia!

LOL on the fact that Obama DID tap Trump Towers to try to influence the election and help Hillary the old hag win. Nothing but crickets on that now, amirite? THIS IS WORSE THAN WATERGATE!

At 8:13 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Stand up and kneel, huh? Mr. Degan, I know you think this is "idiot nation" because it didn't agree with you politically in the last election, but do your really think that protesting our nation and national anthem are going to further the cause of stamping out racism and oppression, sir? I think it will only serve to further divide us.

I know some have said they don't want to find common ground and will only stand in order to resist. Evidently there are some that want further division.

If you care, here is my take on it:

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Kaepernick has more courage and conscience in his little finger than Trump and all his racist goons combined.

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I love conservatives that accuse others of "disrespecting the flag" and then call for PUNISHMENT for exercising a constitutional right.

Clucky will now ask a couple of completely irrelevant questions

Go Clucky.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

At first I though it was inappropriate for Kaepernick to protest on the job. But he still has the right.

Trump’s racism, and Kaepernick’s protest against it, has certainly succeeded in bringing all the racists out of the closet, hasn't he?

Angry White Con-servatives can't contain their hate for uppity Black men, can they?

The racists want to frame his protest on the flag and anthem while they continue to call BLM a racist hate group and insist "fine people" marched with the Nazis and Klan.

Is theirs the America we revere? DWB is what it feels like in a police state. Black men shot in the back were not living in a free country, were they?

Now the man who dared call attention to this is hated. What does that say about this country? All whites are equal?

Yet nobody has rights equal to corporate "rights".

America started a war of aggression based on lies that spawned ISIS. Does out flag and anthem represent that? It does to the victims.

BTW, neither Iran nor North Korea invaded another country based on lies.

America then put Trump in the highest office of the land. Now tell me why ANY sane and compassionate person in the world should revere this country?

What is there left to respect?

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

WARNING: Race Card being played ahead..if all else fails leftist play the race card, it's all they got.

That and the dullest pencil in the box, snicker.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

T. Paine: " your really think that protesting our nation and national anthem are going to further the cause of stamping out racism and oppression, sir?"

I don't think these acts, alone, will "stamp out" racism, since it's systemic in American culture and society -- just as Rosa Park's brave deed of defiance, alone, didn't change racist political oppression. But, it's a start! (Mr. Paine, even the great Sequoioideae started out as a small seedling.)

"I think it will only serve to further divide us."

Well, the white population, possibly (and quite probably) -- but it will further unite the communities of black, brown and other non-white populations.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Mr. Paine,

They are not "protesting our nation and national anthem". This is how Trump and Angry White Conservatives are framing it. The protest is to call attention to the unaccountable police killings of Black people. They are protesting bad cops. For this, Angry White Conservatives are calling them unpatriotic.

BLM is not protesting against all law enforcement. They are protesting unaccountable police killings of Black people. They are protesting bad cops. For this, Angry White Conservatives call them a racist hate group.

Why do Trump and Angry White Conservatives want to deflect from that message? Why frame these protests as something different?

And more importantly, what does this say to the bad cops? It says Angry White Conservatives will deflect criticism of their behavior. This is their message, intended or not.

This is how their precious flag and anthem can turn into representations of racism.

Is that what they want?


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