Refusal of Understanding

One of the biggest stories in the news currently is the anthem protest being conducted by professional black athletes, specifically those employed by the National Football League.

Many have proclaimed that these protests are an insult to veterans, a disrespect to the flag, and the United States in general.

I would like to address the matter of the protests insulting veterans. I am a veteran, and I do not feel insulted. I have spoken with many veterans of all races and creeds, and not one has stated that they were insulted. In fact, many have expressed support for the protests. We served because we believe in fighting for what we believed what was right. We believe in every American having the right to say and do as they please. I have as of yet to hear any veteran organization to come out against the protests. The main problem with this argument is when people who are not veterans begin speaking for veterans. We can speak for ourselves.

Now to the matter of the protests being disrespectful. What is disrespectful are the claims themselves. The reason is that no one is willing to address why the protests are taking place in the first place. If all one cares about is respecting the American flag, and not why someone is protesting, then that person obviously does not care about the issues that brought about protests to begin with.

Most of the protesters are black males. This very fact may make one construe that the owners of the “disrespect” claim are racist. Racism is the heart of the matter for the protests, and the resulting claims.

As long as this country, the National Football League along with its owners, and the media lives in complete denial, this issue will never go away.

People forget one thing, professional athletes are people too. They have feelings and opinions like the rest of us. They also have the means to address the major issues of the world. This is something that many of us do not have. When athletes stand up for what they believe is right, then should be celebrated, and not vilified.

I’m A Racist, and Didn’t Even Know It

The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images
The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images

I’m a product of the 70’s and 80’s. Like many of my generation, I watched the television show “The Dukes of Hazzard.” This is the same show that the television network TV Land pulled for fear of offending viewers.

The issue that TV Land had with show was the car, yes, the car. The car was called “The General Lee”, and featured a Rebel flag on the top. In the minds of many, the flag is a symbol of racism. So, does that mean anyone who watched the show was racist? I watched it, and so did many of my friends, black and white. Every young boy during my time had a crush on Daisy Duke, who was played by Catherine Bach. We would all go around doing impressions of Sheriff Rosco P. Colthrane, and saying Boss Hog’s famous words, “handle it.” I guess we were all racist.

Speaking of Daisy Duke, she spawned a fashion style of shorts called “Daisy Dukes”, which usually describe shorts worn by women that were short and tight. Black women especially, began wearing those shorts. Heck, even a very famous rap was made about those shorts. That means blacks, black women who wear really tight shorts, and rappers are racist toward minorities, for example, blacks. For the record, I’m black.

Now people want to remove anything that may symbolize racism, and that is understandable. So, let’s look at that premise in detail. Currently, everyone wants to remove all the statues that were put up to honor the Civil War. Well, they shouldn’t stop there.

As I already stated, blacks who watched the Dukes should be gotten rid of. Then there are the statues of Buffalo Soldiers, some who helped in the fights to kill, or displace the American Indian. Those statues have to go too. Speaking of the military, it was them who conquered the American Indian, plus, lets not forget the many years up until World War II that the U.S. military was very segregated. After Pearl Harbor, it was the military that ran the internment camps of Japanese citizens. So, the military must be disbanded.

As far as the Civil War is concerned, most slave owners were white, so all whites must go too. Plus, when the West was being settled by white settlers, who were protected by the military which was controlled by a federal government. So, the Federal government has a history of racism, and therefore, should go. We can throw in Federal Housing Subsidies, and along with support of discriminatory lending practices from banks directed toward minorities as further proof.

It is because of discriminatory lending practices, that the banks should all be shut down. Not that they are exactly lending money anyway.

So far we have blacks, whites, the military, federal government, and banks should all go. But, wait, there’s more.

Hollywood is guilty of racism. Many years in the early days, blacks were always portrayed as uneducated servants in cinema and on television. Compared to white characters, minorities are still under served in movies and on television. So, Hollywood, gone.

Any newspaper or magazine that has been in existence at least 50-plus years probably was not kind to minorities in their coverage. Gone.

Back to the American Indian. Say everyone and everything was gone to eliminate racism. Will that solve all the problems? Nope. Indians participated in slavery pre-European so they need to go too. But, most historians would tell it was not the same as the slavery experienced by blacks, as many slaves were assimilated into tribes. Yet some tribes were known to have kept black slaves, for example, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, so, they would at least have to go.

This is all stupid conjecture. The thing is this: Removing symbols do not remove ideas. It is the minds that must be changed. Running from history will not solve anything. What are all these people who want to destroy artifacts doing beyond that? Are they having discussions? Are they reaching out to others? Are they finding ways that we can all come together for the good of the whole?

Well, I’m in search of the season DVDs of The Dukes of Hazzards. If you call me racist, then I’m a racist.

In Celebration of Mr. Lawson

It seems to me that things have become worse. The hate that so permeates the world has increased at a sharp tangent, and it looks like things will grow direr as time progresses. This would seem strange in a time when the world has become more connected globally, yet it is this connection that might be the cause of some of the problems.
As a child of the 70s, I was raised in time of change after the Civil Rights Movements had transformed the United States. For many of my generation know the truth, that is, that the prejudice and hate never went away. It just went underground. I remember the experiences of discrimination. I remember being called “boy” or “nigger”. I remember growing up and the white boys in school would wear white pillowcases over their heads on Halloween. I remember being pulled over by police numerous times, but never feared being shot back then. We might get hit over the head with the policeman’s nightstick, but at least they never shot us. I remember being attacked by dogs owned by my white supposed friends as they stood there and laughed.
In these current times, everyone is screaming for unity or diversity tolerance. Yet, the more people scream, the more anger they create. Maybe, their screaming is bringing the hate back out. Maybe, their screaming is making things worse. I am not saying it is a bad thing, for I am the first one to stand and fight. My demon is that even I still have some prejudices. We all have some type of prejudice. It is the notion of prejudice that leads me to Mr. Lawson.

The British Broadcasting Corporation, or better known as the BBC, has produced some of televisions best dramas. In the United States, many are broadcast on local public broadcasting channels. “Call the Midwife” is one such drama, and considered one of the best the BBC has ever produced. The show is entering its sixth season, and can be seen on PBS, along with all the episodes on Netflix.
In the show’s second episode of the first season, there is a gentleman by the name Ted Lawson. Mr. Lawson is a very happy overly doting expectant father. Mr. Lawson goes and gets all the books he can on childbirth and smothers his wife constantly with attention. Mrs. Lawson, or Winnie, is not so enthused about being pregnant. She is 41 years old and has already given birth twice from a previous marriage. During the show, Mrs. Lawson would reveal to one of the midwives that she did not love Mr. Lawson and only married him to support her and her two children. Mrs. Lawson would tell the midwife that she did not want to have the child.
Later in the episode, Mrs. Lawson would go into labor and Mr. Lawson would summon the midwives. After Mr. Lawson leaves the midwives to assist with the birth of the child, Mrs. Lawson informs the midwives that she was afraid to have the child because it might be a black child. Mrs. Lawson tells the midwives that she felt lonely in her marriage and went out one night for a drink and ended sleeping with a black man.
The midwives would deliver the baby and it was a black child. It was after the birth that the doctor arrives. The doctor decides that the child should be taken to the hospital where the baby can then be place in an orphanage. The doctor first elects to speaks with Mr. Lawson who has been waiting outside to hear good news. The doctor attempts to soften the situation, but Mr. Lawson request to see the child. Mr. Lawson goes in and everyone is in complete silence and scared to death. Mr. Lawson asked Mrs. Lawson if he could see the child. Mrs. Lawson gives the baby to him. Mr. Lawson holds the baby and calls it the most beautiful thing he ever saw.
Mr. Lawson never asked any questions. He raised the child as if it was his own. He changed from a doting husband to a doting father. It is people who are like Ted Lawson that this world needs more of. The unquestioned love such as given by Ted Lawson is what today’s human race starves for. Maybe, if people would switch from an idea of forced acceptance to the idea of love, we could all actually get along.