Colin K. and ROBOCOP

 

So, we had a football player who refused to stand for the national anthem. He said it was in protest of racial injustice in the United States.

Immediately the backlash began: Disrespect. It was disrespectful to the men and women who fought for Flag, Freedom, Country.

Thousands of war veterans stepped into the fray — vets who had actually seen combat, who’d lost years of their lives in places such as Vietnam, and Iraq. Even surviving WWII vets — men who battled Hitler — stepped in. They said, “No. NoI fought for this rightthis right to protest. Thats what my country is. That’s what I want my country to be.“

But they were ignored in favor of the rhetoric of politiciansJim Brown, and a young Black girl with a viral video who went on the Alex Jones show to tell us that there is no racism in America, and that she knows this because “when she goes to her gym, a white man hands her a towel, and there’s never any conflict.”

A white man hands her a towel. Something tells me her gym is not situated in a poor Black neighborhood. I’m lucky enough to go to one of the most exclusive sports club in the country, and yet, I still have to get my own towel.

But that young girl was a hit, her vid circulated by those who shouted, “Flag. Freedom. Country.”

Colin’s messagethe message of police brutality against certain segments of American societywas drowning under the bombast: “He was washed up, anyway, that’s why he did it,” “Let’s boycott the NFL,” “How dare they do this — how dare he politicize the NFL?”

Heh. That last one was the most ironic.

Why? The NFL is the most profitable pro sports league in the U.S. and their massive bottom line is made possible in part by the billions of taxpayer dollars that local governments spend giving tax breaks worth hundreds of millions for the teams, the league, and their sponsors. Most of that spending is financed with tax free municipal bonds, which were originally created by Congress to help fund roads and schools. Teams get breaks on their property taxes, too. Sponsors also spend about $190 million a year for the right to plaster a local venue with their logo. But, even when corporate names are hung on city-owned stadiums, the teams keep all those profits, not the cities. And companies can deduct all of those expenditures as marketing expenses. And guess what else? Despite this, the NFL is listed as a “not for profit” which saves them ten million dollars a year. They’re categorized that way because the league’s profits are distributed to each of the teams, rather than kept by the league itself.

They get lots of help from government, but it was Colin K who “politicized” the sport.

Flag. Freedom. Country.

Colin is suing the NFL for collusion against hiring him, and while this is happening, Nike decided to get in on the Colin controversy. Nike, for those who live in outer space, sells sports apparel, shoes and gear, and some very clever someone in their marketing department figured out who was spending the most money on their brand. They knew it probably wasn’t the pretty Black girl with the gold card gym membership and the viral vid. I’ll bet my own gym membership she buys whatever brand the Kardashians wear.

And right here’s where I’ll lose some of you. Sorry, I know how thrilled we all are that Colin finally has gotten some corporate support — but let’s not kid ourselves. Nike sales went up 30 percent, and the stock is skyrocketing. Nike has also been cited for human rights violations in the past. This year — 2018 — Bangladesh marked the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, which killed more than 1,000 workers and injured many othersIt took this disaster for Nike and several other trademarks to finally agree to supply chain transparency.

But that Nike ad is so great, isn’t it? It’s so indicative of what the United States could be and should be, that it pissed off a lot of people, including the National Association of Police Organizations, who requested law enforcement officers to boycott Nike due to its support of Colin K. (It should be noted, however, that Nike also received a letter in support of the ad from the St. Louis Ethical Society of Police.)

What all of this means is that Colin, like every other sports figure, in fact, every other young Black male in the country, is being used and abused by all and sundry, just like, to quote Dave Chappelle, (who was quoting Iceberg Slima “pimp’s bottom bitch.”

But, about those who were screaming, Flag, Freedom, Country. They absolutely refuse to believe that racism exists. That law enforcement needs an overhaul, so they denied it, vehemently, with a total, impassioned Amygdala Hijack of Colin’s protest. It wasn’t about unfair treatment any longer. Not to them. Colin, and anyone who supported him, was an out-and-out traitor to the country.

Their hysteria, their willful blindness proved out on September 6, 2018, when an off-duty policewoman shot and killed a man while he was watching TV in his own home. Authorities say the officer, who lives directly below the victim, shot and killed him around ten p.m. after she says she drove to the wrong level of the parking garage and mistook his apartment for her own. She told authorities that the door was ajar and that she thought the man was an intruder. It should surprise no one that the victim is Black.

We don’t know all the details yet, of course. She couldn’t have been drunk, right? No, being a cop, she wants to keep in shape, so she was probably at the gym with the viral video chick. Her mind was still on how many burpees and bicep curls she’d completed. She was distracted, she was on the wrong floor, and there was a man — a Black one — sitting right in her living room. Holy crap thats scary, huh? A Black man watching TV in a white woman’s apartment. So she shot him. Not once. Twice. Because she had a gun and she is allowed to use it.

I can’t help but wonder if he was a Ryan Gosling lookalike sitting there in his underwear if she would have shot at him. But no matter — she shot at him, because that’s what police officers do to intruders — they shoot at them. We — -the tax payers — -pay them to do so. We also pay for her training, and that’s where this gets tricky, because he wasn’t an intruder. This was his house, and neighbors who bore witness to the incident contradict her narrative. They say they heard the policewoman knocking on the victim’s apartment door and demanding to be let in before the shooting.

The victim’s name was Bothan Jean, and he was a 26-year-old who was born and raised in Saint Lucia. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was working in Dallas as a risk assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He graduated from Harding University in 2016.

He was a 26-year-old, gainfully employed college graduate, and now he is dead. But we want to believe we have no problem with how our law enforcement officers are trained, or in fact, how they are screened, or who is being hired. Just as we have no problems with our teachers, or our religious leaders. No child abuse, no sex abuse going on in our local school or church right? Not in our country. In our great country, every last one of them is perfect example of what an authority figure should be. Righteous. Pure. Superheroes, really. Anything else we hear is all “fake news.” Anyone who gets shot by a cop deserves to be shot, right? There is no racism involved here, and those of us who think there is get shouted down by the words, “Flag. Freedom. Country.”

Except in this case, no one is saying that. In this case, those who believe racism doesn’t exist in our law enforcement are saying about this particular incident:

Not. One. Word.

 

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