More Musings on Protest

Go ahead and kneel for the National Anthem. You have that right, and I would never discourage it.

You absolutely have the right to protest, whether you’re an NFL jock, an Anonymous Occupier, or a Ferguson marcher. Protest can do a lot of things and, as I keep saying, you have that right. I have rights, too. For example, I have the right to flap my arms up and down like a bird does its wings. If I flap my arms up and down like a bird does its wings, as is my right, am I entitled to fly? “That’s ludicrous,” you say, and you’re right, but there’s something to be said for logic that’s so obvious as to be obscured by commonality.

Let’s examine the #TakeAKnee movement. If you play football for a living in the National Football League, you make at least the League minimum salary: $465,000 for rookies, increasing by $75,000 in each of your first four years, plus fantastic endorsement potential. If you make that kind of money and want to make model rockets, you don’t sit frustrated in your garage; you go out and speak to your new hobby with your hard-earned American currency. By the almighty power of your dollars, you go learn about, buy, build, and launch model rockets.

If your voice and face are all over every broadcast network for thousands — hundreds of thousands — of our nation’s youth, not to mention adults, to idolize, by the power of your platform, give them an idol worth emulating. Your name recognition, your brand, they have such influence; if you want to make a difference in the world, standing around flapping your arms will do nothing but encourage underprivileged youth to also stand around, flapping their arms. The problem is that your version of flapping your arms is well-documented by ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox… TMZ. Your drug habits, your domestic violence, your rapes, your infidelities, your DUIs, your murders, and your iron-clad incorrigibility in the face of prosecution are the behaviors an entire generation of kids are seeking to emulate.

You have influence. You could be using that influence to make some real change in this country, creating a groundswell, a grassroots effort to generate and propagate and glorify education, positivity, spirituality (if that’s your thing), generosity, kindness, honesty, abstinence, faithfulness, sportsmanship, self-control, fairness, community… goodness. You know, if you wanted. But no, you’d rather flap your wings, and for that, the communities you crow on and on about “giving back” to, they thank you.

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