Taking a Knee
October 23, 2017
I have an Idea:
When I’m upset with something or someone, I take action. First I identify what it is, or who it is, that is truly upsetting me and then I try to identify a method or means to deal with it. I tend to enlist others to help me with the issue.
So to my idea:
NFL players are (I think) upset with racism, with the killing of blacks, with income inequality, with opportunity inequality; what am I missing?
And somehow, by taking a knee during the playing of our country’s National Anthem they believe that they are shinning a light on all these issues they claim are plaguing our country.
But how are we truly to know what is bothering them? How can we have a conversation when they’ve decided to make it about disrespecting our flag — the symbol for our entire nation, and for all Americans.
Frankly, I have yet to hear anyone explaine how this action is saving one black kid’s life, generating a job for an unemployed minority, putting a lid on racism, or getting a single person a better education?
If I were these football players (now I guess the NBA as well) I would do the following (assuming these issues are really what they care about.)
First, I would go to the city where more blacks die each week than any other. I would meet with the mayor of Chicago, hold a joint press conference and find out why this is happening week after week. I would urge all my fellow players in joining to fan out to the worst sections of Chicago and spend time with the gangs and thugs who are committing these atrocities on other blacks day after day.
If the players are really serious about putting an end to senseless violence, then why not try to convince those committing the crime to change their ways?
Then, I’d turn my attention to finding ways to get these kids out of the inner cities and into meaningful, productive occupations. I’d start by visiting their grammar, junior high, and high schools; review their textbooks, talk to their teachers, participate in their classes. I’d help these kids learn what no one else in their lives seem to be teaching them. Stay out of trouble, get an education, take control over your own life, and don’t blame others for your circumstances (not necessarily because others aren’t to blame, but because it’s not useful to changing your circumstances.)
Next they should pony up a bunch of cash and buy anti-racist advertising making damn sure that it is fair and honest, recognizing that it was a black man who had a lot to do with setting back the clock on racism during his 8 years in the White House.
Finally, they should visit EVERY Planned Parenthood office and complain loudly about the 300,000 black babies killed by this organization each year.
Now all of these steps require a lot of time, energy, and money. These players have all of that, but I fear that for the majority it is simply much easier to take a knee during the playing of our National Anthem and fool themselves into believing they 1) are actually doing something to solve whatever it is that’s bothering them; and 2) actually know the facts behind what they believe is bothering them.
Instead, they are not only pissing off millions of previous NFL supporters and fans, they are putting a severe financial burden on the teams, the pensions of retired players, and all the people who work at the stadiums.
Worst of all, they are doing absolutely nothing to help remedy their perceived grievances. Because of their actions, racism is not going away, kids aren’t getting better jobs, no lives are being saved and inner cities suck as much today as the day before the first knee hit the ground.
Nothing in life is difficult, but to succeed, one needs to take affirmative action and make things happen. Taking a knee is grandstanding, and nothing, I mean nothing, positive will come of it.
John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.