I’m ditching an introduction today. If you’re offended by NFL players kneeling during the national anthem as an act of silent protest of police brutality against black people in the United States, then I can only assume:
A) You’re a racist. This is the – surprisingly – only defensible argument. That you’re an unapologetic, call-it-like-I-see-it racist. Black people bother you, you think Lil Uzi Vert is a cultural abomination (actually, you wouldn’t be wrong on that one), and you just don’t want them around you. Hey, at least you’re up front about being awful.
B) You’re a dumbass. I already know your argument. “Why can’t they protest some other way, man? The troops, man! The troops fought to defend that flag, they’re disrespecting the troops and the bald eagle and the blah blah blah!” If you think men and women have been flocking to all parts of the world to sacrifice their life and limbs for a tri-colored piece of fabric, you’re a special kind of dumbass.
C) You’re full of shit. I hate you people. You’re a racist, but not like the honest racist. You’re the “I’m not a racist, but…” racist. So you pretend to take on the “hey man, the troops!” argument when in actuality, you don’t have the balls to admit you hate black people. So if they’re bashing each other’s heads in for your entertainment, cool. But if they’re making a silent, non-violent statement about their plight, fuck ’em.
D) You’re a combination of the above.
The good news – oh, there’s good news! – is that I have an answer to all three of you.
A) You’re a racist. I get it. You saw a few episodes of cops and you don’t “get” cornrows. You’re offended by rap music and twerking or whatever it is that you think all black people do when they wake up in the morning. The closest you’ve ever come to a meaningful relationship with a black person is when you’re cheering for Dak Prescott to run it in on 3rd-and-1 so that your fantasy football team gets you one step closer to winning the $120 that awaits the winner of your league. But just like the first time you tried a food you couldn’t pronounce and decided you liked tikka masala, you might just discover that – wow! – black people are like regular people. They’re just black! Try it out.
B) You’re a dumbass. You love America, or the flag or whatever symbols are easiest to understand in the same way that you understand a picture book more than one with words. You probably have a couple of tribal tattoos and you’re the one who “would’ve whooped that guy’s ass if he’d said that!” to you.” Well, here are some fun facts for you. According to the National Flag Code, adopted by the U.S. in 1923, the flag should “never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” Which unfortunately ruins 90 percent of your wardrobe, and that’s unfortunate. In addition, the flag should “never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever,” which if taken literally, would bankrupt the entire Budweiser brand and your friend who knows a guy who does your sleeve tattoos.
C) You’re full of shit. Can we talk frankly for a minute, just us girls? You don’t care about the troops. You’re bothered by the fact that a black person’s opinion is getting attention. If it were really about the troops, you’d have been up in arms sometime in the past 50 years protesting the treatment of vets at the VA. Or the lack of job opportunities waiting for them when they get home, the suicide rate and so on. Do you think there’s a vet missing two legs who cares more about what people do during the flag song than the fact that his government has neglected him?
And that’ll be all for today.