I thought long and hard about what to say and certainly whether or not I post this. I feel like it's going to drive me crazy if I don't. I have said this before at least a dozen or more times, I do not understand why racism is still such a problem in 2017 America? I cannot fathom that the color of skin is still such an issue. It is. As someone working in the media, I see some of this from a lot of different perspectives. It is at the heart of what has caused professional football players to #takeaknee.
In the last year, a large portion of the media has been hard on our government's current administration. There are times when the current administration has not done any favors for itself. There are more than a few instances where the media has looked to find a negative issue. Make no mistake, I tried to be optimistic, but I would be lying if I said I was a fan of the current president. The problem goes back to an election that provided two very unlikeable candidates. Sorry Katy Perry and three quarters of Hollywood, but it is the truth. All of the people who thought it would be a funny if Trump actually got elected, are we all laughing? It sure doesn't seem very funny. The "Trump Train," is the most divisive thing this country has seen in awhile. Make no mistake, President Obama had his haters. They just were not on this level. Unfortunately, Trump has done little to mend the hate.
Puerto Rico and parts of the continental U.S. are recovering from natural disasters. Those issues combined with the volatile leader of North Korea being a threat and another attempt at health care repeal about to fail, the NFL is under attack by a president that has the temperament of a 12 year old boy. Calling them S.O.Bs? He continued to tweet about it this morning! You would think that job would provide better things to do. I would be lying if I said that I didn't mind the kneel during the anthem. I completely understand the reasons behind it and appreciate the peaceful protest aspect of it. One of my problems comes from the fact that I feel like it is the wrong method. It is isolating a large chunk of the audience that it is trying to make aware of the issue. It has also become the issue of focus as opposed to what the protest is about. I have heard some people in the military say that they don't mind. I have heard others say that they are offended. I think it is unfortunate that people threaten to boycott the NFL because the message has turned from one of equality to kneeling at the anthem. Again, not the best choice of methods. Make no mistake, there is racism in this country. There is police brutality and it all needs to go away.
The President of The United States used to be a title that commanded respect. This president has done very little to earn the respect of the people. Yes with the title comes a certain level of it, but his actions have done little to warrant it. The leader of the free world shouldn't be wasting time on Steph Curry, the NFL, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the media. I go back to my twelve year old boy statement. This president and both sides of the media have caused our nation to be more divided than I ever thought I would see.
It's time to piss some people off.
It seems like this all started with Trayvon Martin. Sure it has been going on for longer, but that seems to have been the catalyst for a lot of it. Looking at just the facts of the case, Trayvon wasn't the angel he was made out to be and picked a fight with the wrong person. That person turned out to be galactic piece of human garbage. Trayvon didn't have to physically get involved with Zimmerman.He chose to do so and paid the ultimate price. It is unfortunate that a 17 year old kid had to die, but there are lessons to be learned from this.
On the other side of the coin, Eric Garner didn't deserve to die. Daniel Pantaleo is an even bigger piece of human garbage than Zimmerman is. I don't believe all police are bad, but I do believe that there are cops who shouldn't have a badge. That scumbag was one of them. Police are supposed to serve and protect. They shouldn't abuse. Eric Garner was clearly the victim of a horrible cop that gave a bad name to the blue.
There are countless incidents like the two I mentioned. We need to accept the fact that not all black people are criminals. We also need to accept that not all police are bad. I wouldn't want to be a cop in today's America. I can only imagine the fear that must come with being a young black male. It doesn't get better until both sides stop expecting the other to be or do something bad.
I don't think people are looking at the bigger picture. In some ways, we are causing things to be come more divided. As someone who works in the media, we are doing a terrible job of uniting and a fantastic job of dividing with the things we post and the words we choose. What happened to character mattering more than skin color?
I am really over ESPN. I am not going to go into the context of Jemele Hill's latest incident. I personally don't like her work for the same reason I don't like Teddy Bruski's. They both seem to have a giant chip on their shoulder for different reasons. I get that ESPN is trying to show more diversity, but I don't think it's working. Unless you want to change your name to the, "Urban Sports Network," you might want to rethink the current strategy. Bomani Jones, Jemele, and Michael Smith don't carry mass appeal. They isolate large portions of your audience. Bomani paired with someone like a Ryen Russillo is probably a great show. You get two different perspectives and can learn from both. It also would make a statement by having two people of different color and backgrounds discussing issues in the sports world. Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless didn't count. They are just as polarizing as the personalities I mentioned above. Although they won't admit it, older white males learned more about black culture from the late Stuart Scott than they will ever admit. He and Rich Eisen were a solid paring. Two points of views, from likable personalities, that are equally represented on the same show. Something the current afternoon show completely lacks.
I am getting sidetracked from the message.
My biggest problem is,"different rules for different people." That needs to change! We are all striving for equal treatment regardless of skin color. So start making it equal. If I, as a white person, would have called Barrack Obama, who I liked as President, a Black Supremacist or Muslim Terrorist, I would lose my job no questions asked. Anyone would. Yet somehow, Jemelle is still very much employed. I get that it's tough for her being a woman. I can only imagine the struggle as an African American woman. I hate to censor people, but don't be part of the problem. She has been in the media long enough to know what you can or can't say. Know your audience. She has a position that would allow for her to help unite people yet she causes more division. From here, she and the president have something in common. It seems all of free speech is making a bad issue worse. For the record, I have agreed with less than 3% of what our current president has said about pretty much anyone or thing.
As white people, we have to stop letting the portion of our community feel they have superiority based on color. We need to be accepting of all people and their beliefs. Black people need to stop the black on black violent crime. You don't paint the best picture of yourselves as a community. It also makes police nervous. It might not be a fair assessment, but it is a real one. Perception is reality to a large amount of people. Change the perception. Change the reality. It doesn't happen overnight. The countless protests that have turned violent don't help. The anthem kneel is peaceful, but found to be disrespectful to some. I know, can't win them all.
We need to separate ourselves from the personal beliefs when it comes to certain things. The protesting to get Kapernick a job! Are you kidding me?! The NFL is a business. They consist of 32 owners who don't want the distraction that comes with Colin. If one of them did, he would have a job. End of discussion. End of protest. Bullying is wrong. Even if you use it to get someone work. The work should come on merit and character.
Let's try and wrap this up.
The kneel at the anthem is a peaceful protest, but it is becoming the issue and the message is getting lost. I don't like it, but I accept and respect that an issue is being brought to the table. These players are trying to make people realize that social injustice is an issue. They might be overpaid millionaires, but they are not trying to disrespect the flag. To some it is coming across that way. Again, peaceful or not, I wish there were a different method. The country has some real problems. The problem starts with us. The Charlottesville incident was disgusting. It doesn't, however, represent all of this country. Seeing the #AMERIKKKA being used is shameful. That doesn't help either! It certainly doesn't speak for the majority. Remember when I said to stop making things worse by what we say or text? We only get one chance to live in this world. We can be part of the problem or the solution. This president doesn't appear to be the one to help so maybe it's time to start with yourself. Think about what you text or tweet. Be open to what others have to say even if you disagree. Take the chip off your shoulders. Be better human beings to each other. Have conversations with people. You don't need to know their life story, but a few words and you figure a few things out. Fix your own yard before you tell your neighbor how to fix theirs. At the end of the day, we all laugh, cry, dream, and hurt. Regardless of the color of our skin, we are all human.