Pence’s Disingenuous Protest: Dividing Society by Distraction
Piecing together what I've heard without verifying that it all really happened this way, Pence flew into his home state to watch Peyton's number get retired in a game between the Colts and the 49ers.
Some people say he specifically chose the 49ers game because of the symbolic relationship with Kaepernick, but it was the game at which Peyton's number was to be retired and he is from Indiana. It was convenient that the game was against the 49ers, but that part is coincidence. I will concede him that.
That he had his entourage remain in their vehicles while he went in, stood for the anthem, and left both in protest and to attend a pre-scheduled fund raising event, makes his protest disingenuous. It would be similar to someone showing up for a dinner party, protesting the setting of the table, and then leaving so he can be on time for his real plans.
It is this sort of primping nationalism and dividing the country on a topic upon which there should be no divide that is becoming dangerous.
Even if we concede that no white person alive today is responsible for slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow laws and If we further concede that those who physically battled against the civil rights movement are on the verge of extinction - in other words, we concede that no white person alive today is personally responsible for what has happened to black people in the past (and we may as well toss in our indigenous brothers and sisters, too) – because that was the fault of society in those days.
With that logic, I, as a white person, must point out that if the people who lived in those days are responsible as a society for the treatment of other humans, then we are responsible as a society for the treatment of other humans today by society.
This does not mean that white people are responsible for everything that is wrong in this country. It does not mean that all white people are responsible for what a few white people do. But if we take that for ourselves, then we must also give that to innocent people of other races.
Within white society, there are people of many different heritages and backgrounds. If we were to diagram it, we would see a bell curve. There are some people who are extraordinary, it would curve upward as more and more people fall into the next levels with steady ascent until it reached its peak, and then it would curve downward until it reaches out as the worst of the worst are sorted out.
This same bell curve would exist within any given society.
If we were to place the various societies on top of one another, and identify the most extraordinary in each, we would find that they have much in common with each other. It would continue that as we identify subsequent groups, we would find that they have a lot in common.
That shows you really how little race has to do with our common interests. The poorest white people face the same indignities as the poorest of any society within this country.
As a society, we have more in common with those from other races who are neither extraordinary nor oppressed. However, it is not about us personally. It is about inequality. I understand other white people are not personally responsible for what has happened, which binds us to being responsible for what is happening today.
Dr. King said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Albert Einsten said "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
It just isn't that difficult for me to see.
The saddest thing to me, though, is that the people who do not speak up about excessive police violence are the same people who will say it was worth a quarter million dollars of taxpayer money, plus the money of many private companies that paid for travel in the entourage, to have such a disingenuous display of misdirected nationalism.
It's not about the anthem. It's not about the flag. It's damn sure not about Pence acting sophomoric and melodramatic.
It's about equal treatment under the law, and it is your problem, just like slavery is not your problem, because it's happening today.
Some other things I've written about: