Before you get all riled up about the NFL players disrespecting the flag by refusing to stand for the national anthem, keep in mind, they know not what they do.
If I were to sum up my philosophy of life it is this. If you make decisions based on what is true you will prosper. If you act upon information that is untrue you will suffer negative consequences. I realize there is an entire political philosophy that believes there is no such thing as truth or absolutes, and everything is relevant. This is why I have such a different world view than many of you. I’m not a bad person, neither are you. We just see things differently.
Most of the protesting athletes have been indoctrinated in an education system focused on America’s mistakes while ignoring her greatness. In addition to their slanted education they’ve also been told by the media, Hollywood, and Democrats that America is a racist country that oppress and suppresses those who are not white. They have come to believe something that is not true. Our country has made mistakes in the past but the last thing we are is a nation of racists.
The NFL protestors are blind to the reality that America is the least racist country on the planet today. There is no better place to live as a person of color than America. So many Americans don’t get how blessed this nation is and how fortunate we are to live in a country with such opportunity for all races and religions. Everybody gets a shot here.
Just as you wouldn’t condemn a blind man if he were to walk into your home and start to trip over the furniture, the same should be true for the protesting NFL athletes. Most of them are blind to how good they have it. They should see, based on the size of the zeros on their paycheck, but they don’t.
I realize many of you reading this column are experiencing some intense anger right about now. Your face may even be turning red. The belief we are a nation of racists is a fundamental tenant of the belief system of many of you. You believe to challenge that notion is in and of itself racist. Well, I’m challenging it because it is not true. I am not a racist.
I will admit that there are some racists in our country. People like Jeremiah Wright, David Duke, Black Panthers, and white nationalist Nazis. But this is such a tiny minority of our population they are irrelevant despite what the media tells us.
The NFL athletes have every right to protest on their own time. The problem is they are doing so on the job wearing a team uniform while they are paid millions. So that puts this on the NFL owners. If I owned a team I wouldn’t allow my players to disrespect the flag while they were on the clock. The NFL and team owners and players have every right to protest the flag and disrespect those who died to defend it. But as fans we too have every right not to watch.
We are seeing more and more of this in our country today. Companies like CNN, Starbucks, and other corporations, and now the NFL making a conscious decision to exclude those not down with the we-are-a-nation-of-racists-and-oppressive-country narrative. The question for those of us who believe otherwise, will we continue support companies and institutions pushing the false narrative?
The you are victim of a racist nation is a destructive message. Not just because it’s a lie, but because those who see themselves as a victim lose motivation to try harder. Why would you try harder if life happened to you and your problems are a result of your skin color instead of your decisions.
In America you can be whatever you want. If you come from a poor family, the government will take money from other families and pay for your food, housing, health care, and education. If you don’t make it, it’s not because you are oppressed. Chances are somewhere along the way you made some bad decisions. But it’s never too late no matter how down and out or old you are.
It’s time we wake up to the fact that we live in a country that is the envy of the world. And unlike the NFL protestors with their fat paychecks and ungrateful attitudes, let’s stop whining about it.
Dan Fagan is a former reporter for KTUU, and columnist for the Anchorage Daily News. He also taught at UAA as an adjunct journalism professor and he hosted a radio show for many years on KFQD. You can reach him at [email protected].