In a move of courage and true democracy, the Cleveland Police Department and the players of the Cleveland Browns who have been protesting the anthem by kneeling came together to form an agreement.
It was announced that the two sides came together for talks in order to “express solidarity with the community and stress the importance of diversity and equality.”
The Change Part
The idea of protesting the flag was never about the desecration of public services including the military but rather about recent and ongoing police brutality. Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in a few preseason games last year drew attention to the matter. The Cleveland Browns expanded on it and a group of players took a knee for the anthem during preseason games this year.
This originally had angered local Police, Firemen, EMT’s and other public service members in the Cleveland area. But the two sides came together and will work it out to make the community a better place instead of allowing a defined dividing line corrupt the intentions of both sides.
Jim Brown challenged @Browns players who knelt in prayer during anthem to move convo forward, to open dialogue on HOW to address inequality
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 10, 2017
Some have argued this is nothing but a public relations move, but it still stands as a step in the right direction for both sides of the argument. It has been reported that the two sides will come together to discuss “players going on ride-alongs with the police, and to host town halls with police to discuss relations between the police and the community.”
This is the direct impact of a peaceful protest and those offended by the protest having the courage to step up to the table and have civilized discourse. Community wide education with the two sides coming together to find a successful way to promote peace, understanding, and cooperation is an excellent example of democracy providing a solution that both sides of an argument.
The Vomit Part
Discourse, if you can call it that, has quickly followed by sites like Breitbart, claiming that this actually gives way to the general public watching “good people cave to the racial activism of those who want to destroy everything we stand for.” This would mean coming together to solve a problem in a democratic way is the opposite of what democracy is. Or everything they stand for is the opposite of racial activism, which one might call racism.
— Warner Todd Huston (@warnerthuston) September 9, 2017
The individual who wrote this piece, Todd Huston, either wrote this piece for the paycheck and is literally evacuating his soul for money, or is so horribly oppressed that he is actually sympathizing with his oppressor.
It is unclear how someone would believe that by giving up your rights and allowing only one side to win is vacating the American Spirit of democratic rule. The headline to the article by Huston reads “Cleveland Police and EMT Unions Cave, Agree to Join Browns in Opening Day Flag Ceremony”. What upset the police is that the players wouldn’t stand for the anthem. The players have agreed to stand together as one with the police and EMT union for the anthem.
Huston’s message is unclear in his article as the syntax in the paragraph is slightly confusing. But it looks like there is a feeling of anger that the police could have condemned the NFL for celebrating police and military at the same time as “allowing their spoiled, ungrateful employees to soil all of those institutions”. In order for that to have happened the police would have had to continue their protest and not show up. But isn’t that the same thing as the players continuing theirs? Hasn’t this led to both sides standing together instead of one side being absent and the other still on a knee?
The players and police are now standing as one, promoting American unity behind the flag. If that “goes against everything” people stand for, then what the hell are they standing for?
The Cleveland Police Department, EMT Unions, and other public civil service members showed serious courage and poise here to do the right thing. The players, too, have put away their differences in order to do what is best for the NFL, the community in Cleveland, and maybe the country. Hopefully, this will inspire other disagreeing sides to come together in order to find a solution that everyone can live with.
The Browns will be joined by Cleveland police officers, firefighters, EMTs and military members for Sunday’s anthem. https://t.co/OeMlL9LqVW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 8, 2017
If you still truly believe that the Police should have taught “the NFL and their army of pampered social justice warriors” a lesson, then you may be just as oppressed as Mr. Huston. Sympathizing with the very side that is trying to take away basic American freedom, because you think peaceful protest is destroying “everything we stand for” is a massive misconception guided by misinformation and propelled by Stockholm Syndrome.
It’s okay if you didn’t kneel with Kaepernick, but to not stand with the Cleveland Police and the players after their move to make the community a better, more inclusive place is not a protest, it’s a travesty.