You’re not Vice-President of the United States

Eric Reid, a San Francisco 49er football player appeared on “The View” earlier this week. He was one of the players who knelt during the anthem at the game where Vice-President Mike Pence left in a planned protest.

It should be noted that Reid was the first player to kneel with Colin Kaepernick last year. His purpose of appearing was to regain the narrative on why African-American players are protesting. Reid, whose mother and uncles served in the military, said it is all about civilly protesting the treatment of Blacks by law enforcement. It is not about showing disrespect to the anthem, flag or military, which is why they are kneeling to at least be solemn.

Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan has joined “The View” as of this week. She noted if she had walked out like Mike Pence had would you have felt less of me. He responded that “You are not the Vice-President of the United States.” She said “Fair enough.”

Reid added this is all about leaders using their power to systemically oppress others. The Vice-President attended the 49er game with an intent to walk out. The President said as much. Reid said this oppression has been going in our country for a long time, so it was not just invented.

When asked about being called a SOB by the President, Reid said two interesting things. He said “The President should not call any of our citizens a SOB.” Plus, after Charlottesville where the Neo-Nazis killed one person and beat another, the President referred to some of them as “nice people.”

Hearing Reid articulate his rationale is compelling. When asked what he would do to fix things, he said he wanted people to know the reasons. When pressed about any laws he would like to see, he said we could start with police not using excessive force on an unarmed man.

Civil protest is done with the intent to make us feel uncomfortable. Reid said he is “somewhat grateful” the President has elevated the discussion, although that was clearly not his intent. I have written before, civil protest says a lot more about the greatness of our country than formal ceremonies ever could.

19 thoughts on “You’re not Vice-President of the United States

  1. Yes. But this protest is frustrating me. There are so many straw man arguments going on about the form of the protest that practically no one is talking about the problem that is being protested.
    And all I can think is that we are wasting precious attention and energy on the wrong conversation.

    We should be talking about Racism and instead we are talking about Patriotism vs Free Speech. It’s the wrong conversation. And I hate to give them credit but I think the Right may know that if they keep the focus on the method of protest no one will talk about the actual problem.

    Effective symbolic protests happen at the heart of the problem. Sitting down at the front of the bus, sitting at a whites only counter – were protests that focused the conversation on the problem. Any attempt to discuss the protest required discussing the problem being protested. But taking a knee doesn’t and as a result few people are talking about systemic racism.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Let me separate one issue before I speak about your main point. For many years, Republican leaders have used issues like this to distract from the fact that most of their attention is on the top of the house. Look at their tax bill, e.g. So, they are more adroit at distraction.

      I agree that the needed conversations on race are not occurring. A dilemma is how unaware Americans are on real issues. They either don’t watch or read the news or get it from biased sources. There are many who believe we don’t have a racism issue or that the worse problem is reverse racism. Many do not know recognize the power of white privilege, so to hear them call it reverse racism is unfounded.

      While the Woolworth lunch counter protests are far more impactful, for too many years, star athletes did not follow in the footsteps of Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammed Ali. Or, even Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics. Folks like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Tiger Woods did not use their voices to condemn unjust treatment. So, I do commend Colin Kaepernick for kneeling as it took guts and he is paying a price.

      Thanks again for your comment. These conversations need to happen. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: I want to impress on people how difficult it is to be an outlier. Colin Kaepernick was and is vilified. It reminds me of Henry Fonda in “Twelve Angry Men.” He asked for a second vote and got one more to join his cause. Eric Reid is that one more in this case. The other similarity is just like Fonda, Kaepernick is on the side of the Angels.

  3. Dear Keith,
    I can’t tell you how many times, I have watched the drama, “Twelve Angry Men.” Colin Kaepernick did the right thing in standing up for an issue that was important to him and his community. That others step up in support is great.
    The Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is saying that he will bench any player who kneels. I am hoping that all of them kneel to where he has to cancel the game.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, “Twelve Angry Men” should be required watching for any Civics class. Ironically, Jerry Jones did something good two weeks ago kneeling with his players before the national anthem. Now, he is backtracking. If he did that again, I would applaud him – kneeling with the players at midfield and then standing for the national anthem. To me, that would honor the protest.

      With that said, no players should be punished for not standing during the national anthem. Keith

  4. I give two thumbs up to Mr. Reid …👍 👍 and two thumbs down to Pence 👎👎. The players are using peaceful means without violence to bring awareness of a critical problem in this country. The leadership of this nation would do well to heed the message and work on solving the problem rather than harassing the players.

    • Jill, this administration equates Black Lives Matter with White Supremacists. That is offensive. Plus, Pence’s boss makes a horrific speech in front of Boy Scouts. Adding his taking on a Gold Star family and a heroic POW and dishonoring the White House, it is hard to take his jingoism seriously. Keith

      • It is very offensive indeed. As is most of what comes out of his mouth. And even after all those things you just mention, his lemmings call him a ‘patriot’. I’m confused.

      • Jill, I was catching up on a few posts from Gronda and discovered a good piece on the right’s attempt to demonize Black Lives Matter. Keith

  5. The hypocrisy is at an all-time high. I keep focusing on the growing list of what the VP did not find offensive and walk out on.
    1. Claiming you can kiss women and grab their genitals because you’re a celebrity.
    2. Publicly mocking a woman for her alleged plastic surgery.
    3. Firing an FBI Director because he would not pledge loyalty.
    4. Calling all immigrants rapists.
    5. Attacking a gold star family.
    6. Stating you like soldiers who don’t get captured to mock an honored war hero.
    7. Banning people from entering the country based on their religion.
    8. Mocking a journalist with a disability.
    9. Banning soldiers because of their gender identity even though the Pentagon released a study that it would have no impact on readiness.
    10. Not rebuking a known KKK leader and the white nationalist group who chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
    11. Attacking the mayor of a city suffering from a natural disaster.
    12. Knowing your National Security Advisor has been on the payroll of another country during the transition.
    Just to name a few!

  6. Last Sunday during my book club discussion of Yaa Gyasi’s book Homegoing, our discussion turned to the dilema’s faced by the African American characters on the side of the family line who descended from the stolen slave sister. Of course the topic came around to how little has actually changed since the 60s, when we thought things were headed in a good direction. One of our elderly members looked directly at me, and with real innocence and sincerity asked me, “But Linda, do you really think they (blacks) have all that trouble now?” I was struck dumb and grateful to the other woman on my left who spoke of the trouble her daughter’s black husband encounters. Frances, (woman #1) was surprised. “I really didn’t know that,” she responded. My head is still reeling from this encounter. I wanted to ask her what rock she’s been hiding under.

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