Cops Threaten To Stop Protecting 49ers Stadium Because Kaepernick Protested Killing Of Black People

One of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in recent days has been the reaction to Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to kneel for the anthem and his explanation why.

I find it rather ironic that Americans, who extoll “independence” and “individualism” can so readily, so easily, demand unbending and unflagging loyalty to a flag and a damned song. This is the sort of behavior I expect to see in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.

Kaepernick’s critics have come from almost every corner on the right wing — you know, those Americans who speak for “individualism” and “independence” the loudest — and now, they’re joined by the right-wing’s favorite public union: the police. In particular, the Santa Clara Police Department, who have threatened to stop protecting 49ers stadium because of what Kaepernick said:

Here’s their letter:

Kaepernick set things off with his explanation of why he didn’t kneel for the national anthem:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The right-wing went ballistic. Trump demanded that he self-deport. It’s been an obscene display of mindless jingoism, and I expect nothing more from any of those players.

But the Santa Clara police jumping in like this — it’s a new low.

So this is the point we’ve reached. If you don’t do exactly what the police want you to, they’ll stop protecting you. This isn’t freedom, this is extortion.

And yes, I understand that the cops doing this are off-duty cops. I don’t care; it’s the message they’re sending. This is beyond poor form all around.

The frustrating thing is this: Kaepernick made a legitimate argument. He has a point. You cannot demand respect; respect is something you earn.

I have not seen one of these “Murica yeah!” yahoos do anything other than exhibiting contemptable knee-jerk patriotism in response. There’s no coherent argument. There’s no structure, no logic, no reason. It’s visceral, it’s obscene, and it’s everything I’d expect from a political movement that wouldn’t know what individualism was if it was branded on a baseball bat and used to beat sense into their silly little heads.

What these cops want isn’t respect. They want fear and obedience, and they can shove right off with that bullshit. We’re better off without them if that’s all they’re about. It’s a depressing truth that, if that’s the case, we can probably get the same type and quality of service from the Mafia without all of the pomp and circumstance.

I’ve said before, and I continue to maintain, that I have nothing against the police. Police are absolutely necessary for a civil society. However, I want, desperately, my police show more restraint than a Darfur warlord. I think the badge should mean more than that, but apparently, the police disagree.

So, I ask, who’s the person that’s really antipolice? The one who wants the badge to mean something noble, or the one who insists on tarnishing it with bad behavior and continual excuses for that bad behavior like this letter?

Feature image via CBSsports 

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