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Assault on America, Day 533: NFL players, Don’t lecture us on the meaning of the American flag

Baker Mayfield
In defense of America.

“Take it outside.” It doesn’t matter whether the words were from a bar owner or a parent, good people always seek to avoid a big mess stemming from confrontation and fighting. It’s a courtesy for the peaceful and the antagonists alike to keep conflicts confined to the parties at hand.

In light of recent happenings, some people in prominent places are pushing to bring their brawls into every home -- and you will accept it… or be shunned by the “woke” and uninformed. ESPN News Services reported last weekend, “Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the national anthem this upcoming season to support protests of social injustice, police brutality and racism. In answering a post from a fan on his Instagram account Saturday that pleaded with him not to kneel, Mayfield responded: ‘Pull your head out. I absolutely am.’ ...

“’Everybody so upset about my comment doesn't understand the reason behind kneeling in the first place,’ Mayfield wrote. ‘I have the utmost respect for our military, cops, and people that serve OUR country. It's about equality and everybody being treated the same because we are all human. It's been ignored for too long and that is my fault as well for not becoming more educated and staying silent.’

“’If I lose fans, that's OK. I've always spoken my mind. And that's from the heart.’”

Mayfield, who is white, is part of a chorus of footballers, celebrities and beautiful people feeling the tremendous weight of skin-tone guilt of late and are therefore “raising awareness” about police brutality. He may wear a Cleveland Browns uniform, but Baker’s part of the dominant culture demanding a conforming mindset. And judging by his words and actions, he doesn’t care what you think.

In that spirit, it’s time to address the topic in an open letter to the “protesters” and the celebrity class.

Dear Rioters, NFL players, celebrities and guilt-filled politicians from both parties.

On Memorial Day, while a good portion of America was commemorating the one officially designated 24-hour period per annum when decent people pause to reflect on the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in wars for our freedom -- and to give equal thanks to those who gave up a portion of their productive time to serve the nation and then passed on after living out their years -- George Floyd was being murdered in Minneapolis by a policeman charged with safeguarding the public. Anyone who was not on scene did not personally witness the tragedy first-hand.

When most Americans learned of what happened the next day, there were two groups of people. The first was much larger in number, those who believe in law and order and were sickened by what they’d just seen. Not quite knowing what else to do, these citizens waited for an explanation of the circumstances and, if eyes did not deceive, for Minnesota’s legal team to move-in, arrest the perpetrator and begin the process of serving justice.

The other group, considerably smaller in total, saw Floyd’s death as an opportunity. Though it could be said these people were at least as outraged as the former group, they took to social media to spread the word about a black man being snuffed out by a white cop and, in the process, set in motion a chain of events that led to the current societal breakdown where many of America’s urban centers have been vandalized, looted and in the most extreme cases, destroyed. The “protesters” shouted in Floyd’s name but most of them were just there to do… who knows what.

Aiding in the effort to seize the initiative were organized and outside funded leftist entities such as #BlackLivesMatter and Antifa, the black clad strike forces of anarchy made up of mostly young, white, anti-American malcontents bent on nothing other than destruction of property (private and public) and to terrorize through intimidation.

There is clearly a good and bad side to all of this. There is the law, and there are the thugs. Peaceful protesters are part of the former group. If you can’t decipher the difference, take a look at CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest, formerly known as CHAZ) in Seattle today.

In case your education failed you and you didn’t realize, America is governed by a Constitution, which was originally ratified by the existing thirteen states after the Revolutionary War and then adopted by each succeeding organized jurisdiction that wished to be admitted and recognized as part of the United States. It’s a process. There are rules. Everybody needs to play by those rules, or you don’t really have a game, do you?

There are customs and traditions that go along with the United States, and a flag that represents every citizen of the nation. It is red, white and blue, but acknowledges no specific racial category. Over the course of 240+ years, lots of things have happened in the United States; some of them very good, many not so good. Things evolve. But the flag remains.

Saluting the flag is a unifying gesture. It’s not political unless you make it that way. Not saluting the flag, on the other hand, is a divisive gesture. There isn’t a middle ground here.

Unlike with Drew Brees, neither of my grandfathers fought under the flag in overseas conflicts but they both served the country. One maintained his small business in a small town, providing essential (there’s that word again) every-day living necessities for the majority of men and women who weren’t sent far from their places of birth to meet an enemy they never dreamed they’d fight and confront rapid-fire pieces of lead that could prematurely end their lives. My other grandfather toiled in the Long Beach shipyards building Liberty ships during the war years, sun-up to sundown seven days a week with a long drive each way.

They were Americans. They lived lives. They died loving the country that had provided them a simple yet good life.

Every person in this country lives a pretty good life, especially when compared with most of the other residents of Planet Earth. We have clean water, plentiful food and a roof over our heads in all but the most extreme exceptions. Government and a multitude of charities ensure the basics, but even then, most people are able to afford cable TV, in-home internet, smart phones and enough luxuries to provide comfort.

Laws keep society civil. And every person at one time in his or her life has been helped by the police, be it directly or indirectly. America isn’t perfect, but at its core, it is good.

Therefore, you have no right to trash my/our notions of the greatness of America because of your own selfish demands for “justice” or make believe desire to “raise awareness” or because you want “equality” in something other than under the law. You claim to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves, but let me speak for those who can talk plenty but choose not to for fear of being beat-down and shamed by spoiled, virtue-signaling whiny babies who won’t stand for listening much less tolerating alternative views.

You claim only to want a forum for your opinions yet apparently don’t care about the damage you’re doing to the fabric of an already shaken country that provided the opportunities and resources for you to live pretty darn good lives acting in front of a camera or chasing around a pigskin ball in stadiums packed with tens of thousands of people, most of whom are using the occasion to get away from their “real” concerns for a few hours. Most are not there to “listen” to your personal problems. And most care as much as you do about “injustice.” Spare us the values lecture.

You have no right to do so. Because you live and work in the greatest and freest country that mankind has ever known, your ability to “speak out” on your own time is guaranteed. Because you are famous, if you sent out a notice on social media and asked supporters to join you in holding signs in a designated public space, chances are you will draw a considerable crowd. The media would cover it, too. And most Americans, though they might not agree with your causes, would respect your sentiments.

You do not have the right to alienate people in your place of employment. Taking your philosophies to a logical extreme, America’s workplaces would become untenable if every employer was required by their managers, corporate boards or owners to accommodate each employee’s demands for a social or political megaphone. If this were the case, life would come to standstill.

You do not have the right to vandalize or advocate for the destruction of public monuments. Descendants of Confederate soldiers should be able to honor their ancestors regardless of the motivations you assign to them today. Facts show the vast majority (90%) of southern fighting men did not own slaves and fought to preserve their country and homes, the same as Union soldiers (Many of whom were not working to free the slaves, simply to preserve the union. All Facts Matter.).

Reasonable compromise on the monument relocation issue exists, but there’s no excuse for outright destruction of historical markers and honorariums.

You do not have the right to take our statement, “All Lives Matter” and fasten racist meanings to it. While I and others of my mindset acknowledge that the black community has particular and specific issues with police departments, Americans believe everyone matters regardless of race or skin color. Period. End of story. If you’re offended, too bad.

Because of the greatness of America, you do have the right to be as bellicose as you choose to be in your private capacity. The First Amendment shields your rights from Congress and official government sanction. Similarly, through well over two centuries’ worth of case law, the federal courts protect your right to be heard. Say all you want, whatever you want, whenever you want. Petition the government to address your demands. Assemble with others of like mind. Worship whatever God you choose, or none at all.

America is great because it allows people like you to do such things. America is great because it permits awful white supremacists to spread their own collection of inane and discredited views. And America is great because it grants every citizen regardless of country of origin, language or religion to make up their own minds as to where the truth lies.

The American flag was one of the remaining unifying symbols left in our rapidly deteriorating fractured culture. Many of us weren’t happy with laws passed or court decisions permitting same-sex marriage or abortion (among others). Yet civil society commanded a certain level of obedience to the law apart from personal preferences. Every year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, for example, there is the March for Life where hundreds of thousands gather in Washington DC to express their opposition to the practice. Do you recognize them?

The greatness of America allows you to disrespect the flag, our president and the citizens who believe in both. But don’t expect everyone to sit back and passively accept your viewpoint. We have rights, too, including the ability to do something else on Sunday afternoons rather than watch a bunch of hard-working and talented but (truly) privileged men in funny looking helmets running into each other on a grassy field.

So diss us, the flag and the country all you want. Keep telling us it isn’t about disrespecting the flag. We think it is. It’s not too much to ask you to stand when the anthem is played, place your hand over your hearts, sing if you like, remain silent if you want -- heck, even raise your fist in protest. Then take your cause outside and talk all you can to whomever wishes to listen.

Enough already. America is in tatters because certain political leaders allowed thugs to take over and they were largely backed-up by (probably) millions who don’t give a hoot about today’s America and hope to see it fail for real and perceived injustices perpetrated decades or hundreds of years ago.

We don’t have to do something demonstrative -- such as march in “protests” -- to feel sorrow for what happened to George Floyd and to advocate for police reforms that will eliminate bad apples like Derek Chauvin from police forces. In the meantime, mobilize your own demonstrations in favor of dealing with the conditions in inner cities that lead to extraordinarily high crime rates. Address the real problem instead of pontificating and condescending. No soapbox needed.

Until it happens, you have no right to preach and lecture. There, I just used my “First Amendment” right to speak (not really -- it doesn’t apply here, since I’m addressing private citizens, not the government).

I am speaking on behalf of other like-minded Americans, “raising awareness” of our views. “Raising awareness” is big in the “woke” world, isn’t it?

See you on the field. Or not. And we’ll be saluting the flag because it represents all of us as one nation, under God, indivisible with JUSTICE for all.

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