Gene Valaitis: Taking a knee

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Credit to Scott Adams

Taking a knee.

This isn’t why Michael Brown and Heather Heyer died.

One of my mentors, John Parikhall reminded me of a great Dilbert Cartoon today. A woman says “I don’t know anything about this, but my opinion is…” and Dilbert says “When did Ignorance become a point of view”

And that is exactly what the hysteria about “taking a knee” has transitioned into.

Here is the real story. When former San Francisco 49-er’s quarterback and now unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick started this “act” it was his way of protesting against racial injustice after the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. Kaepernick originally sat on the bench during the national anthem until it was pointed out to him by a fellow player that his action may appear as if he was disrespecting the anthem. So, in fact, as a show of respect he changed his protest against racial injustice from sitting to taking a knee to show respect for, not against the anthem. Taking a knee has nothing to do with veterans or wars or the anthem or the flag. If you want to talk about disrespecting the flag, stop companies from making flag t shirts, flag bandanas, flag shoes like the pair of Vans I own and on and on. Trump has done a good job of distracting the protest from its origins and towards his agenda. He added fuel to the fire by calling the NFL players, the majority of whom just so happen to be black, S.O.B.’s. It’s something he did not do following the white racist K.K.K. protest when Heather Heyer, an innocent anti-Klan protester was killed after James Allen Fields Jr. drove a car into a crowd of protesters at high speed in Charlottesville, Virginia killing her and her ideas and her American first amendment right’s.  About her death a K.K.K. leader said, “I’m glad that girl died”. These K.K.K. folks apparently are not S.O.B.’s, but the players are. The hysteria surrounding the “knee taking” is based on a lack of knowledge. It’s typical social media, lowest common denominator reaction at its worst. Or maybe the best?

It also reminds me what another mentor taught me. Most people get mental activity mixed up with thinking. And if most people said what they were actually thinking they would be speechless.

Engage brain before opening mouth. Or post.

I’m Gene Valaitis.

Brilliant or Crazy? We’re not quite sure. What we do know for sure is that me, Gene, in the mornings will ease you into your day with thoughtful conversation, music and his unique take on everything Vancouver.