Darrell Castle talks about the NFL protests and asks the question “Should we be allowed free inquiry as to whether the protest allegations are true or not?”
Transcript / Notes
THE NFL PROTESTS—IS FREE INQUIRY POSSIBLE?
Hello, this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report. Today is Friday, October 27, 2017, and as you listen to this Report, I will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the Constitution Party National Committee meeting.
Today, however, I will be talking about the NFL protests again, not because I want to save the NFL but because I believe that free inquiry, or the policy of allowing all points of view to be heard on an issue, is vitally important for our society.
Playing the national anthem at sporting events is a tradition whose time has probably come. Playing of the anthem at baseball games was begun during World War l to build patriotism and support for the war. Like most temporary things it continued after the war, and by World War ll, had become a tradition at virtually all sporting events. With the United States constantly involved in wars around the world there is always a need to build support here at home. The NFL protests make stopping the anthem more difficult, though, because it would appear to be capitulation to the intimidation of the players.
Having said all that, I will also say that it is sensible to show respect for symbols like the National Anthem because they are part of the national consensus, part of what we are as people. Disrespecting the anthem upsets the country at its very basic level. It is crass and revolting, and in the long run will harm race relations in the United States.
Let’s take a look now at what started the protests that have spread around the country. The quarterback for the San Francisco Forty-Niners, who at the time was Colin Kaepernik, remained on one knee during the Anthem and then stated: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He went on to say several other things but that is the statement that started it all it all.
The NFL is now 70% black so white players, whether they want to or not, must show solidarity with their teammates or face ostracism. Virtually all players, it seems, are now in support of the protests and it has evolved much further than just the on field kneeling. There is a video which shows Michael Bennett, a player for the Seattle Seahawks, burning an American flag in the locker room while all the other players and coaches, including head coach Pete Carroll, stand around cheering him on. It is a very insulting and alarming video but it does serve to illustrate the deep divide that exists in America.
I present a question today; How can this divide ever be closed without free inquiry?
The owners considered a proposal to require the players to stand as a condition of their employment agreement but decided instead to just encourage them to stand. The players were not so inclined, however. Recently Jesse Jackson made the statement that playing in the NFL is “like slavery.” That remark is totally absurd and serves only to cheapen what human slavery actually was and is.
I still think the problem can be solved through the free market by just not going to games. The solution is easy, just stop going. A group of Veterans are trying to organize the weekend of November 12th as a boycott day in honor of those serving and those who have served. The 11th is Veterans Day and the 10th is the Marine Corps birthday so perhaps fans will honor that and stay away in droves.
Colin Kaepernik’s original statement perfectly reflects the prevailing narrative of the ruling elite in Western Societies today. Not just in America, but all across the Western World, his view is, in varying degrees, the prevailing one. It is passed down to us rubes through politicians, the media, entertainment, including professional sports, but especially Hollywood, and of course, education. Shouldn’t we then examine his statement to see for ourselves whether or not it’s really true? Don’t we have an obligation to not just blindly accept a premise that if true is a horrible reality but instead to critically examine it?
We can’t do that though because to question the prevailing narrative is to subject oneself to possible loss of employment and public ruin. For example, look at what has happened on college campuses around the country lately. Speakers on any topic other than the acceptable and prevailing one are not allowed to speak without extreme and expensive levels of security. College campuses should be places with the freest inquiry but instead they have become places of stultifying conformity. Any idea, no matter how perverse is tolerated and exalted as long as it leads to the sacred creed of absolute egalitarianism.
Dialog is no longer possible and anyone who dares to stray from the party line is ruined by being fired from his work, and ostracized from society, etc. Each of the allegations made by Mr. Kaepernik and others should be available for general discourse and examination without slanderous charges of racism, etc., just for mentioning that they might not be valid. If you are going to view an entire society as one which oppresses black people and people of color, should we then be prevented from critically examining the statements?
Since race seems to be at the heart of this issue, and virtually every other issue right now, perhaps we should have that honest discussion about race that Erik Holder said we were too cowardly to have when he was attorney general. We should move immediately to have that discussion, as long as it can be held without insults, recriminations, and all views are allowed to be heard.
Open-mindedness could be considered free inquiry on a personal level because if you want the truth to be known, and avoid believing things that are false, you must listen to people you disagree with. You can’t just take it for granted that they are wrong or that they have some sinister motive. Sometimes we become polarized, but if our real desire is for truth these feelings will not overcome us.
There is some good news in all this bad NFL news. Reports from last Sunday’s attendance at many stadiums were dismal with pictures of many empty seats post kick-off. Perhaps fans are starting to react to being insulted or perhaps fans are just tired of paying outlandish prices for an inferior product or perhaps it’s a combination of both. Whatever the cause I’m grateful for it and I hope the Veterans Day weekend protest of the protests goes very well.
Recently the President of the United States chimed in on this issue, as if it were something of national importance that demands his attention. What of it, should he have anything to say about any of it ; No, nothing except what any other sports fan would say. It’s inappropriate and undignified for him to prattle on about it and he certainly shouldn’t propose some solution that everyone has to follow. The NFL and their employees can work out their own differences, and if they want to continually insult their fans, the fans should act accordingly.
In closing, we were warned by George Orwell in his book Animal Farm, written near the end of world War ll, to steer a course clear of the movement toward group think, and to be on guard about insistence upon absolute egalitarianism. The pigs in Orwell’s book led a revolution of the animals to take the Farm from the abusive humans and then set up an egalitarian system. The pigs slowly changed into what the humans were before the revolution. When the other animals complained, the pigs told them, “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Yes, when there’s no free inquiry allowed, some are more equal than others.
Finally, as Doctor Samuel Johnson said, “he who lives to please must please to live.”
I agree with the good doctor folks,
Until next time,
This is Darrell Castle,
Thanks for listening.