PROTESTS ... When, Where, and How ...
Before I begin, look at these two facts and remember them. First, the summary of the First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Second; Acceptable Behavior:
"Acceptable behavior is behavior that most people in society would agree is acceptable; normal."
No one is disputing anyone's right to "PEACEFUL PROTEST." I won't define that, it's a given. What I am directly referring to in this blog post is how and when people express their views. Frankly, anyone who uses the platform in which they are being paid to provide a "non political" service, should NOT be using that platform to express their personal views. PERIOD! Before someone says, "Well your doing it." I don't get paid to write my blog so I can write about whatever I choose. However, if you hired my services as a keynote speaker and asked me to lecture on a certain topic and I started expressing through actions or words my political beliefs, I WOULD BE WRONG. For these two reasons. 1. That's not what I was hired to do. 2. It's not what people came to hear me speak about. Therefore, if I go to see a performer for entertainment purposes, or a sports game, I am not paying to hear or see their display of political preferences. Play your music, act, play your sport. Do whatever it is you are being paid to do and what I paid to see. Save your personal agenda for your own time.
With that said, it's rather sad they are using the opportunity of public TV with millions of people watching, or an audience of thousands of people, and using that platform and those people as a tool for their own agenda. People who have PAID good money to be entertained. I for one do NOT like to be used in any way. I respect ANY persons freedom to protest, state their opinions and views. I will respect those views when presented peacefully and in the correct forum and platform. I ask one thing in return. That people respect mine. Any sports event, any concert or TV show, is NOT the appropriate "When" and "Where." Certain talk shows that are aired for that purpose certainly do not apply. Go to a rally on your own time and take a knee, or make your political comments or statements. LEAVE THEM OFF THE FIELD AND OFF THE STAGE. I don't question what you are paid. More power to you to earn those ridiculously high salaries. Don't you think if any writer could get a million dollars to sell one book they wouldn't do it? Your damn right they would. I will not bash you for capitalizing on the stupidity of others that are willing to pay ridiculous prices to see a sports game, a musical, or any performer to perform. What is considered reasonable? I guess that is determined by what people are willing to pay.
Let's look at two scenarios for a moment:
1. Three men are at their work desks speaking explicitly about the sex they had with their partners the previous night. Using all the colorful metaphors, bells, whistle's and frills. They are aware there is a woman sitting two desks over. The woman hears this conversations and makes a compliant to her manager that she found the conversation demeaning and offensive. THIS IS CONSIDERED WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT. In a company that has a NO TOLERANCE policy on this, these three men could be terminated. What about their first amendment rights? NONE!
2. You and your partner are at a movie theater with your 7, 9, and 11 year old watching a GP rated cartoon movie. Sitting behind you are three teenagers. They are laughing loud, making sexual comments about the cartoon characters, and swearing. Loud enough for your children to hear them very clearly. Many would call the manager, and they would probably be asked to leave. Most fathers might just teach them a different lesson. What about their first amendment rights? NONE!
LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR. Our first amendment rights do NOT give anyone the right to offend others. This does not fall under freedom of speech or expression. Both of these examples fall under ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR. Neither of these examples are what society would consider to be normal and acceptable behavior. With that said, it is clear from social media and many polls conducted, that society in general believes that sports players TAKING A KNEE, or entertainers EXPRESSING their political views during their performance, is not what has been done for years, and is not what is considered normal or acceptable behavior. What gives any of them the right to offend others under the auspices of the First Amendment? Frankly, I am surprised a lawyer hasn't gotten a client that places a law suit against them. Who knows, never say never.
Let's speak to RESPECT for a moment. When a person has lost respect for others, they have lost their character. What they stand for. Once lost, NO ONE WILL TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. You have compromised your credibility. Let's really get specific here because we all know the biggest controversy here relates to our countries Flag and National Anthem. Also to the state of our political system. Our Flag is a symbol. The symbol of our Nation. A symbol that many have died for in order to protect our way of life. It is as dear to this country as a family member is to you. I capitalized certain words NOT because it is, or is not grammatically correct, but these words deserve that respect. It's my blog so I can do it. For decades, people have stood and held their hand over their heart when our National Anthem was played. That is a show of RESPECT. Respect for the Flag, the Country, and those who have served her. Some have lived to tell their stories, and others have died in the process. Read some of the stories in my book "WHO ARE THE HEROES" if you don't get it. An individuals personal views and opinions DO NOT merit disrespecting these symbols and those that have come before you, those that will come after you, and those in the present. The ones that sacrifice for you to have the freedom's to read this. The basis of decency starts with how we respect others. As much as you have the freedom to express your views, others have as much freedom to express theirs, including what they believe in their heart is right or wrong.
What's worse, is those that will complain about it and still support the games, or the artists. I enjoy sports as much as the next person. But when that Anthem is played, if one person is on a knee, the channel gets changed. No sport or any form of entertainment will control my beliefs. Everyone has a right to make their statement. It is unfortunate that club owners, sports players, and certain members of the elite Hollywood society have to feel financial loss before they act and reconsider their actions. Those that don't stand behind their opposing thoughts are just as much at fault.
In politics, not everyone will be happy. It's a darn right shame that the political arena in general is not supporting our President. I have voted for presidents in the past that did not win. The RIGHT thing to do is move forward and do what's best for the country and it's people. Support who did win. In watching the State Of The Union Address, I was personally sadden by the display of so many in that room that not only disrespected the man, they disrespected the office. What's worse, is they disrespected themselves as well as the office they represent. The American people need to see unification. That was the place to show it. All those that chose to sit on their behinds are the more deep routed problem in our system due to their actions. Actions which I believe is NOT what the voters elected them to do. Look at it this way. Our elected officials are like parents. The citizens are like children. Most children look to their parents to set the example. These parents set a poor example, therefore, how do you expect the citizens to act? In summary, keep this last statement in mind, because it is not only a fact, it's reality.
The best dressed individual with the most education can be the dumbest of all.
Common sense is NOT taught in school.
Thank you ..... CJR