Saturday, September 10, 2016

Seahawks "protest" no protest at all. An owner endorsed deal to undermine Kaepernick

The Seattle team should join him
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Well the protest from the entire Seattle Seahawks team connected to Colin Kaepernick’s sitting and kneeling during the US national anthem as a protest against the ongoing murder and outright assassination of black people by the beefed up police forces in the US, has been revealed.

The Seahawks released the plan to the media today and it turns out its not a statement in support of Colin kaepernick but one to undermine him. The entire Seahawks team did “discuss” the issue according to the media and decided to stand during the anthem and link arms. I recall one time in my workplace, one of four municipal corporation yards, when the bosses' wanted us to pick a slogan. They were pushing us to compete with our brothers and sisters in the other yards as part of the attempts to increase production. We voted on ours and  unanimously chose that great slogan of the US working class "An Injury to One is an Injury to all". The next thing we know there was a plaque outside the yard with the slogan "Can't Touch US" on it. We do not control the workplace, they do. The ruling class always uses coercion of some sort to get compliance. The entire system is one of coercion, sometimes subtle (you won't get that promotion) sometimes overt. In the last analysis through violence.

“We honor those who have fought for the freedom we cherish, and we stand to ensure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people,  progress can and will be made only if we stand together.” Says Doug Baldwin, the team’s wide receiver.

Apparently this is supposed to be a sign of unity. But unity with whom?  A clear sign of unity would have been for the entire team to have knelt or sat as Kaepernick has.  And to accompany the action with a nationalistic and patriotic statement about US capitalism’s military ventures abroad being to defend our freedom and to “ensure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people,” is simply propaganda. We owe it to the working class youth in the military to tell them the truth, to demand all predatory wars are ended and they come home. Their children don't fight their wars, ours do.

The invasion and slaughter of some 4 million Vietnamese had nothing to do with defending the freedom of the US or any other western people’s and certainly had nothing to do with securing the freedom of the Vietnamese people. One doesn’t pour the chemical dioxin on millions of people and their food as well as their own troops in order to secure any freedom other than the freedom to profit off the misery of others. This war for profits cost 67,000 wasted US lives.

The same with Iraq, this murderous assault has nothing to do with freedom except free markets. US capitalism’s wars are about denying freedom to people not ensuring it. They are more aggressively denying it to their own citizenry.

Baldwin quotes Martin Luther King when he said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Unfortunately what could have been a powerful protest against police violence and racism will be, if it takes place as planned, a pathetic cringing show of unity with the billionaires that own the teams like Paul Allen who owns the Seahawks and is worth $15 billion and the warmongers who direct perpetual war in the interests of Wall Street and the bankers. The issue of thousands of murdered black youth and police violence in general will be covered with a cloak of patriotism.

Martin Luther King’s quote applies to Kaeprenick and other individuals that have emulated him. It applies to the numerous individuals standing up to the 1% throughout the country and the Native Americans who faced the modern day Pinkertons and have pushed back, albeit temporarily, an assault on their land and our environment. His quote does not apply to the user of it above nor will it apply to the entire team if they follow through with this action supported by the very forces that are behind the violence being protested. Hopefully there will be some if not all the team join Kaepernick rather than undermine him. Unity is important but what that unity is about and with whom is even more so. And while we are quoting King we might recall this:

"You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry… Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong…with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism."  
Martin Luther king 1966

As I said on my FB page: This is what happens when protest comes from above rather than below. When its sanctioned by the authorities rather than condemned by them.

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