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The National Anthem’s False Notes

| September 9, 2016

Colin Kaepernick  national anthem

Colin Kaepernick stares down America. (Brook Ward)

One August morning in a small French town in Normandy 250 years ago, a crucifix that stood as a monument in the heart of town was found mutilated. People were upset. They wanted blood. (Irony has never been Catholics’ strongest suit.) No one had any idea who’d done it, so it was necessary to invent a suspect.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive The mob chose a 20-year-old aristocrat, the Knight of La Barre, who was known to run around town doing irreverent things with a couple of equally free-thinking late adolescents. The proof of his guilt was simple: during a religious procession, he refused to take off his cap and stand respectfully. Blasphemy! La Barre was interrogated, tried, and tortured, his head was chopped off in front of an immense and cheering crowd and he was burned.

Substitute dogma for freedom and the cruelty and stupidity of men has no bounds. I was reminded of the treatment of La Barre by the entirely predictable controversy surrounding an NFL quarterback’s decision not to stand up for the national anthem before a game. No one is calling for Colin Kaepernick’s head, at least not literally, but he’s been all but guillotined nonetheless, and for what? For finally deciding, as too few athletes do, to show that he’s not exclusively an object of entertainment making $12 million a year. He decided to protest police brutality and racism his way, with a quiet act that doesn’t take away from anybody else’s right to believe what they will.

Muhammad Ali had done the same to protest Vietnam, refusing to be inducted into the army and converting to Islam: “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me nigger,” he told America, which did not forgive this black man for having an opinion, let alone a political opinion, let alone one snubbing the military and the white world that supposedly allowed him to be who he was. He lost his title for seven years at the height of his fitness and was excommunicated  from the graces of American public opinion. He stood his ground (“My principles are more important than the money or my title”) and eventually proved to be a more honorable hero than many of the honored frauds that, all of them flag-saluting and star-spangled-singing, gave us Vietnam, J. Edgar Hoover’s police state, Henry Kissinger’s genocides  and Nixon’s Watergate right about then.

Not much appears to have changed: “What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem,” that other Muslim Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in the Post, “but that nearly 50 years after Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities. Failure to fix this problem is what’s really un-American here.”

Protesters are the ungrateful bastards of the republic, loudmouth pussies who don’t have the grace to shut up and take cops’ beatings and killings politely, without talking back.

Reflecting America’s whiter shade of pale, an incensed letter writer in The New York Times this week said he was tired of athletes “putting down the country that has given them the opportunity to get to where they are,” as if those athletes had been spectators to their own opportunity.  I can see Orwell headlining that letter: “Freedom is servitude.” But that’s where we are nowadays. America may have been founded by protest—and little of value by way of civil and human rights has ever been achieved but through protest–but protesters are now the ungrateful bastards of the republic, loudmouth pussies who don’t have the grace to shut up and be glad they have the protection of the military, or the decency to take cops’ beatings and killings politely, without talking back.

Why confront racism and police injustice when you can hold an inquisition on who’s patriotic and who’s not, who’s behind our military and who’s not? When you can just scream U-S-A, U-S-A, the new anthem of goons too challenged by multisyllabic words or complete sentences to propose more reasoned arguments? And when all else fails, let it come down to that gibberish equivalence: compared to soldiers and the flag that represents them, apparently to the exclusion of everyone else, you, civilian whiner, are nothing.

Measuring the role of a principled athlete like Kaepernick—or that of any citizen, for that matter—in defending and protecting America against the role of soldiers in the field can’t be a rational comparison, especially in a militaristic society that fetishizes uniforms and rarely corrects an implied contempt by jingoes for civilians not lucky enough to have soaked up and dished out the gore of combat. But to suggest that civilians in their Leaves of Grass varieties  don’t in their own way nurture and protect the nation reduces all but combatants to a servility that has no other purpose but be worshipful of its armed protectors. It turns the military not only into an end in itself, but into the only end worth celebrating. It’s what has reduced the playing of the national anthem into a show of respect for the military above all, as if the nation the military was protecting were not the only valid and defensible reason for the military to exist.

Kaepernick’s stand isn’t a dangerous slog in an Afghan hamlet. But stand for stand, it’s doing more to advance American principles than any slog by any soldier anywhere in Afghanistan or Iraq—two losing, pointless wars that continue to demonstrably damage American security and corrupt its ideals far more than protect them. We’re so busy pretending to be pacifying the Middle East from terror that we’re not only blind to the terrors young black men face on American streets. We judge them blasphemers and America-haters the moment they take as peaceful a stand as sitting (where would civil rights be without sit-ins?), demonize those who defend them, and conveniently censor their stand by making noise about something radically different, to hijack the conversation.

How sadistically ironic that Kaepernick’s condemnation centers on the national anthem, that celebration of the “land of the free and home of the brave” that has somehow, like the Pledge of Allegiance, turned into a modern-day loyalty oath, a dogma. Or that he’s had to defend himself against a whisper campaign that he’s really doing all this because he converted to Islam (he did not) or because his girlfriend is Muslim (she is), as if, in this land of the free, Muslims don’t have the right to protest and be patriotic at the same time. As if Americanism were an exclusive brand, which is really what’s at the heart of this controversy: it’s part of that ongoing resurgence of nationalist rancor, that emerging minority of hate whose mercenaries want to judge who belongs and who doesn’t, who’s an acceptable American and who’s a heretic. But it is a minority, as indicated by the noble response of Kaepernick’s employers, who are standing by their quarterback, and by President Obama’s defense of Kaepernick.

They’re saying the same thing. How one shows love of country is not definable by whether you doff your cap or not, or whether you stand up for the anthem or caress your smartphone. Particularly when your gesture is not as rote as standing for the anthem because you always have, because everyone else is doing it, or because it’s the “right” thing to do, even if you can’t articulate the first thing about rights, as Kaepernick’s flag-worshipping tormentors prove with every insult they hurl at him.

Kaepernick has been making a painful point. Call him a blasphemer if you like, as that mob did with La Barre for an act of defiance that, a generations later, helped power a revolution. “All great truths begin as blasphemies,” George  Bernard Shaw reminds us. Kaepernick’s act is, let us hope, one of those blasphemies.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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56 Responses for “The National Anthem’s False Notes”

  1. Ken Dodge says:

    §171. Conduct during playing [follows §171. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner]
    During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there. [United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Patriotic Customs]

  2. Disgusted says:

    “….to show that he’s not exclusively an object of entertainment making $12 million a year.” Sorry but this article lost all credibility with me by that statement. Every athlete making millions of dollars to play a game is nothing but an object of entertainment. Nobody pays $100 for a ticket, $5 a hot dog and $8 a beer to see or hear an athletes political views. People spent that crazy money TO BE ENTERTAINED!!! There are better ways to “sit down” for what you believe in than disrespecting the national anthem and American flag and what they represent. But I guess when you’re the back up to Blane Gabbert of all QB’s, ya have to do something to keep people from forgetting your name. Like they say in the ENTERTAINMENT business, bad press is better than no press…..

  3. Ibanezer Scrooge says:

    This is a beautifully written piece. Kudos, Pierre, on articulating this issue so well.

  4. BIG JOHN says:

    What would Jesus Christ do?
    Think about that and pray for forgiveness.

  5. William Moya says:

    Pierre i suspect that there was probably an interruption of some sort while writing the paragraph where you speculate the “America may have been founded by protest” thus the quote. We were founded by revolution, we did not just broke windows we burned the house down, we broke with tradition, religion, and the “conservative” philosophy the gave us western civilization.
    About 60 years later we invaded a foreign country, while previously flooding Texas with “illegal” German immigrants so that the independent movement would win the “election”. Polk invaded Mexico also with the idea to turn it into a slave state, remember “manifest destiny”.
    20 years after that we have another revolution, that war lasted 3 years or so, and sixty thousand Americans mange to kill each other.
    Fast forward and for the next hundred year we lived with apartheid where there was no civil rights for too many except male wasps, and a period when 4000 (conservative estimate) “Negroes” were hanged if not with the participation of police departments, with their acquiescence.
    I’ll stop here with the historical reference because frankly it affect my blood pressure in a negative way, and I am sure you can fill in all the blanks and more.It is amazing that African Americans had been so accepting of our document and our laws, their white counterparts wouldn’t have.

  6. redrum66 says:

    Pierre just hearing your voice on wnzf makes me sick so you can imagine what reading your endless barrage of self-rightousness liberal garbage does to me! I was born and raised in this horrible country that you seem so damn intent on complaining about. How many years has this evil racist country been your displeasure of calling home? The reason small minded rabble rousing pukes like you even are able to be here is because of the blood that was spilt by true patriots that died for red..white..and blue. You think you know so much about us as a country but you couldn’t be more clueless. When you come on here or wnzf making smug comments about trump or chick fil a or whatever other topic that needs to be analyzed/shamed by you I wonder how many others say to themselves “this a-hole” AGAIN! You make me want to punch my radio or smash my phone that’s how wrong YOU really are about this great country. I’ve lived my life as a law abiding respectful citizen and raised my children to be the same. I’ve never bothered or attacked a black person in my entire life but I’ve been threatened by black males my entire life for no other reason than being a white male! That’s from kindergarten to grade school to Jr high and all through my adult life and even now as a man in my 50’s…Imagine that white people being discriminated against in 2016 ! YOU’RE no better than reverend Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson who love to stir up hate and controversy that’s all 1 sided and fits your narrow minded agenda. Did you ever stop to think that maybe people like this guy who refused to stand is only a social hero in the eyes of fool’s such as yourself? Have you ever been wrong in your life about someone or something and admitted it? I love my imperfect country and always have through good and bad..tell me Pierre of all the better countries you could choose to live in why this one? Why do all the other liberal’s and freedom bashing fools like yourself feel the need to put down people who say they love this country and label them racist if they disagree with people like you? Because it’s easier to point your fingers at someone else rather then yourself! Feel free to comeback at me with more points of view on how people (WHITE..CHRISTIAN..MALE) like me are to blame for all that ails this country. One thing for sure just because YOUR voice is unchallenged on the air.. doesn’t make you an authority on race or politics or good people like me who get angry when privileged people like NFL players show disrespect for our soldiers..without whom none of us would exist.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      You’ve been watching the Shining too many times, though I’m impressed and touched that you remember so many of my commentaries that I’ve forgotten. You have of course every right to sit out my opinions (I have no idea why you don’t, especially since my accented English makes you so sick) but I just wanted to point out one factual error. You say that my voice “is unchallenged on the air.” Surely you know that WNZF is almost exclusively right-wing, with Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and that Savage guy giving us what, 60, 70 hours a week of twilight zone remakes? Through the good graces of David Ayres I get two and half minutes a week to refute 70 hours. I’m not complaining: it’s all I need, given the thinness of the opposition. In that sense though you’re probably right: I’m unchallenged, but so would be any fourth grader with a reasonably grounded education and a penchant for evidence.

  7. Mark S. Wardrip says:

    Is he the role model we want? I think he is a disrespectful smart ass, just like the word merchant who stayed up all night jabbing us with his nasty pen, spoiling such a lovely pristine page. I love a good protest but I would never piss on the flag that represents my freedom to peacefully do that. I didn’t do that, you guys did. I love America and as a patriot, it is my duty to remind my fellow countrymen that we are all created equal. We should never allow racism or police brutality to exist. Oh, I could care less about sports and it’s celebrities, newspapers, and their self-serving editors. I do, however, think it’s fantastic that we have these freedoms. Cassius Clay: Violent draft dodger. God Bless America! Salute!

  8. woodchuck says:

    Tired of rich lime light wanna be”s with no respect for anyone but themselves.They will do anything but really help “the cause”.They should go into inner city neighborhoods talk with the kids,start some football,soccer,basketball camps.Maybe dig a little bit into mega million dollar bank accounts to help the boy”s and girls club.That would never happen because they would lose ground trying to keep up the the Kardashians.

  9. Fredrick says:

    When I see one the overpaid professional babies protest the killing of fellow blacks in Chicago or other cities across America I will listen to them whine and complain about police brutality. And the same goes for you Pierre. When will you start taking about how many blacks die at the hands of blacks? Or does this not support your liberal narrative of how the Dems have solutions to the issues in the inner cities. News flash… Pierre, it’s not hand outs.

  10. Knightwatch says:

    Democracy is hard, unwieldly, messy, and infuriating to someone, somewhere some time. But that’s what this democracy is all about… the freedom to shout, to march and to protest in a way that is meaningful to the individual. We’ve been doing it for 240 years. Kaepernick, as do all Americans, gets to do anything “lawful” he feels necessary to get his point across. Doesn’t make him less American any more than me when I don’t say “under god” during the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Get over it, folks. America has cancerous warts, and we don’t treat them until someone has the courage to point them out. I applaud Kaepernick.

  11. Mark says:

    Pierre, are you a Lebanese-American? Am I an English-American? What is an African-American? I thought we were all just Americans. Who kills more blacks, cops, whites, or other blacks? What is this bozo objecting to? Affirmative action? I know he is not oppressed, he is getting paid millions to sit on a bench and watch his teammates play a game. What an opportunity. An opportunity that can be taken advantage of by any American, black, white, hispanic or purple. Maybe he should protest by giving up his millions to some oppressed people. That would accomplish much more than what he is accomplishing by sitting on his duff while the national anthem is playing. Protest the system by not accepting the gifts of the system. That would go a long way to boost his image, which is what he is really concerned about. His protest is accomplishing nothing except more division. The only thing you wrote that makes sense is that “Not much appears to have changed”.

  12. Born and Raised Here says:

    Of all people this guy was taken out of poverty, and adopted by to lovely parents, white at that. He was raised in a very well to do community, and attended one of the top religious schools in the country BYU. If I were him I would be the last person not to be proud to be an American, because of where you came from, and the opportunity that was given to you. Colin Kaepernick you never had it so good.

  13. My2Cents says:

    In reply to “Ibanezer Scrooge”……I agree wholeheartedly!!! Mr. Pierre Tristam is DEFINITELY ON POINT! I would NOT follow without his eloquently written insights. Great to know people like him exist, and in his profession no doubt. However, at least ONE of the responses shows just how “blindfolded” some of us STILL are, then try to force their ideology by twisting the issue to prove their own “made up” point. Boy, what a tangled web some of us weave. Final thought, I hope so-called “Disgusted” tries not to get “hung” up in his/her own TWISTED weave, made while in that sad “blindfolded” state.

  14. Red Rider says:

    Colin Kaepernick,is a terrorist in waiting

  15. PCer says:

    Great article. Racism will not end until those who are not the victims of it stand with the victims (or kneel in protest). This man is using his position to bring light to a problem. He is even donating his money to causes that are offering solutions. What are those who are yelling at him and opposing him doing? They are the blasphemers. They do not understand our first amendment which supersedes the flag code as the supreme law of the land. “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.” The flag is a symbol of out government and he is exercising his right to protest said government. He is not taking away my right to do it. Let’s not forget that most of you on this feed and on Facebook were sitting on your sofa while he was kneeling. Did you stand in your living room for those few moments to salute the flag? I highly doubt it. He is using his position to create a dialogue and it worked. Here we are discussing his actions. I would like to see some real change so we can get him back on his feet to proudly stand for the country. Let’s do something about racial injustice and socioeconomic inequality. If you don’t believe it exists or that you haVe nothing to do with it, then YOU are part of the problem. Be part of the solution, start by opening your eyes.

  16. karma says:

    I have never seen this country so divided. Let’s make EVERYONE some kind of victim to everything. Whats next, Lay on the ground when the anthem is being played to protest guns. I wonder if Kaepernick knows who really kills the most blacks. HINT: Margret Sanger

  17. Common Sense says:

    Once again, I am shocked at the level of racism in this community, In a democratic society everyone has a right to express their views. He could simply have gone on making money but he chose to take a stand.
    I admire his courage.

  18. A Little Common Sense Please says:

    I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is… Proud to be White Michael Richards makes his point…
    Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs’ Seinfeld does make a good point.This was his defense speech in court after
    making racial comments in his comedy act.

    In it he raised a few interesting points…

    Someone finally said it.But how many are actually paying attention to this?

    There are African Americans,Mexican Americans,Asian Americans,Arab Americans, etc.
    And then there are just Americans…You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction.

    You call me ‘White boy’, ‘Cracker’, ‘Honkey’, ‘Whitey’, ‘Caveman’… And that’s OK…
    But when I call you Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink… You call me a racist.

    You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you…
    So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live in?

    You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.
    You have Black History Month.
    You have Cesar Chavez Day.
    You have Yom Hashoah.
    You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.
    You have the NAACP.
    You have BET…

    Imagine if we had WET(White Entertainment Television)…we’d be racists.

    If we had a White Pride Day,you would call us racists.

    If we had White History Month,we’d be racists.

    If we had any organization for whites only to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.
    We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.
    Wonder who pays for that???

    A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant,but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.
    If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.

    There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US …
    Yet if there were ‘White colleges’,that would be a racist college.

    In the Million Men March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights.
    If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

    You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange,and you’re not afraid to announce it.
    But when we announce our white pride,you call us racists.

    You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us.
    But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a
    threat to society, you call him a racist. I am proud… But you call me a racist.

    Why is it that only whites can be racists???
    But let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on.
    I sadly don’t think many will.

    That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country.
    We won’t stand up for ourselves!


    It’s not a crime YET… But getting very close!


  19. another vet says:

    One question, would you be able to write this article in your country of birth?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      vet, while it pains me to go so far as to answer your question (which reminds me of the times in my newly exiled youth when my UK or US classmates would ask me if we had indoor plumbing in Lebanon, thus introducing me to the disappointing lack of intellectual plumbing in the UK and the US), I’ll just refer you to the opinion pages of the Daily Star, the English-language Lebanese daily, where you’ll find much broader, incisive and open-minded opinions than in the majority of US dailies, not to mention too many of these comments here, not least among them, unfortunately, yours.

  20. Old Guy says:

    There are plenty of ways that Colin Kaepernick can promote positive change without being a poor role model.
    I think Woodchuck summed it up quite well.

  21. BlueJammer says:

    Fantastic article, Mr. Tristam – one of your best! Whether we agree or disagree with Colin Kaepernick, as Americans, we must realize freedom is complicated and comes with a price. We must respect Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest and freedom of speech.

    Nonetheless, I wonder if this quarterback’s message has missed the mark with his protest against oppression or has this story quietly shifted to Kaepernick’s (and our) constitutional rights.

    Again, great article and thoughts from everyone.

  22. Sherry says:

    Well done, Pierre! I respect and admire your writing from a historical perspective and context. We all need to fully understand where our civilization came from so that we can at least try to “learn the lessons” from past mistakes, and then move forward in a more educated and healthy way to attempt forge a more evolved future for our planet.

    Your enduring and valiant effort to pry open the minds and hearts of those like Red Rider, and so many others in our community, who live tiny lives filled with fear and prejudice is noble, to say the least. Fear mongering, name calling, racism, xenophobia and bigotry should have no place in our society for that is the refuge of the ignorant and of those who cannot make a reasonable point based on fact or logic.

    While I personally believe that most professional athletes are paid way too much for the entertainment they provide, why is it that a “greedy billionaire presidential candidate ” who used the loop holes in our bankruptcy laws to make themselves richer has been praised by the same people who put down Colin Kaepernick for making the same amount of money as others in his profession? Hypocrisy at its worst!

    Colin Kaepernick is a true patriot! His parents raised him well! He is PEACEFULLY asking us all to really acknowledge, and work to change, the massive injustice and lack of “equal opportunity” for people of color in the USA. What, exactly, is wrong with that? My impression is that Colin Kaepernick simply has the wrong skin color for those who are prejudiced readers of Flagler Live.

    Keep up the great work, Pierre! Please contribute to Flagler Live. . . let’s keep true journalism alive!

  23. Mondexian Mama says:

    Someone once made the observation that if one can be made to believe absurdities one can be made to commit atrocities. Someone else felt that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. These people must have spent a lot of time with the xians.

  24. The Oracle says:

    I prefer to think of the brave and selfless young women and men that are serving in our countries military and police forces. Focusing on the cowards and free riders in this country is a waste of time. The freedom that France and much of the world enjoys today was paid for by American blood, and not the likes of Muhammad Ali, Colin Kaepernick, and Kareem Jabaar.

  25. Ben Hogarth says:

    Some of the comments here are quite sickening. I am glad most of those with such mental illnesses at least have the capacity to understand it may be better to remain anonymous if one is going to continue saying that which is hateful and ignorant. Most of these folks are probably Trump supporters also – the cuckoos of a feather tend to flock together.

    Personally, I do not like Colin Kaepernick and I believe he is a typical primadonna school girl. This is more of a PR stunt than anything. With that said, he has every right to not stand if he so chooses and I will defend his right to do so as long as I live. And I will speak out against anyone who claims he MUST stand when it is an inalienable right to NOT.

    Oh and Ken Dodge – while we appreciate you linking the wonderful CFR (code of federal regulations) for us on what we “should” do as Americans during the anthem, remember that this was a BS code that actually has no legal implications. In reality, it is pointless to even point to it.

    And Red Rider – i would love to hear your hypothesis on terrorism. I am sure it is supported with loads of empirical evidence (cue eye roll)

  26. Robjr says:

    After reading these comments it is clear most don’t get it. Or they don’t want to get it. They must see themselves as “real” Americans.

  27. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Hahaha, Fredrick is literally arguing that because black people kill black people the police should be allowed to rampantly murder them too.

  28. flagler1 says:

    Every American citizen has the same civil rights.

  29. Drumpf says:

    “A Little Common Sense Please” sounds like he needs a BIG box of tissues.

  30. Markingthedays says:

    Thank you, Pierre.

  31. r&r says:

    Is this like Colin Cancer which is spreading through the sport system. You can protest the rules, system or individuals But not our country. There are thousand of men and women in graves who died defending your rights. I think it’s against my AMERICA and if you don’t like it LEAVE IT. I can’t stand people protesting when they don’t have a clue what they stand for.. COWARDS ETC.

  32. Brian says:

    I personally don’t care whether Kaepernick sits, stands, or stands on his head. I actually find it fairly amusing when his, (and the sheep who have followed him) reasons are thoughtfully considered. In his initial statement following his first “sitting”, he indicated that he did it to protest blacks being hunted down and killed by police officers. I realize that people like Colin and Pierre are averse to letting facts interfere with their ideology, but I have a few facts for your consideration. On the topic of “Homicides of Blacks”, justified police shootings are a FRACTION of homicides of blacks, (not even a whole number), unjustified police shootings of blacks are an almost imperceptible fraction of homicides of blacks, which are overwhelmingly committed by OTHER BLACKS. Where is the outrage? Where is the protest? There have 2,969 shootings in Chicago since January 1, and they broke 500 murders over the Labor Day weekend. Again, the overwhelming majority – BLACK ON BLACK. Why no display of outrage over these statistics? Where is the protest? I have yet to see any police department or law enforcement agency hold a “No Justice, No Peace” rally, although they have far greater ground for racial complaint than say, Black Lives Matter, Colin Kaepernick, or Pierre Tristam. From 2000 to 2012 70% of all cop killers were black, yet they are only 13.5% of the population. Is it unreasonable to assume that a police officer may have that little statistic way in the back of his head when he responds to a call? And by the way, Colin and Pierre,(if you care to examine more statistics) you will find that in an overwhelming majority of these incidents of which you protest police actions, the “victim” either resisted, challenged, defied, or threatened the officer in some manner. The sad,(and almost funny) truth is that nobody wants to talk about problems unless they can blame it on Whitey.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who conducts them self in such an unpatriotic fashion should be deported. This is not acceptable and there should be zero tolerance for such behavior. The 49’ers need to cancel this jack asses contract and send him packing. I urge all persons to stop buying sports jersey’s and other items and boycott the 49’ers and NFL until they conduct them selves in the American way with pride and stop condoning such ridiculous behavior. Instead of playing football, even though he sucks at it, this fool should be drafted in the Marines and put on the front lines so he will man up.

  34. Mark says:

    Pierre, you need to look in a mirror.

  35. Common Sense says:

    Why is it that Trumpians, Republicans, wingnuts can’t understand that the First Amendment applies to everyone?
    As for redrum, above, he sounds like a very frustrated, middle aged, angry, white male, who thinks he has beem passed over or left behind by society. Yes, the First Amendment also applies to you, which is why you get to post your vulgar, illogical, insult riddled rant. Did you notice how Mr. Tristam can write about his view without resulting to offensive words?

  36. wryan says:

    Great, well written article. Despite the condemnations of you and everything correct. I have hope simply because the truth is written by you and others like you. Thanks Pierre!

  37. Markingthedays says:

    Why are the photographers and reporters paying attention to him instead of respecting the National Anthem?

  38. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Welp guys, r&r says we should love it or leave it when it comes to America. So r&r, where are you gonna go when Hillary wins in November? I’d suggest maybe Australia, they’re openly racist enough there to take you in.

  39. redrum66 says:

    Common sense, redrum66 is a well adjusted member of society with no tolerance for people such as yourself who refuse to address the real cause of why this country is in turmoil. Blacks have been encouraged and in some cases paid to start shit about racist police which is “code word” (to coin a liberal favorite) We hate white people! Muslim extremists have bombed..maimed..raped..slaughtered..burned..beheaded..drowned innocent people in the name of their religion and people like Pierre has the balls to talk shit about Catholics? You two deserve each other ,and for all I know you two are the same warped person. And for the record (and I know it infuriates you..☺) Trump is going to Your next president and there’s not a God-damn thing you can do about it! Pierre speed more poison and hatred gift wrapped in clever little words but your as naive as all liberals and only hear what you want to hear.

  40. YankeeExPat says:

    I always scratch my Ass when I hear “Dixie”, so I can’t cast any stones.

  41. Geezer says:

    I AM SO PROUD OF BEING BEIGE. Just kidding.

    I am flummoxed by comments where people are proud to be white.
    If you were purple, or hot pink previously, then I’d be proud of you for figuring
    out how to change colors. This ability would come in handy for the darker-complected
    among us when being stopped by police. On-demand whitey! Push a button!

    So you’re proud to be white–something you had no say in. You just happened to
    pop out tinted a light beige color for your birthday suit.

    Be proud of earning a degree or benefiting humanity in some way.

    Your expression of white pride simply shows how f***ing dumb you are.

  42. Reds Whites n Blues says:

    Typical socialist ranting again by the little Lebanese boy . Anybody ever follow this guys previous writings when he was in New York and North Carolina. He makes Castro look like General Patton.

  43. Ws says:

    The good new is that Colin will soon be out of a job😬😬😬

  44. footballen says:

    Listen, I can’t even to begin to address most of this garbage. What I would like to ask is why disrespect the country? Your theme is do not be racist but your article is all about generalizations. Stereotyping is what you do on the regular. More people are killed by vending machines every year than by a bad shoot by a cop. More whites are shot then blacks but “stereo-typically” blacks are far more violent and resist police. You liberal media never want to address that because you think its much cooler to just “blame the man”.

  45. footballen says:

    The above is what “THIS” is about!!!! He didn’t single out every African american male just because the guy who shot him happened to be that color. He didn’t stereo type like Colin did or how the media always does. They act as if every uniformed police officer in america is a monster when these men and women are literally dying for us!!!! Most have no idea that Doctors in this country kill people by accident (malpractice) at an astonishing rate. The liberal media doesn’t think that is sexy enough to print or protest. To be clear I hate bad cops. I think they should be prosecuted exactly like the criminals they are. I hate bad doctors too. Hell I had bad politicians and look how many there are to choose from. I try like hell not to stereo type and be ignorant. I may still be, I guess. But it seems clear to me that people who generalize and cast judgement based on nothing more than a set of circumstances and a notion are the very people that send the rest of us to war.

  46. daveT says:

    Amazing Tim Tebow took a knee after scoring a touchdown and prayed and got ridiculed by NFL fans and NFL players but a person setting down with the national anthem is played is like some hero to some. .

  47. Oldseadog says:

    I, a very senior citizen, shall continue to stand in respect for OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM whenever it is played. I’m PROUD to be an American and have earned my right to express MY OPINION over the minority who, although having the right to protest, do not desire to show such respect. That’s it. As a 26 yr military retiree, I think I have my absolute right to stand up and be counted.

    May GOD Bless America, MY HOME sweet home.

  48. proud yankee says:

    saw a guy yesterday with a confederate flag tatoo, you know the group of traitors who declared war on and wanted out of the USA challenging kapernicks patriotism…..sorry man, you give up all right to complain when you pain yourself in the colors of an enemy of the USA

  49. Ben Hogarth says:

    “Typical socialist ranting again by the little Lebanese boy . Anybody ever follow this guys previous writings when he was in New York and North Carolina. He makes Castro look like General Patton.”

    I love listening to stupidity like this as it tends to help me understand ignorance in general. First the writer attempts to make a distinction between Pierre’s ethnic heritage and socialism, while labeling him a “little boy” – no doubt a way to compensate for something else that may be “little” with the writer…

    Then this commenter goes on to underscore how Pierre’s article history can somehow be connected with “Communists” like Castro – and further, that there would now be a newfound similarity between Castro and General Patton as a result. Whoa.. don’t even know where to begin dissecting this rant.

    It’s easy to name drop Mr. Reds Whites and Blues.. it’s even easier to beat the proverbial dead horse by sounding like the proverbial broken record. When you can identify intelligently, what SOCIALISM is, who General and Cuban National Leader Fidel Castro is, and how this somehow compares with General Patton (of all people in history) – I would love to hear your argument, mostly because it would have to be 100 pages long to even start connecting any of those dots.

    As a lifelong student of history, it always amazes me how many people openly name drop historical figures as if that somehow bestows greater merit to their mostly nonsensical statements.

    Here is a mind boggling fact for you all – the US Military is the most widely supported organization in our government and perhaps even country as a whole (public and private) – and the US Military like most military organizations throughout history is entirely a SOCIALIST entity. The cooperative as a whole is more important than the individual soldier. Food, weapons, vehicles, and all resources are shared throughout the military organization to achieve the collective mission and objective.


    But I would sincerely love to hear you and the others commenting on here debate this and explain to me (as a white) how and why I should be proud of my “white heritage” when my current “white brothers and sisters” are spewing such filth and stupidity and ignorance. It’s insulting to my intelligence and quite frankly, it’s insulting to anyone’s – except perhaps your own.

  50. Sherry says:

    Thanks, Ben Hogarth, for taking the time to point out the stupidity of many of the comments written here.

    While many of the “human race haters” completely ignore any kind of “factual” information, I would like to add that Colin Kaepernick was born in Wisconsin and is just as “American” as the coward hiding behind “Anonymous” who is calling for him to be deported. . . asinine!

    Colin Kaepernick obviously loves HIS country enough to use his lime lighted position to bring attention to the massive inequities and injustices that should have us all appalled and demanding immediate change and improvement!

    Colin Kaepernick is, in my opinion, a much better American than many who comment here. Unlike redrum66, Mr. Kaepernick is educated, civil and reasonable. Unlike a little common sense and r&r, Colin Kaepernick is quite acutely aware that he lives every moment of his life in a “white man’s” ENTITLED world. Mr. Kaepernick could also choose to move and live in another country, and he could choose to “hide” his money “off shore” like so many wealthy “white” millionaires do. . . to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. . . but he has not.

    Those of you who are UN-American enough to portray (sometimes using code words) Mr, Kaepernick as an uppity Ni**** who should thank his lucky stars for what “We white Americans” have given him. . . you are simply disgusting racists! YOU . . . in the ignorant words of Anonymous. . . should be deported!

  51. Sherry says:

    Also, Ben, I wanted to mention that you pointing out how our military . . . acting for the “common good”. . . is actually organized under strong “SOCIALIST” principles. . . is Brilliant and Priceless! Something I never thought of before!

    Unfortunately, a completely wasted point for many of the ignorant loud mouths in our community.

    Thanks though!

  52. Fredrick says:

    ” Kaepernick’s flag-worshipping tormentors prove with every insult they hurl at him”

    Pierre… with your strong Catholic upbringing I thought for sure you would understand that the flag is not worshipped. It is what the Flag represents that is respected, and that people have died and sacrificed for what that “flag” represents.

    Kaepernick and the other over paid babies have the right to protest anyway they please. If the owners of the teams that they play for and their sponsors had any balls they would take action. Of course this assumes that they feel differently then the players do. But it is all about $$ so they won’t. And even if they did, a lib such as yourself would say they are trampling on free speech. Those players are employed by the team owners, and if that team owner does not like the actions of the player they should can them. If I went out wearing a shirt with my company logo on it and burnt the flag or made some other political statement, either lib or con, I would be canned in an instant.

  53. IMO says:

    I only know this. There is not a race, creed or color and now we know sexual orientation that has not fought and died for our Flag.

    So I stand up out of respect for all of them.

    I also know that there is not race, creed or color that does not have some historical grievance within the history of this nation. This keeps up NOBODY will be Standing Up.

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