It's not exactly a startling insight to point out the logical inconsistency of the extreme patriotism, if not outright jingoism, found among people who believe that America needs to be Made Great Again. How can America simultaneously be the greatest country in the history of human societies AND a nightmare, degenerate hellscape in need of a Strongman to make it great again? Well, if semantic issues like this bother you there's an excellent chance you're not a Trump supporter. Suffice it to say that the mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile these viewpoints are strenuous.

Nowhere is the underlying message of "Make America 'Great' Again" more apparent than when a prominent public figure who is not white complains about America and white people absolutely lose their shit at the thought of an ingrate (insert racial slur) defaming their beloved country…the same country about which they complain bitterly and incessantly. If you have any doubt that Trump's inane slogan is a racist dogwhistle wherein "Great" and "White" are interchangeable, then explain how the same people who believe in the right to hoard guns so they can violently oppose the government so completely fly off the handle when a black man says he has a difficult time respecting a country that treats people like him with so much obvious disrespect.

If angry-as-hell white people have the God-given right (and, as some of them see it, duty) to malign the country, its government, and their fellow citizens incessantly and in every available format but Colin Kaepernick can't exercise a simple, tame protest without the explicitly racist knives coming out, then the social scientist in me suspects that there is something other than the expression of an opinion involved here. Then again I'd expect no less from people who envision themselves having the right to violently resist any attempt of the state to impinge upon their imaginary version of their rights but can't watch a video of cops killing an unarmed black guy without using words like "comply" and "obey."

46 thoughts on “YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE”

  • My Facebook feed has exploded with Kaepernick hatred. I just don't understand it. I mean, disagree with him, sure go ahead and post you think him wrong. But this is just over the top foaming at the mouth. Who cares?
    One guy ain't gonna stand and you lose your shit. Jesus, get some Ritalin.

  • My first thought when I saw a headline showing two white guys stating that people who made their millions in America aren't allowed to complain about America, was to ask where the hell those guys were when Trump started talking about making America great again months ago. Oh, that's right Trump's white and Colin K. is not.

  • I am going to sprinkle this around, like birdseed. I said something really similar in response to one of the Colin Kaepernick blah blah blah boo-hoo posts, my cousin's partner posted.

  • These are the same people who twist themselves into human pretzels to defend a cop who murders a black person.

  • When it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance, there are two things which I believe true and that are not mutually exclusive:

    There should never be a law banning reciting the Pledge of Allegiance;
    There should never be a law requiring anyone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

    These concepts are not mutually exclusive but some people balk at the second one. That's probably because they feel you should feel the way they do about the pledge and this country and be grateful for all our freedoms. To be sure, one should be very grateful and appreciative for all the freedoms we have in this country and it would be really swell if you did acknowledge that freedom by pleading allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

  • I love you, Ed.

    It's guys like you and driftglass who put to words the things that I intuitively feel, but can't manage to verbalize.

    If you are ever in Crystal Lake, the beer's on me.


  • "Suffice it to say that the mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile these viewpoints are strenuous."

    Stupid people don't have that problem. In their world all such issues are resolved through the simple application of "common sense".

  • Colin K's not white? I'm not a football fan at alll, but i always liked him for his courage to speak out.

    That being said, he is one of those SJWs that sometimes jumps to the wrong conclusions based on emotion rather than facts. (I'm talking about you, the people who are trying to beatify Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.) But, don't get me wrong, in the end, all societies need their SJW's to survive. Go Colin!

  • I sent this to a coworker. He immediately got all offended and his voice started rising. I pointed this FACT out to him as his voice got louder and louder.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Never underestimate the ability of stupid and bigoted people, to make mountains out of molehills.

  • So let me get this straight. Thousands of people are getting butthurt because someone did and/or said something that runs counter to their cherished belief systems.

    Isn't this a definition of "PC behavior"?

    Hope they all find their safe places.

  • Emerson Dameron says:


    Rush Limbaugh thought it very clever to adopt the politics of victimhood from the strawman Left and rework them for the Personal Responsibility crowd. At this point, I doubt anyone thinks about that contradiction much anymore.

  • Skepticalist says:

    I don't pledge allegiance to flags. I do show my respect for our country though. This place and its inhabitants have treated me rather well.

    This was something I heard from Garrison Keillor some years ago. I like it.

  • Colin Kaeperelink should study a bit of American and British history to understand the meaning and intent of the words in the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key wrote, Hirelings and Slaves in the third stanza of the song. He was not referring to American Black or as they were then called Negro slaves. He was referring to the common British soldier — soldiers conscripted and press ganged into the British Army of the time who were seen as no more than useful and expendable slaves.

  • @Arjun: what's your beef with Trayvon Martin? He was a teenage boy staying with his father and stepmother over the holidays who thought he'd walk to the convenience store for tea and candy, and was stalked by a shitstain violent thug with anger issues who hunted him down and murdered him in cold blood after being told by 9-1-1 to back off because his daddy was a judge and he'd never had to take responsibility for his thuggery. I can't wait to hear why you think Trayvon Martin was a problem

  • It's called free speech, and it takes guts for a professional athlete to take a stand on any social issue. Kaepernick's viewpoint is especially interesting because he was raised in a Caucasian family.

    Has anyone heard from Chris Kluwe lately?

  • @Katydid: If we give Arjun the benefit of the doubt, we might say there's a whole spectrum between beatification and vilification.

  • I was in high school in 1954 when "under god" was added to the pledge of allegience – my coterie of fellow freethinkers (a small group in a then pretty retrogade Virginia) changed it to "under god by act of congress", a small act of defiance i continue to this day – not too loudly but i still say it

  • I said something to some folks about requiring rote displays of patriotism borders on jingoism and got blank looks.

  • "Make America great again" alarms me, it implies throwing our weight around and generally obnoxious behavior, thanks to offshoring, that can't be done indefinitely. We risk learning the Kaiser's lesson the hard way.

  • As an atheist, I taught my daughters to go silent during the "under god" words. Found out later that instead they would mumble "under mom".

    Did I raise them right or what?

  • @Jacob; I'm still not getting your point. Please explain how a teenager who was murdered for the "crime" of walking home in the afternoon on his own sidewalk, carrying iced tea and Skittles and bothering nobody, leaves any shadow of doubt about the motives of the murderer, who wasn't even aligned with the neighborhood watch, but took it upon himself to stalk a teenage boy? And how is pointing out that Martin's murderer was a petty thug with a history of criminal activity a "beatification" of the victim?

  • The racist asswipes like "Pay attention to MEEEEE" Palin are shouting on their Facebook pages about how Kaepernick should have his American citizenship (earned by being born here, to parents who were born here) revoked. Funny, they weren't this het up about the Bundy Posse who refuse to recognize the US gov't and took over a wildlife refuge.

  • Bessemer Mucho says:

    I thought the team's official response was OK: they pointed out that one of the reasons people wish to express their respect for our country is the freedom we have to take unpopular stands, as Kaepernick has done. However, he may be playing for some other team in a few weeks.

  • I'm particularly fed up with the version of this logical inconsistency that goes "Criticizing this country is disrespectful to the brave members of the military who served the country to protect your freedoms of speech and belief, which you must now never use."

    Everyone holding this ridiculous authoritarian viewpoint should be required to listen to my 30-year military father on two key points:
    1. The military's not the key thing protecting freedom of speech, but sure, whatever.
    2. Freedom means people get to be different from you if they want to. The man's not breaking any laws. Leave people alone.

    (That last always uttered in tones of deep exasperation.)

  • @Max Griego: According to articles I've seen around the web for the past few days, like this one from Snopes
    the following lines from the third stanza of "The Star Spangled Banner" – "No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave"
    refer to the "…defeat of the Corps of Colonial Marines, one of two units of black slaves recruited between 1808 and 1816 to fight for the British on the promise of gaining their freedom." Maybe the British did consider them "expendable", but at least they gave them a chance to fight for their freedom. They also refused to return the slaves they freed to the Americans at the end of the war, resettling them in Canada and Trinidad.

  • I am still somehow on an email list from a former coworker. The usual stuff…Air Force One stuffed with watermelons, Obama secretly enjoying fried chicken and smoking while his lesbian wife looks on with a frown. etc. etc.

    Needless to say, the emails have been a flyin' Including one who posted a paean to a TRUE AMERICAN FOOTBALL HERO, Pat Tillman. I pointed out, not too gently, that Pat Tillman was a thought crime and that the writer needed to refresh his instructions from the Hateosphere. (Atheist, anti-war, DOUBTING The Preznit During War).

    Lots of ALL CAP ranting about police officers in the family, liberal idiocy, etc.

    I should have suggested he move to the Philippines. A perfect place for the authoritarian alt-rightists

  • We have what I call a "flag fetish." It began in the 1880s and a lot of flags were flown and sold of course. That's a significant part of Flag Day. I get bitched at every time I forget to have a flag out on June 14th by people that have little idea of what it is.

    All I can say is that it takes a lot to excite oldsters.

  • I am very pleased to say that nobody on my FB page is ranting about Kaepernick.

    Otherbill – sentences that start that way should have a period after the word preceding 'but'. E.g., "I don't want to sound racist." "I don't want to offend you."

  • Skepticalist says:

    I didn't learn of this earth shattering event until the day after it took place. I got it from YouTube somewhere and a bus passenger who was convinced that we were at the end times. I was disappointed that this vitriol wasn't just from knuckle dragging Duck Dynasty types.

    It was a football player for god's sake that didn't want to play by the rules for a minute or so. So what? The country is still in terror mode or at least we're told to be but a relatively unknown football player has nothing to do with it.

  • What bugs me about this whole Kaepernick/Flag thing is that people can't post their support for him without being stalked, threatened or harassed. My daughter posted a meme in support and she was so inundated with threats from MEN that she had to deactivate her Facebook and Instagram accounts because she was scared for her safety. She even had to inform CEO of her company because they found out where she worked and threatened to harass her there too. She was freaked out.

    It's sickening what is going on in this country right now.

  • Fortunately my FB page is full of people supporting Colin's stand, er, sit. Mainly because I unfriended all of those assholes a long time ago.

  • I must be doing something right in terms of friend choice, because the first time I ever heard of Kaepernick (I'm not much of a sports fan) was facebook friends posting in support of his actions.

  • You people! Sheesh. All you people have forgotten the RULE. It is Rule #! in America: Once an athlete becomes successful and makes enough money to live affluently, he or she forfeits his or her right to be Black, Hispanic, Asian, Islamic, or gay. Once an athlete becomes wealthy and famous, he or she MUST behave like David Brooks.

  • @Lasmacomb: Interestingly, that was one of the main themes in ESPN's recent documentary, "OJ: Made in America." One he made it to the big time, OJ had no interest in furthering the cause of black Americans. He was happy to have earned his way into Club White and never looked back.

  • OK Guys, the right wing email tree has provided me with THE explanation. Our retired coworker noted the change in hairstyle. He also speculated that Colin's female friend is a….PERFIDIOUS PERSIAN. He proceeded to note all the perfidious Persians associated with Obama. Yes…COLIN IS A SECRET MUSLIM ISIS PLANT.

    I have not heard back from my ex co-worker regarding my observation that his name "Al" is awful close to Al Qaeda. Or my question why Oliver North has any visibility at all given they sold weapons to the Iranians during the hostage crisis. We shall see. I expect a lot of ALL CAPS in my email box.

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