Thursday, October 06, 2016

Not About Free Speech

This article is correct: Kap's protest isn't about free speech. He concludes:
It’s wonderful that this young man wants to use his privileged position to call attention to the nation’s continuing scar of race. I’m just not sure it’s working. The jeers from the stands and the vehemence on the talk shows do not suggest any elevation of dialogue. Nor does it make sense to blame those who boo. The booers may be boors, but for all that Kaepernick’s intention might be to provoke conversation about race, he has instead provoked conversation about himself and his rights -- the very problem of which Doctorow warned.  
The principle of diminishing returns applies to protest as it does to other investments of resources. When the focus of the debate becomes not the issue but the protester, it is not unreasonable to consider a change in tactics.
Here's where I disagree: this was always about Kaepernick. It is about his feeling about what's "happening in this country," not about what's actually happening. It's attention seeking, pure and simple. It's a public display of narcissism and it's not a mistake about the way it's going down.

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