LGBTQ Rights Infringed Upon at Southwood Highschool

I am not one to jump on band wagons or rush to the aid of a cause…. usually. But let me tell you a story –

I have had friends an relatives die in drunk driving accidents and when I was a kid, I wanted to do something about it. I started the Student’s Against Drunk Driving groups at Southwood High School in Shreveport Louisiana. With the aid of Mr. White, the sophomore councilor and a few teachers, we held events, went on trips, raised awareness, and even got the media involved. We made a noise and made a difference. This was 1991 – 1993

Fast forward to now… 2018. I saw a Facebook post about my former high school and I get angry. Apparently, Mr Roberts, the principle at Southwood is not allowing a transgender student, Kami Pham, dress in women’s clothing in the yearbook photos or walk with her senior class as a young woman. A call went out, thank you MIchael, to have people write to Principle Roberts – jroberts@caddoschools.org – directly or to sign the petition at change.org

I did both – Below is the email I sent Mr. Roberts for what it’s worth.

Good morning Mr. Roberts,

My name is Palmer. I graduated from Southwood in 1993, founded a S.A.D.D. chapter there, and enjoyed my time there as a student. It was a shock when I heard this morning that your administration, and not to put too fine a point on it, you yourself were not affording a transgender student the same respect and right of expression I was allowed when I was a student there.
I understand completely your probable point of view; the “What If” scenarios that you might have been presented with or are imagining might be a bit extreme. I can also see the “slippery slope” argument of “if this / then that” that you might be forming but let me put it this way – This young lady, Kami Pham, was unfortunately born with a different sex organ than she should have been. She’s not asking to come to school dressed as an animal, nor is she concealing her identity, nor is she being provocative in any way.
I know the cost would be too great to reprint yearbooks, but for God’s sake, the sake of decency, the sake of the promises you made to yourself as an educator and the students you serve in that capacity, let this poor girl walk with her class mates in a manner she feels comfortable and let her make the memories we all have.
It goes beyond embarrassing photos of our youth. I am sure you as I regret a lot of photos from childhood like dated clothing, hairstyles, etc. easily dismissed. For a trans gender person later in life, a childhood photo of a transgender woman as a boy in her youth can be disheartening and a reminder that she was not allowed to be themselves once. Kami has a right to look back at her high school photos and a video of her graduation and see the young woman she was and remember how she was allowed to express herself.
Regardless of how I feel, how Kami feels, or even how you feel personally, protect your student and her future and allow her to be who she is, just for a little while, as she walks with her class.
Thank you

Normalizing media is worse than propaganda

We, as a society, normalize things to an unacceptable point and we demonize the wrong things. For instance, a human being’s natural state is nude, yet we find nudity to be disturbing at the least and abhorrent and down right illegal at worst. Sure, context matters and I personally wouldn’t be wondering around naked, but you get my point. Television shows like Cops highlight and glorify what is wrong with our society. These shows should be cautionary tales, not giggle inducing. Survivor, which I am guilty of watching in past seasons, is all about how the most horrible person gets rewarded for back stabbing their fellow contestants and team mates. That kind of behavior should be punished, not rewarded.

This brings me to the current offering, Rosanne. First and foremost, Rosanne Barr is no saint and I know that. She’s a loud mouthed garbage person who supports another loudmouth garbage person and, while the original run of her television show was entertaining (and I’m sure the new one will be too) it didn’t have a political message. Not everything has to have a message. The original show was just a family, middle class, trying to make ends meet. It’s something I can relate to. The new iteration is going to be used, not as a booming mouth piece, but as a normalizing catalyst for the current administration and our horrible homunculus of a president.

Looking back at the wonderful things Rosanne has said about Hillary (and the terrible things) I think she tends to use political situations to stay in the spot light. Maybe she doesn’t support Trump and this is all an act. She said on Jimmy Kimmel that, “no one wants their president to fail.” and that is or at least it should be true. The day after the election, comforting a wife and friends who were devastated and emotional I said, “Just give him a chance.” I quoted a vlog I was enjoying at the time, “He may be a sack of shit, but at the bottom of that sack there might be something good. We don’t know yet.” and he’s proven that at the bottom of that sack, there is nothing but more shit.

So what’s my point? My point is, shows like this that have an agenda to normalize a man who Is a confirmed racist, sexist, misogynist, and an accused molester and rapist should not be allowed to exist. They serve to do nothing but speed and already rapidly declining society. It’s not about one show. It’s not about Rosanne, it’s about a man in power who craps on the ideals America was founded on, wipes his ass with the constitution and pisses on the people of America and how that’s becoming alright.

Welcome to my mead hall ye warriors!

I am plagued by passing fancies. I have always flitted from interest to interest and never really had what I would consider a hobby. I used to play roleplaying games but that takes more than me. I used to be in the SCA and learned a lot about medieval culture, sewing, archery, etc. but grew away from it. I don’t look at my artistic pursuits as much more than a way to kill time these days and I write so slowly, I don’t think any one of the three novels…. novellas…. short stories… whatever they are…. could be considered a hobby. I’ve tried a lot of different diversions and I throw a good deal of attention into them, learning about things associated with said diversion and even going so far as to achieve some low level of mastery of whatever it is I’m trying to do. I never perfect anything and I usually move on to another interest pretty quickly.

I think the thread that connects them all is in the learning and researching of the thing I’m doing. The problem is, when I’ve researched something to the point I feel like I can do it, I try it and then I loose interest either because it’s not really as interesting to do the activity or it’s isolating in some way and while I’m an introverted homebody who enjoys every second I can get alone…. If I’m enjoying something I want to share it.

This leads me to another hobby I’m developing and one that’s even more odd given the subject of the activity since I’m not a drinker. I’m brewing mead! Years ago my friend Evan and I tried our hand at making wine but it never really went anywhere and I didn’t try again. A long while later I was reminiscing about those days and thought about giving it another try but never got around to it. Well, life being cyclical, here we go again. My first batch is bubbling away filling my office at home with the sweet aroma of yeasted honey. It’s a little like fresh baked bread and sweet honey butter.

I don’t know how it will turn out, but the research has been a lot of fun. I’ve gathered recipes, learned the differences between a show mead, a melopmel, and a methaglen. I have watched some very entertaining videos on the subject and it’s all fascinating. One problem… there won’t be anyone to drink it. I figured out the sugar content for a 12 oz glass and the wife is not interested in such a “sweet” drink. The wines she enjoys are way dryer and lower in carbohydrate and even the beers she will have once in a blue moon are HALF the carbs.

I still plan to feed this brew to our friends if it turns out, but I don’t know how long I can sustain the interest. It will be fun to do while I’m doing it. Suggestions for the next hobby?

If you know what this is, you can try some when it’s done.

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What would you do for your Democracy?

I don’t want to be involved with my Democracy. Sure, I like it’s benefits and I believe in democratic process. I just like to not get ground up in the machine. I made a list of how I’m going to be a better steward of Democracy at the limited level I want to be involved with it. Here’s that list.

  1. I own a firearm, but would gladly register it, get a license and any training required to achieve that license. I will not own an “assault” style tacti-cool semi or full auto rifle. I don’t feel the need to over compensate for anything. I prefer bolt action anyway.
  2. I will not affiliate, associate, or otherwise engage with a group of individuals, organized or social, who profess the virtues of freedom and liberty or even equality just to hide behind rhetoric of hate or separatism. It’s great to want to make america great again, but what are you saying about it’s current status? Wasn’t it great already?
  3. I will fact check my loathing. Just because it’s on the internet does not mean it is true and I will make sure it is before I believe it arbitrarily. It’s easy to believe something terrible about someone you regard as human garbage, but I think you still have to know if what is posted about them in the media or online is true.
  4. I will engage only so far with someone who can’t see the middle and will otherwise keep my mouth shut. I don’t care which side you’re on as long as you’re willing to see the other side and debate your position with regards to the middle. A level playing field is the only way anyone will win. Winning, by the way, means compromise.
  5. I will understand most fear and hate are based on ignorance and will not tolerate that ignorance. Instead I will strive to correct that ignorance to a point (see #4). If that gets me hated, so be it. Hate actually comes from the same place as love…. it’s the same energy. Just ask a hippy.
  6. I will see myself in my leaders and repair those things I see in myself that disgusts me about them. Ask yourself why you dislike someone. You might have something in common with them. Any person you come into contact with can be a mirror and a force for positive change.
  7. I will continue to be the voice of the middle discarding emotion and outrage and focus on and offer up ideas for how things can be made better in the middle ground. You have to build somewhere.
  8. If I ever have any, I will throw money at the right politicians to get them to change their minds in favor for a solution that benefits the most people. It seems to work for big Pharma and the NRA, it will work for normal people too. Bribery is bribery so let’s call lobbyists what they are.
  9. I will not bow to mob mentality. Just because a lot of people, even people I love and care about, say it doesn’t make it true until I’ve researched it and found out the actual truth. Stop believing the filtered crap and opinionews you see on the popular internet and television sources and become your own news aggregate to find the wheat in the chaff.

You don’t have to follow any of these rules. Heck, you don’t have to listen to anything I have to say about anything which is the beauty of being an individual. As a human being who is not a sociopath, you DO have an innate moral obligation to help the tribe. Remember the person you’re arguing with, while they might be coming from a place of fear, ignorance, bad childhood, or just selfishness, might still be thinking they’re protecting the tribe or at least their small part of it. Learn empathy, something that seems to be lacking these days, and take yourself out of the equation, step into their shoes, and then see their point before making yours. It might go a long way to changing their mind and your own.

Another one? Didn’t I just talk about this?

I just posted about this. What is going on?

Yet another shooting and another flood of Face Book posts, Tweets, and Snap chats about the evils of guns and gun owners. I have said in the past that the person who owns the gun is the problem, not the gun. While it is true that if you remove the gun, a person can’t shoot it, but to the normal and mentally healthy gun owner that’s like pulling out a dog’s teeth to keep it from biting. I’m not saying that’s 100% rational, but think about why most gun owners purchased their guns and who owns them.

According to the Pew Research Center, a bout a third of American’s own firearms. In 2013, Pew documents that eighty percent of those gun owners own them for hunting and for self defense. Those people would argue their rights to defend themselves or to provide food for their families without having to rely on farms or big industries. That only leaves eighteen percent of gun owners owing guns for recreational use. The other 18% own guns because they can and that’s where I feel the problem lies. Why own something that can kill without a clear reason to own it?

With regards about the most recent school shooting in Florida, the gun most assuredly was not the problem. Granted, he bout it at 18 with zero training. On top of that, he was diagnosed with Autism which could have been a contributing factor to his lack of emotional control. Who sells an ar-15 to an 18 year old autistic kid? That’s beside the point.

He had behavioral issues when he was at the school, regularly talked about killing small animals for sport and he was expelled instead of any kind of investigation being done. Had the school been properly funded and staffed then maybe he would have gotten help to deal with his adopted mother’s death. Instead, he was tossed aside. His school failed. At home, he would send his dogs to the neighbors house trying to get him to attack their pet pigs. If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is! If any of this was reported to police, he could have gotten help so his community failed. On line he posted about wanting to shoot people with the very gun he used to shoot up the school and on Instagram, he posted threatening pictures evoking terroristic imagery brandishing guns and knives. The Internet, not the healthiest place to live, also failed to alert anyone to the very obvious danger this kid represented.

Where does it end? We ignore problems with our society or we marvel in morbid fascination of these sick people and we don’t speak up. There is something to be said for freedom of speech but there is a normal. When someone is off the bubble, say something. In the case of terrorism, we use catch phrases like “See something, say something” and we foster fear of the foreign but we ignore our own until a kid shoots up a school. I don’t have any answers, just observations.

Military parades are saber rattling at it’s finest.

I like a parade as much as the next guy. I mean, throngs of screaming people, food vendors selling hot dogs and churros and cotton candy, and an engorged orange gass bag floating above the crowd. Move over Hobbs, here comes Trump.

“… I want a parade like the one in France,”

Because we’re unoriginal and lacking in anything other than jealous purposefulness.

It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,”

No…. the Rose Bowl or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or possibly any number of Mardi Gras / Carnival Parades are the greatest.

… it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”

We don’t need a display of military might. We know our military is mighty. They’re might regardless of the crap they endure in service to this country like lack of body armor, like lack of health care, like lack of programs to help them reincorporate into the country after deployments. We don’t need a pompous ass hat marching them in full dress behind diesel fume spewing tanks down city streets to know they exist and sacrifice for the good or what they’re told is the good of the country.

We’re going to have to try to top it.”

Again, because we are a jealous, petty people and our president is trying to overcompensate for… small hands.

If you want to see what kind of military parade he’s really wanting, check out this video.

or this one…

We don’t need to be THIS!

What are you preparing for and why?

Something I see preppers, EDC guys, and pretty much anyone who is into being prepared mentioning are “terror attacks”. I know there is a problem with how the world views us and that we piss people off pretty good with our freedoms and our reality tv here in the US but there is no point in being afraid we might be killed at any moment by a dreaded terrorist. In the US, if you want to be afraid of something, fear toddlers with guns… unless you’re a responsible gun owner or childless. Fear sharks… unless you live inland. Fear peanuts…. if you’re allergic. There are so many more things to be prepared against than terrorists.

I get it. I really do. It’s so easy to listen to Fox & Friends and start shaking with antici….. We’re smarter than that. We don’t need sheepdogs who are actually sheep. We need a prepared citizenry who know what to be prepared for.  Many of us who would be prepared, are looking for a “brown” target when we should be looking at people like us. White men are far more likely to shoot the place up than anyone of color or of another religion. Know your facts and site your sources. I would rather know the truth and know what to be prepared for so when a bad thing happens, I can stand up and do something about it…. wouldn’t you? Pation!

I got this chart of the 2017 terrorist / mass shooting attacks from Johnston’s Archive

date location killed injured type description
01/06/17 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 5 6 TER-islm shooting attack at Fort Lauderdale Airport; 5 killed, 6 injured; 12,000 people evacuated from airport
01/31/17 Denver, Colorado 1 0 TER-islm fatal shooting of Denver transit authority guard
03/20/17 New York City, New York 1 0 TER stabbing attack
06/14/17 Alexandria, Virginia 1 5 TER-left shooting attack targeting Republican lawmakers at a baseball field; 5 injured including U.S. Representative Steve Scalise and 1 police officer; attacker was fatally shot
08/12/17 Charlottesville, Virginia 1 19 TER-right vehicular attack on protestors
09/24/17 Antioch, Tennessee 1 8 TER shooting attack on church service; attacker was injured
10/01/17 Las Vegas, Nevada 59 527 CRI? sniper attack on concert; fatalities included 1 police officer and 2 Canadians; attacker killed himself
10/31/17 New York City, New York 8 12 TER-islm attacker drove vehicle into people on a bike path, killing 8 (including 5 Argentine citizens and 1 Belgian citizen), then drove into a school bus injuring 4 (including 2 children); attacker was shot and injured
11/05/17 Sutherland Springs, Texas 27 30 CRI shooting attack on church during worship service; casualties include 9 children killed and at least 4 children injured; attacker was shot and later killed himself
12/22/17 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1 1 TER-islm shooting attacks on police officers injures one; the attacker was shot and killed

 

86 killed / 556 injured in criminal “loan wolf” attacks – Total of two attacks

15 killed / 19 injured in terror / extra-American ideologically motivated – Total of 4 attacks

2 killed / 8 injured in terror attacks – ideological differences between victims and perpetrators

0.000004601226994% of American citizens were involved in terror attacks last year. Is this something you really need to be prepared for? Sure, I carry a first aid kit but I doubt I will need to work triage on hundreds or even dozens of people. It’s very unlikely. My kit could have helped a little in the Vegas attack but I don’t usually find myself in those “fish in a barrel” situations. It’s not tactically sound to be in the middle of a group that big. On the outside edge maybe. That’s situational preparedness. – Side note, the TSA has NEVER stopped a terrorist attack. Just so you know.

What was killing us in 2017?

15 died due to peanut allergy

25 killed by dogs, 13 of those pit bull or pit mix (it’s not the dog it’s the owner)

31 shark attacks in 2017 (stay out of the water!)

53.3 people on average were shot last year by toddlers. (Don’t trust them.)

75% of deaths in the US are cause by the top 10 according to the CDC (statistics aggregated by Healthline)

  1. Heart disease – Cause chiefly by smoking and refined sugar.
  2. Cancer – Caused chiefly by radiation, genetic factors, and human contamination of the environment including tobacco and alcohol consumption
  3. Lower respiratory diseases – again, smoking and environmental contaminants
  4. Accidents – most commonly men, 1 to 44, and with risky professions. Others are caused by motor vehicle accidents and alcohol plays a role there too.
  5. Stroke – Here comes smoking again… also certain medications like specific forms of birth control, people with certain disorders or diseases, and again more men than women.
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease – genetics, environmental factors, and mostly women are at risk
  7. Diabetes (type 1 and type 2) – Type 1 is a crap shoot. It has some genetic factors but can be caused by other diseases when they shut down or cause one’s body to attack the pancreas. Type 2 is caused by age or rapid weight increases or sustained intake of refined sugar to the point one becomes resistant to insulin. Type 2 can also effect those who don’t produce enough, usually starting off as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and snowballing from there. (over simplification, I know.)
  8. Influenza / Pneumonia – get your flu shot to avoid or lessen symptoms. If you’re old enough, get your Pneumonia vaccine. Prevention is the only way to avoid either of these.
  9. Kidney Disease – Smokers…. you’re screwed! Also, those who have chronic conditions that cause recurrent infections. People who are over weight are at risk and there are genetic factors.
  10. Suicide – Depression, history of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, brain injuries, mostly men.

In a nut shell, prepare by dropping sugar from your diet, getting plenty of cardio, stop smoking/ don’t start smoking / stay away from smokers / check your medications for side effects and talk to your doc about alternatives.

As far as terrorism is concerned…. sure it’s a problem. But be prepared by knowing what the problem is. From the FBI website

On domestic terrorism –

Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.

On International Terrorism – 

Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).
–for example, the December 2, 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, CA, that killed 14 people and wounded 22 which involved a married couple who radicalized for some time prior to the attack and were inspired by multiple extremist ideologies and foreign terrorist organizations.

But that’s not all you have to be worried about. Far more common are acts of Domestic terrorism or mass shootings by “lone wolves” is far more common in the US. Most happen at Churches, Schools, and other places where firearms are prohibited so there is no one there carrying to maybe help stop the attack.

On Hate Crimes –

… the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

On Hate Groups –

The FBI investigates domestic hate groups within guidelines established by the attorney general. Investigations are conducted only when a threat or advocacy of force is made; when the group has the apparent ability to carry out the proclaimed act; and when the act would constitute a potential violation of federal law.

If you need to find a hate group in your area, the SPL has put them all on the map. Find one and write them a sternly worded letter (or don’t because that could be dangerous.) The point is, if you lie near one, be prepared for them to do or say something stupid. If you’re of a race that has a hate group in your area, be prepared to apologize for their stupidity or move. That’s really the only way to prepare. Seriously, hate and hate crimes are the main form of domestic terrorism in our country and that is something worth preparing for whether you’re the target or not.

Sources

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/wrjp255a.html

http://www.trackingsharks.com/

https://nonutsmomsgroup.weebly.com/blog/remembering-those-we-have-lost-to-food-allergies

https://www.washingtonpost.com

https://www.theguardian.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/terrorism

Southern Poverty Law Center

School shooting – Why now? How to defend your kids.

We have had, as of February 1, Six school shootings in the US. One of these was a man shooting at a bus with a pellet gun and there were no injuries so I’m going to drop that one from the list. We’re down 5. Still, that’s Five too many.

January 20 – Wake Forest University – A student was shot on campus

January 22 – Italy, Texas – 16 year old student shot at a 15 year old class mate at Italy High. He left right after he took his shots and the student he fired at was injured.

January 22 – New Orleans, Louisiana – One killed at Charter High School as someone targeted the school from the parking lot while students were at lunch. On student was killed.

January 23 – Marshall County, Kentucky – One student shot 16 people at Marshall County High and injured 4 others. Two of those shot were killed. Another died later at the hospital.

February 1 – West Lake, California – Two teens were shot in their classroom at Salvador Middle School and both survived. A young female student was the shooter.

The sad part is, school shootings aren’t even jarring any more. Why is it happening? Well, let’s think about what would motivate anyone to shoot anyone else. The most recent was a young woman shooting another girl and a young guy. It reeks of a love triangle. Look at columbine. The two guys there were picked on their whole school carrier, were odd outsiders who couldn’t keep in their frustration and shot the place up. If you think, “We didn’t used to have these problems” you’re right. In the 40’s, we had 8 for the entire decade. For the 50’s, we had 15. In the 60’s, we had 19. We had 29 in the 70’s. We had 43 in the 80’s…. Are you seeing a pattern?

Part of it is that there are just more schools, more kids, and more people in general. Another is parenting practices. We used to teach our kids to either fight back or bottle up. Parent’s do their children a disservice teaching them “It’s ok to feel” or “tears are fine.” People, kids included, are weaponry and we get loaded by the world around us. When the chamber is cocked, we go off and what going off means depends on what your safety is… what your coping mechanisms are. We need to be teaching our kids creative outlets or put them in a sport that lets the aggression out or we need to shorten their fuses and let them knock the hell out of their bully.

Bullying is too often tolerated and more than that, exacerbated by the parenting of the bully. If you find out your kid is a bully, knock the hell out of him get him some help. Be a parent and teach that little ass he shouldn’t be bullying other kids. AND DON”T BULLY YOUR KIDS! Bullies raise bullies.

No one can fix this over night and in the mean time, how do you protect your child? Every back pack these days has a pocket inside for a laptop or a hydration bladder. How about sticking a light armor plate like the DFNDR Level IIIA (3A) Backpack Armor in there and drilling your kid to get behind their back pack when something goes down. You have to TRAIN you kid. Humans are terrified creatures hearkening back to our primate ancestors flitting from tree to tree avoiding the gaping maws on the ground. We tend to freak at the first sign of trouble. Get it into your kid’s muscle memory to duck and cover when an active shooter situation happens and they’ll do it automatically. Start early and drill often.

Me? I’m avoiding the whole situation by not bringing a kid into this messed up world to start with.

Which Pocket Notebook for EDC?

Looking at my 2017 EDC (every day carry / extended daily carry) and retooling things for 2018 has been kind of frustrating. I have plenty of bags and I’m thinking of getting another… I’m kind of a bag junkie… but I want to both increase my prep level while letting go of a lot of the items I know I didn’t use last year or that can come out. I put together a list at Amazon so people can see the kind of things that I normally carry (or will be carrying) as an “off body” EDC.

One of the items I’m considering changing up is my writing platform. Moleskine is not usually far from my pocket or car but there are other options.

Field Notes – A trusted Chicago brand of notebook since 2007. They have a wide assortment of different sizes and lined / unlined / and dotted ruled note books. The price is right too are about 10 bucks for a pack of 3. There is a cult following behind the Field Notes brand and users are typically loyal to the core.

 

 

Rite in the Rain – A brand I learned about when I started Geo Caching and they’ve been around since 1916. You can literally write on these pages when they’re wet and they have the same form factor as a Field Notes but they’re a little more expensive at 7 or eight bucks each. The wife has one and I have their pen.

 

Field Book – I’m not super familiar with Field book by Elan.  Elan is chiefly an educational supply manufacturer with many of their products geared towards teachers. Their Field line is aimed specifically at surveyors. These pocket note books are around 10 bucks for a set of four and, like Write in the Rain, they’re water resistant. I have read, though, that sharpies tend to smear if not fully dry. They might actually be too indestructible for my purposes.

 

I would be interested to hear what anyone has to say about any of these three options. I plan to try each out and see what fits. They’re all about the same size and shape and I think these are the perfect dimensions for a carry around notebook. I will more than likely do a review when I have them so keep an eye out for that.

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Here we have two pictures. The one on the left came from a sub Reddit called Accidental Renaissance and the one on the right is a famous photo of athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics.

  

On the right, we have children who, for good or ill, have been indoctrinated at an early age to feel a certain way about the national anthem. They’ve been told… something. They’ve observed…. something. On the left we have two thoughtful young men making a statement about human rights and solidarity which would later be taken as a show of “Black Power”.

While we might look back on Tommie and John with admiration, we should look at these kids, and this is just my opinion, with pity. While the athletes believed something and were simply showing the solidarity and a connectedness we should all feel, these kids don’t feel that or embody it. Too many times have we seen protests by people who don’t know what they’re even protesting. What did the parents say? “Don’t pledge allegiance to a corrupt and crumbling system that longs to be changed but instead defiantly raise a closed fist, the fist that will one day clutch that system and crush it” or was it more like, “Damn the government. I think I’ll piss on it” or maybe it was more simple than even that.

Do I agree with the pledge in schools? Not really. I don’t think children should have to participate in school prayer or any show of patriotism and I think they both amount to the same thing…. empty gestures. Your relationship with God and your love of country are two things that shouldn’t be questioned in school or in public under any circumstance. But I would ask that children not participating in either be respectful of those who would and that’s what this boils down to.

I agree with the football players who take a knee but I know, understand, and agree with why they’re doing it. I understand it has to do with police violence and not that they’re just crapping on the flag or disrespecting this country. These men, and Tommie and John too are patriots. These children are parrots and the parents should be ashamed.