Oppression: prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Respect: a feeling of deep admiration elicited by abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Is oppression real or perceived in the United States?

U.S. population estimates as of July 1, 2016:

  • White: 76.9%
  • Black: 13.3%

As of Q1 in 2016, the U.S. criminal justice system held more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

According to the U.S. Census, blacks are incarcerated five times more than whites are.

How do you reconcile the numbers? How can you?

In the white community, black folks are predisposed to commit a crime. Blame it on black-on-black crime. Say “they” are too damn sorry to get a job; it’s easier to take the welfare handout. (BTW, that welfare handout – that’s my hard-earned money I saw being spent on a buggy full of steak and a case of Colt 44. Meanwhile, I was getting ground beef and Hamburger Helper.)

In the black community, well … I cannot speak for the black community. I’m white. I cannot imagine growing up black. I cannot fathom trying to break into the real world as a black. I damn sure don’t know what it’s like to be black and launch your own business.

So how did we get from Colin Kaepernick choosing to spotlight racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem to the U.S. military and all that is right in this country being under siege by snowflake libtards who obviously want Shira law to be recognized in all 50 states?

Well, when a reality star is elected to the highest office in the land, things can get a bit … weird.

Amazingly, the Founding Fathers mentioned “freedom” one time in the Bill of Rights:

Amendment I
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.

Yep, “freedom” was addressed in the first amendment – never to be mentioned again. Nonetheless, it covers a lot of what many take for granted: speech, press, peaceable assembly, and to complain to the government without fear of punishment or reprisals.

Yet to be clear, the military does not fight for freedom; the men and women of the armed services defend the Constitution – the original 10 amendments and the 17 subsequent amendments. Never do these men and women swear to defend “freedom,” as defined by some diehards.

It’s become a catchy phrase to “defend freedom” because it sounds more … patriotic. It is a great soundbite. But the fact is, it’s become a marketing ploy.

And until President Trump called out that “sonofabitch” Kaepernick on Friday during a rally in Alabama, the marketing of patriotism was a blip on most radars (as was the out-of-work Kaepernick).

Now, let’s look at the military, which takes this oath:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

After this, men and women put themselves in harm’s way to keep the bad guys at arm’s length. This is an undeniable part of everyday life for those with boots on the ground.

Back at home, NFL players began standing on the sidelines for the national anthem in 2009. This trend began after the Department of Defense handed teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB nearly $7 million in taxpayer money. Why: sporting events are televised. Promoting the military in front of fan-filled stadiums is a great backdrop when flags, military uniforms, and flyovers are broadcast to the masses. … Unfortunately, this led to what some call forced or compulsory patriotism.

In fact, the DOD spent $53 million on marketing and advertising contracts with sports teams from 2012 to 2015, according to Tackling Paid Patriotism. The report found legitimate ad campaigns – stadium signs and social media mentions – and also included $6.8 million in contracts to sports teams that contained activities considered “inappropriate” patriotism for profit.

NASCAR was the biggest recipient, getting $1,560,000 for the fiscal year 2015. Included were personal appearances by Aric Almirola and Richard Petty, as well as 20 Richard Petty Driving Experience ridealongs. The expenditures, according to the DOD, were “integral to its recruiting efforts.”

“Americans deserve the ability to assume that tributes for our men and women in military uniform are genuine displays of national pride, which many are, rather than taxpayer-funded DOD marketing gimmicks,” the report said.

“Players are encouraged but not required to stand for the anthem,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said recently. (And as for the meme floating around the socialsphere – the NFL rulebook does not address the national anthem.)

NASCAR team owners that benefitted from the $1.56M would be expected to toe the company line:

But then Redneck Jesus placed the burden on his shoulders:

And then America’s Team pulled a Toby Keith and stuck a boot in someone’s ass (and took the wind out of another social media lie):

On Monday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys kneeled before the national anthem, then stood for the national anthem. It was the perfect juxtaposition of “Oh, say can you see” — they kneeled! — and “What so proudly we hailed” — they stood!

The Cowboys deftly addressed both issues — kneeling for the injustices that Kaepernick brought to the conversation and standing for the national anthem.

And yet, some social media warriors still lost sight of the big picture — choosing to champion whichever side they believe as righteous. Why not recognize that both sides were addressed? … Because, damnit, my side has to win this argument! (More importantly, your side has to lose …)

So, WTF does all this mean? Oppression. Respect. Kaep. Trump. The military. The NFL. NASCAR. You. Me.

Social Media memeIt means, above all, we should respect those who disagree.

I do not agree with Kaepernick’s kneel – but I respect his decision and those who defended his Constitutional right.

I do not agree with those offended by Kaepernick’s kneel – but I respect their opinion; the Constitution guarantees it.

I do not agree that everyone claiming oppression understands what the word means – but I respect their decision to protest.

I do not agree that the military should be fronted as a show pony – but I respect the men and women putting their lives on the line.

I do not agree that President Trump has the nation’s best interests in mind – but I respect the office of the president.

I do not agree with those who #notmypresident – because DJT is – but I respect their opinion. Again, the Constitution.

I do not agree with those who think a “sonofabitch” should be fired for a silent protest during the national anthem – but I respect the decision to not watch the NFL.

I do not agree with people who create memes to promote lies – but I respect the Bill of Rights. We, the people, should be smart enough to research something before clicking the Share button.

I do not agree with the “I stand” crowd. I do not agree with the “I kneel” crowd. However, both should be respected. … But do something more than stand or kneel; there are many social issues to be addressed once you finish calisthenics.

If any of that oppresses you, we can have a discussion. Or you can slide right out of my timeline, delete my digits from your phone, nix my email addy from your contacts list. The choice is yours, and I respect it.

Our problem isn’t the NFL. It’s not the DOD pimping the military. It’s not Colin Kaepernick.

Our problem is you. And me. Them. Us. … We lack respect for those who do not affirm our beliefs. White people do not believe black people feel oppressed. Black people do not believe white people understand those feelings of oppression.

There are issues in these ironically-named United States. Once we respect the differences, oppression becomes a useless word between opposites and opprobrium – which loosely translates to “being the other of two related or corresponding things [that] cause or object of such disgrace or reproach.”

Be the one who corresponds to object such disgrace. The opportunity is right there, staring back in every mirror – in black and white.