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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Try this

Given the tone of some of the commentary I've seen, heard, read, etc. about the "anthem issue" .......not just here, but among people locally, in the news, gradually became very clear that there is a huge disconnect between those unsympathetic to the protesters and the protesters themselves. I have already stated my position that the NFL has every right to impose whatever rules it wants on their employees, but there is certainly more to this than patriotism or the lack thereof. To illustrate this disconnect, I am going to weave a short, fictional narrative. Picture this:

You work for X Company, which overall is a pretty decent place to work, and have produced good results for them, but for the past few months your boss, Mr. Y, has singled you out for very unfair treatment. He has even privately told you that, while your work is fine, he just doesn't like you or 'your kind' and while he can't legally fire you, he is going to do whatever he can to get you to leave. You have tried to inform HR, but your complaints haven't been taken seriously. Mr. Y has been very good about hiding his agenda and has a lot of backing from his peers. If you could, you would quit.... but you need this job.

One day, you find out that the office staff is having a party for Mr. Y to celebrate a promotion. Since it is at the office, you are sort of obliged to attend.....but when everyone starts to sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow",  you don't scream, or curse, or throw cake, but rather meander to the back of the room and remain silent. I mean after all, you KNOW Mr. Y is not the 'jolly good fellow' others may think he is.

Co-workers who have never been mistreated by Mr. Y and have prospered under his leadership, notice and berate you, "hey! Why aren't you singing? Mr. Y is our boss and he's been very good to us. You are an ungrateful employee and don't appreciate what you have!"

Mr. Y overhears your shaming and just smiles knowingly. Afterwards your co-workers continue to shun your company......even though you've done nothing wrong at your job, have been treated unfairly in turn, and just felt it would be hypocritical to sing along with everyone else. You must be a terrible person.

There. Now someone might say that had the victim in this case just sung the damned song, everything would have been fine........but would it? The issue in my story is not that the victim hates the song......and this current issue is NOT about hating the flag. It's fine to feel as a 'paying customer' that you'd rather not see political statements of any kind inserted into your entertainment.......but that is a different issue. 


  1. My solution:
    O only sing
    "For he's a (silence) fellow. It's a way of objecting that few will notice.
    When GWB was president, I purposely didn't sing the last sentence of the national anthem because I felt that not all people were free.