Exactly what are the NFL players protesting when kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem? “At the start, the protest was explicitly directed at purportedly institutional racism in the nation’s police departments, which had supposedly led to an epidemic of police violence against black men,” explains Andrew McCarthy in NRO. McCarthy goes on to quote one Colin Kaepernick: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
But as Jason Riley reports in the WSJ, police killings are at historic lows. Why then is there a higher incarceration rate among blacks? It is not complicated, says Mr. McCarthy. It’s a direct function of the higher crime rate among Blacks.
- African-Americans–13% of the population–committed 52% of homicides between 1980 and 2008.
- African-Americans are responsible for well over 90% of the homicides committed against other black people.
- In 2015, 258 black people were killed by police gunfire nationwide versus 494 white people killed in police shootings.
- Nearly 6,000 black people were killed by other black people (according to Daily Wire’s Aaron Bandler).
The NFL well knew what the kneeling protest was about. It was a claim that police were hunting down black men and other people of color. As we’ve seen, Colin Kaepernick could not have been clearer about that. That same year, after five Dallas cops were slain by a sniper, the Dallas Cowboys requested permission to wear small “Arm in Arm” decals on their helmets, in honor of police killed while serving and protecting their community. The NFL said no, that message would not be permitted.
Yes, President Trump’s impulsive tweeting often makes things worse, most often including for himself. As McCarthy writes, the protest is now about Donald Trump. That’s because the original protest is too indefensible to explain.
But the spiteful public debate over the NFL’s kneeling protesters? He didn’t make that worse. He drew attention to its fraudulent underpinnings.
Read more from Andrew McCarthy here.