LETTERS

More than just numbers

Posted

To the Editor:

Normandy (9,387), St. Mitnel (4,153), Ardennes (5,329), Brittany (4,410), Aisne (2,289), Epinal (5,525), Lorraine (10,489), Argonne (14,246), Oise-Aisne (6,012), Sicily (7,861), Florence (4,402), Netherlands (8,301), Henri-Chappelle (7,992).

These are just some of the cemeteries for American soldiers in Europe. Not mentioned is the great number of our honored military buried in other parts of the globe.

(At home: Gettysburgh (50K), Civil War (700K)) One should also remember the great number of soldiers who suffered life-altering wounds of every kind and the suffering of the families of our dead and injured.

Space does not permit exposition of the many other times of conflict and challenge in our nation's history.

When Americans of every color or ethnicity hear the National Anthem, they stand in silent reference because they respect and 

remember these valiant fellow Americans who made supreme sacrifice for this country. They also honor our forbears who have given so much to make this country the sole exception that it is (even though Obama never thought so or understood it when he claimed other countries were also).

Colin Kaepernik was the leader of the kneeling in protest while the anthem is played. Some of the athletes followed this man of questionable intellect considering his love of foreign ideology and hatred of police (a job he probably would not do even for 1 day and neither would his followers). Most Americans are greatly offended by this manner of expression because they remember, as does President Trump, but apparently these athletes do not.   

Certainly the athletes have the freedom to express themselves but one must wonder what muddled thinking made them choose the most divisive, inappropriate time and place to manifest their protest. (The pampered, over-paid, single-talent (a talent critical to this country, of course) LeBron James is also clueless about what is divisive). They unwittingly demonstrated egregious disrespect not only to most living Americans but more pointedly to all those who have made the supreme sacrifice.

Patriots understand full well that those are not just ciphers cited above. They know, rather, that they are loved family and friends lost to us. Regrettably and disturbingly so, the athletes apparently just see numbers.

Sam Parente

Cranston

Comments

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Cat2222

Peaceful protests are a constitutional right. Throughout black history it was men and women that peacefully protested in order to bring light to their plight. Without Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, sit in campaigns, freedom rides and demonstrations, there would be no rights for black Americans.

Many veterans have fallen down on the side on kneeling athletes so the movement isn't without merit. There is very little doubt that many black Americans are being killed by police and law enforcement at alarming rates when they are unarmed and non-confrontational.These athletes are simply using their moment in front of a large audience to remind people that there is still a lot left to do. If they were rioting, resisting arrest or using derogatory language to get their point across then I could understand the problem some have with it but they are not.

They are using it as a platform, silently, bending a knee in memory of all those that have been taken before their time and for no reason. Silently reminding everyone that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Silently asking for people to help their fellow brothers and sisters.

They are not disrespecting the men and women who have fought for their country. They are exercising their constitutional rights and that has been protected by the military for all the years you mentioned.Why fight to protect them when you turn around and chastise them for exercising them?

Thursday, August 23
Justanidiot

Amen Cat2222.

I am glad that the privileged athletes are using their prominence to garner attention for people who don't have the presence or voice that they do. Instead of looking at the athletes who take a knee or state their mind as some sort of anti-Americans, how about we listen to what the message is they are trying to relate. They are taking a knee or a stand not to help themselves, but for the legions who didn't get the breaks they did.

And in the case of Mr. Kaeperncik (check your spelling if you are going to attack someone) he has given up his lively hood to make a statement. He has been effectively blackballed by the NFL and cannot find employment. Name me 64 quarterbacks that have more talent than he does.

Friday, August 24
davebarry109

Yes, they have the right to do it. My objection is they are putting nothing at risk. They are largely all millionairs and spending time AT WORK making their point. It would mean more if they took the time when they weren't working to march or protest or do something else. And idiot, Kapernick, however spelled, did not give up his career. He was on his way out, performing poorly.

I will always stand and show respect. Mr. Parente is right. Hundreds of thousands of my comrades in arms have died under that flag, the symbol of our country. These athletes have the right but they are not in the right.

Friday, August 24
patientman

Just, Kaeperncik? I'll assume you misspelled Kaepernick while you admonished someones misspelling as a homage to your screen name. He's not being blackballed by the NFL. 32 teams don't value his pros more than his cons, period. Long ago a coach told me you never want to be an agenda item in a personnel meeting. I don't care if the players sit, stand, stay in the locker room, raise a fist or any other protest. What I do mind is actions that are detrimental to the team. Kaepernick would have done everybody a favor if he had realized that the distraction was a negative for the 49'ers and stopped. He could have continued to advocate against police brutality against blacks or whatever other cause he finds just. The oxygen given to Trump's fire has been brutal and unnecessarily divisive. We have enough real problems. We don't need more unforced errors.

Saturday, August 25
JohnStark

Justanidiot: I guess I would be sensitive to the message if I knew exactly what the message was in the first place, and whether it had validity. Blacks make up just 13% of the US population, but account for 52.6% of Murder and Non-Negligent Homicides, 54.5% of Robberies, 41.8% of Weapons Violations, and 33.3% of Aggravated Assaults according to 2017 FBI crime data. Given the seeming propensity of one group to commit a vastly disproportionate number of crimes, it should not be surprising that blacks are killed during the commission of said crimes. In 2016, a black man was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by another black man than by police. In Chicago, a city that is 32% black, 71% of gun-related perpetrators are black, and 75% of the victims are black. If the "brave" and "courageous" kneelers in the NFL, most of whom are also black, truly wish to 'deliver a message', they could start by being fathers to their children and calling on fellow blacks to stop killing one another, which is what attracts police in the first place! Such actions might just have a real, and desperately needed impact while avoiding political posturing. I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, August 28
Cat2222

I guess I am still unable to get behind the fact that protesting only counts if you hold the same opinion. How can someone else determine if a cause is "right"?

JohnStark - Where are your statistics about unarmed Black Americans being shot at while not committing a crime? According to mappingpoliceviolence.org:

27% of U.S. police killings between January 2013 - December 2017 were committed by police departments of the 100 largest U.S. cities.

Black people were 39% of people killed by these 100 police departments despite being only 21% of the population in their jurisdictions.

Only 1 of the 100 largest city police departments did not kill anyone from Jan 2013 - Dec 2017 (Irvine, CA).

48% of UNARMED people killed by the 100 largest city police departments were black. These police departments killed unarmed black people at a rate 4 times higher than unarmed white people.

Rates of violent crime in cities did not make it any more or less likely for police departments to kill people. For example, Buffalo and Newark police departments had low rates of police violence despite high crime rates while Spokane and Bakersfield had relatively low crime rates and high rates of police violence.

Fewer than 1 in 3 black people killed by police in America in 2014 were suspected of a violent crime and allegedly armed.

99% of cases in 2015 have NOT resulted in any officer(s) involved being convicted of a crime.

There is a very dire problem in our society right now. People are dying for no other reason but the color of their skin. Police are not being held accountable and the shootings continue. I don't care who or how the message gets out, as long as it does get out. Now in 2018 we also have a rise of white supremacy which impacts the black race in many ways. Combine the two and it has become almost a crime to be black in America. I am sorry if a NFL player has impacted your entertainment making a protest (silently) about issues that directly impact them. I am not sorry they are doing it because they are making themselves heard.

And for Kaepernick, he is busy right now putting his money where his knee is. He is campaigning to send water and aid to famine-endangered citizens in Somalia. He runs the Colin Kaepernick Foundation to help fight oppression through charitable endeavors, social activism and donated his own money to organizations that work with oppressed communities. He has spend more than $900,000 to more than a dozen different charities.What have you done with your own money to help the our brothers and sisters in high risk communities?

It is the right of every American to peacefully protest. It doesn't have to meet your criteria of "right".

Tuesday, August 28
JohnStark

Cat: Thank you for your insight and taking the counter position. While doing so, you have made my point. Two examples:

"Black people were 39% of people killed by these 100 (largest) police departments despite being only 21% of the population in their jurisdictions." This is only relevant if you also supply the percent of crime committed by blacks in these urban areas. The fact is, an overwhelming majority of the crimes is committed by blacks, which is why blacks tend to get shot by police.

"48% of UNARMED people killed by the 100 largest city police departments were black. These police departments killed unarmed black people at a rate 4 times higher than unarmed white people." Again, because blacks commit crime, at least violent crime, at a rate 4 times higher than white people. Not many drive-by or police shootings in East Greenwich or Barrington. And there's a reason for that.

I do not question the rights of players to protest, though I find it curious that these protests are not occurring on players' days off (i.e. Mondays). I do, however, question their right to protest on company time during the work day. And it is more than a little rich to see millionaires protesting 'racial injustice', only to return to mansions after the game. Do these guys have a right to protest the country and culture that has made them fabulously wealthy, and so during the playing of the national anthem? Yes. But I believe Colonel Jessup said it best: "I would rather you just said Thank You and went on your way."

Wednesday, August 29
Cat2222

JohnStark,

So if I understand you correctly, because your race commits more crime, even innocent people are considered guilty and shooting first is an acceptable action. That is what I get from your read of the statistics. There is a very good reason why you don't see black families living in Barrington or East Greenwich that have everything to do with economics and politics. Black families were not welcome in the upper class neighborhoods and they didn't have as many opportunities to earn degrees that would afford them the change to move into those wealthier neighborhoods. Do you want to gloss over how America's Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap?

My major point is that these men chose to use their platform, on TV in front of millions of viewers, to draw attention to a problem. A quick search of Google will show you that many of the protesting NFL players are also committed to helping out their community off the field. [https://www.sbnation.com/2017/9/29/16375378/nfl-players-charity-donations-jj-watt-hurricane-harvey-patrick-peterson-foundation]

Obviously, we are not going to be in agreement over this issue. I appreciate a honest dialogue with those that have opposition views. I guess I am firmly in the "bleeding heart liberal" camp. I am okay with that.

Thursday, August 30