Research Position Paper

On August 26, 2016, the announcer at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, California came over the loudspeaker, as before every game, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and remove your hats for the singing of our national anthem.” At that moment, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick dropped down to one knee and shocked the entire nation. From high school sporting events to the Olympic games, and ballparks around the country, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a tradition Americans adopted at the commencement of great sporting events that serves as the pride of our great nation. What began as a simple gesture of patriotism grew into one of the greatest traditions at America’s beloved sporting venues. To some Americans, the rendition of the national anthem brings a tear to the eye and a chill to the spine. But, for others, “The Star-Spangled Banner” represents the hypocrisy of a nation divided on the idea all not Americans have equal rights in “the land of the free”. (Key)

After the NFL football game on the August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick released a statement,

“I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”.

Many Americans may not agree with Kaepernick’s statements, but they still hold some truth. In some parts of the United States, police brutality is still a serious problem, especially with the minorities such as black Americans. Police officers continue to outrage a nation with multiple incidences of unnecessary extreme acts of violence towards individuals of color.

This deep-seeded feud between black Americans and law enforcement roots itself in the race riots during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The Civil Right movement in the 1960s caused America to ponder the question, “Are all Americans treated equally?” Police brutality ravaged the lives of black Americans across the nation which cause race riots in major US cities and on college campuses.  While some Americans resorted to violence, others peacefully attempted to display their distaste for the unequal rights with sit ins. Unfortunately, public demonstrations of racial inequalities resulted in violence and police brutality regardless of how they began (Anderson). As a nation, the United Stated made great strides to protect the rights of all Americans; however, many black Americans feel that police brutality is still thriving in our great nation similar to the race riots of the sixties.

Police brutality during the civil rights movement resulted in violent and public actions toward black Americans by public servants paid to uphold the law. While police officers vowed to serve and protect society, many Americans questioned who exactly the police protected and felt black Americans remained vulnerable in a nation progressing toward equality. Police continued to harass black Americans even while they participated in peaceful protests. On February 1, 1960, the Greensboro 4 staged their first “sit in” at the Woolworth’s, because they were permitted to buy merchandise at the store; however, they were not allowed to simply sit and buy a cup of coffee at the lunch counter. Their first meeting ended with a prayer, but after their peaceful protest grew, it turned into violent acts of police brutality toward the black citizens.  (Anderson).

Some cases of violence cause extreme outrage and rioting, like the case of Philando Castile, a black American who was pulled over for a faulty headlight. When the police officer pulled Castile over, Castile explained to the office that he had a firearm in his car and was also licensed to carry. The officer screams “Do not reach for it! Do not reach for it!” The dash camera from the police cruiser shows the officer firing shot into the driver side window of Castile’s vehicle. While the officer shot and killed Castile, he was acquitted of all charges. Castile’s girlfriend, an eye witness to the violent and senseless murder, recorded and broadcasted the incident live on Facebook for the world to see.

Kaepernick’s protest gained major attention, and was the topic of all major sports, and news networks across America. Since then, the protests grew in popularity among NFL players while spreading to the collegiate and high school levels. But, has Kaepernick’s  meaning of the protest been lost along the way? NFL players, like Kaepernick state that they kneel in protest of  police brutality, which is fine if that is their sole purpose. When you see so many players in the NFL just following along in others footsteps and kneeling, it begs the question of do they really know what or why they are protesting? Even future Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy stated in an interview “But just don’t do it (kneel) because other people are doing it. Don’t just do it because you think it’s going to make a statement.”

If Kaepernick was really trying to make a statement about police brutality, though possibly effective, this was the wrong time to do it. Like I previously stated, the National Anthem made its first appearance at the sixth game of the World Series in 1918 to honor all of the service men who fought overseas in the Great War, and that had made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they love so dearly. Military supporters, and military families across America understand the origin of the Anthem, and that is why a many Americans were so outraged.

Lee Greenwood’s song, “Proud to be an American,” is a great example that shows the love most have for this great country.  In the third stanza of his song, Greenwood states “, and I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”  His is statement is truly what being an American is all about. As an American, I love this great nation, because it is the land of opportunity. Not everyone may always agree with everything that is done, such as police brutality, but that does not mean that I do not love and respect the nation that I call my home, and it certainly does not mean that  Americans should take a knee for the things that we do not stand for.

When we have arguments like this one, which clearly divide a nation, they bring up the point of right and wrong, ethical versus unethical, or cause and effect.  Newton’s third law states “for every action, there is a equal and opposite reaction.” Every action or reaction has a consequence and those consequences are deemed right or wrong by everybody around us. Whether those are family members, strangers passing by, or just acquaintances, we are always under a microscope. Under an even higher powered microscope are famous people, like Colin Kaepernick. We are all raised differently with a different set core values; however, individuals have his or her own opinion about everything/ For example, Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee for the National Anthem. Right or wrong depends on one’s opinion, what core values he or she was raised with, and which side of the debate one chooses. Various people will have different opinions on the subject. As such, when debating the issue, answers from one side of the argument are thoughts that one may never contemplate and hold the true for each counterargument. It seems counterintuitive that Kaepernick’s cause was just an effect of the problem of police brutality in America. The simple truth is, Kaepernick’s action was a single cause, that resonates major effects across America.

Outrage in mainstream America appears to be Kaepernick’s largest contribution to his argument. For generations, the playing of the national anthem has been a sacred ritual before many sporting events around the country. This anthem is not only to honor the country and the American flag, but a time to reflect and honor the service men and women that fight for freedoms at a time when Americans feel as much loss from war as World war II. Military families, both past and present, are insulted by Kaepernick’s kneeling. Even the newly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, issued a statement via twitter saying, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our country!”.  The Commander in Chief also ordered the owners of NFL teams to dismiss any players that kneel for the Anthem.

In addition to the public outrage, CBSnews reports that NFL ticket sales and network ratings plummeted as confirmed by ticket sellers such as Tickpick and TicketCity. As professional football transformed into an entertainment business with some sport sprinkled into it, the game changed from the rough and tough players regarded as iron men like Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Earl Campbell, Decan Jones, and company. People now atted NFL games to drink a few beers, relax with some family and friends, and watch tremendous athletes display their talents, and entertaining fans, a lot like WWE stars have always done. Speaking with long time football enthusiast, Chuck Nucci, he explained that he does not want to watch the NFL when it is involved with politics. Nucci states, “I love football and I watch it for the love of the game. As soon as politics are involved, it’s not enjoyment anymore”. Many Americans feel the same as Nucci which explains the rapid decline in NFL ticket sales.

Like the NFL, collegiate football suffers from Kaepernick’s actions. Rowan University, along with other American colleges, now retain the players in the locker room until the National Anthem is over. I have a personal experience as a football player; I would step onto the field, ready to hear the National Anthem and pay homage to our flag, country, and service men and women only to find out the Anthem had already been played for the fans, and not for the players. Personally for me, the time before a game when I would hear the anthem was a time of great pride, and gave me chills. I would look at Old Glory waving in the wind, and think how thankful I was to play the great game of football in the greatest country in the world. “The Star- Spangled Banner” actually psyched me up as I prepared for “battle” as players and coaches call it. Many of my peers would often feel the same disappointment along with me, no matter the color of their skin, because the playing of the national anthem is a time to honor, not a time to protest.

Kaepernick’s kneeling was also an eye opener to a lot of people, including myself. I personally follow NFL news pretty closely, and I’m not sure if his inability to find a job, and to maintain his NFL quarterback status has made bigger headlines than just NFL Network. Since Kaepernick decided to defy the only thing that everybody knew, which was standing for the National Anthem, he cannot find a job anywhere. No NFL team wants to bring him on the roster because he peacefully protested, which is his constitutional right to do. His protest might have been seen as “disrespectful to the servicemen and women,” but he did not make a mockery out of the Anthem like some players are doing now. Nobody wants to put their name out for Kaepernick, but they will for players like LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills do whatever he pleases. McCoy was seen stretching, and absolutely making a mockery of the National Anthem, and the Buffalo Bills owner and staff had nothing to comment on the matter. This is a double standard, because both men did not participate in the National Anthem, but one did it peacefully, and one made a mockery out of the deal. If McCoy’s actions were not held against him and he is still employed, Kaepernick’s actions, and decision, though may not be agreed upon by everyone, to take a knee and start a peaceful protest should not be held against him either.

There have been many causes and effects that came from Kaepernicks decision to take a knee in the preseason game on August 26th, 2016. From outrage, to unemployment. Any way you slice it, Kaepernick made history with his actions, and with history there is going to be some sort of disagreement. Either way you look at it, either idolizing Kaepernick for his courage, or look down on him for his blatant “disrespect,” there is no such thing as right or wrong, there is only cause and effect.

In more cases than not, taking a knee is a sign of great respect. This is not only seen in ancient societies, such as the knighting of an individual in England, but also seen closer to home, on the playing fields that Americans love so dearly. For example, when a player is injured on the field of play, many players from both sides will kneel out of respect, but never in sports do you see kneeling as a sign of disrespect. That is until Colin Kaepernick so boldly knelt for the playing of our National Anthem.

There has been a lot of controversy over Kaepernick’s debacle, and rightfully so. It seems that the United States as a country has become divisive with a majority of white Americans and military supporting families protest Kaepernick’s actions. In contrast, a majority of the black American population support his stance and the black lives matter movement backs Kaepernick one hundred percent. Realistically Kaepernick’s explanation of his actions was vague in the   post-game interview. Kaepernick alluded to his position; however, he never fully expressed in that interview that his protest sheds light on police brutality against black Americans. Kaepernick only stated that his people were oppressed, they are killed in the streets, and their killers are rewarded with paid leave for murder. One can conclude that he protests police brutality, but Kaepernick never completely explained his protest, in his much sought after interview.

Kaepernick’s protest poses absolutely no effect on law enforcement officers, who killed 223 black Americans in the year following Kaepernick’s protests according to data released in a Huffingtonpost article. The same article goes on to say that “It’s likely that more black people were killed by police during that period of time” [from the time of Kaepernick’s protest to the end of the year].  This can only conclude two things; blacks felt more empowered; therefore,  more willing to test police officers because of the protests and to be known as martyrs, or that police officers exerted more force to show that the protest will not affect them in any way.

The United States has a problem with police brutality considering incidences such as the Philando Castile murder, the shooting of Michael Brown that lead to the Ferguson riot, and Eric Garner, a man choked to death in the streets of New York City. These occurrences were all the work of our law enforcement officials. As much of a problem that police brutality poses, there has also been an extreme increase of black on black crimes since 2016, when the protest was started. An article by the New York Post released the FBI crime logs for the year of 2016, and stated that black on black crimes rose in number by nine hundred compared to 2015. Black Americans are simply ignoring the outrageous number of the murder of their own kind, by their own kind, and focusing on a very small percentage of killings between law enforcement officers and black Americans. Some black Americans will also ignore the fact that black males have made up forty- two percent of cop killers in the last ten years, as stated by New York Post. Police officers now fear for their lives because of the drastic increase of police murders at the hands of black men is significantly higher. A study from National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago concludes that “half of all Americans, regardless of race, say fear caused by the physical danger that police officers face is a major contributor to aggression against civilians.”While cops fear for their lives in the line of duty,  there is still no reason for the killing of innocent black Americans, like Philando Castile, or any Americans for that matter, by police officers when not needed.

When traveling most parts of the country, one observes cops patrolling towns daily and writing the occasional traffic violation. In other parts of the country, like the deep south, where oppression of black Americans still appears alive and well, one will see some, not all, cops using their power in a negative way. These cops are the ones that give all cops a bad name by trying  to instill fear into civilians and abusing the power that they were given to “protect and serve.” This display of police brutality demonstrates racial tensions in the southern states that remain in place in America fifty years after turmoil for equality ravaged the country. With roots from slavery in the deep south, the southern states tend to be more racially prejudice than other areas in the country, possibly due to the antiquated rationale that blacks are slaves and plantation workers, never died.

The 2016 presidential election map shows a majority of the republican voters in southern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida) who are predominantly white individuals. These white citizens of the deep south historically have roots to plantation owners, who owned land, which represented wealth and power. These white plantation owners needed slaves to work the fields and harvest crops such as cotton. Some slave owners passed down their land along with their opinions of black Americans on to future generations.  Even though slavery was abolished in 1865 with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, there is still racism and prejudices that remain at the center of Kaepernick’s debate.

The feud between black and white Americans may never die in the United States. Some radical whites hold on to the traditions of the old south, with the notion of blacks as chattel slaves. Some blacks will never relinquish the fact that their ancestors were brutally kidnapped from Africa and forced into American slavery. Either way, slavery is in the past and it is the duty of Americans to move past it through learning the facts of black history. But education itself cannot overcome the prejudices and ignorance to black Americans. Both black and white Americans must learn to cast aside their opinions and respect each other as humans to unite in one great nation.

Works Cited

Anderson, Terry H. Movement and the Sixties. Pg 44-45 Oxford University Press. 1995

Babwin, Don. “1918 World Series Started the U.S. Love Affair with National Anthem.” Chicagotribune.com, 4 July 2017, http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/ct-wrigley-field-national-anthem-20170703-story.html.

Berr, Jonathan. “NFL National Anthem Protest Denting Ticket Sales.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 29 Sept. 2017, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-national-anthem-protest-denting-ticket-sales/.

Branch, John. “Please Rise for Our National Anthem — If You’Re Not Too Busy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Oct. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/01/sports/football/nfl-anthem-protest.html.

Donald, Heather Mac. “All That Kneeling Ignores the Real Cause of Soaring Black Homicides.” New York Post, New York Post, 27 Sept. 2017, nypost.com/2017/09/26/all-that-kneeling-ignores-the-real-cause-of-soaring-black-homicides/.

“God Bless the U.S.A. – Lee Greenwood.” Google Play Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
.are.org/files/The%20Groningen%20Sleep%20Quality%20Scale.pdf>.

Little, Becky. “Why the Star-Spangled Banner Is Played At Sporting Events.” Why the Star-
Spangled Banner Is Played At Sporting Events – History in the Headlines. N.p., 25 Sept.
2017. Web. 29 Oct. 2017. .

Nucci, Chuck. Personal Interview 10, November 2017.

“Philando Castile Killing: Police Video Sparks Outrage.” Philando Castile Killing: Police Video Sparks Outrage | USA News | Al Jazeera. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2017. .

“The Lyrics.” NMAH | The Lyrics, amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-lyrics.aspx.

“Tony Dungy Speaks Out on NFL Players Kneeling During National Anthem.” Intellectual Takeout, www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/tony-dungy-speaks-out-nfl-players-kneeling-during-national-anthem.

University of Chicago, NORC. “Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans.” Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans Issue Brief | APNORC.org | APNORC.org, http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/law-enforcement-and-violence-the-divide-between-black-and-white-americans0803-9759.aspx.

Waldron, Travis. “Police Killed 223 Black Americans In Year After Colin Kaepernick’s First Protest.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 Aug. 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-police-killings-black-americans_us_599c4099e4b04c532f447939.

“2016 Presidential Election Actual Results.” 270toWin.Com, http://www.270towin.com/maps/2016-actual-electoral-map.

Self Reflective- TheAdmiral

Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Writing has never been a strong suite of mine, and this class was a bit difficult for me. I personally have never really been good at writing, or rewriting for that matter, but I  do think that I have made improvements over the duration of this course. I think where I    have made the most improvements is in my rewriting. If you look at my stone money first draft, and my stone money rewrite, some drastic grammar and context changes were made, all that I   learned in this class. I learned to use things like purposeful summary, which was input into the first paragraph of my Stone money rewrite. I  used this to help me explain the currency on the island, and the way the people of Yap used it.

https://rowancounterintuitive.com/2017/10/01/stone-money-rewrite-theadmiral/#comments 

Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Academic writing is more of a skill that is acquired, rather than an art form such as writing a poem, or writing a play. When you write academically, you need to gather different sources, and understand different views on the topic that you are writing on. This can also mean interpreting texts, like I  did in my safer saws assignment. In this assignment, I    had to get different articles, summarize the claims that were made, and understand the claims that each article was making, and put them all into categories. I also had to read more than one article to get claims that the author was trying to make, and explain the claim that they were trying to portray in their article. This may seem like an easy task, which does become easier with practice, but it was not the simplest of tasks. This course has helped me out with this skill because of exercises like this.

https://rowancounterintuitive.com/2017/10/17/safer-saws-the-admiral1/

 

Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Rhetoric is a part of writing that is needed to get the image that is in your head, into the heads of the readers of your article, story, research paper, or whatever it is that you happen to be working on. Personally, I thought that I  progressed in this aspect of writing during the duration of the course by doing exercises like the visual rhetoric assignment. In this assignment, we had to watch a video of our choosing from the national ad counsel, and analyze it. While watching the video, we had to write down what exactly we were seeing second by second, and then put that into words and make the reader visualize what we were seeing without having them actually see the video. This might seem easy, but it was not by any means. There was a lot of detail required for this assignment, but in reality it helped out with my writing because I    can now understand how to get the image that I    have in my head, and put it on paper to make my reader understand what I    am imagining.

https://rowancounterintuitive.com/2017/10/08/visual-rhetoric-theadmiral/

 

Core Value IV: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

I  think that my white paper or my proposal +5 was a good example of how I acquired this skill from this course, because I  had to gather different sources from a ton of different websites, such as google scholar, and the Rowan Campbell library. This skill is absolutely essential for my success as a student in my upcoming years, because we will always need to write papers. Whether it is research, or just to support an argument in a small paper, we need to have scholarly sources that will back up the information that we as writers are feeding to our audiences. We as authors have a moral obligation to give our readers facts, and those facts have to be backed up by research, and used correctly in our essays.

https://rowancounterintuitive.com/2017/10/15/proposal-5-2/

Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

As a writer, it is only ethical to give credit where credit is due when using others information, opinions, or research that they have gathered on their own. If I  were to write an essay, use somebody else information that they gathered, and not give credit to the person that went through all of the trouble to gather all of those facts, opinions, or research, then it would not only be unethical, but you can also get in a lot of trouble academically. Ripping off other people’s work and claiming it as our own (not citing others or your own work you used in your essay)  is a violation of student policy, and could lead to  explosion from the university. I  learned through this course to cite every source that I  used in a paper, and the best way that I  could demonstrate the skill that I  learned was my annotated bibliography. In this, I   gathered all of the sources that I used in my research paper, wrote purposeful summary, and how I used it in my essay.

https://rowancounterintuitive.com/2017/11/28/annotated-bibliography-3/

 

Annotated Bibliography

Source one: Anderson, Terry H. Movement and the Sixties. Oxford University Press. 1995

Essential context: This source gave insight on the way of the sixties, between black Americans and law enforcement officials.

How I used it: I used this to explain how no matter what black Americans did in the 1960’s there was always rioting, and there was always police brutality going on in some way, shape or form.

Source two:

Little, Becky. “Why the Star-Spangled Banner Is Played At Sporting Events.” Why theStar-
Spangled Banner Is Played At Sporting Events – History in the Headlines. N.p., 25 Sept.
2017. Web. 29 Oct. 2017. .

Essential context: The essential context of this essay was to give the origin of the Star Spangled Banner, and why it has such importance to us as Americans.

How I used it: In my essay, I used this source to explain the importance of the anthem at sporting events, and it also gives background information on how why the anthem is such an important part of our history.

Source three:
http://writing.byu.edu/sites/default/files/writing150contest/opinion_editorial_5.pdf

Essential Context: This article talks about how the protest started, and gave Collin Kaepernicks view and the reasons that he started the protest. It also gives insight on the reasons the protest started.

What it proves: This source gives us more information on what the protest is, and the origin of protesting. This article further explains Collin Kapernicks whole view on it, and why he even started the protest in the first place.

Source four: The song “Proud to be an American” By Lee greenwood
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/leegreenwood/proudtobeanamerican.html

Essential context: talks about what it means to be an american, and how proud we should be as a nation. It is unspoken that we as Americans have a devoted love to their country, and writing this song was just one of the many ways that we as Americans show our love to the flag and our country.

What it proves: How much pride some people have in the country, that they decided to make a song showing it. The song has lines like “And Ill proudly stand up” talking about standing up and fighting for the country that they love.

Source five: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2017/10/15/nfl-players-protests-national-anthem-kneeling/765957001/

Essential Context: This article talks about the 49ers still protesting, and gives Roger Goodell’s (The NFL commissioner) statement on the matter. Roger Goodell states that he supports the players right to peacefully protest, but he does not want it to effect the attendance at football games.

What it proves: It proves that kneeling has become a big issue dealing with patriotism in the country, and even after statements from the commissioner have been released, players are still doing it because they feel so strongly.

Source Six: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/tony-dungy-speaks-out-nfl-players-kneeling-during-national-anthem

Essential Context: This arctic;e gives insight on what a retired coach in the NFL would have done with the situation. Tony Dungy, a soon to be hall of fame coach, states that he would be okay with his players protesting for a cause, and if they could explain that cause to him he would support them. Dungy states that many NFL players are basically kneeling because others are kneeling, and have no clue the cause they are protesting.

What it proves: This proves to me, that a person that has seen the inner workings of the NFL, and knows player interactions extremely well, is saying that a lot of players are not protesting for the purpose intended in the first place, and that Kaepernick’s intended purpose is still ambiguous.

Source seven: http://www.ushistory.org/us/54d.asp

Essential context: This source explains the peaceful protests that took place during the Civil Rights movement back in the 1960’s. This particular protest was a sit-in, where black americans would go to a whites only diner, and patiently wait to be served. They sat through threats, and racial slurs, and waited for service from the establishment.

What it proves: This proves that Kaepernick’s peaceful protest is not the first time one was used. This is just the first time that someone has done it during a time that everyone should be respectful.

Source eight: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-police-killings-black-americans_us_599c4099e4b04c532f447939

Essential context: This post gives a lot of insight on the issue of Kaepernick’s protest as it relates to police brutality in America. It gives data on the amount of blacks killed compared to other Americans in the United states. The article also states “African-Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the country’s population ― meaning they are far more likely to die at the hands of police than white Americans, even though more white people are killed by law enforcement overall.” 

What it proves: This Source proves that out of 963 people shot and killed by law enforcement officers in 2016, only 233 of them were black Americans. This shows that black Americans do not make up an extremely significant amount of people shot in this country day by day. Even though they have a higher likelihood of being shot, there are still more white people that are killed each year.

Source nine: https://nypost.com/2017/09/26/all-that-kneeling-ignores-the-real-cause-of-soaring-black-homicides/

Essential context: This source gives data on black on black crimes, or causes of deaths of blacks that are not because of police officers or white people.

What it proves: Since the black lives matter protest in the NFL, the number of black Americans being killed by other black Americans has increased by 900 from 2015 to 2016.

Source ten: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/

Essential context: This source explains that police brutality has been an ongoing problem in our country for many years now, dating back to at least the 1950’s and 1960’s. This article gives us the example of Philando Castile, and how he was fatally shot by police after telling officers that he had a licensed weapon in the car. The source also gives visuals of signs from the civil rights movement in the 60’s saying “We demand an end to police brutality NOW!”

What it proves: This source proves that police brutality has been an ongoing problem in our country, and sometimes the shootings by police are unwarranted. In Phalando’s case, he was just telling officers that he did have a gun in the car, and did not reach for it (as seen on the cruisers dash cam.)

Source eleven: http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/law-enforcement-and-violence-the-divide-between-black-and-white-americans0803-9759.aspx

Essential context: This source provides a poll, giving American’s opinions on police brutality in America. Both blacks and whites said that “Many Americans, both blacks and whites, say that violence against police is also an extremely or very serious problem in the United States. And half of all Americans, regardless of race, say fear caused by the physical danger that police officers face is a major contributor to aggression against civilians.”

What it proves: This poll shows that police are putting fear in Americans, where the should be there to protect and serve, and not to put fear into people.

Source twelve: “Tony Dungy Speaks Out on NFL Players Kneeling During National Anthem.” Intellectual Takeouthttp://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/tony-dungy-speaks-out-nfl-players-kneeling-during-national-anthem.

Essential context: The essential context of this article gives insight on how an NFL coach, that was around the game and the players for a very long time, would handle the kneeling situation

How I  used it: This article is a great source because Tony Dungey, a retired NFL coach and future Hall-of-Famer, gives his insight on what he would have done with his team in the situation, and implied that some NFL coaches are not handling this situation in the correct manner.

Source thirteen: “Philando Castile Killing: Police Video Sparks Outrage.” Philando Castile Killing: Police Video Sparks Outrage | USA News | Al Jazeera. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2017. .

Essential Context: This source gives the facts about the blatant murder of Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer.

How I  used it: I used this source as an example of how police brutality is alive and well today. I  gave the details of this source to really depict the fear that some police officers have of black Americans, so much to the point where they will shoot an innocent black man because they felt threatened by the fact the victim explained he had a concealed weapon, and was licensed to carry it.

Source fourteen:“The Lyrics.” NMAH | The Lyrics, amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-lyrics.aspx.

Essential context: The lyrics of the Star Spangled banner

How I  used it: I used this source’s lyrics in my essay at the ending of my opening paragraph to bring up a counterintuitive Idea of our country being “the land of the free” and having black Americans living in fear.

Source fifteen: Babwin, Don. “1918 World Series Started the U.S. Love Affair with National Anthem.” Chicagotribune.com, 4 July 2017, http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/ct-wrigley-field-national-anthem-20170703-story.html.

Essential context: This source gives the origin of the National Anthem during sporting events, and how the bombing in Chicago, the city which the world series was being played in, made morale in the city low. The Navy band that attended the game played the Star Spangled banner during the seventh inning stretch and all of america loves this and made it a tradition.

How I used it: I used this source to explain the origin of the Star spangled banner, and to give reasons on why it should be respected.

Source Sixteen: Berr, Jonathan. “NFL National Anthem Protest Denting Ticket Sales.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 29 Sept. 2017, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-national-anthem-protest-denting-ticket-sales/.

Essential Context: This source provided information from TicPick and TicketCity that NFL ticket sales declined after Kaepernick’s Kneeling.

How I  used it: I  this to show that Ticket sales for two different distributers declined drastically after Kaepernick’s kneeling.

Source seventeen: Personal Interview

Essential context: My father and I  had an interview, talking about the way football used to be, and also why he enjoys watching the games on Sunday.

How I  used it: This source was helpful for m paper because it allowed my to put a personal touch on it, and allow me to incorporate the opinions of a person who is close to me, and also has been around the game for generations.

Source eighteen: Branch, John. “Please Rise for Our National Anthem — If You’Re Not Too Busy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Oct. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/01/sports/football/nfl-anthem-protest.html.

Essential Context: This NY times article gave the tweet that President Trump released on kneeling before the football games”

How I used it: I used this source to show that the kneeling in the NFL before games for the national anthem got so bad to the point where the president had to get involved, and gave the protest attention.

Source nineteen: Classroom, Physics. “Newton’s Third Law.” The Physics Classroom, http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/Lesson-4/Newton-s-Third-Law.

Essential Context: This site gives Newton’s third law, which is pretty well known

How I used it: I used this to give an example of cause and effect, and how every action has an equal and opposite reaction

Rebuttal Argument

In more cases than not, taking a knee is a sign of great respect. This is not only seen in ancient societies, such as the knighting of an individual in England, but also seen closer to home, on the playing fields that Americans love so dearly. For example, when a player is injured on the field of play, many players from both sides will kneel out of respect, but never in sports do you see kneeling as a sign of disrespect. That is until during the playing of the National Anthem; Colin Kaepernick so boldly knelt for the playing of our National Anthem before the preseason game at Levi’s stadium in San Francisco, California.

There has been a lot of controversy over Kaepernick’s debacle, and rightfully so. It seems that the United States as a country has become divisive with a majority of white Americans and military supporting families protesting Kaepernick’s actions. In contrast, a majority of the black American population support his stance and the black lives matter movement backs Kaepernick one hundred percent. Realistically Kaepernick’s explanation of his actions was vague in the   post-game interview. Kaepernick alluded to his position; however, he never fully expressed in that interview that his protest sheds light on police brutality against black Americans. Kaepernick only stated that his people were oppressed, they are killed in the streets, and their killers are rewarded with paid leave for murder. One can conclude that he protests police brutality, but Kaepernick never completely explained his protest, in his much sought after interview.

Kaepernick’s protest poses absolutely no effect on law enforcement officers, who killed 223 black Americans in the year following Kaepernick’s protests according to data released in a Huffingtonpost article. The same article goes on to say that “It’s likely that more black people were killed by police during that period of time” [from the time of Kaepernick’s protest to the end of the year].   This can only conclude two things; blacks felt more empowered; therefore,  more willing to test police officers because of the protests and to be known as martyrs, or that police officers exerted more force to show that the protest will not affect them in any way.

The United States has a problem with police brutality considering incidences such as the Philando Castile murder, the shooting of Michael Brown that lead to the Ferguson riot, and Eric Garner, a man choked to death in the streets of New York City. These occurrences were all the work of our law enforcement officials. As much of a problem that police brutality poses, there has also been an extreme increase of black on black crimes since 2016, when the protest was started. An article by the New York Post released the FBI crime logs for the year of 2016, and stated that black on black crimes rose in number by nine hundred compared to 2015. Black Americans are simply ignoring the outrageous number of the murder of their own kind, by their own kind, and focusing on a very small percentage of killings between law enforcement officers and black Americans. Some black Americans will also ignore the fact that black males have made up forty- two percent of cop killers in the last ten years, as stated by New York Post. Police officers now fear for their lives because of the drastic increase of police murders at the hands of black men is significantly higher. A study from National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago concludes that “half of all Americans, regardless of race, say fear caused by the physical danger that police officers face is a major contributor to aggression against civilians.”While cops fear for their lives in the line of duty,  there is still no reason for the killing of innocent black Americans, like Philando Castile, or any Americans for that matter, by police officers.

When traveling most parts of the country, one observes cops patrolling towns daily and writing the occasional traffic violation. In other parts of the country, like the deep south, where oppression of black Americans still appears alive and well, one will see some, not all, cops using their power in a negative way. These cops are the ones that give all cops a bad name by trying  to instill fear into civilians and abusing the power that they were given to “protect and serve.” This display of police brutality demonstrates racial tensions in the southern states that remain in place in America fifty years after turmoil for equality ravaged the country. With roots from slavery in the deep south, the southern states tend to be more racially prejudice than other areas in the country, possibly due to the antiquated rationale that blacks are slaves and plantation workers, never died.

The 2016 presidential election map shows a majority of the republican voters in southern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida) who are predominantly white individuals. These white citizens of the deep south historically have roots to plantation owners, who owned land, which represented wealth and power. These white plantation owners needed slaves to work the fields and harvest crops such as cotton. Some slave owners passed down their land along with their opinions of black Americans on to future generations.  Even though slavery was abolished in 1865 with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, the racism and prejudices that remain at the center of Kaepernick’s debate.

The feud between black and white Americans may never die in the United States. Some radical whites hold on to the traditions of the old south, with the notion of blacks as chattel slaves. Some me blacks will never relinquish of the fact that their ancestors were brutally kidnapped from Africa and forced into American slavery. Either way, slavery is in the past and it is the duty of Americans to move past it through learning the facts and black history. But education itself cannot overcome the prejudices and ignorance to black Americans. Both black and white Americans must learn to cast aside their opinions and respect each other as humans to unite in one great nation.

Works Cited

Donald, Heather Mac. “All That Kneeling Ignores the Real Cause of Soaring Black Homicides.” New York Post, New York Post, 27 Sept. 2017, nypost.com/2017/09/26/all-that-kneeling-ignores-the-real-cause-of-soaring-black-homicides/.

University of Chicago, NORC. “Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans.” Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans Issue Brief | APNORC.org | APNORC.org, http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/law-enforcement-and-violence-the-divide-between-black-and-white-americans0803-9759.aspx.

Waldron, Travis. “Police Killed 223 Black Americans In Year After Colin Kaepernick’s First Protest.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 Aug. 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-police-killings-black-americans_us_599c4099e4b04c532f447939.

“2016 Presidential Election Actual Results.” 270toWin.Com, http://www.270towin.com/maps/2016-actual-electoral-map.

Causal Argument—TheAdmiral

The other day, I stumbled upon a quote by an unknown author that goes as follows; “There is no such thing as right or wrong, there is only cause and effect.” This quote speaks volumes in a society fueled by situations that quickly escalate because of social media. Social media gives a voice to the unheard, but the problem is that people are ready to condemn others without completely looking at every aspect of the situation.  There really is no such thing in this world as a right or a wrong thing to do; however, individuals have his or her own opinion about everything/ For example, Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee for the National Anthem. Right or wrong depends on one’s opinion and which side of the debate one chooses. Various people will have different opinions on the subject. As such, when debating the issue, answers from one side of the argument are thoughts that one may never contemplate and the same hold true for each counterargument. It seems counterintuitive that Kaepernick’s cause was just an effect of the problem of police brutality in America. The simple truth is, Kaepernick’s action was a single cause, that resonates major effects across America.

 

Outrage in mainstream America appears to be Kaepernick’s largest contribution to his argument. For generations, the playing of the national anthem has been a sacred ritual before many sporting events around the country. This anthem is not only to honor the country and the American flag, but a time to reflect and honor the service men and women that fight for freedoms at a time when Americans feel as much loss from war as World war II. Military families, both past and present, are insulted by Kaepernick’s kneeling. Even  the newly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, issued a statement via twitter saying, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our country!”.  The Commander in Chief also ordered the owners of NFL teams to dismiss any players that kneel for the Anthem.

In addition to the public outrage, NFL ticket sales and network rating s plummeted as confirmed by ticket sellers such as  Tickpick and TicketCity. As professional football transformed into an entertainment business with some sport sprinkled into it, the game changed from the rough and tough players heroes like Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Earl Campbell, Decan Jones, and company. People now atted NFL games to drink a few beers, relax with some family and friends, and watch tremendous athletes display their talents which are making big time plays and entertaining fans. Speaking with long time football enthusiast, Chuck Nucci, he explained that he does not want to watch the NFL when it is involved with politics. Nucci states, “I love football and I watch it for the love of the game. As soon as politics are involved, it’s not enjoyment anymore”. Many Americans feel the same as Nucci which explains the rapid decline in NFL ticket sales.

Like the NFL, collegiate football suffers from Kaepernick’s actions. Rowan University, along with other American colleges, now retain the players in the locker room until the national anthem is over. I have a personal experience as a football player; I would step onto the field, ready to hear the National Anthem and pay homage to our flag, country, service men and women only to find out the Anthem had already been played for the fans, and not for the players. Personally for me, the time before a game when I would hear the anthem was a time of great pride, and gave me chills. I would look at Old Glory waving in the wind, and think how thankful I was to play the great game of football in the greatest country in the world. “The Star- Spangled Banner” actually psyched me up as I prepared for “battle” as players and coaches call it. Many of my peers would often feel the same disappointment along with me, no matter the color of their skin, because the playing of the national anthem is a time to honor, not a time to protest.

Kaepernick’s kneeling was also an eye opener to a lot of people, including myself. I personally follow NFL news pretty closely, and I’m not sure if him not being able to find a job as an NFL quarterback has made bigger headlines than just NFL Network. Since Kaepernick decided to defy the only thing that everybody knew, which was standing for the National Anthem, he cannot find a job anywhere. No NFL team wants to bring him on the roster because he peacefully protested, which is his constitutional right to do. His protest might have been seen as “disrespectful to the servicemen and women,” but he did not make a mockery out of the Anthem like some players are doing now. Nobody wants to put their name out for Kaepernick, but they will for players like LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills. McCoy was seen stretching, and absolutely making a mockery of the National Anthem, and the Buffalo Bills owner and staff had nothing to comment on the matter. This is a double standard, because both men did not participate in the National Anthem, but one did it peacefully, and one made a mockery out of the deal. If McCoy’s actions were not held against him and he is still employed, Kaepernick’s actions, and decision to take a knee and start a peaceful protest should not be held against him.

There have been many causes and effects that came from Kaepernicks decision to take a knee in the preseason game on August 26th, 2016, from outrage, to unemployment. Any way you slice it, Kaepernick made history with his actions, and with history there is going to be some sort of disagreement. Either way you look at it, either idolizing Kaepernick for his courage, or look down on him for his blatant “disrespect,” there is no such thing as right or wrong, there is only cause and effect.

Berr, Jonathan. “NFL National Anthem Protest Denting Ticket Sales.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 29 Sept. 2017, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-national-anthem-protest-denting-ticket-sales/.

Branch, John. “Please Rise for Our National Anthem — If You’Re Not Too Busy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Oct. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/01/sports/football/nfl-anthem-protest.html.

Nucci, Chuck. Personal Interview 10, November 2017.

Robust Verbs- Theadmiral

In Vancouver, a huge problem with heroin addicts committing crimes to support their habits has ARISEN. Although crime rates are at an all time high because of these addicts, the “free heroin for addicts” program has aided in helping people with this addiction. For an addict, getting through the day can be hard because their addiction is so strong, and often makes it difficult to interact in their places of work, with friends, and have relationships. Because their addiction cannot be broken, they will do whatever they have to do to get their hands on the drug. Breaking and entering, and theft are only some of the crimes these users will commit for their fix. No limits exist as to where they will go to retrieve this drug so their addiction can be fed. Even though the program has the right idea, and helping out the crime rates, we are not helping those addicted to heroin. By providing drugs to users, they will not have to commit the minor crimes for money or drugs. The “free heroin for addicts” program will also provide needles and a safe using environment, so the hospitals do not have to get involved. The program will help clean up the city of Vancouver, but not the lives of users.

E10: Enough About You- Theadmiral

Money seems to have a big role in our society;  Can’t do much or get far if our bank accounts are empty. Money is valuable in different ways, even when it’s not seen physically. In today’s society, we must have faith in the government and in the banking system that your money is being handled in the proper manner; if not, then money would have to be hidden in mattresses, and all around the house. I have no clue what happens in the banks, or how they take care of your money. I always thought money was simple; it’s either there or nonexistent.—that’s it. However, being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. Money isn’t actually being transferred. When we are paid, there is no transfer of cash, or a physical check anymore, just a trust that more money will show up in our accounts.