Dear Donny: An Open Letter to El Trumpo

Dear Donny:

Remember how you said you wanted to make America great again? Well, that’s exactly what these kneeling athletes are doing. Like you, they are trying to make America great again. They are calling attention to what they feel are some of the shortcomings of our nation, areas in which can and should improve. Specifically, they are understandably alarmed by the seemingly endless string of police shooting of unarmed black men across America, and the incredible absence of justice on the behalf of these victims, as well as the overall racial injustice and inequity that has plagued our society for far too long.

Now is that disrespectful to our nation and its symbols? Is it any more disrespectful then you saying that America is no longer great, a claim on which you based your entire campaign?

Is it any more disrespectful than when you falsely claimed that the President of the United States – your predecessor, a man who won the popular vote, twice (the first to do so since FDR) – wasn’t even born in America (like two of your three wives), despite indisputable evidence that proved he was indeed born here?

Is it anymore disrespectful than claiming that neo-Nazis and the KKK, people who proudly denounce most of the ideals our nation holds sacred, are on equal footing with those Americans who showed the courage to defend those ideals?

Is it anymore disrespectful than claiming that a decorated war hero, who was tortured after his plane was shot down during battle, defending America’s freedoms in a war that you dodged, claiming that (despite being active in sports) you suddenly had “bone spurs” (a condition which, miraculously, “heeled” itself as soon as the war ended)?

And what about disrespecting the Presidency by spouting endless lies, especially the really sad ones that everyone knows aren’t true? Isn’t that disrespecting America in a far more intentional and impactful way than a handful of protesters silently taking a knee in a league you claim doesn’t have much viewership anyway?

I never understood the blind loyalty that people like you have to our nation and its symbols, until I realized that it’s neither loyalty nor blind. You are the first to bitch, moan, and protest whenever there’s something about America you don’t like. You know, like that time you tweeted that the President shouldn’t be talking about football when “our country has far bigger problems!” But when someone questions the things about America that you happen to like, then you immediately hide behind the flag and pretend that they don’t love our country, that they are disrespecting it, because they happen to be raising a concern you don’t share. That’s how cowards like you operate. You act like everything that comes out of your mouth is the only thing that matters, and whenever anyone questions you or dares to disagree with you, you cry out that they are either espousing fake news or claim that they don’t really love America.

You are the worst kind of hypocrite, Donny. Whenever an American says something about our country that you don’t like, you say shit like, “America, love it or leave it.” Yet you think it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize the country when there’s something about America that you personally don’t like, such as same-sex marriage, reasonably affordable healthcare, or high-placed government officials who use private emails while in office. Oh, wait, strike that last one.

Rather than say “love it or leave it,” why not simply try to change it, try to improve it? That’s all that these protesters are trying to do. And I’m guessing that’s what drove you to run for president, as opposed to your child-like need for attention. After all, if you didn’t like the things that were happening in this country, like these athletes who took a knee, you could have packed up trophy wife #3 along with the rest of your mildly retarded clan and fled to Nambia. You know, love it or leave it, eh?

Where would our nation be if we Americans didn’t protest against the injustices of the world, including right here at home? That’s what has made this country so great. Not a cheap cap with a slogan that did well with focus groups in rural Alabama. Speaking out against injustice is more American than apple pie. In fact, it’s our patriotic duty as Americans to tackle society’s wrongs.

And why are you so upset at people taking a knee during the national anthem? After all, that song, and our flag, are merely symbols of who we are, and how we conduct ourselves. Both were adopted long after ideals like liberty and justice for all. And isn’t that what our flag and anthem represent, things like the right to free speech and equal justice regardless of the color of one’s skin?

Since you are always quick to threaten to sue or imprison those who disagree with you, I assume you agree that our flag stands for the the rule of law. If so, then why are you disrespecting it by suggesting that these protesters be punished for taking a knee? After all, a smart guy like you must know that the United States Supreme Court ruled that Americans do not have to stand and salute the flag (West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette). Does this mean you don’t believe in the rule of law either?

Ask yourself this: what’s more important, the national anthem or the right to free speech? If you say that national anthem, not only would you make a better North Korean (where worship of national symbols is compulsory) than an American (where, as previously noted, worship of national symbols has been deemed voluntary by the Supreme Court), but you are also betraying your ignorance. The anthem represents free speech, so clearly what the symbol represents is more sacred than the symbol itself.

If you could be honest with yourself for a moment (I know it’s scary, after seven decades of incessant lies, but try to be brave for once in your life), do you think that the real reason you are upset with these people is because they have different views than you? Views that are hard to address, even for a competent leader, let alone someone like you? Or maybe it’s because you are still sore about the NFL giving you the cold shoulder all those years ago?

The truth is that America was founded on protests. Historically, we have always been a people who have rebelled against loudmouth leaders telling us what we can and cannot do. Hell, you can trace it all the way back to the Pilgrims and the Boston Tea Party. Though, I suppose if you were around then (come on, buddy, you’re not quite that old), you would surely have told the King to lock them sons of bitches up.

But let me stop right here, though. I’m sure you haven’t made it this far through the letter – not even if it was burrito night in the West Wing, leaving you with plenty of time on the toilet and little else to do. After all, I know you aren’t a big reader (all those words, and so few boobies!) and have the attention span of a 4 year-old meth head.

The bottom line is that you aren’t going to listen to a word I have said. Just like you won’t listen to the protesters (well, except for those “fine people” marching alongside the local Hitler Youth in West Virginia). I’m sure that by the time you wandered into the second paragraph of this letter, you had already dismissed me as an enemy of the state.

However, on the off chance that you did make it this far (perhaps you have run out of toilet paper and even the Secret Service are pretending they can’t hear you), let me leave you with this thought. If you really are so concerned with whether or not people respect our flag and anthem, then maybe you should focus on giving them more reasons to respect these symbols…and our nation as a whole.

You may stand during the national anthem and salute our flag, but if you do not honor and support the principles and ideals they represent, then you are disrespecting those symbols – and this country – far more than any of these protesters. And it has become painfully clear that you do not, in fact, support the principles and ideals our flag and anthem represent, including the freedom of speech, the rule of law, and justice for all. In fact, you seem to be more interested in the symbols of America than the principles and ideals they represent, which makes you the worst kind of American – a false patriot.

Disrespectfully Yours,

A Kneeling Patriot

Does Colin Kaepernick Deserve To Be On His Knees?

kaeperneeI was very supportive of the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick “taking a knee” during the national anthem as a form of protest against racism in America. As a public figure, his subtle protest helped draw additional attention to this critical issue. But after learning that the guy didn’t even bother to vote in this election, I can’t help but wonder if he deserves to be on his knees.

Kaepernick explained his decision not to vote by claiming that it didn’t matter who we elect to govern our nation. So, it seems, he chose to look the other way. Which is odd because, in explaining his justification for choosing not to stand in respect of our national anthem, he said that doing so “would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”

I’m not calling Kaepernick a hypocrite, as many have. This isn’t technically hypocrisy. It’s just stupidity. If you sincerely care about ending racism in America, why not do whatever you can – within the law, of course – to combat it? It’s easy to take a knee. But why draw attention to a problem when you are not willing to stand up and try to find a solution? Don’t just say there’s something wrong if you’re not willing to do something about it. Don’t look the other way. That’s just stupid…lazy…and selfish.

And despite my headline, I’m not suggesting Kaepernick deserves to be the subject of oppression and brutality simply because of the amount of melanin his DNA produces. No one should ever have to be on their knees, for anyone.

But people who refuse to participate in the democratic process certainly deserve whatever government they couldn’t be bothered to elect. And after this election, that should be abundantly clear to everyone who thinks voting doesn’t matter.

We’ve all experienced this to some degree. There always seems to be a coworker, friend, or neighbor who spends four years complaining about the politicians and the way they are running the country, and then you find out they didn’t even bother to vote.

It’s easy to bitch. But it’s not that hard to cast an educated vote, either.

To put it in terms that a quarterback should understand, imagine if your offensive line didn’t bother to do any blocking because the other team is stronger and faster. They may be stronger and faster, but damn it, man, at least try. Put some skin in the game, so to speak. You’re never going to gain an inch – let alone earn a victory – simply by taking a knee.

I used to think that if you really care about something – especially something as important as ending racism in America, and the world – the least you can do is cast a vote and try put people in power who share that vision. But I was wrong. The least you can do is take a knee.

Thanks for not standing up when it really mattered, you putz.

Dark Days for the Penis-Danglers

NFLpmIt seems like just last week I was lamenting the behavior of my fellow penis-danglers and their irresponsible and often reprehensible behavior towards women. In fact, it was last week, when I went off about everything from the miscreants stealing and posting women’s private pictures to the savages responsible for the epidemic of rape in this country.

Sadly, despite the aforementioned rant, the dickbags of this world may be down but not out. In fact, some of them are still swinging. Namely former American football player Ray Rice, who received a temporary suspension from the NFL along with losing his contract with the Baltimore Ravens after irrefutable evidence of spousal abuse was widely circulated in the news media. And while this sad saga has been all over the news, it’s gotten under my skin and I just can’t let it pass without some snarky comments.

Hitting the Down Button
The once popular running back was arrested back in February after video of him dragging his unconscious fiancee from an Atlantic City casino elevator made the rounds. Forty days later, he was indicted by a grand jury of third-degree aggravated assault as a result of the elevator incident. The next day, Rice and his victim got married. Love is blind, indeed.

These charges were later dropped, as his now wife stood by her husband and claimed some degree of responsibility for the incident (as many such victims do). The NFL suspended Rice for two games and required him to seek counseling.

That all changed earlier this week when the footage from inside the elevator went public. Rice clearly struck the woman with a brutal, intentional blow to the head, knocking her to the floor unconscious. Rather than showing any concern about her well-being, he dragged his fiancee’s lifeless body from the elevator like a sack of potatoes, which was the initial footage that had made the rounds back in February.

Punch-Drunk Love
His wife continues to stand by his actions, as is often – albeit bizarrely – the case in incidents of domestic assault. She has even offered the argument that she initially attacked him, and can indeed be seen slapping at the much larger man in the video footage.

But Ray Rice is 206 pounds of solid muscle. Couldn’t he have found a less violent way of subduing any threat – real or imagined – from the woman he claims to love, other than striking her in the head with such force that she was knocked to the ground unconscious?

Of course he could have. And he would have, if he wasn’t the kind of man that beats his wife, a gutless perpetrator of spousal abuse.

The incident occurred on a Saturday night, the day after Valentine’s Day. Was this a lover’s quarrel? Hell no! Lovers don’t knock each other out. There’s always another way. WWJZD? Indeed, what would Jay-Z do? He was on the receiving end of an apparent elevator beating from his sister-in-law recently, and he sucked it up and took the hits. And he’s not even a muscular professional football player in his prime. At least in this regard, the rapper seems tougher than the running back.

Shedding Light on the Darkness
Rice’s behavior was in no way typical, responsible, excusable, or forgivable. I know his wife has forgiven him and publicly attacked all those who have condemned his behavior towards her. But she is wrong.

I’ve known a few women over the years who have unfortunately been the victims of domestic abuse. And I almost said “confessed to being the victims” in the previous sentence because that somehow seemed more natural. But being a victim of abuse shouldn’t be something that one has to confess to. They are the victims. Confessions are for the perpetrators, not the victims.

No matter how many times domestic violence is explained to me, I never can quite understand it. I don’t understand why a guy like Rice would resort to such violence. I have never even felt the urge, let alone the perceived need, to strike a woman (unless, of course, she was begging for a spanking, but that’s a different thing entirely).

Violence has its place, but not among your family and friends. Personally speaking, no matter how loud and out of control I may become (and I certainly have tested the limits over the years), no matter how bat-shit drunk and disorderly I might get, none of my friends and family have ever had to resort to physical violence to bring me under control.

A high-powered blow to the head is the kind of thing you deliver to someone who is seeking to do you imminent harm. Was Rice’s fiancee that great of a threat to him? Certainly not. An argument with a friend, let alone someone you love, can always be settled by less violent means. In this case, a man as strong as Rice could have easily used a simple bear hug to subdue her until calmer heads prevailed.

Yet even more baffling for me, and I suspect for many of my fellow penis-danglers, is the behavior of the victims in these incidents. I wasn’t entirely surprised by his fiancee’s allegiance because I’ve seen that all too often, where the victims inexplicably feel like they deserved to be belted in the head, lying unconscious in a casino elevator the night after Valentine’s Day. Many blame themselves and believe they deserve what they got. It boggles the mind.

The Painful Truth
This was not an argument. This was not a lover’s quarrel. This was not marital problems. This was aggravated assault. Domestic violence. Inexcusable behavior. Criminal behavior. I understand why perpetrators of such crimes fail to understand that, because they don’t want to accept the fact that they are violent criminals. But I remain baffled as to why the victims often don’t realize that, or at least not right away.

And maybe that says a lot about the roles we have shaped for one another in our society, that women and children can be made to feel at fault for someone else’s aggressive and abusive behavior. With all the violence and troubles we are facing around the world, it’s horrifying to think that we are a so capable of (and willing to) hurt the ones we supposedly love here at home. This violence, this abuse, and this disrespect towards women must stop. We cannot go on like this. Damn it, men, I want to get back to writing about doughnuts!