Dear Protesters of the 2017 Super Bowl,
You do not represent me. I am a quadruple minority; or a queer, disabled woman of color, or; well actually I’m just me, and those labels you put on me don’t represent me or many other people you claim to be “resisting” for. On behalf of all those who may be labeled a minority and just want to watch Super Bowl 51 in peace, we say…your protests don’t speak for us!
As a retired liberal activist I see the tactics for what they are. Some of it is straight from Saul Alinsky’s playbook (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_for_Radicals). Quite frankly it was ideology like “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” or “Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem” that made me first question many of the progressives pet causes. Tactics like Alinsky’s serve to keep genuine dialogue from happening. Yes debate has its place, but not every dialogue needs to be a platform for debate. Targeting the Super Bowl for protests makes for great PR but ignores segments of peoples within the confines of their focus.
Those ignored are folks like me, my wife, and the many peoples you claim to speak for. There are plenty of people of color, women, legal immigrants, gay/lesbian/bisexuals, disabled, etc. who you don’t speak for, represent, or are helping. Your rhetoric is steeped in the goal of disruption for its own sake; that the act of the disruption will be enough to change minds. It doesn’t. Instead it drives those already leaning away from you further, and ultimately influences moderates to nearly run in your opposite direction.
This may come as a shock to the programmed social justice warriors out there but some of us minorities enjoy some respite once in a while. Since y’all claim to know how oh-so-hard our lives are, then you’d know that sometimes minorities need a break from all the noise of life’s concerns and woes. There needs to be time to focus on something else. Fun is a good thing to focus on! Relaxing and having fun is even better! Relaxing while having fun and eating fried foods while drinking beer is practically heaven on earth for some of us downtrodden minorities. Undermining our opportunity for healthy competition, enjoyment, and a moment to forget politics, undermines every American who you say you speak for.
Not every event, show, neighborhood, and even group of people has to be political. In fact the beauty of our government is that as an American citizen you get to tell your elected officials exactly what you think anytime you want. You get to
annoy tell your friends, family, neighbors and grocery clerks whatever you want at anytime; of course if you do, you run the risk of hearing an opinion different from your own, but in this country, you can talk basically to anyone. Instead you choose to hide in a crowd and speak at your fellow citizens…not for them or to them. You know you can’t do this face to face, person to person, so you hide together to bully so called conservatives into behaving.
Of Tom Brady one person commented “Must be nice to have the privilege of being able to ignore politics b/c you’re not a woman, black, a refugee, Muslim, LGBTQ…” With all due respect to writer, no ma’am anyone with a television signal has the privilege to not think about politics for a few hours. That’s a lot of people to be admonishing if you think about it. The strategists behind these protests forget to admit that they need those privileged television watchers or their point goes unheard. Face to face they may be quiet, yet in a group they are like children looking for attention.
They fear true confrontation and debate. This is how groups like Black Lives Matters finds their converts, by promising power in the collective. They speak unity and peace but it is a false peace. Its forked tongued approach tells us they are for us, then they turn around and rebuke those who don’t fall in line with their message.
For example ESPN correspondent Sage Steele, who is both female and black was in essence called a race traitor for speaking up for the refugees who missed their planes during the protests at LAX. She was also compared to Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks because apparently all black women should be like the black women we were told about in school. Should all white men act like George Washington too?
This week people yelled that gay conservative Milo Yiannopoulos was “anti-gay” during the Berkeley riots. Two women in Washington DC during the inauguration were spit on and screamed at by other women because they went to an event honoring their loved ones who had served and died for our country.
They use racism to decry racism. They use physical threats to shut down a gay person. They “love” women by spitting on them when they…ironically stand up for what they believe in. If these soldiers without a war are going after Steele, Yiannopoulos, Ryan Manion & Amy Looney, they’ll come for me and you and anyone else who doesn’t adhere to their misplaced rage. Who ever said “love is love is love and everyone else f**k off” really meant it. The rest of us: including those of us so called minorities who think for ourselves, speak for ourselves, and debate for ourselves can f**k off. We don’t count and we don’t have the right to have fun or relax when we have earned it. I believe there’s a word for not letting people rest after hard work: enslavement.
We live with the smug and hypocritical rhetoric because we have to. That’s part of living in a free country. People can attempt to disrupt airports, traffic, national sports events, and whatever else they want. My gratitude for such freedom is endless. To pretend though, that such protests represent the very people the organizers mention in their news interviews…is pure fallacy.
If you don’t have privilege, you better love or else, tolerate or else, be mad or else tomorrow. But if for some reason you have the privilege of being able to watch Super Bowl 51, enjoy what you can, ignore the bullies, and eat an extra hot wing for me.
(btw: full disclosure…sometimes I’m smug and hypocritical too)