The never-ending protest
G.K. Chesterton wrote that people are quick to promote changes without thinking about the consequences of those changes. A good example of this is the current crop of kneelers, prominently playing in the NFL, ostensibly protesting widespread police brutality against blacks. Because they have no way of ever showing that their perceived injustice has been rectified, the unanticipated consequence of this is that they will be protesting forever.
The kneelers fail in two ways: their initial premise is false, and their chosen vehicle for change cannot withstand even a basic critical look. Much has been written about the former, and the kneelers and their supporters (which now include business-school elite Nike execs) clearly ignore it because to address it in any honest manner would be too difficult. They are incapable, at this point in their education, of building a logical sequence of thoughts to make a convincing argument for their side, or they are capable of that, yet they realize that all the facts necessary for such an argument point against them.
This short piece addresses the second failure mode of today's protesters: their vehicle for change cannot withstand scrutiny. They will not stand for the National Anthem – they will not stand and express pride in their country – until it is completely free of their perception of police hostility towards blacks. Completely.
That is impossible, and thus, they will spend the rest of their lives on their knees.
Let's assume for a minute that they are capable of convincing the rest of the country to agree to their "cops are racists" viewpoint, such that all of us take a knee when we hear the first bars of our anthem – an entire country ashamed of itself. Step One accomplished. But now we look at the consequences of their ideals: they are now stuck with the burden of removing, and then proving they've removed, every single officer with any hint of anti-black sentiment. That number is small right now, but they're somehow able to convince themselves that even that small number represents a pervasive problem. Thus, they would need to get it to zero – eliminate every single one. Only then could a police-on-black shooting be met with a response of "well, it's not a racist cop, so it may have been justified" instead of the standard community protest or reflex riot. Only then will these self-appointed gods give us permission to stand again.
Yet how can we expect these people to get us to that impossible point of absolute thought purity in our police force? These are the same people, of all races, who immediately designate every single police-on-black shooting as proof of racism. The rest of the country is able to see the obvious racism in that stance. The rest of the country recognizes the irrationality of "we are the arbiters of, and can prove we've eliminated, all racism." The rest of the country recognizes the impossibility of having a meaningful discussion with people who thrive only upon emotion, because they can't put together a realistic goal, a robust plan, or even a fact-based argument. The rest of the country recognizes that the path of these kneelers, built by their daily free choice to assume the worst in others, is a dead end of anger and bitterness.
And the rest of the country will stand and sing with pride in our nation and quietly say a quick prayer for the kneelers – that they might take a serious introspective look, find a change of heart, see the good in others, and appreciate the gift they've been handed, to be able to live in this God-blessed country.