Navy SEALs Sic Dogs On Colin Kaepernick Stand-In, For Racist Giggles!
Nothing ever truly disappears on social media, so it wasn't shocking that a video resurfaced of a demonstration last year at a Navy SEAL museum fundraiser. What was shocking, coming so soon after John Lewis's funeral, was the content: Military dogs attacked a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey. This was someone's idea of a joke.
It's horrible to see, especially for those of us with the ancestral memory of white men in uniforms siccing dogs on us. It's why I still won't allow one in my house. I'm afraid Donald Trump would go
Order 66 or something and Fido will suddenly turn Cujo on me.
In another video, after “Navy SEALs and Navy SEAL dogs take down Colin Kaepernick for not standing during National… https://t.co/1pvtUpnoGq— Billy Corben (@Billy Corben)1596390034.0
This was posted on the US Navy's Instagram account with the caption: "Colin Kaepernick stand in Josh gets attacked by 5 Navy SEAL dogs for not standing during the National Anthem at a Navy SEAL Museum fundraiser."
Kaepernick was the model of a peaceful protester, and he's also the model of conservative hypocrisy regarding protests. It doesn't matter that a Green Beret advised Kaepernick to kneel instead of simply sitting. It doesn't matter that kneeling is universally considered a sign of respect. Conservatives were never going to listen. They don't support any form of protest or self-expression that challenges their fossilized world view. They are snowflakes that melt on contact with the ground.
Even after the death of George Floyd, conservatives still pretend not to understand what Kaepernick was protesting in the first place. Byron York at the Washington Examiner couldn't manage the white man's burden of witnessing a majority of NBA players kneeling before a game. He tweeted in apparent dismay:
Colin Kaepernick won. When he started, just one athlete refused to stand for national anthem. Now, just one athlete refuses to kneel during anthem. In course of weeks, a complete collapse of hallowed American ritual.
Kaepernick's objective wasn't the "collapse" of a "hallowed American ritual." He was protesting against police violence, which we haven't come close to defeating. The police still brutalize and murder Black people whose names aren't hashtags like Floyd or Breonna Taylor. Nietzsche said there wasn't enough love and kindness in the world to permit us to waste it on imaginary things. Conservatives should demonstrate that they care about Black lives before they spend time weeping for a flag or a badge.
Southern sheriffs unleashed the hounds on Martin Luther King, John Lewis, and countless other peaceful protesters during the Civil Rights Movement. It's not fucking funny to cosplay a Black man mauled by dogs because he didn't demonstrate some hollow version of patriotism.
The US Navy SEALs released a statement Sunday reassuring us that this was an “independent organization's event" and there were "no active duty Navy personnel or equipment" involved.
"The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the US Navy," the statement said. "We are investigating the matter fully."
The video was so inconsistent with the US Navy's values that it was freely shared on social media for all to see.
I assume the people involved in this racist stunt believe they are defending “liberty" and “freedom." If so, I can only invoke the words of President Andrew Shepherd from
The American President:
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.
Involuntary expressions of patriotism are commonplace in most tyrannical regimes. That's not the United States of America, at least in theory. Practicing its ideals has always been this country's problem.
The American President Finale Speech youtu.be
Stephen Robinson on Twitter.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."