There is apparently as seen in Trump a visceral harsh reaction people have against these black men kneeling -- a traditional reverent gesture. They loathe this although all know it is in response to the reality that police murder black peope with impunity on the streets and they are subject to mass incarceration solitary confinement for years on the flimiest of charges. If they ever got out, they can never vote again. On PBS reports (!) it was reported a large percentage of the murders in the US are by police (some 11% of murders by strangers).
Reaction by enough people to make the FBI forbid it: deep resentment. You might think tthis such a innocent way to protest injustice. This also shows a lack of support for free speech. People are labelled “Marxist” for sympathizing with the kneelers.
Let me explain.
Yes it's the humblest of gestures and that is what the average or majority of white Americans resent. They resent being shown they are fierce beasts who need to be placated. I say we cannot fall back on non-violence as a vulnerable and now openly oppressed group (women, minorities, workers deprived all rights by the supreme court, hispanic people, Muslims, non-citizens and legal immigrants too) but myself detest conflict as a way of getting what you want, aggression (I have ever disliked abrasive men), violence. (Indeed I doubt that violence will give you precisely what you want as a revolutionary group; far from it when the violence is done: rather forcing negotiation somehow out a position of power you gain through persuasion). The US is a culture founded on dense aggression. Some white Republications hated Obama because he was not keeping up "pride." Trump's people have made vulnerable a non-permitted word.
As for free speech, my sense is this is more fiercely a conformist society literally than any I've been in: far more than Canada, the UK, what I saw in Italy when I was there by myself in the later 1960s for 5 weeks. France seemed very controlled (another 5 weeks there with the advantage of knowing the language) . The US is also a religious country, the most religious I've been in and that fosters group dictatorship in most religions. It's an offence to them to reveal our common humanity and accuse them of not having any heart because it's true. How embarassing the British counterparts of the upper class were at Michael Curry's speech actually taking a requirement we all love one another seriously (he quoted Martin Luther King too). Some were visibly annoyed (under the big hats) or rolled their eyes. See Two Weddings (there were other weddings on May 19th.
Thus country had a socialist group and movement at the opening of the 20th century (ran serious candidates for powerful offices) but the rich were too rich and they destroyed what they could in the second half of the 19th century and then invented the FBI in the 1920s. So -- think about it -- Nazi and Birchite groups thrive and now proliferate with the Internet. Read Zinn's People's History of the US. It is fine for white young men to murder who they please -- "everyone knows "as Leonard Cohen says in the song what is in front of them. Is it that they will not see why the "war on terror" continues in the Middle East or the actualities of colonialism in Africa India Latin and South America. The stalest of lies used about why the US invaded Iraq (to help them get liberty, because Hussein had weapons of mass destruction) and the reality what the Iraqis said we did (to smash their country to steal as much as we could from them) as what happened bears out. Arms manufacturers made a fortune, so did Cheney and US and French and British oil companies. The war in Iraq was a win for Bush II; he did what he wanted to do and rewarded his class and cronies. I mention this because this is what Trump wants to do: he said as much in running for President, get in there and take their oil. And Guiliani repeated that one with relish and a smile on his face. He said something to the effect that that is what governance is for. And in Israel we have classic setter colonialism. Now those who want to kneel in protest are name-called Marxist. They are asking for a compassionate society.
The background to all this (also stifling protest) is how much harder to job it is and the process more brutal than the past 20 years -- far more demanded in interviews, far more hazing, more documents, and more people left out to starve or whatever. That's American too: we walk by the homeless. The black men would have no jobs if they were not athletes so the reaction is, How Dare They? why are they not grateful? Don't they know they are black! Race power is all in many places in the US today. Caste systems based on more than many springing up all over US colleges.
I got all my jobs from my first in 1963 simply by a single interview; the last paid one I did this for was in 1989. And the one I have at both OLLIs -- because this one is voluntary (unpaid). In the US if you work for no money finally (JIm correct here) the hegemonic point of is that are unworthy, There must be something wrong and as part of her dense irritation a woman who was the liasion representative for one of my OLLI classes this spring would not give me the the money in envelope (when I said to her question, I preferred money) and instead bought me a prestigious super-expensive flower. I get a version of a ceramic or sewn art -- who gives money to someone? it's degrading to her to participate in this "honorarium."
Bullying is fine. Of course it's okay to put a torturer who is on record as enjoying it at the head of the CIA. The supreme court decision was another body blow: individuals with grievances against companies, such as wage theft, can’t combine into class actions suits—outrageous—what individual can afford to sue for say, $3,000 in wage theft if it will cost $5,000 for a lawyer? And today Trump has followed it up by being to tear apart Federal job security: let no one say he is a moron when he knows what specific measures to take to render it so much easier to fire and give less recourse to protest.
But kneel? it gives the hypocritical game away.
It takes strength to survive in US society -- individual strength. Leonard Cohen's life is a testimony to how much strength he had I now know (I took a good course in his life and music and songs this past spring at one of the OLLIs -- the man worked for 9 months for fre to do that) as he stubbornly told the truth.
Miss Drake still