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John Homan: Taking a stand for journalists, the media, Colin Kaepernick

 
By John Homan
Managing Editor
jhoman@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 9/12/2018 2:28 PM

I thought long and hard about what I could write about this week that wouldn't tick off at least half of you.

And I've got nothing.

The bottom line is that I can't make everyone happy with what I choose to discuss, so I won't even try.

What has my hackles up this week is the continuous assault on the character of journalists nationwide, the depiction of the media as an evil empire and the ongoing high-speed come-apart some folks have with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

First things first.

No, Virginia, the media is not the enemy. In fact, the media has been one of the greatest allies to the American people for more than 200 years.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

Never did I think I would have to defend my brothers and sisters of the print and broadcast media with such a truthful statement.

With few exceptions, journalists don't write or broadcast fake news. They just don't. And for anyone to think so is ... well ... lacking in intelligence.

Reporters dig for and report almost always accurately what they have seen firsthand or retrieved from reliable sources.

As for Kaepernick and his new deal with Nike, so what?

Why the moral outrage over a shoe company giving a mega contract to a former professional athlete -- a black man who chose to kneel during our national anthem?

Why should a silent protest be viewed so harshly? Yeah, I get it, people are honked off, thinking that it's disrespectful of the flag or disrespectful of the men and women who serve or served our country.

But maybe we mostly white folks are missing the point here. Maybe just maybe, we should put our righteous indignation to the side and put ourselves in that black man's shoes for just a moment.

What better way to draw attention to a national problem than through a peaceful protest before a nationally televised game? There was no game disruption. No defiant words. Simply a kneel down.

Would I kneel during our national anthem? No, I have never entertained that thought, but then again, I am not a black man whose race has frequently been targeted unfairly, resulting in many unnecessary deaths.

So, because I can't possibly understand the pain and anguish of his people, I choose not to judge him. I fully understand the kneel down, and support his and others' peaceful demonstration, even though I don't agree with it.

After all, such protest is the bedrock of our nation's beginnings. How could we forget that?