Kneeling Black Men, Running White Predators

Sometimes the truth about America appears in black and white.

Sometimes it comes with unmistakable clarity, even if you’d rather not see what you’re seeing.

On the same day this week, former NFL quarterback-turned pariah Colin Kaepernick received GQ’s Citizen of the Year award—while GOP senate candidate Roy Moore (now the subject of several sexual assault accusations), received bold public expressions of support from white celebrity evangelists and Republican politicians.

These very same professed Christians and supposed lovers of America, have spent the past two years incessantly crucifying Kaepernick. The then-San Francisco 49ers QB began kneeling during the National Anthem to bring awareness to the racial inequities in this country, most specifically with regard to the conduct of law enforcement and lawmakers. He and those who joined him were clear and repeated in their intentions and their methods: they wanted to save the lives of people of color. They wanted to be treated with simple equality. That turned out to be a rather offensive gesture, apparently.

Kaepernick was subsequently essentially blacklisted from the league by white team owners all cowering in the face of their Conservative patrons, who branded the protesting players traitors—aided in large part by a race-baiting President who changed the narrative from one of racial equality, to one of insulting the Military, even bragging that the “sons of bitches” should be fired.

Over the past year, Kaepernick and the current players continuing to take a knee, have been the subject of a steady stream of white-hot, white outrage from men like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Papa Johns Pizza owner, John Schnatter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—along with a predatory parade of opportunistic GOP politicians and preachers all looking to cash in on the phony Nationalistic fervor and moral histrionics.

Enter Roy Moore—a white man running for Senate in the Alabama Bible Belt; a man now accused by five different women of sexual assault; one allegedly occurring when the victim was only 14; a man whose predatory past has been well documented.

And yet, even with such a swirling storm of suspected atrocities (the kind of allegations instantly destroying careers elsewhere)—these supposed “family values”, Conservative, Christian white folks are now inexplicably lining up to profess even greater support for Moore.

Well, perhaps it’s not that inexplicable. In fact, perhaps it’s quite easily explained.

Maybe this isn’t about morality to them at all.
Maybe it isn’t about America or Patriotism or respecting the Military.
Maybe it isn’t about Jesus or family or protecting children.
Maybe it’s never been about safety in public restrooms or the sanctity of marriage.
Maybe it’s never been about what is right.

Maybe this is just a good ol’ fashioned racism, that sadly still plays all too well to the white Evangelicals so willing to buy the narrative of scary, bad black men and perpetually oppressed white heroes who like grabbing girls.

That seems to be where Kaepernick went wrong.

For years now he’s been trying in vain to get white, GOP Christians to come alongside him and to publicly support him in his cause of justice—and has been met with enmity and condemnation.

Instead of kneeling before a football game to call attention to racial injustice, he should have harassed young girls at a mall (or worse).

He should have done that—or simply been white.

Today he’d be deemed a noble man worthy of their public adoration.

Today he’d be a GOP leader.

Today he’d be an Evangelical hero. 

Today he’d be their “citizen of the year”.


Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.


36 thoughts on “Kneeling Black Men, Running White Predators

  1. Had he, a black man, done as you suggested: “Instead of kneeling before a football game to call attention to racial injustice, he should have harassed young girls at a mall (or worse)” he would have ended up like Emmett Till.

  2. Jerry Jones and company need to field a lily-white professional football team, no Jews, no Arabs, no liberal Christians, no Latter-day Saints, no native Americans (ever hear of Jim Thorp?), no Catholics.
    I want to bet against that team.

  3. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    It is entirely at your discretion to run your own blog as you see fit. But when people who visit for the sake of dialogue see post after post go days on end without their remarks being added, they see little point in following you.

    I understand wanting to elevate the conversational decor, but at the rate we’re going, there will be no conversation.


    • True. I have already kindly expressed that same concern to John and suggested that he might want to turn moderation over to a person who actually has the time to do it—and maybe pay them to do it. As a ministry grows, a time inevitably comes when the job of ministry becomes too large for a single person to do all by themselves. Billy Graham and many others learned that across the years. John is going to have to learn that too—and I think he will.

  4. The core of this problem is deeper than racism. It is childism. Specifically child-rapism. Every condition necessary to justify and sustain the rape of children is created by the Moore’s in power. The demand for children for sex is created by Moore et al. The supply of children, by women and families, requires mothers and fathers be broken. Racism in the US justifies rape of children of color. Breaking women and men of color turns them into foot soldiers on the streets, doing the dirty work of the generals, who recline in mansions and yachts, having orgies with our babies.

  5. Can you even imagine the uproar and outrage if Colin Kaepernick had been accused by just ONE woman of sexual harassment? This was what got many a black man in decades past hung by vigilantes — the KKK — in the south, many of whom were innocent!!! In fact, the reason for Kaepernick beginning kneeling in protest to injustice is the same vigilantism that takes place in our justice system and in our police forces today. If a person has dark skin they are considered guilty until they can prove themselves innocent — IF THEY CAN. It wasn’t all that many years ago that a black man was tied ALIVE behind a pickup truck by some white men who drove the truck pulling the man until he died. Yes, it is WHITE TERRORISTS who are killing this country — not just people but the very truths that were self-evident to our founding fathers. WHEN and HOW will it end?

  6. On a very few occasions I have family members ask me why I have so little faith in humanity in general and many of my fellow Southerners in particular. You have eloquently described the reason for this. It is clear that the Wealthy White Republican Trump Jesus with an AK-47 is the one being worshiped by them instead of the homeless, poor, brown Jesus of Nazareth who what tortured and murdered for speaking the truth, without hate.

    Moore will be elected to the Senate. He could have killed and ate babies long ago and somehow the story will be so twisted into him being a hero for it. After all, who are they going to believe? Thousands and thousands of women who are trying to get their stories of rape and sexual assault out because there is now a slim hope that they will finally be believed or a few old powerful white men spouting off “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” ? These days seem so dark for those of us that want Christians and ourselves to do what Jesus of Nazareth said we must do.

    • Killed and eaten babies and still get elected? How about killing babies and selling their body parts and supporting that horror and still be elected? That would apply to every Democrat politician and to those like you who support them. But your jesus says it’s ok.

  7. I remember when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and he said, “We just gave the south to the Republicans.”

    The election AL, I have become convinced has nothing to do with which candidate is better suited for public office, which candidate is the most moral.

    The election in AL is about racism. A vote for Jones is a vote for people who love blacks (I can’t bring myself to use the ugly phrase that says this) which a vote for Moore is a vote to keep uppity people in their subservient places.

  8. Really enjoying your tweets and articles.
    It is good to hear clarity from the US when the British press is so full of trump.

  9. An interesting note, when Roy Moore was having these rumored issues with the mall, he was a Democratic. Didn’t become a republican until 1992. Not saying what happened or didn’t happen, I do know those behaviors are alleged activity from 40yrs ago. At the very least slimy behavior, probably criminal. But most of that article was rumors, about a man that has changed a lot even political affiliation. Because at the time he committed the alleged acts he was a Democrat. So is it really a case of Republicans vs Democrats. When I go to my job, which is a public service job, I have to smile be kind, keep my opinions to myself. I can’t even say I’m a Christian to a customer, I could get fired. I get yelled at and have to smile. If I give my opinion, upset the customer, insults the customer, I can loose my job and I make minimum wage. I guess I’ve learned that a job isn’t a place you can make a statement.

    • You could have stopped when you said you work for the government. You lost the right to express personal/political beliefs when you chose to accept that job. I understand, because I am also a public servant. Kaepernick is not, therefore he got to express himself. Of course, with free speech comes consequences, which he has suffered. So be it.

    • Or maybe he found a better cover in claiming to be a Republican and a follower of God. Seems to have worked out for him. He always has God to hide behind. He hasn’t used the excuse of being a Democrat yet. Maybe you should contact him. Right now he is blaming it on leftists, LGBTQ, and abortionists.

  10. The first people to settle in this country were not adverse to change. It was a momentous event to travel across the sea to a new land and start a new life. Yet as this country grew something called prejudice and bigotry grew. From the American Indians, black slaves, women, then other white people as each new ethnic group moved here to start a new life, then the Jewish, Japanese, Hispanics, LGBTQ, immigrants etc. Think about it, within every group people lost their lives to live here, to be considered more than 3/5 of a person, to vote, and just to be entitled to the same freedoms and everyone else.

    I looked up the word conservative and one of the meanings is adverse to change. So each and every attempt to enlighten those who still think that some should still be considered 3/5 of a person is met with fire and fury and screams of agony as some sort of attack on white people. I am not just speaking of black people I am speaking of all those who some feel do not deserve the same protections as everyone. Our President loves to call out these people – black men who kneel, transgenders in the military, immigrants, anyone and everyone who calls out this President’s lies, etc.

    Colin Kaepernick never had a chance. He was trying to make a statement about injustice. It was twisted and turned into something else just like the words pro-life, small government, US Debt, government waste, entitlements, takers and the swamp.

    Marching in the street was wrong, wanting culpable policemen held accountable didn’t work even with videos. Any discussion was met with cries of attacks on the rule of law. Passive kneeling was seen as an attack on the flag. Our President hugged the flag and kissed a piece of paper that was representing a non-existent tax form. He is disgusting and obviously can’t keep his hands or his mouth to himself. He shows no respect for this country, the flag, Americans, and even his own intelligence agencies. He does show respect for dictators, Russia, and everyone who feeds into his ego. His over the top braggadocio is forced on all of us daily, yet he constantly calls out others and makes every single thing about himself.

    I read an article by Politico today. It basically said that Liberals have to have a moral awakening also. I voted for Bill Clinton. I had reasons to be believe that although he was bad for women he was good for this country. It doesn’t make it ok. I know how women have been treated. I know that women have always, always been discouraged to speak up and were not believed when they did. I know this and I voted for Bill Clinton. I will not apologize that he was President but I will apologize for believing the best the for the country outweighed the damage to women. It did not. It is a horrible choice. It doesn’t matter about the “what about so and so.

    Men have been treating women this way always and now so many believe they just have to call them liars and it will all go away. Men who tell themselves they are not doing something despicable and odious will never apologize. They think that it is a woman place to accept this behavior. Rules and norms are for others. While conservatives have always claimed the moral high ground we know there are sinners on every side. Just as their high morals are a farce, liberalism can go too far also. And, for any woman who does lie about these atrocities you are just as evil as these men.

    I would hope this would cause a change in our behavior and I would hope that in the future we have to stop electing who we think is the lesser of 2 evils. We need to find qualified people who are not tainted by money, ego, prejudice and just plain evil. Our children and their children are counting on us.


  11. I was writing a really good comment—and Satan snatched it away write in the middle of my writing because of some sort of “burp” on your blog.

    I was writing about how only about 10-15 percent of people in fundie churches are actual, authentic Christians—a favorite statement made by the fundies themselves. I went on to say that the rest of the congregation is just there because they want to be saved from Hell—but outside of just saving their own skins—they do not give a warm sh*t about any of the things Jesus said or did. They do not want to follow Jesus. They do not want to have his mind in theirs (as the scripture says). They do not want to be like Jesus. They do not want to make the words of Jesus part of themselves. They do not want to do as Jesus did. They do not want to follow his New Testament commands. They do not want to emulate Jesus. They do not want to be the love of Jesus in the lives of their fellow men. They do not want to do the love of Jesus in the lives of their fellow men. They do not want to emulate Jesus in their own life and let that flow out to the rest of mankind.

    Nope. All they want is to be saved from Hell—and f*ck actually following Jesus.

    So naturally, 85 to 90 percent of the congregation is going to be QUIETLY or ANONYMOUSLY trapped up in racism and all manner of other vile stuff—and yeah—-when voting time comes—they rush right out to vote for a man who is just like “who they really are deep down inside.” You know—like Donnie or Roy.

    That is why the Mainline Christian churches do not try to recreate the highly charged emotions of 19th century American revivalism every Sunday morning in their worship services with fire and brimstone preaching about being saved from Hell. That is why we—instead— have Confirmation Classes for candidate church members. The purpose is to weed out the disingenuous halfwits who want to be saved from Hell—ALONE—but have no “true” understanding of Jesus and no true commitment to following Jesus and being like him—and the classes force the candidates to actually count the cost of truly following Jesus and all that doing it entails. To pass a Confirmation Class, you have to honestly do the Sinner’s Prayer part (knowing what repentance and grace really mean in-depth) and commit to actually following Jesus—knowing full well the COST of following Jesus in all of its dimensions.

    At the Mainline Christian churches, we BOTH save people from Hell AND make true disciples of Jesus as a prior condition of church membership—and we make sure (confirm) it before they can become church members.

    That is why we have rejected this high-strung, backwoods, rotton teeth, emotional ho-ho-hokum, come to the altar crawling on your knees and bawling like a baby crap that goes on in Christian fundamentalist, Pentecostal, and conservative evangelical churches. When 8 to 9 of every 10 members is coming to the altar scared sh*tless of Hell—and wanting only one thing—to escape from Hell—and not giving a crap about truly following Jesus as a Disciple—that is how you get a fundie church where 85-90 percent of the congregation consists of people who are “not real Christians.” Look fundies—you cannot deny your own often repeated aphorisms about the makeup of your own church congregations—and then turn right around and say that fire and brimstone preaching actually works when 85-90 percent of the people you bring in as members “are not real Christians.” That is an 80-90 percent failure rate folks!!!

    So, yes john Pavlovitz, that is precisely why so many of these Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals hate African-Americans and gladly lick the dirt off the boots of people like Trump and Roy Moore. They love Trump and Moore because they are “their kind of people.” I have lived in Tennessee long enough to know that. If a man slaps you on one cheek, what does a good fundie Christian in Tennessee do? Yep, he pulls out his illegal sawed-off shotgun and let’s go on the slapper with both barrels—right in the face. Would Jesus do that? Nope—and that is my point.

    • You’re making this too complicated. It’s very bad manners to use a captive audience in an entertainment venue to preach your sermons. I don’t think you would enjoy football players protesting abortion on the field, and neither would I, as someone who opposes this atrocity. It’s not the appropriate place to protest.

  12. Does anyone remember Anita Hill? She was treated horribly by a committee of 14 white men. So back then a man who was accused of sexual harassment was handed over a lifetime position as a Supreme Court Justice.

    I will acknowledge that Bill Clinton had a zipper problem. Will you acknowledge that you knew Donald Trump was a snake when you voted for him. All of you who have brushed off his words as “locker room” talk really are not telling the truth about honoring women. Do women deserve to be the topic of “locker room talk”? I thought locker room talk was more “I would like a piece of that” than let me brag about molesting a woman and I don’t have to ask if I can grab their body because they just let me do it because I am a star. Think about it – doesn’t it seem that is the exact mind set of a Harvey Weinstein? Only the guy who bragged that way in similar words is our current President. Yes women sure were sacred.

    • Excuse me, but Anita Hill was used to torpedo the confirmation of a great black Supreme Court Justice. She was part of a high-tech lynching orchestrated by Teddy Kennedy (who had his own zipper problems to the point of costing a young woman her life).

  13. I’ll take Colin Kaepernick any day over Roy Moore, Jeff Sessions and certainly Donald Trump! For one thing Kaepernick isn’t really kneeling during the anthem; he’s actually genuflecting, which is more often associated with religion. I can’t count the number of times in past years I’ve seen pro football players and other athletes jumping up and down, chewing gum or talking with teammates while the national anthem is being played or sung. Some sports commentators simply dismissed such behavior as one reason why we have freedom of expression in this country. So now, Kaepernick genuflects, and it’s suddenly offensive.

    That Moore is getting support from many fellow Republicans and right-wing evangelical Christians should not be surprising. Both groups have proven their hypocrisy through words and actions. While they rail against homosexuals, they often give a free pass to (mostly) White male adulterers. Decades ago conservatives said a divorced man would never be president. Then they elected Ronald Reagan who became the nation’s first divorced Chief Executive.

  14. So what are you guys going to do about PROVEN groper Al Franken? Does he get a pass? Or do you want him removed? Would you be ok with replacing him with a Republican? If not, understand that’s what you’re essentially asking of the people of Alabama. Because of alleged personal failures in the distant past of their candidate, they should convert from Republican to Democrat? (Note that liberal pro-choice pro-woman Al Franken also groped a woman while a Senator. And then there are the Kennedy boys who are all liberal heroes and you turn a blind eye to their womanizing).

    • Al Franken has done something these other guys have not. He admitted his sin in this regard, repented of it, and has asked for forgiveness. That looks like the Jesus program to me. Maybe Trump and Roy could find a way to get on the Jesus wagon too—but I am not going to hold my breath until they do.

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