Scott Bill Hirst’s letter to the editor, “Protesting with respect is more productive,” in the Saturday, Oct. 7, Westerly Sun obliquely criticizes the wave of NFL player protests of systemically endemic police brutality against minorities. This brutality has resulted in multiple deaths of black men that, like this country’s mass murder sprees, have a two- to three-day shelf life of injustice outrage before we settle back to business as usual, bracing for the next premature end of fragile life that we can only hope doesn’t occur to or near me.
Just as there’s no “time and place” of injustice that can be present round the clock 24/7 that this century’s cellphones now capture, can there be a “time and place” for expressing disapproval against it?
Were the NFL protests disrespectful? I say no way, since these brave acts of patriotism remind us that this country was founded on the great “all men are equal” principles, but we need to do better living up to this noble idea. Did the NFL players impede progress? No! Utilize resources? No! Aid an enemy or support the competition? No! What the players did was ask people to consider that the Constitution’s awesome guarantee of equality becomes less awesome when compromised and not practiced.
The writer suggests, “A group of them should set an appointment with the president directly to air their views,” which should be quite easy for all of the protesters if the owners follow President Trump’s demand to “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” That makes me hesitant to think Trump might be neutral or even interested to hear the NFL players’ views. The letter closes, “Recent times show we need to be a lot more respectful in our politics and opinions.” I suggest Mr. Hirst set an appointment with his president directly to air this view.
Jay Lustgarten, Westerly