Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t often speak publicly, but while promoting her new book, My Own Words, she used her words to admonish Colin Kaepernick and other athletes taking a knee or engaging in forms of protest in an interview with Yahoo today.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” the veteran justice told Katie Couric in the Yahoo News video. “Would I arrest them for doing it, no.”
Ginsburg seems to be on the side of those who feel the actions of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, Seattle Reign soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and scores of other athletes across the country are inappropriate, while failing to see the purpose of the protest themselves.
Comparing the kneeling to flag burning, Ginsburg called it “a terrible thing to do,” but said the protesters are within their rights and the law, as long as their actions don’t “jeopardize the health or well-being of other people.”
When Couric followed up for clarification, Ginsburg went further, saying, “If they want to be stupid, there is no law that should be preventive; if they want to be arrogant, there is no law that prevents them from that.”
Stupid? Arrogant? Really. I don’t see kneeling as an act of arrogance, no matter which direction you view it from. The way I see it, kneeling is emphasising the position all of us peoples who continue to be dominated are already in, and have been in that position for hundreds of years. It’s hardly a patch on the colonial-minded arrogance of ownership still sported by most Americans, and many of them proudly so. How is it stupid? It’s calling attention to a most deep, serious, and pervasive problem, without disruption. One could argue there’s a lack of respect, and yes, I’d agree, there’s a lack of respect for domination, control, a sense of ownership, a demand for servility, the embrace of racism as a good, and the ongoing murders of the dominated peoples. None of those things deserve respect, in any way.
This is incredibly disappointing from someone like Bader Ginsburg, and beyond disappointing. Goes to show how deeply implicit racism inhabits us all, no matter how liberal, open minded and fair we might consider ourselves.
Via The Advocate, full story here.