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    Ambassadors of Conscience

    It seems that notwithstanding a pathological level of data ingestion, I overlooked (maybe you did too....) the significance of the award to Colin Kaepernick by Amnesty International (whose doings normally register on me, i swear it...).


    So, it seems, Amnesty gave him this year's "Ambassador of Conscience award.


    "Get tht sonofabitch off the field and up here to get his statuette!"


    The fat fuck in the White House has usefully informed us this week that the protests sparked by Kaepernick address issues not germane to their proponents.


    In assessing the seriousness of thought underlying the contrary analysis, I offer for your useful perusal the company in which Kaepernick finds himself::


    Ambassador of Conscience Award

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    The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights award. It celebrates individuals and groups who have furthered the cause of human rights by showing exceptional courage standing up to injustice and who have used their talents to inspire others. It also aims to create debate, encourage public action and raise awareness of inspirational stories and human rights issues.



    Thanks for the post

    Seems like he meets the standard as a Civil Rights leader.

    I suppose the question is how he will continue on his path, now that it's been somewhat established ... whether it's as a civil rights "leader" is up to him.  What, exactly, does it mean to meet the standard?  For that matter, what is the standard?

    The standard is the one set by the black community. A critical mass of black people view Kaepernick as a hero. Donald Trump solidified Kaepernick’s image as someone who challenges a racist system. Jerry Jones loves the fact that his boy Dak Prescott is not going to kneel. Jim Brown, the guy who met with Trump at Trump Tower, would not be taking a knee. Prescott and Brown make Kaepernick an icon. LeBron James called Trump a bum. Steph Curry refused to go to the White House. The black community chooses their heroes.

    The standard is the one set by the black community.

    Is there no room for anyone else, including him, in this preset standard?  Seems like a strict line required for one to walk regardless of their personal preference or opinion.  Almost as though they are expected to be what the community requires of them no matter what, once they've reached that level.  The preconceived standard.  Personally, I'd hate being labeled that way - even if a "critical mass" chose me as their "hero".  I mean really, who the hell are you as a community or anything else to tell someone who they are and what they should do?

    He may choose that path - which will likely be a rocky one for him for multiple reasons - or he may not.  But his standard is set by him.



    I was simply noting the support Kaepernick had in the black community. Something akin to the feeling about the raised fist protest at the Olympics as a symbol of resistance. I provided a link to a supportive article below.

    To be blunt, I don't think you are seeing the anti-U.S. tribe vs. U.S. tribe message of the award. It's about globalism and universal human rights of individuals. Not tribes, individuals. And he accepted it. Mho, too often you seem to support tribe vs. tribe messages, you seen very much into loud and proud black community tribe fighting for their share against everyone else and I think you don't see how counterproductive that approach can sometimes be.

    The raised fists protests were a different message in context of that time and place, I saw them as anti-U.S. and truth be told, threatening in a way. Kapaernick's kneeling has what appears to me as having an intentionally humble effect. Nelson Mandela as a prize winner is a good precedent to think about.

    The country is tribal. That is important to know. It is vital from a mental and physical stress standpoint. You realize that there are people who simply don’t like you because of your skin color. It is also important to recognize institutional barriers. You have to due detailed review of data getting loans and when making high cost purchases. Heck DuBois realized the duality of citizenship in the United States. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. agreed. Reverend Barber and a host of others say the same thing today. I think that a black man who doesn’t note the tribalism is ripe for the slaughter. I noted in the past, many white Progressive friends are actually angrier than I am. They recognize that tribes and are allies.

    I think that a black man who doesn’t note the tribalism is ripe for the slaughter.

    That your life, and those of others, has led you to that belief breaks my heart, rm.  It also tells me that no words will dissuade you.

    Yet (like I'm just gonna shut up?), your following two sentences sound an awful lot like a white person loudly declaring that they have black friends ...

    My actual point is that I am surprised that you have not heard similar comments from black people. D.L. Hughley was on Real Time this weekend. Harvard professor Steven Pinker was a guest. Pinker presented data that indicted how life was improved for blacks compared to the past. He noted research that indicated blacks were happier now than in the past. Hughley interrupted the discussion pointing out that black men were still getting shot by police. Hughley’s response was a natural one to me. When Michael Eric Dyson, Eddie Glaude, etc. are on television, I hear identical distress calls. I don’t see myself as an outlier.

    A majority of white voters elected Trump. White people are calling police on blacks who are felt to be invading white spaces. We have open voter suppression. Redlining continues. This goes on and I receive advice not to be tribal?

    The reason I pointed out whites in my circles of friends and acquaintances is that we share concerns about the tribes. Just this morning, a friend noted her amazement that there were educated white people still supporting Trump. She noted that one of her friends could explain away separating children at the border because if you break the law you lose your children. My friend noted that the women she talked to could have these feelings because black and brown children were involved. My friend recognizes the tribes.

    If your friend recognizes tribes and is an ally, then why do you (and apparently she) describe the person who can explain away children being separated from their parents as the cost of committing a crime as her friend?  Doesn't seem particularly tribal if she can be friends with both of you.


    OK acquaintance 

    Edit to add:

    There are Conservatives that I describe as friends. We eat lunch together. We disagree on politics. I try to cancel out their votes at the polls. I guess that I should just say acquaintances. We agree to disagree. Must be that civility stuff.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see supporting someone and holding them to a set standard as being the same thing.

    Actually, if you're talking about Jolly Roger's topic, the award just given him,

    the standard is very clearly set by Amnesty International.

    Judging from the way he wrote this blog post up, I believe it was of specific interest to him that Kapaernick's activity was not one pertaining to just civil rights of "the black community," in the U.S., but basic human rights in general as promoted by Amnesty International

    I think that because: Jolly went out of his way to post a list of the former recipients. And they aren't all American blacks nor were they all fighting tor the civil rights of American blacks.

    He was saying: whoa, step outside of your cultural limitations and see how Amnesty International sees him.

    And personally, just mho, what they are seeing is someone standing up to the old ways of Trump world and #MAGA in the widely globally consumed pop culture of sports.

    p.s. From the horse's mouth:

    “In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force,” Kaepernick said.

    from the NYTimes report cited by the Wikipedia entry cited by Jolly. The paragraphs previous to that:

    Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization “dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others.”

    Amnesty International’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, called Kaepernick “an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination.”

    Previous recipients of the award include the anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African president Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls’ right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

    Long before the award, Kaepernick was supported as a Civil Rights leader in the black community. That is what I addressed in my response to barefooted.

    Do you really want to call Dak Prescott "boy"?   

    In the context I was using above. Yes.

    Comments from the Griot

    After league owners initially voted in May to require players to stand during the anthem or remain in the locker room, including a proposal by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to suspend players for up to four games for protesting, the league and the NFL Players’ Association – which was not involved in constructing the policy – have agreed to look for a mutually-agreeable solution.

    Jones was later told to keep quiet about the anthem issue by the NFL. Prescott, siding with Jones and ownership, has opened him up to rampant criticism and ridicule, particularly from the Black community.

    Dallas artist Trey Wilder famously pained a mural of Prescott that resembled Daniel Kaluuya’s character in Get Out. That mural has since been defaced. There has been no word on when the league will have a definitive policy, if any, regarding protests during the anthem.


    Here  are Steven A Smith’s comments on how Jones’ statement makes Prescott look like a puppet


    Edit to add:

    Comedian D.L. Hughley goes for the throat 

    Civil rights leaders support voting.

    Colin has done great work but doesn't vote, doesn't promote voting and he even "both sides" equated Hillary with Trump in an interview in 2016. Perhaps he could use a session on voting rights with John Lewis.

    Republicans know voting means power, and you need power to get justice.

    Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the department has filed legal briefs in support of states that are resisting court orders to rein in voter ID requirements, stop aggressive purges of voter rolls and redraw political boundaries that have unfairly diluted minority voting power — all practices that were opposed under President Obama’s attorneys general.

    Agreed at the time that he refused to vote, Kamala Harris was on the ballot in his resident state of California.

    On the other hand, Malcolm X did not vote and did not encourage voting. Malcolm X had a criminal record.

    Obama said the arc of history bends towards justice.

    The Republicans are working constantly and diligently, with Gorsuch and this crackpot Kavanaugh, to bend the arc towards injustice. 


    Civil rights leaders support voting.

    Not to quibble, the precise category of rights in support of which Colin's activities are here recognized was "human rights".



    Well I'm not ashamed to admit I was quibbling. I got your point in doing the post and I thought it was a good one. By giving him the award it elevates his whole program to another level. It takes it outside the swamp of the same old U.S. politics. and the same old U.S. pro football crap to that of police oppression everywhere.

    I also got to thinking about the way judges were thinking. And I thought about how there were an awful lot of racial issues surrounding the World Cup....

    One things for sure: this award is not just about U.S. blacks or U.S. police. Though by picking him, they are also helping push this mem: U.S. is no better than many third world countries on the policing front.

    Voting is a human right in a democracy.

    The denial of voting rights, and a long list of other human rights, augmented with the terror of lynching, (which Kap references in his speech accepting this award), were methods of racist oppression during the Jim Crow era, 1877-1960's.

    Republicans are earnestly working to both ignore cop violations of civil rights, and to enforce new Jim Crow-like legislative barriers to the right to vote by minorities - see my link above.

    John Legend: Voters can amend Louisiana's Constitution to end a policy of white supremacy in the courthouse. Voting, a right, that exercised, can improve justice:

    Louisiana is one of only two states — the other is Oregon — in which a person can be convicted of a felony and sent to prison without a unanimous vote of the jury. As a result, Louisiana prosecutors do not truly have the burden of proving their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” They only need to persuade 10 of 12 jurors to send a defendant to prison, even for life. 

    The result? A state justice system in which felony trials are held without the full participation of African Americans.

    Here’s why: During Louisiana’s all-white constitutional convention in 1898, delegates passed a series of measures specifically designed to “perpetuate the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race in Louisiana.” Non-unanimous juries were one of those measures, and the intent was clear: If the federal Constitution required that African Americans be allowed to serve on juries, the state constitution would make sure that minority votes could be discounted.

    Keep in mind Colin's reasons...

    Louisiana's attorney general, Jeff Landry, said the state of Louisiana would open an investigation into the shooting once the Department of Justice released the physical evidence. In March 2018, Landry's office announced it would not bring charges against the officers stating that they acted in a "reasonable and justifiable manner".

     CNN, Jason Hanna, "No charges to be filed in Alton Sterling death"


    It may be unintentional but the message often transmitted whether it be Kaepernick or BlackLivesMatter is that “we” know better how to protest police brutality, and you’re doing it wrong.

    Didnt find the cnn article or your reference, but would you say black protests been successful in terms of lowering police brutality?

    The message that “You’re doing it wrong” actually came from a C-SPAN discussion of Robin D’Angelo’s book

    ”White Fragility Why Its So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”

    C-SPAN Video link

    Rodney King was pummeled and captured on video. Eric Garner was choked on video. Given the decades between the events, one can safely state that what went before BLM wasn’t effective. BLM did lead to a realization that local district attorneys have tremendous power. Color of Change and other organizations are beginning to focus on these races. So far, prosecutors who failed to charge police who killed unarmed blacks have been ousted in Cuyahoga County (Tamir Rice), Cook County (Laquan McDonald), and Ferguson (Michael Brown).

    Edit to add:

    I didn’t provide a link to CNN, but I did find this video

    K, resignations sound good, though not the end goal of lowering violence against blacks and getting fair police treatment.

    The public doesn’t want change. The public is OK with killing unarmed black people. Sessions says his DOJ is not investigating police abuse. Juries do not convict police officers. There would have been change after Rodney King if that is what the public desired. Yet taking a knee at an NFL game is a supreme offense. 

    Etc etc. But are current protests as effective as they could be, that's my only issue. Eye on the prize, not consolation feel-good wins that don't actually progress things. And I recognize that movement stymied in the right direction may be more important than progress or wins in a wrong or relatively meaningless direction - i.e. it ain't always simple, and fighting doomed causes can still be a better use of energies - just discussing.

    What part of the public at large does not want change are you not understanding?

    Protests serve to bring attention to the problem. The idea is to deliberately make people feel uncomfortable. Police departments can hire police chiefs who are ethnic minorities in an attempt to change police culture. These chiefs will need support of mayors and city legislators. Imagine the reception that black police chiefs receive in majority white police departments. It is unlikely that it is friendly, thus the chiefs need support.

    The goal is to make it easier to prosecute abusive officers. Prosecutors can decide to recuse themselves and appoint special prosecutors for cases involving police abuse. That is why prioritizing elections is important.

    Protests can serve to bring attention to the problem. They can also be ineffective or produce  backlash that's greater than the attention they might bring to the problem. Protest is not the strategy. How one protests is the strategy. It can be successful or not.

    Whites could not stand Martin Luther King Jr when he was alive.

    In August 1966, less than two years before King was gunned down, when a Gallup Poll asked Americans for their opinion of King, 63 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of the civil rights icon. In a Harris Poll that same year, 95 percent of African-American respondents gave King a favorable rating.

    In that same Harris Poll, 54 percent of whites said that they would not march or protest if they “were in the same position as Negroes,” and two months later, in October 1966, 85 percent of whites (pdf) said that civil rights demonstrations hurt Negroes more than they helped. By December, many whites had changed their minds, but 50 percent told Harris pollsters that Martin Luther King Jr. hurt “the Negro cause of civil rights.”

    The problem was not King’s protests. The problem was the mindset of white people at that particular point in time.

    Trump is a racist. Omarosa says that there are tapes of Trump using the word nigger. Omarosa is not a credible source, we need to hear the tapes. Trump questions the intelligence of black people. Let us suppose that there are nigger tapes. There is no reason to believe that Trump supporters would abandon Trump after their release. The problem is not protests the problem is Trump supporters.

    You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to disagree with protests but if you are a Trump supporter it’s very likely that you dislike the protests.

    I don't get or I disagree with whatever point you're trying to make. Polling doesn't necessarily tell you whether a protest action is wise or stupid. It's very likely even greater numbers of blacks would poll against Act Up. Both blacks and whites were against gay marriage until 2012 when whites barely crossed 50%. Blacks were still against in 2012 by greater margins then whites were against civil rights for blacks when King was leading his protests. Polls rarely give a strategic analysis. It requires a thoughtful analysis of the strategy to form an opinion. Imo both King's civil rights movement and Act Up had a good strategic plan and BLM and Occupy Wall Street didn't. I've posted my analysis several times explaining why I hold that opinion.

    According to the 2008 exit polls, black voters hugely favored Proposition 8, with approximately 70 percent voting in support of the ban on gay marriage. Similarly, General Social Survey data show that black Americans’ attitudes toward same-sex marriage, though becoming more positive, continue to trail behind the attitudes of white Americans (see Figure 1).


    I’m not sure that I get your point. King’s protests were unpopular. Southern whites left the Democratic Party in droves after the Civil Rights Acts passed. LBJ and Northern members of Congress did the right thing. Democrats paid a political price and Republicans become the Southern party after the Dixiecrats arrived.

    Protests are always unpopular. That tells us nothing about whether they are well or poorly planned. I think it's obvious that King's civil rights movement and Act Up were astonishingly successful. I think it's obvious that Occupy Wall Street and so far BLM have and are failing miserably. All these groups had protests of considerable size for a considerable length of time. All these protest movements polled very badly. Why do some protests seem to get results and some protests seem to get no results?

    Protests can serve to bring attention to the problem. They can also be ineffective or produce  backlash that's greater than the attention they might bring to the problem. Protest is not the strategy. How one protests is the strategy. It can be successful or not.


    Found this nice roundup of relatively recent scholarship on the theme here in a 2017 piece @

     5 Important Insights About Successful Protest Movements

    RMRD... OWS is NOT about polling or popularity...

    Where  ocean-kat said...

    Occupy Wall Street and so far BLM have and are failing miserably. All these groups had protests of considerable size for a considerable length of time.

    Popularity Polls or not--the vestiges of the OWS movement goes on. And one of the latest being...

    6 Jul 2018 | Guardian
    The growing Occupy Ice movement: 'We're here for the long haul'

    In cities from Portland to New York to Louisville, Kentucky, activists set up camps with a clear goal: to abolish the agency...

    And here's a short article from 5 years after the beginning.

    September 16, 2016 | CNN
    Occupy Wall Street: 5 years later

    Nearly five years after Occupy Wall Street's eviction from a small Manhattan park, the movement that shined the spotlight on the 99% has spread its seeds across America.

    The group's creed against income inequality, corporate greed and the influence of money in politics helped spawn a variety of causes -- from Black Lives Matter to the ascent of Bernie Sanders to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's quiet protest against institutional racism.

    --- snip ---

    "What a movement that has any kind of success does -- not necessarily practical results but any kind of excitement -- is acquaint or reacquaint people with some of the pleasures of being involved in a social movement," says Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University professor and author of "Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street."

    "The way movements work is they sort of enlarge the circle of possibility."


    I've known Todd Gitlin since his days as president of Students for a Democratic Society.


    Targeted involvement...


    OWS helped make it possible for a Consumer Protection Agency. BlackLivesMatter helped remove 3 prosecutors who failed to bring charges against police officers who killed unarmed black men. 

    RMRD... Going back in the fog of time...

    (My  highlights...)

    Kaepernick began his protest by sitting on the bench during the anthem prior to a preseason game on 14 August 2016 when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. He was not in uniform at the time. The protest began garnering coverage when journalist Jennifer Lee Chan captured him sitting (this time in uniform) in a photograph prior to the team’s third preseason game on 26 August 2016. Two days later, Kaepernick spoke to reporters about the protest. The encounter included this exchange:

    Reporter: So many people see the flag as a symbol of the military. How do you view it and what do you say to those people?

    Kaepernick: I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.

    When asked whether his protest could be construed as “a blanket indictment of law enforcement in general,” Kaepernick said:

    There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.

    The above is from Snopes Fact Check:

    Did a U.S. Veteran Influence Kaepernick’s ‘Take a Knee’ Protest of Police Brutality?


    Thanks for the post.

    I probably would have considered Havel disqualified by his support for the Iraq War. The cleansing of Rohingya Muslims hasn't left Aung San Kyi looking like much of a human rights champion(although, of course, she got the award before that).

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