As more and more athletes take a knee in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t mince words when she gave her thoughts on the phenomenon to Katie Couric in an exclusive Yahoo News interview.
Couric sat down with Ginsburg to discuss her latest compilation, My Own Words, a collection of writings over her lifetime. The duo also touched on everything from the current election to her depictions on Saturday Night Live.
But Ginsburg’s response to the National Anthem protests is what made headlines on Monday afternoon.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg responded after Couric asked for her thoughts on the demonstrations. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg said. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
Ginsburg then noted that although she found the protests offensive, the demonstrators are within their constitutional rights.
“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that,” she said.
Incredulously, there’s a specific question absent from this conversation. Why Couric didn’t probe Ginsburg on the “why” of the matter instead of the “what?”
Those who continue to bolster their disapproval surrounding the National Anthem demonstrations are rarely asked to address the recent, incessant police shootings of Black men and women in America. They are rarely taken to task to examine the context surrounding the protests.
Just within the last month, there have been six high-profile shootings in America: Tyre King, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Alfred Olango, Reginald Thomas and Carnell Snell Jr.
The ability to omit this harrowing fact from the conversation speaks to the very reason why Kaepernick initiated the protest in the first place. Those who exercise White privilege have the ability to shy away from this specific type of bloodshed—or conversation about it.
The focus, instead, remains on the image of Black men and women of prominence taking a knee in the face of injustice.
SOURCE: Yahoo News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter