I’m Not on That Left: When Protest Becomes Pointless, Offensive, and Counter-Productive


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So this week, a group called “Disarm NYPD” held a protest in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn where they burned an American Flag. They are of the view that police should be disarmed, and they are angry about killings such as the Charleston shooting.

First off, I agree with them about Charleston, and even the need for policing reform in this country. Past that, I agree with them on nothing. I disagree with them burning a flag. I disagree with them on disarming cops. I basically get that I don’t really share values with them, past the basic idea that police need to treat African-Americans in a more fair and equitable way. How do I know this? They sought to burn the American flag, something I’ll never stand for.

I am not a particularly big fan of protest. For the few times it has worked in America, and moved the conversation, there are thousands of irrelevant protests. I support the right to protest for anybody though, as it’s free speech. Sometimes though, you do so at your own peril, for in your protest, you prove why people shouldn’t support you. This is one of those times. I certainly don’t stand with any group that would burn our flag.

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