Friday, November 4, 2016

Republicans feverish about basketball team statement. 1st Amendment? What 1st Amendment?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 4:58 PM

SUPORTIVE: Arkansas legislators, all black as it happened, supported Razorback basketball players' statement. - KARK
  • KARK
  • SUPORTIVE: Arkansas legislators, all black as it happened, supported Razorback basketball players' statement.

What's important to Arkansas politicians is public anger over six Razorback women's basketball players quietly kneeling during the National Anthem as a political statement about treatment of blacks in America by police.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who I tried unsuccessfully to talk about a failure in the Department of Human Services that kept foster children in the home of a serial rapist, was johnny on the spot with a comment on the more vital basketball story today. He issued this statement to KATV:

click to enlarge gov..jpg

I'd like to hear debate on steps to provide accountability for state handling of neglected children and leave the 1st Amendment alone. But that's me.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge got in on the act, too. She's talked with KARK, which promises her words of wisdom tonight. It would be nice to hear the state's top legal officer invoke the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but the governor only danced around it and Rutledge is far more likely to see a lack of respect in last night's event.

The governor frames the issue in a way that is, to put it kindly, incomplete. Some would call it the last refuge.  We don't Pledge Allegiance, raise a flag or play the National Anthem merely to honor the military, though certainly that is a part of the American experience. We do it to honor all that the flag stands for, including the right of  dissent.

To Republicans, it's only about the military. If you choose to express dissent, you must do so in a way that makes the sensitive Republicans less uncomfortable, preferably out of their view and earshot. A frequent complaint voiced today was that the players protested while receiving scholarships from a public university — as if they'd traded away rights of citizenship by earning an athletic scholarship. That sounds like servitude to me. Plus it is precisely government retaliation for speech that the Constitution was written to prevent.

I should be happy that the governor was relatively moderate.

State Rep. Kim Hammer, hankering to move up to the state Senate in two years, told KARK's Drew Petrimoulx he's going to place a hold on the state Higher Education Department budget until he gets satisfaction, whatever that might be.

The reproach wasn't unanimous from politicians. At a "Women of Color" event to urge racial minorities to vote this Tuesday, Sens. Linda Chesterfield and Joyce Elliott and Rep. Vivian Flowers expressed support for the players, Petrimoulx says. So there's that.

And so far, no Republican has proposed a 2nd Amendment solution, but the night is young and Trump is in the air.


Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (45)

Showing 1-45 of 45

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-45 of 45

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation