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: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.
  • Can the Marijuana Commission receive paid travel?

    An official opinion from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge touches lightly on the many ways in which the medical marijuana amendment creates new legal concerns.
  • Arkansas Medicaid 'savings' will produce some losers

    The state offers an optimistic outlook on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plans to reduce the number covered by the state's expanded Medicaid health coverage. There's reason for questions.
  • One dead, another hospitalized after midtown shooting

    The Little Rock Police Department has tweeted that officers are on the scene of a double shooting at the Midtown Park Apartments, 6115 W. Markham St., near the corner of University Avenue and Markham. Police say one person has died, and a second victim is at a hospital. The apartments were previously known as the Plaza Towers, an affordable housing development.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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