Justice Can Be Blind in More Ways Than One

  I was surprised to hear what the late justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, when asked in an interview by Katie Couric (20 minutes in) about her thought on athletes, like Colin Kaepernick, taking a knee instead of standing during the playing of the National Anthem to protest the killings of unarmed black lives by police officers.

She responded she thought that the football players were being “dumb,” “stupid,” and“ disrespectful.” This does not jibe with the picture that has been painted of the late justice. It seems that she did not understand the reason for the protests. Below is a transcription of that excerpt from the interview

Couric: Justice Ginsburg how do you feel about San Francisco 49er’s player, Colin Kaepernick and other NFL Players who have basically refused to stand for the National anthem?

Ginsburg: And what do I think? I think its really dumb of them. Would I arrest them for doing it? No., I think. I think it is dumb and disrespectful. The same, I would have the same answer if you ask me about flag burning. I said I think it is 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 a—such an act—but it’s a—it’s dangerous to arrest people for, for conduct that is not, uh, doesn’t jeopardize the health or well being of other people. It’s a symbol they’re engaged in.

Couric: But when it comes to these football players, you may find their actions offensive.

Ginsburg: Yes.

Couric” “But what you’re saying is It’s within their rights. To exercise those…

Ginsburg: If they want to be stupid there’s no law that should be prevented (prevent them), they want to be arrogant and there is no law that prevents them from that. What, what I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are—they are—expressing when they do that.

I disagree that the football players are dumb, stupid and disrespectful. Black people are being murdered by the police and the police are not accountable.Many of the killings have been recorded. That is not a point of view. It is a statement of fact. Where is the condemnation for the actions of the police? If I had not seen the excerpt from this interview, I would assume the words came from Antonin Scalia.

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