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The United States Part 1: A United State

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A lot has been said and will continue to be said of every time a person picks up a weapon and commits mass murder in the United States.

“The United States” …It really should take on new meaning at this point in the history of this country. For a nation so divided by so many things, the one thing, people seem to want to be so united on is these false presumptions. This idea that in a place so great, the only way to explain a person doing something so heinous is to say they are mentally ill. It’s insulting really. To the truly mentally ill that is.

America is great for many reasons, for many I think the idea of freedom… and freedom of speech more specifically might be chief among those reasons, the right to the personal pursuit of happiness. But the country is also a beautiful and flawed place. A place that needs work. A place that needs its people to accept and admit that it is flawed so they can begin the arduous task of fixing what is broken.

Why do I say that? What does that have to do with mass shootings? People are beings capable of intense love, intense passion in its many forms… and intense hate. People are fully capable of intense violence, no matter where in the world you are. And to accept that is to understand that someone does not have to be mentally ill to commit a great atrocity. The very thought that one requires the other is a naive ideal based in the thought that no one is normally capable of such things. Yet the history of our world is the history of violence.

And yet in the United States… there is this weird …united state. Where people want to believe in their deity and what he/she can and does do and when bad things happen the deity works in mysterious ways but when bad things are done by bad people to good people the bad people have to be mentally ill and the only thing we can afford the affected people is thoughts and prayers. I do not feel and am in no way saying faith is bad. I have my own beliefs but I do stand by the old adage that faith without works is dead.

Sometimes bad people do bad things because they are bad people. Sometimes there is no great complex reason why other than hate or rage. Learned apathy is very real and combined with emotional outbursts or intense hate that festers and is not dealt with in a more reasonable manner, people can choose to do terrible things and follow through on those choices. People have that autonomy. People have that agency. And to naively create excuses for why people do what they do does not help begin the process of fixing what is broken. The math shows what the math shows. The numbers are real, the problem is real and it needs to be dealt with in real ways.

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Malcom Jenkins Responds To NFL’s New Policy For The National Anthem

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The NFL has decided to create a new policy that prohibits players from kneeling during the national anthem.

The league’s new national anthem policy, players are required to either stand for the anthem prior to a game, or stay in their locker room. If a player comes out for the anthem and kneels, their team would be fined, and commissioner Roger Goodell would “impose appropriate discipline.”

This comes off as the NFL owners trying to silence players and some players are not happy about the new policy.

“What ownersners did today was thwart the players’ constitutional rights to express themselves and use our platform to draw attention to social injustices like racial inequality in our country,” Jenkins said, per TMZ. “Everyone loses when voices get stifled […] While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting.”

Jenkins also reaffirmed his support for the players that chose to protest.

“The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past 2 years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational and economic opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country,” he said.

 

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Kobe Byrant Was Shocked By Kanye’s Slavery Comments

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Future HOF and Oscar Winner Kobe Bryant spoke out about Kanye’s recent slavery comments.

The NBA legend spoke with high school students at We Rise LA over the weekend, an event dedicated to inspiring future generations. In a video posted by TMZ, Bryant gave his two cents about West’s opinions during a Q&A session.

“I’m sure [I felt] the way everybody else here in this room feels,” Bryant admitted when a student asked about his response to the slavery comment in particular. “‘The hell are you talking about?’ I think that was my reaction as is everybody else’s reaction.”

Bryant continued, “The thing about our country is that you have the right to say whatever it is that you want to say. That’s the beautiful part about living in a democracy. Conversely, you have to take the responses that come after that as well.”

The athlete explained his theory that entertainers like Ye are “always in a state of growth,” challenging themselves and frequently questioning  their own opinions. However, in this case, Bryant’s opinion is firm: “Completely disagree.”

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JJ Watt Offers To Aid With The Funerals For The Victims Of The Santa Fe Shooting

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt plans to cover the costs of the funerals of the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Santa Fe High School was the site of the latest school shooting tragedy. Ten people were killed, nine of them students, and another 10 were injured at the Houston area high school on Friday after a 17-year-old gunman opened fire with a shotgun and a revolver in the school.

When the news hit Watt responded with a tweet about the tragedy that ended lives due to gun violence.

Watt responded by offering to help the families during the worst moments of their lives. J.J. Watt reached out to the school to provide the support he could for the families of the victims, offering to cover all funeral costs for those killed in the tragedy.

Watt has used his stature in the Houston community to help those in need after tragedies in recent years, most notably raising $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief after it ravaged the city last August.

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