No, you wouldn’t get fired for “kneeling” at work. (IANAL)


Ok, so all the comparisons between Kaepernick’s kneeling protest & what would happen if the average Joe “marched around with an upside down flag in front of the office” (actual example from an article) are bothering me because they’re kinda comparing apples and oranges.

Kaepernick’s protest came in the form of not doing something that was not part of his job description. He also didn’t really try to draw attention to it; he kneeled for 3 games before a reporter asked him about it & Kaepernick answered honestly. It was and is a silent, peaceful, personal protest that requires explanation to even know that it’s a form of protest.

So Kaepernick’s non-action can’t really be compared to an active, overt protest. He didn’t carry a sign. He didn’t shout a message. He didn’t march or harangue or monologue. He didn’t skip out on doing part of his job or violate corporate policy. He didn’t interfere with any of his co-workers. He just didn’t stand.

So let’s imagine a scenario. Your office says the pledge of allegiance every morning at 9 am. It’s an accounting firm, so there’s no particular reason to say the pledge; it’s just something your boss likes to do. The guy who sits across from you grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and he decides that saying the pledge feels wrong, so he’s not going to do it anymore. He doesn’t say anything about it; he just stops standing up in the morning and sits quietly in his chair with his hands in his lap.

Well, your boss sees this guy one day not doing the pledge and just blows a gasket. “Why is he not standing up? That’s just a disgrace to this country and an embarrassment to this firm! A lot of our clients hire us because they know we’re true patriots!” Here’s the thing: even if that guy isn’t a particularly active Jehovah’s Witness, because his non-participation doesn’t interfere with his ability to do his job or impact anyone else’s ability, firing him for not participating in the pledge would be discriminating against him for his religious beliefs. From what little I know about employment law, “sincerely held beliefs” are protected in a similar fashion.

Now, because I am not a lawyer, I don’t know whether or not our sitting friend would still be protected if his actions did in fact cost the company clients. It certainly seems like it would still be protected. However, I do suspect that if he was a contract employee, the company could decline to renew his contract without violating any discrimination statutes. That just seems rather consistent with labor attitudes in this country. Both of these scenarios also map quite neatly onto how the aftermath of Kaepernick’s kneeling played out.

So… That’s where I am in my thoughts on this. Thank goodness this essay isn’t being graded or written for money because in conclusion Im sick with a cough the end.

Link Round-up


Note: the link round-up does not happen on a particular schedule, nor are all the links recently published. Actually, not all of them are links… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Onward to Things I Found Interesting Since the Last Time I Did This!

A comic explaining the distinction between Latino & Hispanic.

“Racism is an insidious cultural disease.”

Here’s a quick & very dirty language explainer for the estate tax. Here’s an even shorter version: unless your kids can expect to inherit more than $5.5 million from your estate, the Death Tax does not apply to you.

Statistically speaking: the estate tax does not apply to you. I’m 95% certain*.

*That is a sarcastic joke; I only know enough about statistical analysis to make it. Good luck @ing me; I also do not have Twitter.†

† At the time of this writing.

Don’t footnotes go at the foot?

Learn something new everyday.

Planned Parenthood prevents abortions.

Ok, I’ve sat on this for 10 days—it’s time to go live!

Link Round-up Update


And so it begins:

Asked by a reporter if she knew whether Trump’s donation would be “coming from his own money or from the Trump Foundation,” Sanders dodged.

Please note:

  1. Trump hasn’t donated to his own foundation since 2008.
  2. Between 2008 & now, WaPo could only find one instance of Trump donating his own money, and it was less than $10k
  3. This is equivalent to the average American balking at donating under $7 of his own cash.

Link Round-up

Link Round-up

Note: the link round-up does not happen on a particular schedule, nor are all the links recently published. Actually, not all of them are links… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Onward to Things I Found Interesting Since the Last Time I Did This!

An essay examining how some “celebrations” of black womanhood are actually quite demeaning: When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland

This is kinda advance level anti-racism, so maybe don’t read it if you don’t see why language choices matter? Because it’s literally only about how language choices subtly perpetuate racial stereotypes: “The Potawatomis Didn’t Have a Word for Global Business Center”? No seriously, if you aren’t already onboard with the need to fight racism and willing to learn new things, just ignore this one.

Look! A dick joke!

“Where was Obama during Hurricane Katrina, hnnnnnghhh!?!?!!!1!”

So, being the junior senator from Illinois in Louisiana?

The most important new website for you to learn about.

Most of you by now: ಠ_ಠ

Donald Trump pledges to donate $1 million to an unspecified Hurricane Harvey relief organization. That’s 0.01% of $10 billion. Following his example, the average American (median net worth of ~$69k) should donate $6.80

And to round it off, a dude explains “toxic masculinity” using a comic*.

*not comedy

Apologizing for other people’s actions


“Oh gosh, Dave, I am so sorry my friend said that to you. That was awful.”

“My mother did what?! I am so sorry.”

“I know that in the past, this organization has been responsible for actions which have harmed the community in deep and irreparable ways. We deeply apologize for that and resolve to do better in the future.”

“I get that you’ve been hurt before and I’m sorry that happened to you. What do you need me to do to earn your trust?” “Ok, I see where you are coming from on that, but I can’t deliver what you are asking for. Here’s what I can do:”


1) Acknowledge the pain of others

2) Concede that the guilty party was culpable

2a) Don’t try to justify those actions

2b) Don’t try to make excuses either

3) Express your intentions to do better, but be honest about your abilities. (This ideal, but optional.)