Lebron James and Dak Prescott Set out to Raise their Impact in the Game and Voice off the Field

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Social Commentary – Common Reasoning

The dust might have settled on news that Lebron James is leaving Cleveland and going to LA. But long before announcing that move, ground was broken for the building of a new school. With the arrival of opening day for the I Promise public school, James hasn’t forgotten that he’s just a kid from Akron.

While NBA basketball is in its off-season NFL football is in its pre-season. The rookies get their feet wet and work thru the early jitters while veterans like Dak Prescott work thru some of the normal drills. Pros like James and Prescott are always looking to raise their impact in the game and voice off the field.

Dakprescott

So it’s not surprising that both would sound-off on matters of social injustice. Prescott’s take on the NFL player protests seems to line-up with those who see it as a distraction where the kneeling has been over-played. He feels it’s time to move-on with the business of scoring touchdowns and winning games.

James says he has become more outspoken since the Trayvon Martin tragedy. This hit close to home because he has two boys. But he’s even more disturbed by how Sports has been used recently by some as a divisive force. He prefers it to be a way to unite and celebrate as a positive force.

One way to look at this ongoing challenge is whether we’re dealing with ‘America Turned-up or America Turned-out.’ The things that James is doing to support and empower his community represent America turned-up. The excitement about his move to the Lakers is certainly going to have fans turned-up.

There’s another side to America we’re seeing lately that feels like America turned-out. Consider the news story of a neighbor calling police on actor Ving Rhames saying he’s an intruder when Rhames was in his own house. It’s a reminder of the cultural perception of ‘white is always right and black is always whack.’

On a deeper level, it’s a hint of what could be happening when we see a mound of dirt around a tree that’s not growing or appears to be dying. At first it might look like a big ants nest. However upon closer inspection by turning over the soil, there’s a whole bunch of insects and worms crawling underneath.

That kind of ‘America turned-out’ might be revealing an underside that’s been underground and has been tuned-over in a divisive social climate. As someone on social media put it, it’s like calling 911 has become customer service for people’s fear, hatred and bigotry. That’s the stuff that’s crawling underneath socially.

James, Prescott and others in pro sports set out to be not just players in the game but also impact players off the field. For them it’s about giving youth the chance to realize their full potential. It’s about helping folks stay on the straight and narrow as opposed to getting caught-up in the crazy of tomorrow.

There’ve been so many stories across the country of people being reported to police for strange reasons. From college campuses to gated communities the social insects & worms have been turned-out. So when we say ‘This is America’ do you see it as America turned-up or America turned-out? It’s a no brainer!

Tracks: DJ Khaled ft Justin Bieber, Quavo & Chance the Rapper – No Brainer – https://youtu.be/kxloC1MKTpg

Rudimental & Major Lazer – Let me Live – https://youtu.be/L08uxunfLi4

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How Roger Goodell and Channing Dungey Remind us that The Culture War Impacts American History and Dramatizes the American Story

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Social Commentary – Common Reasoning

In the span of a week we’ve seen hot-button social issues jump-off like popcorn. The responses took center stage in this modern age of social media. With the new NFL ‘kneeling policy’ and ABC canceling of Roseanne we see how the culture war impacts American History and dramatizes the American story.

First, NFL commissioner Goodell announced a new policy that would penalize players who didn’t stand during the national anthem. The Player’s union wasn’t happy to learn about it the same time the rest of us did. Now players will have to protest by remaining in the locker room or suffer the consequences of a fine.

Then there’s ABC’s response to Roseanne Barr’s tweet of a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett who was an official with the Obama administration. The show’s cancellation has caused Barr to suffer the consequences of ‘what was she thinking!’ ABC is saying it’s more than just about branding TV shows.

These days we find there’s a battle for ratings that might get tied-in to the cultural wars of our time. So how did we get here? Some think it’s an aspect of the social backlash coming from some ‘identity’ groups that have been feeling left-out or unheard. But that’s how others have told their story before.

When you flash back over the last 100-year history, you find certain events that might explain the ‘what when and how’ in modern life. Going as far back as pre World Wars there was the period governed by isolationist views of ‘not our problem’. This eventually led to some global clashes we read about in history.

Then there was a period governed by segregationist views of ‘separate and unequal’ in American life. This led to the period of civil rights clashes culminating in the 50s and 60s. More recently it seems nativist views have taken root in a weird sense of patriotist, anti-elitism or even anti-intellectualism.

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The recent decisions by the NFL and ABC Entertainment helped remind us that we’re having ongoing culture wars. In a sense there’s the idea that the First Amendment is in flux. But a more important aspect in the culture wars is seeing how it impacts American history and dramatizes the American story.

Imagine how the protest of NFL players has been turned into a culture war around the anthem or the flag. The real story behind the protest is about civic injustice. Think about how the cancellation of Roseanne might get turned into a culture war of ‘what-about-ism.’ In other words ‘what about this guy or that time.’

It’s like dating over a period of weeks and months. You get to learn bits and pieces of a person’s history. Some of this includes where they were born or where they went to school. You’ll find out more about whether they have siblings. After a while you get to know the essence of a person based on their story.

We appreciate American history by seeing through the plot of the American story. This can help us move past the culture wars. People use patriotism to reflect a sense for the ‘what when how’ in American history. But being in touch with the ‘why’ gives meaning and essence to the American story.

Tracks: Rudimental – Toast to Our Differences – https://youtu.be/o_zg-JLjs5I

Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life – https://youtu.be/BspHjvU11y4