Fresno Councilman Garry Bredefeld used his council report at Thursday’s meeting (Sept. 28) to give his thoughts and opinions on the NFL protests during the National Anthem.
Note: The following is the unedited outline of the speech, provided to GV Wire by Bredefeld’s office.
As a veteran and someone who loves the military and this country, I find the kneeling behavior of the NFL players and owners during the playing of the national anthem to be repugnant, disrespectful, misguided, and they dishonor our country and themselves.
Started with Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem apparently protesting police brutality and race inequality.
Now nearly all NFL players and owners kneeled last Sunday kneeled.
- NFL players on the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee Sunday during the national anthem before a football game in London, but all the kneeling players rose for the British national anthem “God Save The Queen.”
- Alejandro Villanueva from the Pittsburg Steelers stood for the anthem, but was later shamed by his teammates and coaches into apologizing.
Our national anthem and flag represents the men and women who gave life and limb for our country. It reflects their sacrifice so that we can live in freedom. It reflects our national pride and unity as a country.
As a veteran, as a father, as an elected leader of many people who have shared their outrage with me over the actions of these multi-millionaire athletes, I’d like to say something about all of this:
I HAVE UNABASHED LOVE OF THIS COUNTRY
- Provide free education up to the high school level
- Provide free meals in school
- We give aid to other countries in need, Mexico with the earthquake and Africa with the AIDS issue
- When we have won wars, we give land back and build up the nation- We don’t have occupiers
- We reach out to the homeless, mentally ill, unemployed– we give aid and comfort to those in need
- Freedom of Religion
- Governed by the constitution and laws – Government belongs to the people, we are a republic are not governed by dictators or a monarchy
- Ability to achieve and attain anything. This country through hard work and determination, grit and God-given talent and ability. The sky’s the limit. We see that with these athletes.
But, I, too have grievances with our country:
DISAGREE WITH EVENTS IN OUR COUNTRY:
- We gave Iran $150 billion dollar deal to Iran- sponsor of terrorism
- Weakening of criminal laws – prop 47, 57 in CA
- People on death row spend 20-25 years and NEVER get death penalty
- Gender neutral bathrooms
- The taking down of our statues and eradicating our history
- Legalization of drugs in our country
- 1,000,000 abortions in this country every year
- ANNUAL ABORTION STATISTICS AND RACIST INDUSTRY:
In the United States, black children are aborted at 3 times the rate of white children; Hispanic children are aborted at 1.5 times the rate. Whatever the intentions of the abortion industry, abortion is a racist institution. Why aren’t these athletes taking a knee for these children?
- Our police officers, our men and women who defend us every day against criminals, murderers, rapists are under attack every day and being shot.
- In Dallas, 5 police officers were assassinated on the street
- In Ferguson, MO, police officer falsely accused of killing someone with his hands up in the air, saying “don’t shoot.” Michael Brown—total lie! Lost his livelihood over a lie and false narrative.
- In Baltimore, DA called for the guilty verdicts of 5 police officers in Freddy Grey case and all found not guilty by juries.
Disagree with all of this and yet I stand for the flag and our national anthem each and every time!
These million dollar athletes I think are protesting racism in our country.
- We fought a Civil War to end slavery – white men died to free black men
- Jim Crow laws ended in the 1960’s with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, signed by a white president
- This country elected its 1st black president with the support of white men and women–2x’s
- We have had a black Secretary of State, Attorney General and black CEO’s and leaders in all walks of life in our country and we celebrate their achievements
- We have and have had great black leaders like Secretary of State Rice, Colin Powell, Dr. Ben Carson, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Jim Brown
- Are we perfect? No. But to deny the tremendous progress and triumphs of this country in terms of racial equality is to deny reality and to only promote a false narrative for a political agenda!
BLACK ON BLACK CRIME:
Data shows that 93 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks.
There were almost 6,000 blacks killed by other blacks in 2015. By contrast, 258 blacks were killed by police gunfire that year and that number decreased in 2016.
In Chicago, a person is shot every 2 hours, 17 minutes, murdered every 12 hours, 21 minutes. According to the Chicago Tribune, by Labor Day Weekend last year, there were 500 homicides in Chicago. Nearly all were black men, shot to death in alleys and street corners by other black men, NOT POLICE.
According to Heather MacDonald who writes in her book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe says, “A straight line can be drawn between family breakdown and youth violence.”
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]
- Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]
WHAT SHOULD THESE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ATHLETES REALLY BE PROTESTING AND FIGHTING TO CHANGE:
CULTURE OF VICTIMIZATION—Stop promoting the belief that if you’re black, brown or any person of color, if you’re poor, or any other minority class, you’re an inherent victim in our society. Every person regardless of color, gender, SES, is equal under the law in this country and in the United States, they can achieve success and realize the full potential of their God-given abilities. That is why people from all over the world want to come here. Promote hope and aspiration, not hate and victimization!
SHOULD BE ENCOURAGING:
RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY/POLICE—If pulled over by the police, do what is requested, be respectful and the interaction will end well for everyone.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR EDUCATION
ENCOURAGING FATHERS TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO THEIR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
EMPLOYMENT AND NOT DEPENDENCY ON GOVERNMENT
While I don’t agree with what our President called these athletes, it’s clear to me that they don’t understand or appreciate the meaning of our national anthem and the sacrifice that so many veterans have made to give them the right to disrespect the flag as they have done. I encourage them and the NFL owners to use their platforms, their resources, their energies in ways that promote unity, respect, pride of our nation and to stop promoting racial disharmony and attacking our police. Speak truth about the violence in our inner cities, about the destruction of our families, about the lack of responsibility of men of all color who father children and then abandon them. Only when we get away from phony political narratives and agendas and deal with facts will we really begin to solve these problems. It’s my prayer that God continues to bless this country, the greatest nation on Earth!