Behind the images of NFL players kneeling, raising fists, locked arm in arm or skipping the national anthem entirely is a message that’s being drowned out by noise surrounding the method of protest. From the king of ignorance, Donald Trump, down to everyday Americans, many are egregiously guilty of not seeing the forest through the trees.
America was born of civil unrest, and this is a fact of history that entirely too many people forget, under the feeble and idiotic Trump regime. America broke free of the British Empire and forged its own place in history through protest and war. The constitution grants the right to protest in conjunction with freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Military servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives and limbs were not doing so for the cloth of the flag. They fought for the freedoms that our flag is supposed to represent. It’s a crucial distinction that must be recognized. The freedoms and liberties of people of color are systemically violated every day, and this is the reason for protest.
It’s become far too convenient and vogue to disrespect and bemoan athletes who have decided to take a stand against injustice, because of the method of protest. It’s also shortsighted, closeminded and bigoted to ignore the national scourge of police brutality.
Incredibly there is a conservative segment of our country, which believes athletes should remain quiet and count their blessings because of the money they make for playing a game. This ridiculous line of reasoning doesn’t take into account life experiences of players off the field, their families, friends or their background before becoming professional athletes. People of color are not suddenly excused from mistreatment by a broken judicial system or rogue police officers because of the size of their paychecks. To suggest so is to expose yourself as either blinded by jealousy, racism or stupidity. In either case, the assumption has no place in the discussion.
To have a meaningful conversation about police brutality, two sides have first to acknowledge that there is a problem. Our fake POTUS is on record saying he believes the solution to tension between police and minorities is more law and order. There is no more ludicrous suggestion. At no time has he, or his puppet Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have as much as answered a question on the subject since in office. The prospect of meaningful solutions hasn’t been broached by this despicable administration. Sometimes in life, we are forced to make things uncomfortable for those who are at peace with the status quo. Now is one those times and police brutality is one of those issues.
The misguided outrage directed at athletes protest would better serve the country if it were properly channeled. Addressing a flawed court system, archaic officer training and heinous crimes committed by police against people of color are what would mend the true fabric of America. Feigning offense to the protest – while simultaneously ignoring the source of angst – is counterproductive and weakening the foundation of freedom.
When people rail against protest, demean the definition of Black Lives Matter, they do so at the expense of their own freedom. If our system is allowed to get away with what amounts to government sanctioned murder, it is only a matter of time before that kind of authoritarianism touches you, in your life in another way. An injustice to the weakest of us is an injustice to all of us.
Professional athletes are responding to a national crisis that is being swept under the rug by a blatant agent of White Supremacy, in Donald Trump. For common sense proof, consider that Trump called White Nationalists and KKK members who protested the removal of a racist monument – and caused the death of Heather Heyer – “fine people.” In comparison, he called black athletes – protesting a culture of police brutality that has resulted in dozens of unnecessary deaths – “Sons of bitches” who should lose their source of employment. His behavior and the calamity that he ignores isn’t normal, and we cannot stand idly by and let this continue.
The next time that you come across someone who is offended by the protests of athletes ask them how they feel about police brutality. Ask if Black Lives Matter to them. Invoke the name of Muhammad Ali and remind them that change doesn’t come about without the powerful standing with the weak. RESIST…