This back and forth is getting beyond tiresome. I cannot begin to count the number of people who have totally and completely missed the point of the “Taking of the Knee” during our National Anthem. Maybe a re-visitation to the 1968 Mexican Summer Olympics is in order for some. But, I imagine the same enraged vexation that was caused when two athletes raised their fists as protest (while standing on the winner’s podiums) would not be cited as the same today. After all, people of color (a very few…not all!) were burning their own cities, forming community groups such as the Black Panthers and political groups such as CORE and SNCC. You know, being all uppity and demanding equal rights in a country that had practiced unequal housing, employment, wages and political access, yet by its very Constitutional bylaws ensured such rights to all free men. So, you still wonder why African Americans are upset?
So…why are they so angry today? Why are so many STILL feeling disenfranchised? You see, this is the point you fail to see. Only the list is longer and many more colors have been added to that list. Equal employment for a living wage? As any West Virginian, how that’s working out. Equal pay for equal work. Ask any female how that’s working out. Gun violence in our inner cities, black on black crime and murders. Ask any inner-city person of ANY color, just how is that working out. Fair and equable treatment of the poor, disenfranchised, person of color by our judicial system…yeah, just ask. Anyone. Police protection? Well, we’ve seen what the statistics are when it comes to cops shooting citizens, versus the other way around. Prosecution rate? Yeah. I thought so.
There are some seriously wrong things here. Has been for a long, long time. I cannot remember a time in my lifetime that someone, somewhere hasn’t spit out the N-word in a conversation like they were talking about vermin. The latest take on racial prejudices has been brought to the fore by the present occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue through his rhetoric of building walls to keep out People of Color. Travel bans on certain countries to keep out People of Color. Aside comments and outright lies to demean and demonize a certain past President of Color. These racial divide issues and xenophobia actions have been in the pipeline for a long, long time now. Stirred up by the disciples of the Tea Party and the Right Winged faction of the Republican Political Party. It continues even as you read these. Take a knee? Hell, I WISH it were that simple. What you forget, we ALL forget…Protest is the LAST bastion of conversation before the fighting begins. It is EVERY American’s right to protest. This protest is NOT about your precious time in the jungles of Nam. It is NOT about Old Glory. It is NOT about the sanctity and tradition of America and her freedom. It is about yours and mine attitudes and our daily walk among our fellow citizens and how we treat those who work, live and play alongside us, while looking, believing, and living differently than us. It is compassion for our fellow brother/sister and finding within ourselves what is truly so wrong, that someone has to make us angry to see it. Taking a knee is telling America, us and the world, something is seriously wrong here. Plain and simple. Those that refuse to see it…are part of what is seriously wrong.