Does white Conservative America know why black athletes kneel during the National Anthem? For the most part, no.
Black athletes have just as much respect for our armed forces and all that has been done to preserve our freedom as anyone. They know radical Islam is a threat around the world. Their grandfathers and fathers fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, and so on.
Unless you’re a student of history, it’s limited to your own personal experience. The 60’s struggles are fuzzy film and pictures in history books.
Today’s athletes have a conception of history that has been formed in the 21st century. They are fed the 24 hour news cycle interpretations of what’s happening. Police shooting stories are spread hourly when they occur. Some justified, some not. But the reporting adds fuel to the flames.
Kneeling for the anthem shows their contempt for the inaction they perceive with regard to the treatment of blacks in this country. No more, no less.
I hope we can get to a point where we listen to one another and agree on solutions. Slamming one another for our thoughts, especially when we don’t try to understand the origins of those thoughts, will spell doom for our country.
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They kneel for Sandra Bland, Alonzo Heyward, Tori Harris, female Navy Veteran India Kager, Marine veteran Jose Guerena, Marine Corps sergeant Derek Hale of Virginia, killed by police in Wilmington Delaware after going there to take part in a Toys For Tots run. Danroy Henry Jr. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. The names are endless.
They kneel for Leslie Vaughn Prater and his strong family who bravely continue to speak out and up, not out of hate but for the concerns of a nation and its people. They kneel for those who have been labeled "troublemakers", activists and their groups who have been labeled "terrorists" for speaking up and out against injustices. To be labeled a "terrorist" today is akin to being labeled "enemy of the state." Which means anyone wearing the label can be legally killed on site by any law enforcement that encounters them. It doesn't have to be true. The label is all that's needed.
They kneel for the young airman, home on leave who could have very well become the second Leslie Prater only within a 10-month span of the homicide of Mr. Prater at the hands of local police. Merely for WWB (walking while black) after dark on the very street in the very community he was born and grew up. It wasn't grace, divine intervention, humanity on the part of those who stopped him or even luck. Out of habit he had all his military ID, credit cards, driver's license still on him while he simply decided to take a brief walk, having not been back to Chattanooga since he left for basic and IT training. So they knee for those who survive as well as those who didn't. They even knee for those who lied and made every attempt to cover, demoralize their victims in order to justify their own indifference to human life, human freedoms to be able to go about their normal daily lives and activities without invisible chains. They kneel.
They kneel for the victims as well as the abusers who victimize and so eager to "just follow orders" without question. They kneel.
They kneel for a nation that, once again, seems to have lost its way, become disoriented, exclusive, selective. A nation that tends to willing forget that second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence that declare, "
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Some might argue those words were never meant to be inclusive. However by design or accident, those words would become all inclusive. They kneel.
So, they kneel for a nation and its potential for greatness and demand it follows through on its promise. They kneel
They kneel for the families so brave and willing to speak up and out amid threats, stalking, lies told about on both the victims and those family members who take a stand, dare to speak up and refuse to remain silent. They kneel.
They kneel for the soul and conscious of a nation. They kneel because when they pleaded no one was willing to listen, not even those who might later find themselves being the target. They kneel because when others spoke out, those individuals were threatened, harassed, mocked. There were attempts to demonize them, demoralize them in the eyes of the public, their neighbors, their friends, their relatives. So they kneel.
They kneel because our families have fought, been injured and even died at war too, fighting for a nation that promotes itself as an image of this free inclusive nation that welcomes all without regards to color, religion, non-religious, class, gender, genderless or orientation. They Kneel.
They kneel, because they BELIEVE!! in a nation with so many possibilities when all have a fair shot to "rise". They kneel so that others might have the opportunity and freedom to STAND! They kneel.