Since last Friday night’s “rally” in Alabama when President Cheeto (h/t Luvvie) decided to ignite another shit-storm and make himself the center of all things by calling Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch” and suggesting that NFL owners (9 of which made sizeable donations) should fire anyone who takes a knee during the National Anthem, the internet has lost its damn mind.
Please note, for the record, that said President did this instead of oh I don’t know, HELPING THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO and other Caribbean Islands that are DEVASTATED by Hurricane Maria. Nah. He’d rather do this because he’ll get WAY more attention by being a jackass than helping people. (Sidenote: Click HERE for information on donating for Puerto Rico relief)
My personal timeline across social media platforms is primarily filled with amazing activists and news outlets sharing and dissecting what started Kaepernick on his #TakeAKnee journey, how he is now out of a job in the NFL because of it and what other teams and the league as a whole did in response to not only the President’s words, but in continued support of Kaepernick and the issues he was protesting in the first place.
In his own words:
And then my timeline has been full of Becky’s that are all in a lather, talking about how unpatriotic it is to protest the flag (they aren’t) the National Anthem (wrong again), that they are breaking an NFL mandate about conduct during the anthem (one doesn’t exist) and so on, and so on, and so on. There are plenty of #WhitePrivilege men all in a lather too (not sure what the equivalent of a male Becky is called??) So I’m here to help you out. Answer your questions. Dispel your myths about the whole #TakeAKnee so you can all un-Becky yourselves and your social media timelines with this nonsense and get on board. Or at least stop looking so foolish and at least KNOW what you have an opinion against.
#TakeAKnee is NOT about protesting the American Flag or the National Anthem.
As explained in the brilliant New Yorker piece by Jelani Cobb, “Kaepernik began his silent, kneeling protest at the beginning of last season, not as an assault against the United States military or the flag but as a dissent against a system that has, with a great degree of consistency, failed to hold accountable police who kill unarmed citizens.” The commentary that these men are protesting the flag or the anthem are FALSE. Move along, please.
P.S. There is no NFL regulation regarding the National Anthem or the Flag: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/08/27/nfl-players-are-encouraged-but-not-required-to-stand-for-national-anthem/
Just because you are an employee of an organization does not mean that you are not a FREE HUMAN BEING.
Much has been made of white team owners and primarily black players in the NFL. That these players are property of the franchises and therefore should just shut up and entertain people. I don’t know about you, but regardless of who I worked for, I was still a free citizen of this country, a free human being, and was therefore entitled to the rights and privileges under our Constitution. Yes, actions have consequences and I don’t believe that anyone who has taken a knee this year and seen what’s happened with Kaepernick’s career – or the annihilation of it – and not understood that there could be consequences to speaking up. BUT THEY WERE STILL FREE TO DO SO.
There is no “right” and “wrong” way to protest.
We, the white majority, have got to stop telling people of color that they are protesting wrong. Seriously, that shit has got to stop. Who are we to tell them what they can and cannot do?? WHITE PEOPLE OWNED THEIR ANCESTORS. White people need to acknowledge that EVERYONE in this country is entitled to protest in any damn way they see fit, whether our delicate sensibilities are offended by it or not and we need to shut up about it. You don’t have to like it, but you DO have to acknowledge that everyone has the right to own their truth.
— Riz Ahmed (@rizmc) September 25, 2017
Freedom of Speech is for EVERYONE, whether you like it or not.
I wrote this on a thread today trying to explain why you can’t cherry pick when it comes to Freedom of Speech: I can think that the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville are speaking the most vile, reprehensible words I’ve ever heard in my entire life. (And I most certainly do). But if I’m going to stand here and defend every black player in the NFL that took a knee to protest the racial injustices in this country, then I have to be willing to defend the rights of those whites supremacists to speak their personal truth. It’s the cornerstone of our American citizenship, and our freedom of speech. At a base level we don’t have to like each other but we have to acknowledge as human beings that we are all entitled to be here, and we are entitled to speak our own personal truths.
This clip from The American President always speaks volumes to me when I think about free speech and our rights are citizens:
Here’s the thing: nothing is EVER going to change in our world and our country if we can’t come together at a base level of a) we are all humans, b) we are all citizens, c) we should all be entitled to the same rights and freedoms. Currently, that’s not happening. Perpetuating injustices and judgement against anyone continues the cycle of abuse and systemic racism that can never be changed or overcome. My white friends, you need to understand that because of our skin color we have a privilege that our friends of color will never have. We are innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law, and they are guilty until proven innocent – if they live that long. Take the blinders off and get to work.
I leave you with these brilliant words from sports expert Max Kellerman:
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) September 15, 2017
And this incredible article from John Pavlovitz: https://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/09/20/white-america-its-time-to-take-a-knee/
I don’t have all the answers. But my eyes are open. Won’t you open yours?