Amanda Frazier Timpson

Oh Say Can’t You See what’s going on here?

To pray

To propose

To show reverence

To beg

Every single one of these activities involve getting down on one’s knees, and not one of them is associated with arrogence or disrespect.. In fact, just the opposite. Unless you’re not white, then how dare you envoke a humble gesture to respect a symbol of our country while drawing attention to it’s illness.

It seems the powers that be are still more comfortable with black men kneeling in front of cop cars than on the football field. The NFL has now reinforced that message by banning the practice of taking a knee on the field. Instead, players have the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem If they can’t bring themselves to stand.

If you consider yourself so patriotic as to believe the stance so commonly used to talk to GOD Isn’t even good enough for the Stars & Stripes, then you should be sad and disgusted by that ruling. An elite collection of wealthy people have once again taken it upon themselves to “solve” society’s problems as quickly and conveniently as possible, leaving the consequences for someone else.

Protests are not about entertainment. They are to shed light on things we have to fix. It’s hard to get people concerned about a problem if they don’t feel its direct impact. There are SO many facits of this issue that should incite action. Unarmed men dying at the hands of authority disproportionately by skin color wasn’t enough to get us going, so they had to make some people squirm a little at a sporting event. You should be uncomfortable!

 

You probably know by now, dear Reader, that I’m not in the habit of excusing bad behavior, but I am a fan of mercy and second chances.

Most NFL fans (and owners, etc.) are probably not racists. They are not so caloused to the blight of police brutality that the players’ protests are nothing more than an unacceptable annoyance. I suspect it’s quite the opposite. Like most of us,they see horrible things happening  and feel helpless because the are just one person. They’re overwhelmed because they lack the knowledge, resources and support to make a difference. This has become such a divisive topic, they fear reaching out will hurt more than help, and those fears are not unfounded.

It’s human nature to avoid action when we’re not sure how to proceed or what the consequences might be. We all do it every day, but stakes are way to high on this one.

It’s way past time for those of us who fear for anything less than our lives to responsibility for the kind of people we want to be. We have to get honest with ourselves, and our children, about difference between the great potential of this country vs. its current reality.

Leave a Reply