Being a Black person in this country is not easy. Black people have fought for everything they have – freedom, education, the right to vote and even jobs. Many Black Leaders have taken a stand to fight for equality and justice for Black people in this country. Some leaders saw the results of their fight, and some died fighting.
It really disturbs me to see what is happening in the NFL regarding Colin Kaepernick’s protest, and the President’s response. Due to the President, along with many others, turning Kapernick’s protest into an issue about the flag and the National Anthem, I decided to research the history of both. The first flag was created on June 14, 1777. The 50 star flag wasn’t adopted until 1959. The Star Spangled Banner was written in 1814, but was not adopted as the National Anthem until 1931. During this time Black people were not treated equal, and were fighting for their rights as American citizens. And now in 2017, Black people are still fighting to be treated like citizens of this country. Every American has the right to a peaceful protest. It is our First Amendment right. But the NFL players are not taking a knee against the National Anthem and the flag. Their protest is about police brutality and the injustice Blacks continue to experience.
Colin Kaepernick took a stand to fight oppression, and to bring awareness to the issues that exists in this country. His stand has nothing to do with the flag or the National Anthem. But since the President seems to think so, here is my response:. The flag and the anthem existed during times when Blacks didn’t have rights. Blacks were second class citizens, and that same mentality manifests today through systemic racism and mass incarceration.
Taking a knee during the national anthem is a form of peaceful protest. A peaceful protest that is meant to start a conversation about the need for laws that ends police brutality. A protest meant to ensure that Black men (and women) make it home to their families after an encounter with the police. A protest that demands police be held accountable for their actions. A protest that seeks to erase the unjust mentality that this country was built upon. A protest that seeks to have a country where we can truly live as one nation under God.
We, as Black people cannot continue to sit down on the issues that are plaguing our country. It is time for all of us to stand against injustice, and take a knee to the mentality that justifies Black people being treated as second-class citizens.
Did you know:
- Black Men make up 70% of the National Football League
- The First Amendment states ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- Kaepernick has donated almost $1 million dollars to organizations that work in oppressed communities.