FOOTBALL PLAYERS KNEEL DURING THE ANTHEM BECAUSE…
As previously stated, this series was not simple information to digest. To know without a shadow of a doubt that these injustices for people of color exist in our world is exceedingly cumbersome and challenging. However, if we think learning about it is hard, imagine living it.
You can see that since they were supposed to have been set free, people of color have experienced one injustice after another. They have suffered one system of oppression after another. It is past time we stand up and insist this comes to an end.
THESE injustices are why those football players are kneeling during the national anthem. Why in the world would they stand for a flag that has only served to keep them on the ground struggling for every breath and begging for crumbs?
Remember, they weren’t required on the field – not until the military paid the NFL millions, and then told them they wanted the players out there during the anthem. We can’t pretend they have other ways to protest. It’s past time we stopped acting any of this was acceptable, and every one of us should kneel right alongside those football players every Sunday.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Like most social problems we face in these times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. What in the world can we possibly do to change a system that is centuries old and protected by the most influential people in the country?
Human Rights Watch released a list of things that they think will help level the playing field. These aren’t things you can accomplish on your own, but it’s a handy list, so you know towards what we are working.
- Sentencing guidelines need to be amended right away, starting with those for crack versus cocaine;
- Get rid of the ability to sentence children under 18 to life without the possibility of parole;
- Stop charging children as adults;
- Initiate studies on the disparities in sentencing structure, this includes studies as to why, under the three strikes law, blacks receive sentences more than whites
- Enforce the right to jury trial;
- Cease death penalty cases until they can be reviewed by an impartial party;
- Get rid of mandatory minimum sentences entirely, and
- End the racist war on drugs.
NOW YOU KNOW, IT’S TIME TO ACT
As far as what you can do about it. That is entirely up to you. I wrote a handy guide to things you can do in the time it takes to order a pizza.
It doesn’t matter what you choose, but you must choose… Something. It doesn’t have to be on my list; only you can decide how best to create change.
If you see something when you are out in public, there are ways to help the victims of racism without increasing the tension. Here’s what I have done, and it worked. I was in WalMart shopping, and a woman walked by a Latino lady and started in on her about speaking English.
I won’t even lie. I was furious. I wanted to let that hateful white woman have it. Instead, I took a breath and walked over to the lovely lady who was merely trying to do her job, and I stood there. I spoke to her about her role and how I used to work for WalMart before I got sick.
We took power away from the hateful white demon woman, and she sulked away after a minute because she had no idea what else to do.
We whites can no longer pretend that we don’t see what is happening. We can no longer go out into the world thinking that those who are locked up deserve to be there. We can’t read about another execution and merely believe that they deserved to be there, either. We can’t ignore the next police shooting because they tell us, “He should have complied.”
None of those things are going to work anymore because now we know better, so we must DO better.
Every single thing we hold dear is under attack in our country at the moment. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, disabled people, and the environment are all under attack.
We are at war, and it is high time you dust off your boots and get in this thing. Every little bit helps, even if it is no more than an awkward conversation.
In case you haven’t done so, read Keep it Real for real-life stories behind these systems of oppression.
As always, love each other relentlessly.
Featured Image Via YouTube Video.