Who is standing for what?
I’m not here to convince you of one side or another. Besides, everyone is so convinced that their perspective is THE perspective, that would be a waste of time.
As I sit at my computer, aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, I can feel the heavy tension rising about the controversial topic of athletes kneeling during the national anthem. My first thought: why is there more dialogue about this, than actual problem(s) (such as “very fine” Americans displaying characteristics of Nazi’s) we are facing as a country. My second thought: boy, people are making some really bold (as in, offensive) statements…
If we can first agree, we all have the right to the freedom of speech. In doing that, it should also be safe to say that everyone is able to “post” how they feel, just as others who read the “post” are able to comment their opinions.
Now, I could discuss a plethora of issues that arise from social media post that we, as social media account holders, are comfortable ignoring when it’s convenient and ready to chastise when the next person exemplifies it.
What is concerning, is the bashing of others when trying to get your point across. Isn’t it bad enough, before trying to understand the situation, judgements been passed and a status of disapproval posted. And let’s not even get into the back and forth the “comment” section produces. The negative feedback, regardless of the side of the fence one may stand on, has been overwhelming, in my opinion.
And if you’re wondering where I stand with the issue, I stand with the players (specifically Colin Kaepernick) who peacefully protest during the national anthem by demonstration of kneeling. As a person of color, I understand and support their decision to use their large platform to send a message against injustices that happen in America. The same America that the flag and national anthem are supposed to stand for… It’s not so much that they are disrespecting the flag, yet seeking to honor it more than those who chose to stand and recite the words while taking a blind eye and seat during the injustices people of color receive EVERYDAY in this country.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, ” what injustices do people of color really suffer through?” or ” They probably did something inflicting those consequences.” Not Quite! We just weren’t born of European descent. Although this may sound like the stereo – typical responses, it’s actually the truth. As a person of color, there are things you experience that just aren’t right. Some things are small such as ” accidentally” being mistaken as a sales associate almost every time you’re in the grocery store. Some are big, like lives being taken by police brutality. All of these things, whatever the injustice may be, the deed nor the feelings they breed can ever be undone. Therefore, intentional or not, the damage is done.
It makes me sad, logging into social media accounts and seeing all the division. I went to school with predominantly Caucasian kids k – 12. For the majority of that time, I didn’t feel racial hatred. Yet, as I read the views of fellow classmates, I find myself mostly offended at how they’ve chosen to express their ideas. I’m even more offended to think that I went to school with these people believing that they respected people of color such as myself but do not feel that way as I read their stance on many issues. I know that’s a bold statement, but when reading statuses and comments I can’t help but feel this way.
Almost all in opposition of the players protest begin with, ” How can a millionaire be oppressed…” or ” What do they have to complain about when they’re taking fans money…” Well, for starters, they weren’t always millionaires but they’ve had the same skin color since birth.
It’s easy to understand that if you’re not a person of color you may not have experiences of injustice to reference for understanding. It’s not easy to understand why when those stories arise in attempt of justice or awareness, they’re so easily ignored or discredited.
I remember my grandmother crying in 2008 when Obama was elected as the President of the United States. She was seeing something that she never thought she’d see in her lifetime, because of the race issues she’d personally experienced and saw in America growing up. Now, we know she was naive to think America had crossed such heavy barriers that continue to stunt the country from progression.
As stated before, I’m not trying to make you take a side, rather evaluate what you are truly standing for, literally. Ask yourself, how your current mind set is helping or hurting your community? As well as, how did you gain insight prior to addressing the situation? Are you really trying to understand the other person(s) perspective? We’ve all grown up learning that knowledge is power, yet when we learn hard truths we still CHOOSE to ignore them and continue living comfortably in ignorance.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Below, I will list a variation of links I’ve seen depicting the situation.
*Disclaimer: I do not agree with all of the views of the links listed below.*
J Cole’s Response
Below are just some interesting social media post I observed…