by G. Brown
One man’s mission has mushroomed into a national obsession thanks to the instigator in chief. Once Donald Trump attacked both the NFL & NBA within a day of each other, athletes who once wanted no part of Colin Kaepernick’s protest are now all in. The protest has grown like an infectious disease jumping to other pro-leagues, Hollywood celebs and even lawmakers like Representative Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas…
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) September 24, 2017
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) September 26, 2017
While it’s been heartwarming, encouraging and funny (Lesean McCoy’s “…our president is a a$$hole” tweet is still giving me life), it is also disheartening and disturbing. There are just as many people who still think the athletes are being “unpatriotic” and “ungrateful“. Ungrateful?–their logic, ‘you should be thankful this country allowed you to make millions’. Such commenters don’t see the racism in their statements. It like you should be grateful we don’t still have you out in the fields picking cotton, but ALLOWED you to come and run up and down a field to entertain us and pay you for it. “Unpatriotic” has become a new weapon in racism as much as the Confederate flag (which by the way is indeed unpatriotic because it represents treason).
Trump says his comments are not about race. He wants everybody to respect the country and the flag by standing when the anthem is played. It again shows how profoundly tone deaf this man is—this has never been about patriotism, but rather about inequality and racism. Because of his dictator-ish demands of telling teams to fire people who won’t stand, Trump has now turned a legal, peaceful protest into a constitutional battle over freedom of speech and the right to protest. A right he didn’t deny torch carrying. neo-Nazi’s wielding weapons in Charlottlesville.
Another disturbing factor is Trump’s motivation…was this more of his ignorant ranting…does he really fancy himself a dictator who can people when to stand or kneel, when to protest or not… or is this man truly trying to divide the nation?
Now that #taketheknee has become America’s new past time–Great! But where is this all leading? Kaepernick has gotten what he said he wanted–a conversation in this country about race. Pretty sure he’s also hoping that teams may no longer see him as a ‘Thyphoid Mary’ and finally end his free agent status.
What will the outcome of this protest hold for the rest of the nation? Will it change anything? If we don’t stay united, keep fighting against racism, against police brutality and for our freedom of speech and right to protest then #takingtheknee is just a a good position to kneel and play marbles or some other childish games.