Sure things might be better for African Americans than they were 150 years, or even 50 years ago, but try if you will considering for just a minute what it might be like growing up a black kid today seeing time and again examples of harsh injustices against people of color.
If it wasn't still a reality then some might legitimately be able to say "Let's move on from our past, and get over it already", however the past in many ways is still the present.
As long as people can't wrap their heads around their plight and their fears, then the past in many way is still the present.
If people truly understand the patriotism behind "And Justice for ALL" then if anyone is being cheated with respect to this, then we're all being cheated.
Some people might think that they're Mr. Patriotic American because they take their hat off and stand with their hand over their heart during the National Anthem, but it's all a nice show if one can't begin to understand that white privilege is very real and that there are still many folks with true concerns about equality.
It's not enough to say that all is better because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sure, that was a good start, but there are still many ways that people can be oppressed in everyday life, and we really don't have to look much further than the clowns that showed up in Charlottesville to understand that we still have a long way to go.
I think that quietly taking the knee is a very respectful way to pay homage to the flag while also helping others to keep in mind that some people in this country are still being mistreated.
It's not like they're flipping off the flag or burning it. They're stating that they very much are proud citizens of the United States of America, and would like to once and for all see that everyone is treated as such.
While it might turn stomachs, and be upsetting to many that some take a knee to make a statement, I find it unsettling that so many can't even begin to understand why.
I'm sure some here think that it's just a bad example to set to tell these kids the truth and let them take a knee, or that they're just mocking their heros, but before you jump to the conclusion that an 8 year old doesn't have real fears and concerns, they very much do. I'm sure that it disturbs and scares them to the core to think that just because they're black that someday this could also happen to them, or their family.
Some might say that it sets a bad precedent for disrespect toward police officers, and while we all know that all police are not bad, let's quit using this as a way to excuse the ones who are. Some are just downright racists, and if you don't think that this is what motivates some to kill unnecessarily then you haven't been paying attention.
There's no doubt that people of color have more opportunities than in the past, or that within the ghettos there are high incidences of black on black assault and murder. Some know no other way of life because that's all they've ever known, and many times without any say in the matter.
Some rise up out of it, and many others don't, but many here can't even begin to understand what obstacles they can have that we just never encounter because we're white, or perhaps just always had everything provided for us during our youth. Not trying to broad stroke, because there's no doubt that some white kids can grow up under harsh, poor, and deprived circumstances as well, and not all black people do.
What is really really sad is in the cases of a black man or woman who has done everything imaginable to live a well adjusted life, working hard to achieve, and keeping their nose clean yet still get profiled and pulled over for driving while black.
I know that with some the National Anthem is all about tradition, patriotism, honor, and established rituals, so sorry that some will pick this moment that you're paying homage to remind us all that we've still got a lot of work to do.
If not then....then when?
I see no better time to make this poignant statement.
It certainly has gotten peoples' attention, hasn't it?
So sorry that it's an inconvenience, and so disrespectful to you to have to be reminded that we're not all treated fairly and with respect.