Over the past day, and into recent history, a great deal of condemnation has come forward from the many conservatives who are indignant to the actions of certain NFL players for expressing their right to protest. While the injustice they protest doesn’t seem to make the headlines, the condemnation does. I have seen so many people who are straight up mad about the protest, but where is this anger in regard to the reason behind the protest––because I assure, if our government or President for that matter made noise about fighting those injustices, I don’t think they would be kneeling in the first place.
Let’s look at this way, the main reason I see the anger is that they are “disrespecting the flag” and “they are disrespecting the men and women who fought for our freedom” This may come as a shock to you, but it’s a symbol of our freedom and the last time I checked those men and women fought for their right to do just what they are doing.
I’ve come to see through history that no matter what kind of protest you engage in, peaceful or otherwise, people will always find a way to condemn it. The symbol of kneeling before the flag or during the national anthem, which is a song of freedom, is an expression of that value itself. Some people say free speech is free speech––“If they can protest then we can condemn it,” but what message are you actually sending? That the protest is only valid when it suits your needs? I do believe it was a conservative group whose protest sparked the American Revolution.
What I’m doing in this image has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag or this country outright, because I’m a big a patriot as anyone. And if you know me, then you also know I’m probably one of the few people you know who is even aware of the US Flag Code. But this isn’t about that. It’s about a group of people who feel so marginalized that they are bringing attention to that marginalization the best and most effective way they know how. If they feel the country has turned its back on them, then this is how they will respond. And as African American male living in a country where I can be, at any moment, a victim of hate or race-related violence, I understand why they are doing what they’re doing and I empathize with these guys and I support their cause. And to that end, I kneel in solidarity.
Instead of condemning them, what say we listen to them and fix this broken nation before it’s too late.