Again… coming in hot… just like this Fall day.
Back tracking to yesterday… I received some feedback on what I wrote. To be honest, it was 50/50 mixed bag. So after some additional pondering and input from some friends, let's add to what I wrote. An evolution if you will. People, things and feelings change. It's not easy, if it was, it wouldn't be called progress.
The NFL and the Anthem ---
This isn’t about people being disrespectful to the military or Veterans. Protesting has always been a constitutionally protected right through peaceful demonstration. The demonstration or protest is against racial inequality.
“Kaepernick used a strong vehicle to voice being against police brutality and the killing of unarmed blacks. If it divided the nation even more, it was truly a wakeup call to the division that hidden and now right in front of us. Regardless of what FS Key meant when he wrote the anthem, and regardless of what the flag stood for back then, until people of color can truly feel equal, this will not go away...it will take ALL of us to admit all wrongs, not just white ones, not just black ones, not just native American ones, or any other ones, but ALL...and that may not happen in our life time, or until Jesus return.”
“So much has been exposed of the accomplishments of blacks that they did not get credit for. Ok, give us credit and fix it, so we can move on! There are many great things that whites did, ok, take the credit and move on! If only it was that easy....can you imagine the work and time it would take to rewire our thinking? Blacks are not exempt in their actions either. They have the power to change, as a people, but there passive racism within even our own! Ridiculous, isn't it?”
~Dawn D. --- Mom, Friend, Veteran, Preacher’s wife, Strong, black woman.
My friend, Dawn is amazing. She once sang the National Anthem at a nationally televised NFL game years ago. (I can’t say how many years ago though, because she’d hit me with her old lady purse) She did this, even though she already knew then what the anthem was about. She did it because she had pride and honor in her and her fellow Veteran’s service.
This is why the anthem issue is so hard for many of us Veterans. It’s not about the rights of people to protest. It’s that these protests happen in a moment where all, are supposed to be honoring ours/their friend, relatives, and Brothers/Sisters in Arms. When athletes are choosing to use that sacred moment, in order to demonstrate, it is hurtful to us in uniform.
I’m being told from my friend Clint S., it may have something to do with evolution… specifically the: Amygdala
The other reason it is hard to swallow now, is the fact that prior to this weekend… only a handful of players had taken a knee to protest racial inequality. Two days ago, almost the entire league did so. Why? Was it because they were the President called them a bunch of “sons of bitches”; or because they genuinely felt this was the time to take a stand, along with those who’ve historically been racially discriminated against?
I honestly think many of them did take a knee or abstain from the Anthem because they felt "Hey, it's time. We can make an impact"; or they felt that they could finally d o so without repercussions. I also honestly think however that the NFL played a part. The league wanted to send a big, collective “fuck you” to the President after his remarks; and this was a perfect way to do so.
Can we fix it??...not until communities, people, rich and poor make an effort and get rid of racism in their hearts...
Racism is taught... soon as people stop teaching it then maybe things may slightly changes
But realistically no it’s never going to change as long as the rich keep getting richer and poor keep getting poorer and the middle class remain stagnantAnd as long as our government remains evil, corrupted to the core and not giving a fuck about its citizens things will not change...
~ Steven H. --- Dad, Friend, Raider Fan, Strong Black Man
My guy, Steve, is a honest, hard working guy. We met years ago through work and I can honestly say he is one of my best friends. (Setting aside that he is a Raider fan) More importantly he has, along with Dawn, experienced racism first hand in a way I never would... that is to say because I'm white and treated differently by both police and a patriarchal society. That isn't something I can do much about it... other than to not abuse that privilege, make sure my friends are protected, and in genral be a good person.
The divide in America is strong… he knows it, Dawn knows it, I know it. All of us know it. The problem is with education and economics. It will only get better when all people admit the failings and truths of the past (good and bad). This holds true even if that means that for some we will to re-learn and accept some harsh truths about ourselves and our ancestors. Nobody should expect perfection, as none of us our perfect beings.
We as a Nation honestly can’t right the wrongs done in the past, as those mistakes have already been made. All we can do is to learn from those mistakes and move forward. We each have to stand up and stop blaming each other. We have to empower each other as equals, regardless of race; so that the Founding Father’s intent of equal rights for all is fully realized.