Okay, walk with me here. I was raised both as a woman and a member of an incredibly non-confrontational religious sect that division was always bad. Division was the beginning of the end. Division was such a problem that women were told to be silent, people were not allowed to openly state their feelings or beliefs and many, many people were in unprocessed pain because of it, to the point that people lost touch with themselves in a very real way. Now I believe, honestly, without division, true relationship cannot exist.
I'm not pro-division. It feels terrible when division looks like everyone shouting over each other. But guess what, even shouting is communicating. And we, as Americans, are shouting about things that actually matter right now. THIS IS HEALTHY!!!! Don't poo poo the arguing going on.
Don't bow out of conflict about something as important as black lives.
Black lives matter. They are worth fighting for.
Black lives, and their inherent, equal value to white lives, is one of the most important things we'll ever talk about in this country. We cannot agree to disagree about this. Just like Charlottesville, this is a time to take a stand. Frankly, I don't care if you like Colin Kapernick or not. I don't care if his form of protest protects your white fragility or makes you feel defensive. Whatever in you is pushing back on this is something that you need to examine for yourself.
No country is more important than the people in it. ALL THE PEOPLE IN IT. That includes black Americans.
I know that this protest has highlighted a sacred cow in this country and that cow is "patriotism." We worship this country to the point that we criticize peaceful, kind, humble black men for kneeling in hopes that all black people can one day be safe in this country. And he chose to do it during a time in a game when we all bow down to this idol, which was clearly the wrong time. There's nothing wrong with loving your country and white people, except for the really poor ones, are pretty darn lucky to be here. But telling black people in America, it could be worse, is not exactly the point. You guys, IT HAS BEEN WORSE. AND IT SHOULD BE BETTER. And what if it really could be better? What would that look like?
I think it looks like division. What if division was the beginning of the end of black lives being treated as disposable? That's worth growing hoarse with shouts. That's worth protesting. That's worth the conflict. Get to work.
Don't agree to disagree over black lives.
They are worth a lot more than that.
Don't let concerns over respect and veterans and lives lost in battle distract you. The issue isn't veterans. The issue is black lives. Don't take the red herring. We could argue all day about the flag, flag burning, veterans, war and showing respect to the flag. And we have a lot of baggage around that we could certainly discuss. Let's face it - not all veterans are offended by Colin's actions just like not all black people applaud them. Let's stop defending a diverse group of people like they all think the same way. They don't. Even so, don't let those issues distract you from the reason Colin kneeled (and the reason he's no longer employed). The reason that happened and continues to play out is because we love football more than black lives.
We love a fabric flag more than what it represents. Freedom for all. If black lives are not safe, are they really free? No, they're not. How could we possibly disrespect the flag more than by supporting a system that targets Americans for the color of their skin with the full power of its government? When unarmed black men are gunned down in our streets, we better start talking and we better do more than talk, which is exactly what Colin did. When we target black lives, we are turning against ourselves. We turn against America when we turn against Americans. It's really that simple. Freedom for all. That's what the flag should represent. The fact that we're arguing about that proves we still have along way to go for that to be upheld.