Giving Them the Knee

I wonder how long it will take for protesting athletes to decide–en masse–that they’re just not going to take the field. They’ve gone on strike for pay disputes. They could easily declare that this is far more important. Imagine whole groups of people refusing to play while other folks are dying. Imagine them saying no to a country that uses them for entertainment while it kills their brethren. Think of this resistance seeping into Hollywood, or finance, or infrastructure. Let’s see what actually happens if racism gets its wish, and all the blacks and their allies disappear from the country.

You think it’s upsetting when somebody kneels for the national anthem? What I think is that you’re really afraid. You’re frightened–as you’ve always been frightened–of the people you oppress. And the reason is not the one you assign to your fear. It isn’t because “these people” are barbaric, or violent, or even disrespectful. It’s because your country has been all of those things to them–and furthermore, it’s because their mounting imperative to resist comes from God-given, human dignity.

(Originally posted October 20, 2016)

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