I’m so proud of the NFL today!

Y’all, I am just THRILLED at the response from NFL players, team owners, and coaches. I teared up reading this post from Mother Jones about how many players/owners/coaches took a knee, stood with arms linked, or just straight up decided not to take the field for the national anthem. I’d also like to give a shout out to all the performers who took a knee this weekend.

This issue has been going on for over a year now, since Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the anthem. For doing that it seems like his career is completely derailed, which is incredible bullshit. But that isn’t the point I’m trying to make. My point is that in a year, people have not figured out that this isn’t about the anthem or the flag.

People (who don’t appear to have served in any branch of the military) go off about how it’s disrespectful to servicepoeple and veterans if someone kneels during the anthem. These people have somehow woven together the military, the flag, and the anthem.

  1. The flag represents the country. Period. Yes, the military fights for the country, but they’re fighting to protect our freedoms. These freedoms include – wait for it – the right to free speech. An act can be speech. An act like, kneeling.
  2. The national anthem is racist as hell. It’s been chopped by a stanza because the missing stanza talks about slaves and basically the worthlessness of their lives. Pretty sure we should be looking for a new national anthem. Perhaps, America, the Beautiful?
  3. They aren’t letting veterans speak for themselves. As I saw posted on Facebook earlier today, veterans are not a monolith (rather like people of one race aren’t – like black people or Muslims). They don’t all think or feel the same way about issues. So I am sure there are veterans who hate that anyone takes a knee during the game but there are many others who are pleased to see it because it means that their service is validated. People are exercising the rights they fought to protect.
  4. If they want to talk about dishonoring the flag, they should worry more about bikinis that rest on someone’s cooter and not someone who isn’t actually touching the flag when they kneel. (We do all kinds of things that dishonor the flag (per the Flag Code) all the time. Every day. Almost every change we get.)

I don’t know if this focus on the military is just a way to try to shit away from the fact that people (probably almost all white) still don’t get why black people are upset at the way things are going in the US. That we are still a damn racist society and that it’s systemic.

I saw someone who said he’s pissed because people are looking at the police officers and saying/thinking they are ALL racist. While that is demonstrably untrue for the majority, its’ also incredibly fucking stupid. He was trying to point out that there are just a few bad apples. The problem he’s ignoring is that a few bad apples placed in positions of authority sour the entire bunch. THAT is the problem. THAT is what’s being ignored. THAT is what we have to solve. Until people can get on board with that, we’re going to continue to wallow in shit.

And Trump. That guy. He’s proven, conclusively, his leanings toward white supremacists. He says that there are “nice people” on both sides (talking about the alt-right Nazis and the “alt-left”) but that people who kneels are “sons of bitches.” What else do we need to just admit that he’s got some really fucked up ideals and that he shouldn’t be POTUS? Even his friends are turning on him now – people who donated millions to his campaign, opened rallies for him – are saying that he’s wrong.

Well, it’s about damn time.

White People, Please Help

Dear White People,

If I could just have a couple minutes of your time, I would appreciate it. I know you’re busy. The thing is, I need a favor. And it’s a big one. I hate that I have to ask for this, I really do. I just don’t have a choice. The reality is that we can’t do this on our own.

Black people are afraid. We’re hurt. We’re angry. Imagine waking up almost every day and seeing that someone who looks like you was shot and killed by the police. They were waiting by their stalled car. Eating chicken in their back yard. Sitting in their car, reading a book. You do those things too, right? Wouldn’t you be scared, upset, and angry too? Knowing that simply walking down the street could end your life. Driving to and from work. Waiting for a bus. Never knowing if this quick trip to the grocery store will be the last time you see your family. Would you even want to let your kids out of the house? Your son or daughter could be killed walking through their own neighborhood. Coming home from a friend’s. Coming home from school. Isn’t that a paralyzing thought?

That’s just a glimpse into the life of millions of Americans. As if being black in America weren’t difficult enough. It’s harder to get a job if you have a “black-sounding” name. Blacks get worse treatment by banks, all other things being equal. Unequal treatment when trying to buy a car.

But now the people who are sworn to uphold the laws and protect us have turned. They’re killing us. Every day.

Our pleas fall on deaf ears. Protesting isn’t successful. If we take to the streets, we’re told we’re being disruptive and that it’s not going to help our cause. Peaceful protests like kneeling during the national anthem are met with the disregard.

We’re lost. We don’t know what else we can do. Short of no longer having melanin-rich skin, there’s nothing left.

We’ve been fighting this battle for so many years. We’re tired. We’re confused. We’ve tried everything.

So we need your help. We need you to see the injustice and talk to your friends about it. Put yourselves in our shoes.

Imagine the terror.

Imagine the grief.

Imagine the sorrow.

Imagine the helplessness.

We want the same things you do. We want to live happy, meaningful, and productive lives. We want our kids to grow up and be good people. We want opportunities for success. We want everyone to have those things.

But right now, we can’t. We can’t help anyone, because we can’t help ourselves. Working inside the system doesn’t work. Working outside the system doesn’t work.

As powerfully moving as Martin Luther King, Jr. was, as much as black Americans understood what he was saying because they lived it, it wasn’t until white people got involved that any changes came about. Despite the change in laws, many things are still the same. The power structure hasn’t changed. Black people still have to beg to get anywhere.

I am willing to beg for help. It is so horrifying to wake up and learn that another life has been lost needlessly. It is draining. It is demoralizing.

Please.

Please help us.

I know that I would help you if the situation were reversed. After all, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to working with you to bring about a more just America.

Sincerely,

            Your Half-Sister