My 7 cents on the NFL...
Updated: Aug 5, 2018
My seven cents on the NFL’s decision to potentially fine both teams and players who take a knee during the (white) national anthem. -Patriotism kills change. Point. Blank. Period. Patriotism also kills Black people. And look, we are not simply requesting the freedom to kneel during that song. It’s bigger than that; and it always has been. It was much more than freedom to sit on the bus or freedom to be served at white-only lunch counters. Y'all know this has always been about much more than just freedom to attend any school we so desired. We are demanding for freedom from oppression. Freedom from 21st century slavery; from the new Jim Crow. Freedom from harassment. Freedom from discrimination. Freedom from having our skin weaponized. We are asking for freedom from being vilified in schools; and Freedom from exploitation. Freedom from having the cops called every time we barbecue in the park, patronize coffee shops, rest in the campus lobby after a long day of navigating a white supremacist college campus; Every time we breathe while Black. Hell, the Freedom to breathe would even be nice. Freedom from having to conform or assimilate to dominant norms for our ways of being to be valued. Freedom for our lives to matter. Like, that’s it.
However, I know that in this country there are also folks who will go to great lengths to protect their freedom to wield power. Freedom to exploit. Freedom to harass; to discriminate. To vilify, demonize, render others subhuman, inferior. Freedom to enslave. Freedom to oppress. Oh, how different our interpretations of freedom are…and as Brittney Cooper stated once during a panel discussion on the current socio-political climate, “because of our inability or unwillingness to explicitly define what we mean by freedom, the U.S. has always been able to attract both, the oppressors and the oppressed.”
The NFL just showed us who they are, but now we get to decide who we will be. Who are you? And remember, silence is a position, too