Bend the Knee
This is the 1st venture of Afrimerican Vibes that deals with a current issue. The Colin Kaepernick Anthem Protest represent a 'Culture war' that has been raging for generations. To sitting during the Anthem to kneeling to the most unfortunate comments by the POTUS about NFL players, this issue has divided America along historical 'cultural lines'. Each side of this 'culture war' struggles to define and control the narrative of the protests coverage in the media. Why?
Why should there be a struggle of any kind? If a man decides to protest, the logical way to find out why is to ask him. Sir, why do you kneel during the Anthem? If he says that I Bend the Knee to bring awareness to the many brothers and sisters of the African diaspora that are brutalized by police and the institutionalized racism that plagues the very institutions that are meant to protect me. Then we should first spend some time to introspect and reflect on the reasoning behind this mans decision to protest, and decide whether to agree and join him , to be neutral and passive or to oppose and fight his cause (counter-protest). Insofar his protest is peaceful, no one has the right to question the manner and fashion of his protest.
This choice to focus on the 'apparent lack of respect' the protesters have towards the military, flag and America as a whole is inherently a dishonest response. The narrative that directly opposes the 1st amendment rights of all Americans, highlights the appalling , disrespectful and divisive practice of peaceful protest while simultaneously ignoring the death, brutality and injustice which Americans of African descent face and continue to face is cruel at best.
At his juncture, lets not forget that Colin Kaepernick a true American hero remains unemployed by the NFL today... punishment for exercising his 1st amendment rights. Lets not forget that the media is now not showing the protests on TV. We would like to highlight the many examples of UNPOPULAR, PEACEFUL PROTESTS the civil rights movement generated that in the end history judged as right and just include butnot limited to:
- The many marches held in the south.
- The lunch counter sit-ins.
- The Ministry of Martin Luther King.
- The Ministry of Malcolm X.
- The Muhammad Ali draft protest in which he refused to fight for a country that considered him a 2nd class citizen.
- The freedom riders.
The above examples were extremely unpopular even among the African diaspora who did not want to 'stir any trouble', however, history shows the protesters were right to stand (or kneel) peacefully for equal rights, justice and equality. The reason for the protests has and will continue to be about social inequality of all kinds, police brutality and institutionalized inequality like the protesters have always maintained. The only response left for those who do not want to have this difficult conversation that the said protests invoke is to deflect and try and control the narrative as they always have.
After the civil rights act (July 2, 1964)and the voting rights act (August 6th , 1965) there is a false narrative that Americans who do not want to want to have this difficult conversation propagate. This false narrative is simply that after passing legislation, the 'free' African diaspora despite the painful past and present, should be able to progress through society despite the residual traumathey carry and in spite of the head start the rest of America has. The false narrative continues to reinforce that the very institutions that have held the African diaspora down since the beginning of America in 1776 til date owe no responsibility for the pain , suffering and legacy of 2nd class citizenry.
This is the crux of the Colin Kaepernick anthem protests controversy. America simply is resisting having the painful conversation that would force it to introspect as a nation and make changes. So lets talk about disrespecting a flag despite the fact I have the protesters have 1st amendment rights permitting protesting peacefully as I want. Lets not talk about the many victims who are no longer with us today. Lets continue as usual, ignoring the pain of the past and its affect on our present and future.
In our pursuit of a more union , the African diaspora must continue to bend the Knee... Bend the Knee until we begin to have a much overdue conversation about the African diasporan place in American society. It may be hard to talk and take action at first but the promise for a more united tomorrow starts with this difficult conversation. We may seem to be more divided short term but in the long term we are truly respecting the military , flag and America as a whole. There is no greater show of respect for the men and women who fight for our freedoms than to exercise those freedoms in the pursuit of truth, happiness and equality...
So kneel...bend the Knee until a more perfect union is achieved!!!
God bless America!!!