[RL] Why I kneel…

This started out as an Instagram post, but the more I typed out I realized that this needed to be a blog post.

Because of the insidious comments from Majin Drumpf, a lot of attention has been brought again to Colin Kaepernick and #TakeAKnee started trending on Twitter. Many people are angry with Colin for kneeling, but does anyone even remember WHY he knelt in the first place?

He started during the 2016 football season to bring attention to the oppression of people of color in this country. And for all the positives others can say about the United States (our freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights, employment opportunities, etc.), we can all agree that it hasn’t been kind to people that look like me, and other people of color. ┬áIt’s very easy to slag Colin off and say, “Oh he’s disrespecting the anthem/the flag/our veterans/insert other dumbass reason here.” But that’s simply not true. Hop onto Twitter or Google and search #VeteransforKaepernick and #TakeAKnee to see that many who have served are in solidarity with the message Colin has been sending.

In the US, over 250 black people were killed by the police in 2016. These are facts that can be looked up and verified. I’ll post some links below for those who want to read more about this. Whatever your opinion of Freddie Gray was, he still didn’t deserve to have his back literally broken while in police custody and die days later in a hospital. He CLEARLY was injured by a person and yet, no one was held accountable.

Oscar Grant. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott. Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Philando Castile. Aiyana Jones. Michael Brown. John Crawford III. Laquan McDonald, and countless others we don’t know even about that have been lost to history. I ask that you look them up and read about how their lives ended. He kneels for them.

I kneel for them. I kneel for my brother, whom I worry for everyday because he’s a 6’3″ black man who is a law-abiding citizen but whom society may look at as a threat. I kneel for my brother-in-law, whom is a college professor but because he likes to take walks in his liberal California, someone may feel like “he don’t belong in this neighborhood” and call the police. I kneel for myself, because at anytime I drive, some rogue cop may feel like I must be up to no good and pull me over and I might not make it home that day. I kneel because we clearly have a problem in this country, and something must be done.

But I also am proud at those who kneel with us. At those who raise their fists at injustice and proclaim with their voices, their privilege, their resources that yes, this is a problem and we can no longer shut our eyes and hope it just goes away. Because at the end of the day, we all will have to pick a side. And I’m proud to be on this side of history.

As this gains more attention and the aggravators come out to derail with rumors and misinformation, I want you all to educate yourself on the facts. Know what’s real and what isn’t. And ask yourself this:

Which side have I chosen?

 

P.S.: Here are some sites and articles for information if you’d like to learn more– Mapping Police Violence, Washington Post, Harvard Politics, Think Progress

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