I’m sure no one has been able to be online recently without seeing the current shit storm that is occurring within the NFL in regards to the protests. It took the President calling those protesting “sons of bitches” to really rally the storm though. The protest was started by Colin Kaepernick, as a way to bring attention to the fact that police brutality within the black community is a major problem that is being continually ignored. Our President, being quick to snap judgments, is the centerpiece of why America’s problem with discomfort is at the heart of this.
You see, the President wants to make this about respecting our anthem and our veterans. Why is that? It’s because of the discomfort that comes with acknowledging there is still a major issue at the core of our country when it comes to POC (person of color) and equality. It’s hard to admit our own biases. To stare them in the face, turn them over in our minds, and really examine WHY and HOW. They none the less exist though. And the only way out of this is through.
We have to stop letting our social conditioning towards certain feelings keep us silent, or allow us to be led off track. Patriotism is a hill many people use as a distraction to try and pull people away from the stark realities of what we need to be doing. We need to really examine the reasons behind feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, bias, and resentment. We need to examine why we feel these things when we do.
An example is the fact that so many get upset at the idea of white privilege. They shouldn’t. Discussing white privilege as an idea isn’t something a person should be ashamed of, or upset exists. It simply does. It does, however, mean we should take time to examine the fact that within that privilege comes our bias. And our bias is shown time and again through statistics. We see that bias across all spectrums, not just in police violence. It occurs in schools, careers, medicine, every single aspect of a persons daily life is affected by our personal biases.
And racial bias is not the only type of bias there is. Rich and poor, gay and straight, male and female. There are so many forms of bias out there.
But the NFL players were attempting to bring attention to racial bias in the form of police brutality. They have to start somewhere, and starting with the group of people pledged with keeping the safety of our streets seems like a great place to start. Up until this weekend, only 9 or so players had been participating. Then our President decided to call them “sons of bitches” for protesting, after weeks ago saying there were “some very fine people” within the ranks of Neo-Nazis. In response, players, teams, and owners responded to our Presidents attack on their protest by kneeling with them.
And then people lost their ever-loving minds. They’ve made this about everything other than what it should be about. They’ve made it about patriotism, the anthem, and/or their desire to just watch some football and chill.
Well, guess what? Your discomfort with the reality of what they are protesting, and your desire to be entertained, doesn’t excuse you from insulting people that are protesting for better treatment by police. Your entertainment isn’t more important than bringing attention to the fact that people within the black community are being brutalized by those sworn to protect them. Your desire for entertainment isn’t more important than that, and neither is your comfort.
We’re going to have to get a lot more uncomfortable to make things better. So get ready, the rides about to get bumpier.
If you’re reading this, and you want to know more, please check out these links:
- Mapping Police Violence
- Black Lives Matter
- On Racism and White Privilege
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
- White Privilege Statistics
If you know of more resources, please share in the comments and I will add them to the post!