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A Conversation About Taking A Knee

by Merl Moore (MerlMoore@mail.com)

 WHITE FOOTBALL FAN: I'm really angry about you kneeling during the National Anthem. You're disrespecting the flag!
 AFRICAN-AMERICAN NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER: I'm not disrespecting the flag.
 WFF: But you're disrespecting the troops!
 A-AFP: The troops have nothing to do with it and neither does the flag or the anthem.
 WFF: Well, you're disrespecting America!
 A-AFP: Well, maybe a little bit in so much as we're protesting how unfairly African-American people, especially young African-American men and boys, are treated by the authorities in America and how little justice is available to them in America. So in that respect, I guess you could say we're disappointed in America.
 WFF: You hate America!
 A-AFP: No we don't, not at all. We're simply petitioning the government for redress of grievances and the best way to get everyone's attention, the most effective way to protest concerning that issue is to make a point of it during the National Anthem at a NFL game when all eyes are on the players.
 WFF: The President says you hate America.
 A-AFP: Well, not just the President. All of those in power, from the President to the Team Owners to the media, all are deflecting from the real issue. Basically they're all re-framing the narrative so they don't have to address the actual point. Have any of those people or entities even mentioned what it is specifically that this protest is all about? No. As long as they're talking about the flag and the troops, which isn't what any of this is all about, they don't have to talk about the cops, racism and injustice in America or how we should address that issue. 

 WFF: You've done very well for yourself, what gives you the right to protest the government about anything?
 A-AFP: Actually, it's the Constitution that gives us the right to petition the government for the remedy of grievances, i.e.: to protest. Go ahead, look it up, and don't worry, you won't have to read much, it's in the very first Amendment. And yes, I've done all right but the First Amendment doesn't disqualify those who've done well and this isn't so much about me personally as it is about my African-American sisters and brothers from different fathers and mothers.
 WFF: Well, it still upsets me.
 A-AFP: Actually, protests are supposed to be upsetting, inconvenient and uncomfortable. First the people upset by the protest are unaware of what the protest is all about so they get upset about the protest itself but eventually you become aware of the issues and get upset about the grievance being protested. That's how protesting works. Let's face it, if you were upset today about the way blacks are treated in this country, you'd be protesting with us all ready.