Last month, a teacher from a New York state high school was suspended from teaching because of his idiotic Facebook post. He stated that he failed two students because of their refusal to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
This is by far the dumbest thing that an educator could say or do. Standing for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem isn’t a requirement for students to do while attending school, it is a choice. I think it’s very irresponsible to hold students accountable for not acknowledging the beliefs of some bigots who uses the flag or the National Anthem as an excuse to degrade and disrespect African Americans.
If the people who are complaining about African Americans kneeling for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem would actually pay attention as to why they are kneeling, instead of propagandizing a false rhetoric that would suggest that African Americans are disrespecting the military.
If kneeling for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem was to disrespect the military than why would we disrespect other African Americans who died serving and protecting the same country that we all live in together.
African Americans are tired of being treated unequal as well as being treated unfairly by the institution (Police) that is supposed to protect and serve all Americans. The last line of the National Anthem says, “For the land of the free, and the home of the brave”, but are African Americans really free? According to the Huffington Post at least 223 Black Americans were killed by police since Colin Kaepernick’s first protest.
Are African Americans really treated equal?
The NFL averages over 13 billion dollars in revenue and over 70 percent of its players are African Americans but the NFL does not have one single African American owner. In 2003, the NFL instituted the “Rooney Rule,” requiring NFL teams to interview minority candidates for vacant head coaching positions. The reason why this became a rule was because African Americans were not given the same opportunity to be considered for head coaching positions. Currently, there are only 7 black NFL head coaches.
According to a recent study by the Nielsen Company, African Americans will have $1.1 trillion in collective buying power by 2015 (increasing to about $1.3 trillion by 2017), making us “more relevant than ever” as a consumer bloc. However, there are currently only 4 Black CEOs in the fortune 500.
African Americans make up an estimated 13.3 percent of the current US population, which is a little over 43 million people. However, in 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population. According to the NAACP, in 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population. African Americans are incarcerated more than 5 times the rate of whites. The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women. Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court. If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.
Now, I have only provided a few reasons as to why African Americans kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. We are embracing a culture who are not afraid to speak up to injustices that are happening across this country. Our only true request is that we are treated at the same rate as our white counterparts. We have hard working black men and women who also want to provide an honest living for their families. Our silent protest is to show those who are in position of power is that we are willing to sacrifice to be heard.
Kneeling did not just start, we have been silently protesting for decades.
All we want is to be heard and understood. Lets lay down the politics and pick up the spiritual values that are country prides on which is the “Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free”.