We all can afford to take a knee

Published 11:49 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Throughout our history certain individual(s) have used certain acts or physical gestures to protest what he or she may deem social injustices. In 1773, the colonist unloaded cargoes of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest of taxation without representation. At the 1968 Summer Olympics Games in Mexico City, two Black American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium, bowed their heads and raised their infamous black gloved fists in protest of the black dream being deferred by a white Jim Crow America.

In the game of football, if a team or player decides they want a play/game to end before it is officially called, they take a “knee” to signal non-participation. During the 2016 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the National Anthem, he took a knee. He was exercising his first amendment right to free speech by peacefully protesting against the brutality and killing of unarmed African-American males by police officers.

My concern is while most Americans are angry at the way he chose to do so, in my opinion, we all can afford to take a knee.

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America is faced with some issues, which are causing our moral compass to point in the direction of self-destruction. While pondering this form of protest, I observe some issues that hit close to home. My sense of humanity takes a knee every time I see food being thrown in the trash as if it is garbage. Family business is no longer personal, but a post on Facebook, I take a knee. I take a knee when the words student/parent accountability is not mentioned in the same sentence as teacher/school accountability or when there is more emphasis on the latter than the former.

Then there are those of you, who unknowingly are taking apart in the “Take a Knee Protest.” Church pews empty, football stands full, you’ve taken a knee. A knee has been taken when you are able bodied to work, but are unwilling to work. When you celebrate your Black History Month, but fail to cast your vote in elections, you have chosen to take a knee. When you rush to Black Friday sales, instead of ministering to someone else in need, you have taken a knee. Those who refuse to compromise on gun control laws, no matter how many lives are lost due to gun violence, are on bended knees. Politicians have knelt in empathy against affordable health care. A president, well that’s another story. There are palatial of issues that are plaguing America. No one group is immune.

So, the next time you are in the presence of any situation that goes against not only the National Anthem, but any just and fair entity, speak up. Rosa Parks took a knee by refusing to go to the back of the bus. The disenfranchised citizens of the 60s took their knee at the 1963 March on Washington. President Lyndon Johnson took a knee for an entire class of people when he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If the cause is just and your sense of duty is great, the vessel will present itself. Lastly, do not be self-serving in your cause; taking up a cause can come at a great price. Rosa went to jail, Martin died at the age of 39 and President Johnson did not get re-elected. I am just saying what I am saying.
Cynthia Anderson

Natchez resident