What You’re Missing with the #TakeTheKnee Movement

I’ve hesitated to even write this post because I know it’s a hot topic and can easily lead to a heated exchange. However, I’ve never been known to stay silent about the things I believe in (no matter how controversial they may be) and I have no intention of starting now. With that being said…

A disproportionate amount of  unarmed black men have been executed by white cops for as long as I can remember. This is systematic racism at its finest and is beyond heartbreaking. Black people have been screaming “Don’t shoot us!” “Don’t kill our sons!” “We matter!” In response, we’ve been ignored, called thugs, and told “all lives matter”. Coming from a place of great influence Colin Kaepernick took it upon himself to peacefully protest this injustice on live tv by kneeling during the National Anthem. This quickly sparked outrage. Not because people were so upset about the loss of black lives, but because they felt as though he was disrespecting both the American flag as well as the National Anthem. Despite the outrage, he continued his protest and even encouraged others to join him. Recently, President Trump referred to those that kneel during the anthem “sons of bitches” and claimed they should be fired.

To live in a country where the President believes American citizens practicing their first amendment rights are “sons of bitches” and should be penalized is completely surreal. Freedom of speech and the right to protest are some of the basic principles that our country was founded on. I find it important to note that when neo-nazis were parading around Charlottesville inciting violence, they were “very fine people” simply practicing their first amendment right.

It’s time to wake up, America. This country is not being made great. It’s being torn apart. I completely support Colin Kaepernick and any players that feel the need to kneel during the anthem because the words “land of the free” just don’t feel true anymore. As an army wife, I love and appreciate everything our armed forces do in defense of our country. They do not, however, fight in defense of a flag or a song. Both the flag and the anthem are symbols of freedom and liberty for ALL people. Ignoring the outcry of marginalized AMERICAN citizens in unpatriotic. Silencing those expressing their first amendment right is unpatriotic. If you want to argue that the American military defends an anthem or a flag, I encourage you to look deeper. Those symbols stand for something that is currently lacking in what is suppose to be the “United” States of America. You can’t respect the symbols without respecting what they symbolize. The only way to honor and respect those symbols is to uphold what they stand for: liberty and justice for ALL. I’m with Colin. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿