The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers
White Attempts to Control Black
Then came Colin Kaepernick, beloved quarterback in the National Football League. Last year, Kaepernick incited white rage when he refused
to stand for the National Anthem to protest the wrongdoings against people of color, most notably police-involved shootings of African
Americans. Taking a knee has since spread across the sports world beyond the NFL. The fury of white America has been uncontrollable.
Black players were chastised — even attacked — by sports fans and those who never had an interest in sports. The nerve to not show respect
for the American anthem and the flag! Then came the threats. NFL TV ratings were down and blamed on the protests, protests that sometimes
included non-Black players and even coaches.
The fact of the matter is that NFL ratings have been sinking for the last couple of years. So has NFL stock. Yet your president didn’t miss the
opportunity to be distracted from his presidential obligations and call for the firing of any NFL player who took a knee.
By telling Black people we can’t exercise our freedom of speech only validates the notion that we have no rights. That’s another layer of
racism on top of the original racism.
I have never heard anyone dictate how Jewish people should respond to the Holocaust. I’ve never seen Jewish people being called out for
remembering one of the most horrifying massacres in human history. Of course not, it would be totally inappropriate.
I would urge white people to refrain from implying that Black people are second-class citizens or sub-humans and therefore, have no rights
under U.S. law. Instead I would encourage them to listen deeply to understand the many ways racism manifests itself in this country. Righteous
empathy may have you taking a knee or chanting “Black Lives Matter!”
Protests abound because injustice abounds. In the U.S., when people of African descent rise up to resist the
never-ending onslaught of racist attitudes, practices and laws, the last thing we want to hear is a critique by
those of European descent as to how we should protest our own oppression.
These days, we aren’t talking about the “elegant racism” that author Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about just months
before Ferguson exploded with the murder of young Mike Brown by cop Darren Wilson. We’re not talking about
the subterranean racism that sporadically rears its head. We’re talking about the in-yo-face white supremacy
that no longer hides in the shadows. It’s the kind of chest thumpin’ racism encouraged by president trump.
When white police murder an unarmed Black person, too often the retort is “If only s/he had complied with police
command…” In response to Black Lives Matter, it’s All Lives Matter —totally dismissing the reality of racial
discrimination. There’s no racial profiling, only criminal Black people. And it goes on and on.