Old Glory: What's in a Flag

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FRED ROYAL

PRESIDENT NAACP MILWAUKEE CHAPTER

EDITORIAL: OP-ED

“At what point do we do
something about it? At what
point do we take a stand and
as a people say this isn’t right?”
-Kaepernick

President Donald J. Trump made some condescending remarks about NFL players kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem prior to kickoff. These comments coming from a
sitting President disrespect the office that he holds, but that is a conversation for another time. I want to focus this discussion on the actions of kneeling while the.National Anthem is being sung.


What began as a gesture to protest police brutality and social injustice has careened into a national debate on everything but what Colin Kaepernick is protesting. Kaepernick used his national position to highlight the tragic police killing of unarmed men and women of color in this country. His intentions have been hijacked.

The sitting President only sees the protest as disrespecting an inanimate object, the
flag of the United States. Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers in that year.

Yes, vigilance, perseverance and justice, something that most people color don’t see too often especially justice. We are about just us but rarely do we experience true justice. Justice for Tamir Rice, justice for Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Freddy Gray; true justice for Derek Williams, Dontre Hamilton, Avery Williams, and Anthony Lamar Smith. So the question I ask, is the kneeling in protest for the lack of justice for killing unarmed men and women of color by law enforcement officers more disrespectful than honoring all of the citizens that the flag is supposed to represent, or is

 

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there an exclusionary clause for just us?”