We've all have apparently lost our lungs...as no one seems to be able to take a deep breathe with pause or reflection nowadays.
Before you debaters decide to respond to this post please swallow the following statement and ship it directly to your gray matter warehouse for processing:
There is inequality in the US. There is racial injustice in the US. I know it. I've seen it. And if you know my personal life you know I've experienced it. I'm sickened by it and yes I firmly believe the time is NOW to fix this. So let's don't turn this into anything other than the aforementioned. I stand united to support change and we need change fast.
This is about rights. About symbolism. About an approach. Somewhere along the line we seemed to have forgotten that nearly every one of us feel strongly about things. We are passionate. We are emotional. Even sometimes we feel so deeply about things that we would die for our beliefs in them. That's OUR country.
What really strikes me as odd today is that we seem to have lost our overall lack of respect for our fellow man around basic things. Like you're not me and I'm not you. We like and dislike things differently. But see that's the beauty of OUR country. It provides these rights to do and feel this way. Recently however differences have become battle lines, hatred justifications and causing actions of crime, injustice and inequality. I think OUR approaches at times flat out sucks.
I mean like whoa, when the hell did our Personal Compass lose sight of due north? What happen to "one nation" and "indivisible"? When did ME start to overrule US?
We have a number of problems. And as they say, the first step to fixing the problem is to admit we have a problem. Sorry extreme minority, if you seriously don't think there is a problem then you're part of the problem. We do and there's no defense to denying there isn't.
So what's the best way to "fix" problems?
Creativity. Compromise. Collaboration. Compassion. Concession.
These are approaches to "how" you "fix" problems. See it's really time to use these approaches to take action and find solutions. What’s alarming is I don't see much of these approaches nowadays.
However what I do see is the use of OUR rights to draw attention to the problem. Now freedom of speech is a right. It's the foundation of this great country. But when does a right to free speech becoming an approach that is not helpful? Nowadays it's constant. I firmly believe that nowadays we use freedom to express our beliefs more as a weapon versus making a statement. Compromise apparently died off like the dinosaurs. Today an opinion or belief is treated as win-lose. People feel their beliefs must win over a different view at all costs.
Think of it like this. You want to accomplish something. You can only be successful by convincing 4 separate groups that you have a good solution to fix the issue. Now I ask, would you be successful at getting your results by upsetting 2 of the 4 groups... even though you had the "right" and "freedom" to legally upset them and think any compromise to your view would be losing? We both know the answer. And please spare me the "they'll never change/believe". That's a lame excuse to just be lazy and to be inflammatory.
See the point is OUR country has "given" us all many freedoms. This expression however can work also to divide us if the approaches used through these freedoms alienates the very same people we need to come to the table so that all can demonstrate Creativity. Compromise. Collaboration. Compassion. Concession.
If you're still reading and not catching what I'm throwing here I'll be more blunt. First the non-debating disclaimers: Yes we have problems. Yes you have the God given right to protest and demonstrate via freedom of speech, etc. But I ask a simple question. Do you really believe that kneeling during OUR country's national anthem is not pissing some people off? Maybe even ones that agree with your beliefs but now you're making them emotionally charged about all the WRONG topics??? Military. Patriotism. Etc.? How would upsetting military individuals help get them forced on racial inequality? It won’t.
I'm sorry if you feel this is fixing the issue. It's not. Action will fix it. Yes you've gotten everyone's attention. You've raised awareness. Perfect. Now stop making people mad and suggest something. Do something. Dropping to a knee fixes nothing from this point forward. Saying "it's broke" is not a solution.
Pro athletes you want to force change? Here's one for you. Refuse to play another game until something of reason is legislatively passed. Now there's the stage you like to state you have. That's showing your power. That's gonna make people want it fixed and fixed ASAP. And you know what that is? It's called sacrifice. It's shows this: you feel so strongly about the issue that you'll forfeit something you love to fix society. BOOM.
Now that's a stage. A statement. A sacrifice. Something that millions of Americans did giving up their lives at times so that we had these "rights". Best part is you don't have to lose your life. Even better is your stage would unite us. Creativity would flow like the Amazon River.
And trust me everyone that loves these sports (myself included) regardless of their feelings will start to fix these problems ASAP. You'll show not just Americans, but the world that when it goes beyond a 2-3 minute kneel or a few checks that 99% of Americans could only dream to write just how strong the desire is to solve the problem. It is then that your statements will turn to action and show true sacrifice.
That's when it gets real. That's the fastest road to fixing these real problems. That's when even your harshest critics will seek solutions. How many now support the cause? Everyone because we love our sports. Dropping to a knee is just stirring hard feelings. No, show us how important it is. Make us really pay attention. Pause our sports. We all will change trust me.
But I will bet you this. Keep doing it. Soon you will be ignored. Oh maybe someone will boo you. Maybe someone will create a website and tally all that kneel, but trust me you will soon become insignificant because you have not action.
See whether you want to acknowledge it or not when you kneel you are pissing people off. And you denying it and saying that's not your intent is no different than some Americans believing we don't have racial inequality. You doing and continuing to do it is about as pleasing to some Americans using the "N" to say black Americans are treated good and that it's just a word. Or the abortion protester slapping a picture of aborted fetuses on your car windshield. Its the approach. It’s flawed.
I agree with you. We are a broken country with respect to our injustices. However kicking some Americans in a sensitive spot which is one symbol that everyone else in the world recognizes as US (OUR flag) probably isn't the best approach.
It's time for ACTION and if there is no results then it might require your SACRIFICE to wake up an entire nation to start to do the right thing. Sacrifice is hard, maybe as you kneel or sit the next time you should also consider the injustice you might be doing to some who sacrificed for OUR country. Ones who fought or are fighting against people who want to take away your freedoms and rights because you were just an American regardless of your race or creed.
Stand up and force change. You’re one of the few groups that can. Continue this path and I bet by year's end you will not even be acknowledged like you are today.
OUR country. OUR flag. OUR approach.