#TakeAKnee: Protesting Oppression, Not America

By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

“When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

Pretend as if someone just asked you, “What do you believe the true meaning of the #TakeAKnee movement is?” What would your response be? Are you going to say that it is just a way for people to disrespect the U.S. flag or the military? Or are you going to say it is a way to protest the injustice against people of color in this country? If your answer correlates more with the latter, I would definitely have to agree with you.

If you have read some of my articles before, you probably know that I am not afraid of touching on controversial topics. When it comes to black empowerment and speaking out against injustice, I’m very much verbal with my opinion. But I have the right to, don’t I? I mean that is a right that the First Amendment grants me as a citizen of these United States. I don’t say these things just to anger people, there is always a motive behind the points I am trying to make. And that motive is pretty simple; try and bring awareness by getting people to think about a problem in our society. Although my platform isn’t as big as the athletes and celebrities choosing to partake in the #TakeAKnee movement, I believe it is all the same. They are using their resources and their freedom of expression to shine light on the issue of inequality present in our country. And if you don’t quite understand that, then maybe you are part of the overall problem.

What really irks me about all of the controversy towards the #TakeAKnee movement is that there are people who want to tell the oppressed how to feel. Thanks to the 45th President of the United States, whose rhetoric and attitude incites racism, there are people who seem to think that racism is “ok”. These are the same people who believe they have the right to tell people of color how to respond to the country’s injustice. If you are not a person of color, you can not speak on our behalf. People of color have been told that to be taken seriously, we should protest peacefully. We have tried to do that with the #TakeAKnee movement and apparently it still isn’t good enough. Why is that? Are they truly concerned about people disrespecting the country or are they afraid of people trying to send a message?

I just think it’s funny how patriotic people have become all of a sudden. It’s funny how concerned people have become about troops and veterans that they didn’t pay attention to or care about before. We want to bring up all these different narratives to try and distract everyone from what really matters. It shouldn’t be a question of whether or not people who chose to participate in this movement respect their country. The question should be what will this country do to respect ALL of its people.

It is about way more than our National Anthem. It is about way more than a flag. It has nothing to do with disrespecting the people who fought for our country. It is for people like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others who have fallen victim to oppression that is associated with their race. If more people could realize that, maybe we can work towards truly combating the not-so-hidden secret of America.

Featured image by Asia Daggs.

Asia Daggs

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