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Heartland Community College Student Magazine

An Opinion on #TakeAKnee

An Opinion on #TakeAKnee

I’ve only attended a few major sporting events in my lifetime, but each time I’ve witnessed sports fans buying hot dogs, sitting, talking on the phone, or even using the restroom during the National Anthem. So when the country went into a rage over NFL athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, I was a little surprised.

In my opinion, most of these people are trying so hard to be mad about something they aren’t totally comprehending. Let me explain. The protest has nothing to do with the flag or the National Anthem. It has everything to do with racism, and mostly, police brutality. Many people believe these horrible things all died with slavery, however, there are still so many cities across the country that have hyper-segregated communities.

For example, in St. Louis, the neighborhoods that have a high rate of people of color, have a less than 1% rate of homes being purchased with mortgage loans because people of color are less likely to be offered a home loan.

Another example would be in Chicago, and really any large city across the US. Neighborhoods that are predominantly black have less educational resources. In the state of Illinois, most of the funds used for public schools come from property taxes. Families with low income pay less in property taxes, which causes public schools in poorer neighborhoods to go without a lot of resources. Many of these families do not have access to sports or after school activities because they, and their schools, cannot afford them. This is just segregation. This does not even include police brutality, a major cause of the #TakeAKnee protest.

According to www.mappingthepolice.org, police across the United States killed at least 309 black people in 2016. Thirteen of the 100 largest US city police departments kill black men at higher rates than the US murder rate. In Bakersfield, CA, the rate of violent crimes was at an all-time low, however, the rate of black people killed by the police was at an all-time high. What makes this even worse is, 99% of cases in 2015 have not resulted in any officers involved being convicted of a crime.

The #TakeAKnee protest is not about the flag. It’s not about the National Anthem. It’s about civil rights. It’s about equality for EVERYONE, not just white people. I’ve seen so many comments on social media from those who are against the #TakeAKnee protest. These comments, all too often, suggest that these athletes leave the country if they don’t like it here. However, isn’t this country supposed to be a free country? Isn’t this country supposed to have equality for everyone? It would be a lot easier to live here if we could all just love each other, regardless of race, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation.

People of color will protest by marching in the streets, and the country is in rage because they feel that isn’t the way to protest. People of color march outside the White House and the country is in rage because they feel that also is not the way to protest. People of color riot in the streets of St. Louis and the country is in rage because they feel that isn’t the way either. So NFL athletes use their platform, to advocate for those who do not have a voice, and they kneel during the National Anthem, and the country is in rage because they’re “disrespecting the flag.” So, I guess I close out this article with one question, what is the proper way to protest?

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