Take a knee

You can’t equivocate on this issue, our country has tried to sweep it under the carpet ever since the Black Panthers stopped having a voice, but instead of black Americans getting hanged they have simply been shot at an alarming percentage compared to their Caucasian brothers.

I was disappointed last year when Colin Kaepernick took a knee but did so by himself. Where was the Pee Wee Reese moment where his Caucasian teammate would kneel next to him?  A year later the movement has spread as President Trump galvanized the players by making a typically anti-constitutional comment. It must drive him crazy that he is not a monarch and that our country has a whole series of checks and balances that he still trying to figure out ways to dodge.

Just as he dodged the draft, he has never served anything but himself, so when the blowhard tweeted that people should be fired for protesting, just proves once again, that President Trump has no idea what this country is supposed to be about.

His henchman Mike Huckaby had this to say:

The former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said on Fox News, “I wish that some of these players who get on one knee would get on both knees and thank God they live in the United States.”

Seeming to ignore the entire history of the African American world. The world in which they were kidnapped from their country to work as slaves in our country. The country which continued to hang them for a myriad of reasons, most of which were simply because they were black.

Most of my life I’ve felt the people who died in the Civil War is the price this country paid for slavery

Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty.  Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.

and that should have closed the book on the Caucasian guilt of what they did to the people of color but the book never closes. Whatever lessons we should have learned we did not as we progressively moved through each segment of the color chart of the human experience,  Native American, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, South American. You name a color the United States has smeared that color rather than embrace it.  First, we brought you here to do the worst jobs we had and then hated you for doing them.  Almost a psychopathic display of non-Christian attitudes.

The ongoing protest is now about the percentage of people of color who are being murdered by the police force of the United States but it could just as easily be about all of the inequity of our system.  I’ll even admit that for most of my life I assumed every shooting was for just cause, but seventeen years ago the Los Angeles Police Department shot a black American at a Halloween Party   and the reason behind it did not hold water.  Ever since that incident, I have had an open eye to the victim of a police shooting.

I won’t pretend to understand the pressures a police person goes through to do their job, but I do know that if you are going to take the job as a police person you can’t simply kill the people you have been hired to protect every time you feel you are in danger. It is obvious that major training needs to happen, and that some of the police people involved in shooting unarmed people of color need to be held more accountable for their crime than simply losing their jobs.

Should an athlete who has made it thank God they live in the United States? He should thank his athletic skills because without those skills he would have had a 10% chance of being incarcerated in this great country of ours.

I can understand a Caucasian person taking a knee and thanking God if they happen to believe in God for being born in the United States, I don’t believe that holds true for people of color, and until it does, taking a knee during the National Anthem is a very pacifistic way of protesting the gross inequities of this nation between people of color and us white folk.

Last year after Colin Kaepernick took his knee I was at a Clipper game, I really wanted to take a knee but didn’t. I lost a little bit of respect for myself that night.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo sports explains why Bruce Maxwell took a knee.

The 2000 Census counted 14,128 people living in Cullman, Alabama, a city in the northern part of the state, halfway between Huntsville and Birmingham. Forty-eight of those residents were black. Baseball took Bruce Maxwell an hour down the road to Cullman that year for a tournament. He was just shy of 10 years old, mature enough to understand that almost nobody there looked like him, innocent enough to believe it didn’t matter. His father was African-American. His mother was white. He couldn’t control who he was.

“We won the tournament,” Maxwell said, “and a man stood up in the stands. And he threatened to hang me and my dad.”

When Bruce Maxwell took a knee this weekend,  he did it for all of us who did not have the balls to do so on our own.

Thank you




  1. Josh (the Foils)

    Really well written. Thanks for this.


    • Thanks, Josh. I added the Jeff Passan story after noticing it from your comment on TBLA.


  2. 68elcamino427

    In 1994 I did a customer service call on a white male teacher at the Grape Street School In the LAUSD. The man was near retirement having taught at the school since 1972.
    I had a rather close encounter with the Grape Street Gang returning to my car, which was parked across the street, after school the prior afternoon. Six guys and two pit bulls on leashes made of chains stood in the street between me and my vehicle. The looks that I was getting were not kind. I walked through them, got into my car and left. No one bothered me, but these guys were trying to intimidate me.
    I mentioned this to the teacher.
    He told me that during the times of the Black Panther Party, members were allowed on campus before school and they would hold “training sessions” and lecture to the children as they ate their breakfast.
    And then he told me about the young fifth grader who one day had a question for the teacher.
    The young boy said, “I don’t know what to do. You are nice to me and you help me, but the people at breakfast tell me that I’m supposed to hate you, because you are white.”

    In the Oakland School District I read many student compositions posted by the teacher as examples of work in the classroom. The grief, fear and sadness over the death of siblings, relatives and friends was a common theme. Fear of death by neighbor, not the police.

    Violence begets violence.
    Hate begets hate.

    Stereotyping and characterizing only serves to perpetuate.

    Stop the cycle.

    Rather, my suggestion is to find and encourage the common ties that bind us together.



  1. Take a Knee | Dodgers, Yesterday and Today

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: