On one knee, a light fall breeze caressing the star spangled banner that flies high above my bowed head. All those around me stand in reverence as i kneel in mournful defiance.
I have chosen this poignant moment to scream a silent statement. This moment when America stands in respect, paying homage to all the men and women who have fought, died and otherwise strived to build this great nation that affords us our civil liberties and freedom.
It is this moment, I have elected to invoke those same civil liberties and freedoms by a silent demonstration. I, on one knee, reserve this moment to highlight both how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
It is this space and time I am using to bring awareness to those who are still dying beaten choked shot and otherwise lynched, denied their humanity right here on American soil.
This is why I am on one knee.
Some will misunderstand or intentionally attempt to confuse the issue by claiming my actions are disrespectful and in some way are intended to disgrace fallen soldiers, this claim is ignorance. Others will attempt to stir this into a political debate and this too is foolishness.
I kneel because I see a nation that has not kept its promises to the enslaved people it victimized here. I kneel because unarmed black men are being killed publicly by the same shield that has sworn to protect them. I kneel for the unheard cries of brutalized people who have forgotten their self worth due to centuries of lies and abuse. So, I kneel in my silent protest to injustices
And when the President of the United States in one breath, declares me a son of a bitch for my actions, yet in another breath claims that the armed combative racist groups such as the ones who gathered in Charlottesville were “good people” this is when i realize this race issue runs all the way to the top and far deeper than the uneducated bowels of the south.
They will look at me in confusion and wonder why am I doing this as if I am expected to forget that only 36 years ago was the last recorded American lynching. When in 1981, a man named Michael Donald was beaten and hanged in Mobile, Alabama. Yes, we are expected to forget the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the murder of Michael Brown only to name a few. We are expected to simply forget and do nothing, but we have not forgotten so I kneel as a way of taking a stand for something to show that we should bow to nothing. We have come a long way since the days of whites only drinking fountains but we still have such a long way to go. Our struggle for equality continues…
Authors note: I am interested in hearing any ideas that readers may have for new forms of individual protest against the aforementioned injustices. If you like, please leave a comment and repost. Thank you Khalif Alan