Taking a Knee. You Must Understand Your Past to Improve the Future.

It is a amazing to me that a man getting on bended knee to pray (ask) for equal justice and treatment for people of color is hated by so many people. During the Civil Rights movement, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took a knee to pray outside the Dallas County Alabama courthouse in 1965 before a civil rights march. Protesting by prayer doesn’t seem disrespectful to me. But our President can see civility in Neo-Nazis and KKK members, but he can’t condone men protesting peacefully. What does that say about our nation when a large segment of this country supports the president’s words of divisiveness? When a group of rich NFL owners won’t hire a much needed professional quarterback.

Athletes such as Paul Robeson, Craig Hodges, Mauhmoud Abdul-Rauf and Muhammad Ali are only a few of the African-American athletes who have protested during their athletic careers in the United States. Paul Robeson was working to empower Black folks before and after World War II. I’m amazed he lived to be 77 years old. Collin Kaepernick is not the first athlete to protest during the national anthem. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf as a NBA star refused to support the national anthem. In 1996, he started refusing to stand for the national anthem. He took fines, he was cursed and other Americans invaded a local mosques in the city he played basketball. After his NBA career was over, he moved to Atlanta. It was easy, because his home in Mississippi had been burned to the ground.

Muhammad Ali’s legacy is well known. But it is interesting that he is now heralded as a civil rights visionary who refused to fight in the Vietnam War, because he believed those who are oppressed, should not fight the oppressed. When he did it in the 1960’s, fellow Americans wanted to run him out of the country or put him in jail. They took his money, his boxing titles and tried to break him. Sounds familiar? Today, he is a national treasure. Because with time he was proven right by the majority population in America.  I think the same will be said of Collin Kaepernick one day.

If you study American history, you learn that our nation was formed out of protest against mistreatment. And that was a violent protest. Today, we have white Americans who protest the federal government out West with illegal firearm sales and illegally holding property. Or that fact that a large segment of this nation still celebrates the Confederate flag. A symbol of rebellion against our own nation and its Constitution.

Some people will read this blog and say, “Brian Love is a mad Black man who doesn’t support his country.” And this is what I will say. I’m a proud Marine veteran who has sweated and bled for “my” country. I nearly died for my country. Actually, I always stand and honor the flag and national anthem. But I served so other Americans who don’t agree with me can take a knee a pray for justice and equality for “all” Americans. This is the lesson we should be teaching our children as they watch how adults are treating each other during these times of hate and division.

One message I always try to push in my blogs is the importance of communication. We must talk to each other to create trust and understanding. For our country to live up to its promise to be the rock of Democracy. Our kids must learn the truth about their nation’s history and talk to each other about it. If not, we are doomed to repeat the hate and destruction that has always haunted our country since the United States was formed.

This is a saying from Education Post, “It’s time for a better conversation. One about creating and supporting more great public schools and skilled, inspiring teachers. Let’s make the American Dream possible for every kid in every community, regardless of income or skin color.”

Let me know what you think @DetroitSchlTalk. Conversation and communication is the key to learning to live and work together in the greatest nation in the world.  @Edu_post @The74 @MiChronicle #Voices4Ed





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