STOP LYING: IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE FLAG

I know…I know! You’re tired of hearing about the flag issue and talking about the flag issue that has dominated headlines over the past year. I get it!

But, for anyone who is opposed to NFL players or athletes, from any walk of life, choosing to take a knee, I would like for you to tell me what you are doing or have done to address police brutality and the oppression for which Colin Kaepernick and others have been taking a knee to bring attention to in the first place?

Let’s forget the flag and the anthem for a minute, because there have been so many false narratives put out there to try and change the focus of what the protests have been all about.

There is NO disrespect of the military. There is NO disrespect of veterans. There is NO disrespect of the flag. These, and other false narratives, have been put out there by select groups of people to try and keep us distracted and divided by distorted truths, as opposed to the REAL reason this movement began – addressing the oppression of Black people in this country.

You can spruce it up and try to make it as logical as your mind can conceive, but the reality is, the oppression Blacks continue to suffer from in America is legitimate, and it can’t be ignored. Whether you choose to protest or not, it really doesn’t matter, because the movement has begun and will not be quenched. The conversation will not go away until the issues are addressed, and I refuse to allow these hypocritical trolls to ignore the root issue of the protests, by seeking to deflect and divert the focus away from the real issues towards a false narrative.

There are many who say we should find another way to protest, but they refuse to even address the issues being brought up concerning police brutality, racism and oppression.

While we are on the subject, could someone please tell me what ways of protest, other than kneeling during the national anthem, would be acceptable ways of protest that would cause America to actually deal with the issues of police brutality, racism and the oppression of Black people? I am literally all ears, because with history as one of our best indicators, we know that there have been many other efforts attempted, but I can’t think of one form of protest by Black people that was ever widely accepted by the people who were committing racist acts, brutalizing us or systematically oppressing us. Maybe you can enlighten me, but I doubt that you can.

How condescending and privileged is that? How does anyone feel they get to oppress Black people and then turn right around and tell Black people how and when they get to protest that oppression? Where they do that at? America…We are more than just your entertainment!

Isn’t it interesting that America seems to be fine with allowing a well-known White domestic terrorist entity, known as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), to parade up and down the streets of this country with no accountability, yet has an issue with athletes taking a knee? Or the fact that America seems to be okay with select groups of people celebrating the history of the flag of the 11 slave-holding states, who literally said “go to hell” to the flag of the United States of America, along with its leadership, as well as what that flag stands for, by attempting to secede from the Union, yet has an issue with athletes taking a knee? Or the fact that America seems to have no issues with the descendants and supporters of the Confederacy celebrating the flag and history of those same rogue individuals, who tried their best, even to the point of death, to destroy the America they claim to love, yet has an issue with athletes taking a knee? How hypocritical!

Anyone who understands football should realize that taking a knee is not a sign of disrespect on the football field, but it is actually the ultimate sign of respect and concern for their fellow man. If you have ever played the game of football, or been a spectator at a game, you would know that athletes take a knee all the time as a sign of respect to a wounded/injured player – whether they are a teammate or an opponent. Think about that for a moment. Now what if people in this country actually took the time to view athletes taking a knee during the national anthem, with a similar viewpoint, in that these athletes are actually showing a sign of respect by taking a knee in order to draw attention to the fact that they are living in a country that is seriously wounded/injured as a result of decades of police brutality, racism and oppression towards Black people. By taking a knee, athletes are showing that our country is truly in need of our attention and concern on the football field of life – similar to that of a wounded/injured football player.

I know that there are many of you who would tell Black people to stop being emotional about this issue, but it’s hard not to be emotional when you and your loved ones are the victims, or potential next victims, of this targeted form of domestic terrorism and systematic oppression.

So, in my best ‘unemotional’ attempt to make my point, let me remind you that this conversation is far bigger than the false narratives being presented. Until it becomes important enough to those of you who refuse to see this for what it truly is, then you are the reason we take a knee.

If your only response to someone protesting the oppression of Black people in this country is providing an excuse to focus on the actual act of kneeling during the national anthem versus the primary reason the athletes are kneeling in the first place, then you are the exact reason why people are choosing to take a knee and protest.

If your only response to Black people being systematically murdered by select rogue and irresponsible law enforcement officials is, “But what about Black on Black crime?”, then you are the exact reason why people are choosing to take a knee and protest.

Stop making excuses. It was NEVER about the flag.

We won’t let anyone hijack this movement by creating a false narrative. We are going to control the narrative moving forward. The false narratives and off-based comments regarding the real reason these courageous men and women are using their platforms to protest the real issues in this country, are the primary reasons Kaepernick protested to begin with, and it won’t stop.

Considering everything Black people have gone through and continue to go through in this country, let me tell you that kneeling during the National Anthem, as a response to decades of police brutality, racism and systematic oppression, is the last thing people in this country should be concerned about Black people doing.

These athletes are good people. None of them have said or done anything that should be considered disrespectful, violent or hateful towards anyone else in this country. These bold athletes are just taking a stand, and should be allowed to take a stand, the same way America claims to take a stand against all of its enemies – both foreign and domestic.

Black people are tired of being systematically oppressed, systemically abused and systematically targeted. We refuse to remain silent any longer!

And for anyone who is offended by a group of mostly Black, kneeling football players, expressing themselves with a silent gesture of solidarity against police brutality, racism and systematic oppression; while remaining silent about violent White supremacists wearing khaki pants, toting Confederate flags and carrying Tiki torches, as they are referred to as “good people” while spreading hate in our country, then you can realize now why you are the exact reason people like Kaepernick and many others are choosing to take a knee and protest.

Stop lying! This was NEVER about the flag. So, stop spreading that false narrative.

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey has been a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Jeffrey has a national daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney, and is a dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at jboney1@forwardtimes.com.