ARTICLE: NBA’s Steve Kerr blasts Trump over anthem tantrum: ‘You know what else is disrespectful to our flag? Racism’
As unprecedented hundreds of NFL players, staff, and owners join today in exercising their patriotic and Constitutional right to protest systemic racism, Steve Kerr, coach of the NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors, expands the straightforward logic of such nonviolent protests:
“How about the irony of, ‘Free speech is fine if you’re a neo-Nazi chanting hate slogans, but free speech is not allowed to kneel in protest?’” Kerr added. “No matter how many times a football player says, ‘I honor our military, but I’m protesting police brutality and racial inequality,’ it doesn’t matter. Nationalists are saying, ‘You’re disrespecting our flag.’ Well, you know what else is disrespectful to our flag? Racism. And one’s way worse than the other.”
Suggesting that individuals within an oppressed group take responsibility for systemic racism is missing the point, badly.
Suggesting that these protests create division implies that those that divide are the problem. But the goal isn’t unity. The goal is equality.
The solution isn’t to stay in your own lane, the solution is for people of color to continue to use their visibility to bring to light the problems that exist, and for people who are in the position of privilege and power to use their influence to make changes.
These individuals, starting with Colin Kaepernick, through their highly effective nonviolent protest have absolutely influenced other groups to better understand that systemic racism exists. Today is an example that nonviolent protest works. Just like it worked for Jesus to change people’s understanding of God, just like it worked for Ghandi to peacefully end colonialism in India, just like it worked for MLK during the civil rights movement.