Neither Laws Nor Minds Nor Hearts Are Changed By Silence And Compliance

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I’m angry and hurt today. I’ve read some of your posts on my feed in recent weeks. Said nothing. Felt the sting of your words, but said nothing.

Today, I will speak. I will speak because some athletes not standing for our flag doesn’t affect you. Sure. It might anger you, but it does not affect the quality of your life.

But every time a black person is gunned down and the video is played over and over on national and international TV, it affects me. It affects my kids and my family. And we’re not criminals. We aren’t walking down the street wearing hoodies and carrying Skittles and iced tea. You know, like a criminal who deserves to be killed. And when YOU defend that action, it affects me. It affects all of us.

And you know what else? It affects my husband. It makes his job a lot less safe, and it makes him a target of additional violence and hatred.

If you want to “unfriend” me, go right ahead. If you want to label me, I assure you, I have been called worse than anything you can fathom. I have been treated BY COPS in the most disrespectful and blatantly racist ways. I don’t speak about it in public to protect my husband. One day, I will, to protect my children.

If you don’t get that we have a problem in this country with the way blacks and whites are treated, you and I aren’t really friends to begin with.

It isn’t a difference of opinion. We don’t “disagree.” It is a fundamental underlying point of view that sets you above me in a position to determine whether blacks have a legitimate right to be heard on their grievances and have those grievances addressed. And because those grievances don’t directly affect you, you dismiss them and employ the same tactics as those who victim shame women who are sexually assaulted, raped, and beaten.

Ryan Locthe went to represent the United States to the world in another country. He committed a crime, lied about it, and fled prosecution. This is a true disgrace to our country. The Constitution doesn’t protect his right to commit crimes in other countries or flee responsibility for them. I never once saw anyone call him a criminal, anti-American, or refer to his race when referencing the crime. No real outrage except to dismiss him as dumb, a tool, a jerk.

Yet, more people are outraged that an American football player who represents his team, not the United States, refuses to stand for the national anthem. More people are concerned that Gabby Douglas didn’t place a hand over her heart during the anthem than they were about Ryan Lochte’s criminal behavior. Several other athletes (white) never covered their hearts during the anthem and crickets. No outrage. None from the internet patriots. No posts about how lucky they were to be chosen to represent the country and how they failed to show gratitude.

Fast forward.

All people posting negative comments regarding Colin Kaepernick, meet Georgia McBride. Let me address what I’ve seen you call the man “and others like him.”

I’m not a spoiled millionaire athlete.

I’m not “ignorant.”

I don’t hate cops.

I don’t hate America.

I’m not leaving America — though nice try.

I stand for the anthem.

I’m not “brainwashed” by Black Lives Matter.

My mother does not have 20 kids by 10 different men.

My father never abandoned us.

I am not on welfare. Don’t know anyone who is.

I am not on drugs. Don’t know anyone who is.

I’m not racist. No really. I’m not. 95% of my friends are white. 😉

I come from a family of Ivy League and city and state college-educated people.

My husband is a cop as was his father and uncle.

My brother was a cop.

My father was in the military.

My cousins are in the military.

I was never a latchkey kid.

I don’t know anyone in a gang.

My cousin is a politician.

I have never lived in the “projects.”

I have teachers, nurses, businessmen, former FDNY in my immediate and extended family.

So what will you call me? How will you disparage me? My kids? My family? My friends? How will you discredit me? How will use my skin color and background to prove I’m wrong and uninformed?

How will you convince the world that I am brainwashed by Black Lives Matter? How will write me off as a gang-banging, welfare-loving, no-father-in-the-house-having, Black Lives Matter racist terrorist?

I owe my entire life to protests — both peaceful and violent — to civil disobedience, and acts of courage and defiance that seem inappropriate or un-American, and at the time, were illegal.

Neither laws nor minds nor hearts are changed by silence and compliance. Think about that.

Maybe it is disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem, but the Constitution protects that right the same as it does for civilian gun ownership, which you all know I am fervently against.

Back to protests.

Were it not for brave protests like this one, my life and that of my family would be vastly different. I ask you to think about that next time you label something a “joke” or “disgusting” or “wrong” or post disparaging memes and comments about a few young men doing what they can to change the lives of many and who are giving a voice to those without one.

I ask you NOT to judge them on what YOU feel they should be doing, but rather what they are doing.

Would you risk your job, future income, personal safety and that of your family and friends to bring attention to injustice in this country? How do you not realize that this is what they’re doing?

Should I have to risk my job, my home, my life just to have the same rights afforded to you? Just to be able to have my kids walk down the street in their own neighborhood without being suspected of being a criminal, or worse, shot to death?

All those people saying he is disrespecting the military — think about this. This is HIS way of fighting. He has no protection. No training. Few people on his side. He is fighting here, in the United States, as people have threatened to kill him and his family. People burn his jersey on YouTube, football fans are filled with so much hatred that they are vowing never to watch football again in order to bankrupt the NFL.

Why? Because a few black men kneeled or sat during the national anthem. These people are more concerned with this than WHY the men did what they did.

Think about how YOUR comments and YOUR actions impact those around you. Think about how the memes which started out as calling him anti-American have now have turned blatantly racist. THINK ABOUT THAT. Think about how your lack of concern for the people he is speaking out for reflects on you.

Think about all the smart white people telling the not-too-smart black people how to solve problems in “the black community” as if they have any clue at all? And the kicker? Posting the one or two black people who share your POV as proof that the millions of other blacks and whites are actually wrong. Please stop. PLEASE STOP.

You stand for the national anthem at sporting events. Big deal. I’m guessing you don’t when you’re out to eat and a game is on. Or when you’re watching the game at home. Nope. Only when people can see you and judge you for how patriotic they think you are.

If it weren’t for people calling bullshit on this country, our kids wouldn’t be in school together. I wouldn’t have my own business. My husband would not be allowed to be a cop. I would not have been allowed to marry my husband. It would’ve been illegal for me to have both my kids. As a woman, I would not have been allowed to have credit in my own name or to have property such as a house or car in my own name. We would not have equal pay for equal work. I wouldn’t be able to live in the neighborhood that I currently live in. Local friends, we would not have a female chief of police.

I reprimand and punish my kids because I love them. To teach them that what they did was wrong so they won’t do it again. Does this mean I hate my kids? I’m anti-children?

If my spouse does something to hurt me and I tell him about it — I ask him to change— it isn’t because I don’t love him.

If someone has an issue with a teacher or a doctor, do they hate teachers and doctors? Are they anti-education and anti-medical science?

If someone has an issue with a cop’s behavior, this makes him anti-cop? Un-American? Oh wait.

We need to get right in this country. We need to recognize the problems we have and address them, no matter how painful. No matter if they don’t affect us.

Feel free to speak out against an athlete not standing for the national anthem because, yeah…that’s the change we need. All will be right in this county once NFL players return to showing respect for the national anthem. (That’s sarcasm.)

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