“I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.” Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
My voice fell silent a bit ago. It’s not that there wasn’t anything to say, it just stayed quiet. Sometimes silence is soothing. It is the serenity in the sea of artificial affectations that have come to eradicate every essence of existentialism in America. See, when we fall silent, we give into the American pretense. We fall in love with the allusion that all is well over the amber waves of grain. I fell in love. I fell in love hard with the notion that by not raising my voice, but not straining my vocal chords, by not exercising my fingers on the keyboard, by not engaging in meaningful discourse, I was solving the problem. I apologize. I apologize to all humans. Not to Americans. Not to white men. Not to black men. Not to women. Not to Muslims. Not to Christians. Not to atheists. Not to scientists. Not to artists. Not to children. To everyone. To all humans.
We lose sight of what really matters when we begin to dichotomize everything. For those of you out there, there is no black or white. There is only gray. Gray is what allows humans to advance as a civilization. When we begin to look at things as black and white, we face our inevitable destruction. We look forward to a future reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale or Madeline L’Engle’s dark planet of Camazotz in A Wrinkle in Time. Where we are no longer gifted free thought or free will. You abide by fear. You abide by hate. You abide. In this case, your voice is silenced for you. You are no longer afforded the luxury of dancing on the keyboard or singing through your whispers. You are muzzled and bound.
This is why people in power try to make every issue black and white. If there was no room for interpretation, they would both have the opportunity to blindly instill their indoctrination. They demand silence in times of need. They instill fear in time of peace. By not standing up during the National Anthem, you hate America. Hard to argue that, right? They’ve taken interpretation out of the issue. They’ve indoctrinated millions that are already fearful. Rather than ask why you are kneeling, they tell you that you hate America and all it stands for. By not opening a conversation with you, they are silencing your freedom to take a knee. By silencing you, they can dichotomize the issue and tell you why you are wrong, rather than kneeling with you and seeing the world from your eyes.
So, what has happened is an air of frustration on both sides. The one side feels that there are rich millionaires disrespecting the flag and military men. This is what they were told. Hard to argue with them. They care about America and they care about our brave men and women that fought for your freedom to take knee. The other side feels that they are bringing to light injustices that have been suffered for over 500 years in this country’s storied history. Hard to argue with them. They have lived a life in which they fear for their lives – solely because they were born a different variety of the same race.
We have to allow for discussion in this country. It has been a disturbing trend over the past thirty some odd years of zero discourse. No advancement as a country or a race or a religion or a hobby or a game or a spouse or a child or a parent or anything can happen unless there is truly open and honest discussion. Silencing people and playing on their fears only leads to further fears and further silence. A pattern derivative of all oppressive societies. No need to get into specifics. Begin researching oppressive societies and you will see familiar trends. You will see familiar fears. You will see familiar interests.
It is our job to change this course and open the lines of communication. It is our job to take a knee. It is our job to take a stand. It is our job to open our mouths – not take speak louder than the opposition, but to speak with the opposition. I love my fellow humans. I am a humanist. I am a human. If I choose to take a knee during a song that still echoes the pain of the last 500 years, that is okay. I am not disrespecting anybody. I am asking for help. I am asking for you to speak with me. I am asking for my country to hear me. When your response is that I hate America, it makes me sad. Because, you don’t understand. You don’t understand the pain and the suffering and the senseless acts of violence against my fellow humans.
You don’t have to agree with Colin Kapernick’s political views. But you have to agree that he has started the conversation. And, you see, that was his goal. Each day that he is not playing the NFL, each Sunday that more and more players sit, each tweet that the “President” sends trying to divide America, works in Kapernick’s favor. He took the right that the brave men and women of our Armed Forces fought for, and used his platform for social change.
This isn’t any different than the Salt March of 1930 led by Ghandi. This isn’t any different than the Suffrage Parade of 1913. This isn’t any different than the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Rosa Parks. This isn’t any different than the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. This isn’t any different than the Singing Revolution in 1988. And the reactions from the opposition are certainly not different in the Kneeling Revolution of 2016-2017. We need to hear the silent protest. We need to acknowledge what it actually means. My fellow humans have a chance to make change and it is up to us humans to give them the chance. When history reflects on itself, it will show what all of these non-violent protests have shown – progress.
please to enjoy.