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Hi, invisible ghost, whose pictures are in black and white. They show your racist expression in the light of day. You hung Black bodies with your little ghost child looking on. Like a virus that has gone into hiding only to reappear from your dormant stage and upset humanity’s long, beautiful, joyful, proud period of struggling to keep their better angels safe, your ghostly and invisible stench incites us to pick up arms and force you back into confinement over and over, again and again, like a flu shot each winter.
Hope people are paying attention to what’s been going on with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the ostracizing that is happening to him via NFL owners. We are bearing witness to owners going all out to send a message that they hope will resonate not just with fellow NFL owners but to other CEOs who oversee increasingly “woke” people who are standing up and speaking out. Fast and hard lines in the sand are being drawn and the name of the game is make those who speak up pay dearly. We can’t return to the days where folks are comfortable and expect athletes and entertainers to simply shut up and play, sing or dance.
In a recent article entitled “We don’t heel, we kneel,” I wrote about the importance of supporting Colin Kaepernick as he endeavors to draw attention to the systemic racism, oppression and police terror that Black folks in this country are subjected to. It took a little time for people to engage in the act of “taking a knee,” but one by one they got on board. Now that people are following Kap’s lead, the objective is to get them to put their money where their knee is.
Sunday, Oct. 16, was the 48th anniversary of that indelible moment in 1968 when John Carlos and Tommie Smith put their heads down and fists up on the Olympic medal stand as the anthem played, their friend the Australian silver-medalist Peter Norman standing in solidarity with their protest. Forty-eight years later to the day, in Buffalo, New York, Colin Kaepernick made his first start of the 2016 season as his 49ers took on the Bills.