Pledging allegiance to a flag when the feet of injustices are forever planted upon their necks
On September 1, 2016, rather than standing for the national anthem, Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick courageously took a knee. But it was on fertile American soil that the black activist knelt, and no one tragically died. His expressed goal was centered around using his social platform to expose police brutality and oppression of people of color.
In a stark contrast, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin took a knee; albeit he did so cowardly. His knee was planted on a black man’s neck, compressing his larynx, and intentionally suffocating him to death right before our very own eyes. Unquestionably, Chauvin’s goal was to use his law enforcement platform to perpetuate the hateful oppression of blacks.
Of course, many in white America came out in opposition of Kaepernick’s supposedly defiant acts and sought to crush his movement, if not the underlying message.
Donald Trump vehemently denounced it referring to blacks in the NFL as ungrateful SOBs.
Predictably, Trump’s GOP Republicans echoed his sentiments while establishments like Century Link, Air Academy, WFAY Radio, NASCAR and Papa John's Pizza all fell in line.
Apparently, a group of like-minded cops hellbent on crucifying anyone who would dare follow in Colin Kaepernick's footsteps, have also joined forces with Trump and his right wing conservatives.
Whatever their proclivities, I could never have imagined that in this day and age, anyone would so boldly seek to oppose another’s rights with deadly acts so vile and humanly wrong as a corrupt, unhinged, Minneapolis cop demonstrated when killing George Floyd.
But not long into the 8 minutes, 46 seconds video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, seemingly not caring if he lived or died, I wondered if anybody was getting an extra vibe. We were confronted by a deranged, psychotic murderer, that much was painfully clear. But it was not so much his blasé actions, his hands firm in his pocket, or his dancing eyes lurking about that sent chills running up my spine.
One could easily surmise that at its core, Chauvin’s deviant actions was also about his demented version of poetic justice. Perhaps he had predetermined a strong message was needed for people of color who dared to oppose reverencing a nation’s flag.
I believe he intentionally carried out such grave punishments—the full weight of his body upon Floyd's neck, igniting the desperate cries of a man murmuring “I can’t breathe”, and bringing about his ultimate death—as a red alert to blacks who dare to exert their 1st Amendment Rights. I can almost hear his fanatical voice exclaiming, “Since you people insist upon dishonoring our great nation by kneeling, then it is my duty to show off the ensuing consequences!”
Several minutes into the video, I saw flashes of Dylan Roof’s execution of nine of the most meek and faultless pillars of the community; likenesses of James Byrd’s decapitating murder; and, illustrations of cross burning and lynchings in the South. These acts of suppression were also used as methods of social and racial control designed to terrorize black Americans into submission.
Arriving at such realizations, the ulterior motives of a crazed, maniacal murderer came full circle to me. Equally resonating, were the depraved indifferences towards blacks for not knowing their place and the penalties for stepping out of line. While it was a sick and twisted way of getting a poetic message across, black America and people all around the world heard Derek Chauvin loud and clear! With great anticipation, Derek Chauvin will soon be hearing all of us, whilst reaping the hate he sowed.