I don’t watch the news much. I feel like it has changed since 9/11 so much. Social media has really become a crutch for network television news outlets. My husband and I comment all the time that stories are often incomplete. The whole story is rarely given. I feel like they rely on the viewers to go further research and get specifics that used to be given by the newscaster. I’m not talking in-depth background, I’m talking “major catastrophe occured! Suspects are in question. the end.” Where was this? What time? Who was hurt?

It’s just flashy headlines, and little content. The other awful side effect is trying to be first. I still remember the Boston Marathon bombing and how there was nothing but speculative reporting, but it was Breaking News so they were literally on the air just tossing around theories and tweeted information and drawing their own conclusions.

I do, however, enjoy the bits of Good Morning America that I can hear over my own shouting at the kids to get ready for school, and the kids shouting at each other to stop hogging toilets and sinks and toothpaste. Lately the popular topic is the whole kneeling during the anthem thing Colin Kaepernick has begun.

For President¬†Trump (cough sputter spit) to weigh in on this is just one more in a long line of ridiculous time-wasters he seems to excel at. “White Privilege” is a popular phrase these days. As a white person, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s because it’s true. Yes. I totally agree that this exists. It’s not a pride-inducing phrase. Maybe some people allow themselves to be “offended” by this and then just shut down and become defensive to whatever the issue being challenged is and then cannot hear what the debate is about.

I just wanted to throw my two cents out there and say I think Mr. Kaepernick is a very brave man. He knelt for something big. Something decades of marching, and protesting, and “trending” hasn’t solved. It’s forcing conversation to an ugly truth… another ugly truth about this country. I haven’t had a firm stance on ‘agree or disagree?’ with this kneeling thing, but I watch a show called United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. I find it fascinating. Recently he went to Chicago to interview residents and compare reality with what the media is broadcasting regarding the dire state of things there. I highly recommend the show, but especially this one if you find yourself undecided or against the NFL and the kneeling protests.

It is so easy to brush this off and say “It’s so un American! How dare they not stand for the flag and the anthem of this country!!”. If you do, you are in denial. You are the problem and that’s hard to take on. Naturally, you don’t want to be the problem, especially when you are not actively causing issue.

Have you considered why these protesters are kneeling? Are you willing to look at the reasons, and not just your own reaction to what you assume is unimportant?

How in touch are you with the way things are for inner city families? How much thought do you give to the lack of any funding for activities, music class, art, or even staffing at the schools millions of children get their start at? Not just educational start, but their introduction to a society. Elementary school is where children are handed over to grown ups who then become responsible for the welfare and well being of these children. Are these children treated with respect? Does the building have adequate space, heat, a/c, construction, plumbing? Do these kids see their value in the community in the programs offered for them?

These are pretty basic questions and expectations of government money doing it’s job.

If these families are not taken care of on a daily basis by their communities, how are they supposed to feel any pride in that community? How can they feel responsibility and ownership when the institutions that are supposed to take care of them fail? In this climate, do you think everyone in this country feels that law enforcement is on their side?

What if, Mr. Trump, instead of sending money to employ more police and tactical units to fund stop and frisk, you empower these communities by putting money into the schools and programs that set up an environment where kids can succeed and feel a sense of pride and community? Sports, arts, music, after school activities. Employ the community and staff the schools with qualified members of local society.

I wonder how a community who feels they are hated, feared, and unwanted is supposed to feel a sense of pride and appreciation for a flag and anthem that represent a nation that has left them behind? The professional human beings who are choosing to kneel at sporting events are not refusing the flag of our nation. They are banding together to announce to those with blinders on that the country we all love and take pride in does not see all men created equal and offer all opportunities to all peoples.

If “white privilege” is the most offensive phrase that has been thrown at you in your lifetime, it might be time to take a step back, put your own perspective aside, and consider looking at the reason for the protest.

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