By Josh Pederson
As citizens, we put our trust, our faith and our loyalty into ensuring that the forces serving and protecting the needs of the people, do so in a just and responsible way.
So, what happens when that faithful bond is severed and instead of justice, the only emotions that an individual who interacts with a police officer has are fear and anxiety.
The ominous presence one now feels when surrounded by police has almost made running away from them seem like a good option, due to some trigger happy officers.
This skewed interpretation of police justice has sparked outrage among the predominantly African-American victims who have felt the oppression and injustice U.S. police forces have enacted upon them in recent years.
And it must be stopped. Pro and minor athletic teams alike are joining in solidarity and have triggered a nationwide protest to combat the racially-induced police brutality that is currently plaguing the U.S. Kneeling during national anthems is a simple gesture, yet to some, an infuriating betrayal of American values and tradition.
At the top of the offended list is U.S. President Donald Trump, who has expressed through Twitter his disgust.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our great American Flag (or country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
His rant just fueled the fire, and even more players knelt the following week. Von Miller of the Denver Broncos was one of these, saying, “We felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech.” The protest has branched into minor leagues as well. A recent story that is making headlines features two Texas high school cousins who were berated and ultimately kicked off their team by their coach as one knelt and the other raised his fist during the national anthem. Many more will stand – or kneel against this troublesome pandemic of police-instigated racial brutality, and rightfully so.
If a message is to be delivered it is this: that the public will not stay in the darkness, in angst of when the next unarmed civilian will be killed by an ego-driven police officer. Instead, they will rise up, as one, and ensure they are heard, so something is done.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.