"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Black Lives are Sacred Day 18: Young Heroes Persecuted

I have been tremendously moved by the power and courage of all the athletes, cheerleaders, and coaches--and one singer--who have followed Colin Kaepernick's example of dignified silent protest against racist police brutality during the National Anthem. Like Jesus, Black children, women, and men are being lynched--that is, legally murdered, by whatever means--in huge numbers by the public servants who are supposed to protect them. So they would have every right to make the Black Power sign as did Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics, supported by white Australian Peter Norman. Instead, they humbly and proudly take a stance of prayer begging God to intervene in defense of their lives and we, the white supremacist country celebrated by that blasphemous song, to stop slaughtering them and truly become "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

The most courageous so far, who have also paid the most viciously unjust price, are a football team of young boys who know they could be the next Black child to be murdered on a park bench by a police officer for peacefully holding a toy gun in a state with legal open carry of real guns. Or face life imprisonment for courageously defending mother, siblings, and self from a lifetime of vicious abuse and death threats. So they respectfully asked permission of their coaches and league, received it, took a knee as one in their first game, and the truth of their claim that their lives are garbage was confirmed when they were deluged with "racist taunts and death threats" from the good white Christians of their town. So the league reversed itself and began a campaign of vicious intimidation against them and their coaches and parents which culminated in being banned for an entire season they had already paid for and in which they were leading championship contenders.

It's not too late. While the whole thing is a mess, the team and the league still has time to reinstate Coaches Barber and Dean, apologize to the boys and their parents, and allow them to finish their season with dignity. I was about to say that this would require the adults to act like adults, but I'm afraid that that's what messed the whole thing up in the first place. Adults today are too often petty and mean-spirited. Just take a look at our presidential race. Instead, we need the adults in this situation to stop thinking about their egos and think instead of the young boys of the Beaumont Bulls. Salvaging their season should be the top priority right now. Anything short of that would be a failure.

Boys — you've done well. You were right to take a knee for injustice. You were right to follow the lead of so many NFL players. You were right to keep doing it even when they told you not to. You did not create this mess. It's not your fault. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you.


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