#Colin Kaepernick's protest, as highlighted in tonight's Thursday Night Football game of the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals has elicited a polarization of responses around the nation. There have been many athletes that have joined Mr. Kaepernick in kneeling but others that have gotten angry and burned his jersey or did a counter protest to promote unity. He has a right as an American to dissent and free speech and others have the right to respond and feel the way they feel without getting arrested. The wide ranging coverage of this and of the other protests of police brutality over the last year are an alarming wake up call to the population to face the issue "front and center."
The most important discussion to be had
President Obama and other people on TV have called for a national dialogue on the subject, but on this issue, "social justice," it has plagued the United States since its founding. It is in essence, the worst fear of the country to answer this question--If we stand by "all are created equal," do we mean it? The campaign for social justice in the United States--equal rights/pay for women, civil rights for minorities, transgender, etc., and around the world will hit a ceiling due to the natural failings of human nature. The "ceiling" will be on truly answering the question above.
To do this, I believe, will take a great deal of admitting and truth telling and in the society we live in that has the 24-hour news cycle, on-the-street reporting from cell phone videos, and live tweeting during events, there is no hiding. I believe though that a new voice is emerging from what seems like a chaos that will represent a new mission and vision for the country going forward. It is not a homogenous voice of similar people from similar backgrounds as it was when the country was founded. It is an actual, literal belief in the words of the document which unites us--the Declaration of Independence.
Until this discussion is done, it won't go away
As when the founders were arguing in Independence Hall over the admittance or retraction of the slavery clause in the Declaration, we are at the same crossroads. The current societal trends listed above have begun the discussion and it won't be tabled until it is discussed and people cry and yell, but at the end, they end up at an accord. The truth of the matter in the United States is that the majority and the minority must learn to live together and move forward at the same time. There is no political party that has the right answer or formula. It is the "business of the nation" as President Dwight Eisenhower eloquently coined in his Farewell Address in 1961 that either can move forward or stay in place, because it is the people themselves that are the engine that moves it. #Black Lives Matter