Charles Thomas: Taking a knee for America

Charles Thomas - Guest Column

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Words spoken with evil intent can never be recalled evidenced by the failing attempt by Roseanne Barr to recall her evil intent. Words can sometimes inflict more injury than any notable physical infliction on the human body. In some ways, I might even say that I feel a bit sorry for Roseanne Barr because she simply fell victim to the ease and comfort possessed in her heart that now yearned to be free, open and honest during the era of the Trump presidency. It is a presidency that began establishing that Mexicans were murderers and rapist, while referring to white separatist as “very fine” people as they marched chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

Mr. Trump was comfortable attacking a Muslim gold star family and spoke openly about how a judge, with Mexican heritage, could not fairly preside over a case involving him. He campaigned on an agenda of America first but then praised Iranian decedents while calling American citizens SOB’s. There simply is not enough space to cover Trump misgivings, misstatements, and outright lies.

On the world stage we have embraced our enemies and offended our friends, but hopefully, we can still enlarge ourselves both individually and as a nation in recognizing that we are all in pursuit of a reason to smile each day and that we fail to accomplish that by making someone else frown. No country in the world represents the mosaic of humanity more than the United States, it is why people dream to be here by any means and any way. No single man should be permitted to destroy that image of this nation with open arms to all, a nation filled with mixed heritages and mixed backgrounds who came here just yearning to be free without oppression.

Pro athletes are bringing attention to societal problems when they take a knee. Societal problems like the number of unarmed African-American men killed by law enforcement. A 12-year-old kid shot in a park, an unarmed man shot in a Wal-Mart holding a toy gun, an unarmed man shot in the back while running away, numerous others killed on the streets and back yards of America unarmed. If the script was flipped and these were black officers in the majority killing young white males, you would be irresponsible if you didn’t stand up and say why? I’m complicated even more when I think about all the mass shooting incidents in which many life’s are lost and the perpetrator always seems to be treated with more dignity than any of those previously mentioned African Americans.

I will use Santa Fe, Parkland, Aurora, the church shootings as examples. I’m inclined to believe that if any of those shooters were African American the probability that they may not have survived would be much greater. For all of you that dislike “taking a knee,” it is evident to me that you would not have supported Rosa Park 50 years ago when she did not give up her seat on a bus, you would not have supported Martin Luther King when he walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, you would not have supported the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins, the “Freedom Riders” and so many other history changing events.

African-Americans have defended that flag as far back as the war of 1812, the civil war, carried that flag as members of The Buffalo Soldiers, fought for this country in both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam and Iraq wars as well. In those Wars, African Americans died defending the principles that the American flag is stated to represent. The survivors of those conflicts would go home knowing they would be treated like second class citizens upon their arrival back to their homeland but still they represented.

People that had the courage to “take a knee” are the people responsible for making this country the place of destination anywhere in the world. All those athletes, that the presidents routinely criticizes, are deeply involved in the communities they perform in giving to charitable organizations and assisting in natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding incidents. Mr. President, have you given or have you taken from communities and when I say that, I think of the millions of dollars that you took from communities with your misleading Trump University. And lastly Mr. President, when you had an opportunity to show your patriotism at the same time Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, what did you do Mr. President when those second class citizens were carrying the flag of the United States of America?

Charles Thomas

Guest Column

Charles Thomas is a former radio host and a retired juvenile probation officer. He’s a lifelong resident of Lima. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or Aim Media, owner of The Lima News.

Charles Thomas is a former radio host and a retired juvenile probation officer. He’s a lifelong resident of Lima. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or Aim Media, owner of The Lima News.

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