Keith Allison / Flickr bruce maxwell...
Keith Allison / Flickr

The most recent missive (let’s just call it a sermon — it is Sunday morning, after all) from Rev. John Pavlovitz is a must-read about the controversy over the reaction to QB Colin Kaepernick and the growing movement to #TakeAKnee.

None of what Pavlovitz writes in his blog, “Stuff That Needs to Be Said,” is a new idea — he just says it a lot more clearly and eloquently than most of us.

He’s been on fire recently, coming out with multiple short pieces about reaction to athletes daring to use their First Amendment rights to protest the police killing of African-Americans. This was actually written before Donald Trump’s ridiculous racist rants at his Friday night Alabama rally telling NFL owners to “fire” athletes who are taking a knee. The unified response to Trump’s words from everyone in professional sports has been heartening.

Here is some of Pavlovitz’ post:

Maybe we should all be kneeling right now.

White friends, if your immediate response to the shooting of a man or woman of color is to try and justify why he or she is dead instead of asking why they were shot, you may be the problem here.

If you’re more comfortable calling out kneeling football players than marching nazis with torches, you may want to ask why that is.

If you’re more incensed by a black reporter’s assertion that the President is a supremacist, than the fact that he is endorsed by supremacists, I’d look at that very carefully.

If you aren’t greatly burdened with grief for the families of people of color and you aren’t moved with compassion for the way scenes of their premature passing, repeatedly kick people of color in the gut—you need to ask yourself some difficult questions about your own patriotism, your own appreciation of freedom, your own civic responsibility. You need to ask yourself whether you’re really for Liberty—or just white comfort.

He tells us that we all need to take an “unflinching look in the mirror” and calls out the knee-jerk response from too many that those players should be “honoring the flag,” etc.

Our brothers and sisters of color should not be kneeling alone anymore.

It’s not long but is worth reading in full.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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