I decided to wait until after the MNF game to share this post simply because I knew the issue wasn’t over. On Saturday Donald Trump took time out of his war of words with Kim Jong Un to focus on Colin Kaepernick, the NFL, and other major sports leagues. Trump essentially called franchise owners (his friends and donors) to fire any player or personnel that decides to take a knee in protest of injustice, racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. His use of the phrase “son of a b*tch” definitely did not sit well with many others. Do not get it twisted folks (I see you military vets) the players are not protesting the flag and they are not protesting Colin not having a spot on a team. Despite the support from some fans the players and some owners received criticism. Why play at all? These players have the opportunity to make change on a global stage. Most major sports players aren’t missing a meal so retiring early shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s not get all bent out shape as if the NFL is so patriotic with their paid patriotism. These players and these Rappers are making me feel patriotic when they take a knee for systemic racism.
Do not reduce the level of influence that the Hip Hop Culture platform has provided for any Rapper. I don’t care if you mumble, spit fire, or rhyme slow homie you can use your platform to make real change. You are more than just a Rapper J. Cole returned to Twitter for his monthly interaction and used his platform to use a few characters and speak out. Rappers may not be able to physically take a knee on the field or the court but they can show their support for those that do via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and whatever other platform they use. In all actuality most Rappers are qualified because a lot of them have been victimized by the prison system in this country. Either you’ve been arrested, been to jail, or been on probation so who isn’t qualified to speak out on injustices in this country? I know there are some Rappers that feel like they shouldn’t speak on certain issues because they hadn’t spoken out before the issue became “news”. However, if you have a voice and a platform you can say your peace and move on.
Taking a knee is something that has been going on since professional sports was desegregated beginning in the forties. Schools teach (or used to anyway) students about the plight of Jackie Robinson and for those that don’t know the NBA only merged with the ABA in 1976! The American Basketball Association was pretty much the “negro league” of basketball so when the NBA wasn’t selling any tickets and could barely give them away the two leagues merged during a time when racial tensions were extremely high in this country. Sound familiar? This country has gotten by through their inferiority tactics. Making us feel less than, stupid, worthless through their dehumanizing practices and Rappers are not exempt! You’re more than whatever they think, perceive, and believe you to be. You are a person who is intelligent and worthy of living a life with the same privileges and positive experience as anyone else no matter their ethnicity or lack thereof. You’re more than just a Rapper.
“It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.” –Tupac Shakur (Changes)