America Doesn’t Care About Police Brutality

America has spoken. Don’t fuck with their flag. You can take your protest elsewhere, somewhere quiet, where it does not interfere with the time honored tradition of patriotism at sporting events, particularly football.

It does not matter that 70 percent of the players are black, and that police brutality is a major issue in their communities, particularly among poor and working class blacks who often find themselves on the short end of sustainable economics, representation in court, and community policing.

But just like Tommy Smith and John Carlos did in the 1968 Olympics as they each raised a black glove, their defiance is seen as nothing but militancy and anti-Americanism.

It does not matter that Dr. King before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 spoke out against police brutality, those passages failing to be aired on network television.

It does not matter that black people are well aware of the nature of the police force, that many of their family members and friends are in law enforcement, and that the focus is on the bad cops, and the blue wall of silence that needs to come down in order to have true justice and accountability.

It does not matter that Colin Kaepernick only took a knee during the national anthem, a form of nonviolent protest that has been handed down for generations and across nations, from South Africa to India to America.

What matters is that the value of the flag means more to the American people than the value of people. It has turned country into idolatry, and patriotism into religion, and that is dangerous.

It fueled the burning of Nike shoes and apparel because they chose to place Kaepernick on the front of their advertising, because to them he epitomized their slogan “Just Do It”, to stand for one’s principles against the national tide. He sacrificed a lucrative career, fame, and the opportunity to be immortalized in the history books, for a cause for which he fervently believed.

Instead America decided to vilify a citizen, and anyone else who supports him, by setting fires.

It is within itself a violent demonstration of one’s ire, reminiscent of the lighting of crosses, burning black homes in the south, and burning women alive in the Northeast suspected of being witches.

It is no surprise, however. America was born in violence, and violence she continues. It was made for white Anglo Saxon males, a significant number whom were criminals, given a promise that it was their country to tame, and everything in it.

It does not matter that this is the 21st century, where significant gains for oppressed groups have taken root, that citizens around the country participate in this system, determined never to return to being second class citizens, robbed of their civil rights.

They just ask to be treated with decency and dignity, that’s all, and if it takes a knee for people to pause and have a conversation about their deep injuries and grievances, then so be it, let’s have that conversation.

But it is a conversation America does refuses to have. After all, Black Lives Matter is a perceived terrorist organization, and black people have their civil rights now, so all that remains is for them to pull themselves up by their boot straps, work hard and they will achieve the American dream.

A dream that was shaped on the backs of others, the flag of which flies with the tag “Made in China”, demonstrating once again that America is a business, and business does not care about symbols, only exploits them for capital gain.

It is those who have been sold this symbol that fight vociferously against this perceived degradation of their flag that is manufactured elsewhere, while they cling onto what living wages and lifestyle they have left, as America becomes more globalized and offshore.

It does not matter that blacks fought for this nation when we were in chains as chattel slaves, as declared 3/5’s of human beings, raped, beaten, and killed if we ran away, then suffering under perpetual debt as sharecroppers, and for those of us who owned land were chased off by rifle barrels, then forced to lick the boots of the Jim Crow segregationists, terrified every night that we would be stolen in the night and lynched by a tree under which popcorn and candy was being sold as if the lynching was entertainment.

We fought in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War, spilling our blood as American soldiers abroad, and as niggers in the streets and in the fields of America.

But the only thing that America cares about is that everyone in this country rise and salute the flag, and sing the national anthem.

America has made it clear to its own citizens and to the world that police brutality is inconsequential, and that its citizens should be grateful that they live in the greatest civilization the world has ever witnessed. Damned the fallout, the consequences, and the collateral damage.

The overarching message repeats itself, flying as high and clear as the flag America covets. Either you are with us or against us, or if you have a beef, may the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

In other words, God bless America, and those of you who don’t, go fuck yourselves.

 

Ron Kipling Williams