Forgetting Something With This “Kneeling Protest”?

What are we protesting?

Though I don’t typically watch the NFL football game, it is hard to miss the drama; courtesy of Facebook. “What the heck happened,” I thought.  It did not take long to discover that it all started, two days earlier. It seems President Trump decided to comment on the whole kneeling phenomena.

What is this “kneeling” protest really about? Right now, it is all about Trump, the NFL, and the flag.  You’d not think of the very serious problems in the African-American community; especially in the inner city areas.

Sadly, I don’t think this current form of protest is helping anyone; rather it is backfiring. It is taking people’s attention away from those, who are in need. It’s only perpetuating a deadly victim’s mindset.

For years, I dealt with my own victim’s mindset and it’s just as bad.  For a long time, people with disabilities were not always well received in mainstream society.  Thankfully, this perception had begun to change in the last 40 years or more.  By the way, I’m 52 years old and I was born with severe disabilities. You can guess the hardship that I went through.

My goal is not to write about my own victim’s mindset and how I overcame it. The goal is to help the ones, who are hurting because of what’s happening.  I grew up in an integrated community in the 70s, it is called Manchester Twp.  It is not until I moved to Phoenix that I discovered a very different world.

How different? Here is a brief story to illustrate the problem. I, first heard the story at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ.  It’s located in the downtown area and we get a wide variety of people.  One day, I sat with a group of people, after church service. In the class, I met a sweet elderly woman and she’s probably in her 70s or 80s.

The woman told a story that seemed strange to me. It was evening and she is on her way home. As she is driving home, a cop car came up behind her.  She could see that the flashing lights were on. Because it was dark, she kept going til she found a bright street light.

The police and the local African-American community didn’t always have a good relationship. She has heard of certain police officers mistreating Black people. So, this sweet old woman was rather nervous; even though, she did nothing wrong.  Thankfully, a friend had given instructions on what to do. It’s why she parked under a street light.

As the cop walked up to the car, she could see that it is a young White male police officer. It seems the officer was more afraid of her than she is of him.  Apparently, he heard reports of Black  people killing cops.  Yes, he was that nervous; according to the woman.

This story happened, about 20 years ago.  It is a sad reflection of what has been going on. People are walking in fear of what may happen. The issue of gang violence and broken homes serve to only exacerbate the situation. It doesn’t help, when the innocents are bombarded with twisted lies designed to perpetuate the victim’s mindset.

The above scenario isn’t isolated to select inner cities.  My home county contains a variety of small towns and semi rural areas and we have some of the same problems.  For our area, the epidemic is heroin and many young people are being killed by it.

With the seriousness of the above scenario, I fail to see how these “kneeling” protests are helping. It would have been wiser, if Colin Kaepernick had come out talked with the fans and press. It could have saved him, a whole lot of grief and misunderstanding. The kneeling has only caused a knee jerk reaction resulting and a major distraction from those in need.  Let’s get our eyes on the problem; not the protest.

Who am I to talk? For one, I have actually been there and I got a book to prove it. It’s called “You Are Not  A Lesser Human: An Anthology of Overcoming“. Go read it and you will learn why I thought of myself in such a manner.  I can still recall the feeling that others would not get it. Truth is, other people can come close if you let them.

Let’s not hang on to old history; as it helps no one. It helps no one; except to cause hindrances. We, as a societ, needs to move forward and deal with the problems in this country.  We need to come together and help our brothers and sisters in the African-American community.

Here is a tip! If I am hurting then my focus is going to be on me. Guess who I’m not goint to care about?  Let’s put away the idiot’s arguments about statistics.  We need to use actual truths.  Do you recall Michelle Obama’s famous comment?  It seems that she had a negative view of this country. It changed when she started tourinng the United States and met many good and decent white people.

What do you suppose would happen, if we apply truths to young African-American children?  Hey, a blind lawyer in a comic book helped in overcoming my negativity. To break the cycle, we need to be consistent.

In case you missed it, we’re facing a spiritual battle!

Malcolm X once pointed out the need for a cultural identity. Because of its absence, a gaping wound has been left behind. How do I know? I saw the old video of Malcolm X’s interview with that journalist.  I don’t think the journalist heard a word; as he is focusing on the wrong thing. Malcolm did not just talk about a cultural would; it’s also a spiritual wound.

We can’t change the past; however, there is someone who can heal the wounds.  You probably guessed it, Jesus. Prayer and intercession can be a powerful tool in the area of healing spiritual wounds. It also needs to be followed by concrete actions.

We need to work together to deal with this mess. It’s definitely going to take time and it’s not a quick fix.  We need to be persistent on all levels.




Barry Brindisi

Author of “You Are Not A Lesser Human”.

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