By Julie Dixon @ABroncoNole
Where has civility gone? Just plain old fashioned respect? This Navy wife doesn’t care where you weigh in on why OUR player, Brandon Marshall, took a knee. It’s irrelevant. What you do with your opinion, does matter.
If you believe he’s opposing oppression, then treat others who disagree with his viewpoint with condemnation, it’s not helpful.
If you disagree with his actions and use the flag as an excuse to be cruel and rude, it’s not helpful.
Regardless if you believe this country was built on slavery or individuals fighting against the tyranny of King George, the fact is, we should use our freedom to have a discussion and be grateful we have the right to do so.
That freedom includes opening one’s ears before one’s mouth. This conversation should be a two way street where both sides listen and either share solutions or both can agree to disagree, but hostility won’t fix anything.
If you think kneeling is disrespectful to all those who currently serve in our military and those who gave their lives to do so to ensure that very freedom, but then shower another with abuse and disrespect, how is this any better?
If you’re kneeling or are kneeling in spirit and heap derision on those who disagree, how will you open hearts and minds?
As a person who was born a female, I know what oppression is. Black men were given the vote before women of any race. Women are still the number one group in this world who is oppressed. Race doesn’t matter. The world’s population is predominantly filled with countries where women, of any race, aren’t equal. Black men aren’t getting stoned to death in Saudi Arabia if they walk outside alone.
Injustice isn’t a race issue, it’s a people issue. If you weigh 400 pounds, try to find a job over a thin person. If you’re ugly and want a job in sales, good luck. If you’re Muslim, try finding a job in teaching. Can you equate racial issues with being fat or ugly or a female or religious preference? In some things yes, in others, no.
But every person, at some time or another, has been a bigot and been bigoted against. Because of this, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have empathy for a person who feels there is injustice. Empathy is having the capacity to put oneself in another’s shoes and feel or acknowledge their plight.
Some women choose to wave five feet vaginas, while others quietly, with no fanfare, chase their dreams and find ways around walls and through ceilings. Some blacks will grow Afros and sit out the anthem and others will work in inner cities helping to create jobs and promote education. Stop gang violence and therefore, many of the reasons for police to even have interactions.
Whether you’re vocal or silent in how you protest, everyone does it. Refuse to shop at Target, eat at Chick-fil-A or buy foreign cars. Boycott Comcast or Progressive insurance. From the food we eat, to the clothes we buy, to the services we use, choices are made. Some picket, but most use their wallet.
At the end of the day, the only way anything will be solved is for it to start with the simple act of kindness. Shouting and not listening isn’t kind. Name calling isn’t kind. Lacking empathy isn’t kind. Admiring a player who survived growing up in an abusive home, only to turn on him with rabid nastiness, isn’t kind.
If you disagree with what a player is doing, then don’t talk about it on social media, don’t click on sites. Don’t watch programs discussing it. The media is driven by drama. No drama, no ratings, no advertising revenue. You want to protest? Don’t do or say anything.
Rudeness is at the core of why this issue is even talked about. Bigotry, oppression, and injustice are unkindness at its very core. It’s choosing who to give respect to. It’s choosing who can speak up and who can’t. It’s choosing who should be treated better than others.
At the end of the day, everyone protests and everyone is a bigot. Bigotry is deciding one thing is better than another or one thing is less than another. Flip a coin on how to look at it. You can make prejudice into anything you want. People, food, shoes, football fans (I’m looking at you, Oakland). Where breakdowns occur is when hypocrisy rears its ugly head. It’s ok to protest and be prejudiced, as long as it fits into our own view of which is right and which isn’t. Everyone who disagrees is wrong.
Who wants to live in that type of beige oatmeal world? Where everyone is the same? Believes the same? If you believe in a higher power, than you must believe God wanted a world of diversity: different races, ethnicities, customs, traditions, viewpoints. Why give us each a unique mind? To think alike? No. We live in a wonderful world with so many slices of the ‘people loaf’ to sample. Why only chose one piece?
When one of our favorite players chooses to exercise a Constitutional right that our forefathers of all colors, creeds and religions died for, at the very least we should honor that. Let’s celebrate and focus on where we are alike.
Today is 9/11, the day we came together as one people. We didn’t see each other as different species, we were one. We were United. We were Americans. We worked together, cried together, empathized together, we prayed together. We were brothers and sisters of the human race.
Our brother has a message he wants to share, stay silent or support him, but choose the kind way. We’re in this life together, lets make it a better place by respecting one another.
That’s my soapbox for the day and Go Broncos!
Follow and chat Broncos with me: @ABroncoNole