Monday, September 25, 2017

#Takeaknee = #Takeastand

It's important that people stand up, kneel down, or speak out about what they believe in. Peaceful expressions of advocacy have always been a hallmark of the United States of America. As we notice people all over the country speaking out and standing up for what they believe in, I am thinking about how leadership should act in the face of these protests.

First of all, leadership should welcome advocacy for what is right and good. The initial #takeaknee protest was intended to raise awareness about racist brutality and response. Our country's racist history rooted in slavery is something we have to continually contend with and work against. Clearly racism still affects our country in terrible ways, and we have to use our best creativity, empathy, and intelligence to rid our country of this devastating disease. When Colin Kaepernick first took a knee, the President should have invited him to the White House for a conversation, and the conversation should have started with "You were courageous to take a knee, please tell me why you did that, and let's see how we can work towards betterment in that area."

Next, leadership and all of us need to not only speak out, but we need to act. President Trump spends most of his time tweeting to degrade people who disagree with him. It doesn't seem like he does much to truly remedy the situations that face us, situations related to climate, poverty, infrastructure, health care, and more. President Trump leads for President Trump, his family, and a few wealthy cronies. He truly doesn't demonstrate respectful care or regard for most Americans. He is more interested in his popularity than anything else. In my opinion, he's the worst President that America has ever had.

Further, we need to understand why some still support President Trump. I think those who are good people who continue to support Trump do have issues we need to think about. Issues such as affordable health care, fair immigration laws and protocols, safety, and opportunity. It does seem like some pockets of our country feel distanced from opportunity, safety, and equitable benefits--I think it's important to look at this with care and depth. I also feel that others who support Trump are prejudiced individuals who have a backwards vision for the United States, a vision that lends less rights to people of particular cultures/races, women, and middle to lower economic classes. There's no room for this backwards, prejudicial outlook or vision in our country, and a President who supports this is a President who does not represent our fundamental values which direct us towards life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Peaceful protest is a positive way to affect change. Peaceful protest of any kind should be embraced by our leadership, and that peaceful protest should be a sign that we have to look deeper at issues and make good change. President Trump is wasting our time with his constant prejudicial, uninformed, bullying tactics--just think about the positive change and development that could occur with a President who is willing to bring Americans together to foster good policy, protocol, and change to forward the tremendous potential for what is right and good that exists.