The NFL’s protest ban is merely a status quo upholding of our implicit societal racism and the white supremacy we refuse to relinquish. It is a quoting of the, “Shut up and get back to work,” legacy of slavery our country is founded upon. Events like this just bring it to the surface with an even greater cadence. It is a reminder that this historic repression is as much a part of whiteness as privilege is.
Our racism shows itself in our refusal to truly ask ourselves and then find the readily available answers to “What are Black players protesting? What might motivate them to risk their careers to take this stand?”
What compounds the situation, is that even while deploying arguments and actions that uphold racism, we are convinced that we are in fact, not racist. Maybe we’re not the ones grabbing a tiki torch (though many do), or running protesters over with a car, rather our racism manifests itself in silence and business as usual.
The NFL player’s protests feels upsetting to those of us who are white because it is deeply personal. Our racial identity is so integrated with the maintaining of supremacy, that any challenge to it will always illicit a visceral reaction.
Silencing Black voices from protesting police violence, racism, and white supremacy, is as sacred to our whiteness as football on Sunday. White men in power, creating systems that penalize Black people for challenging their authority, is a revered ritual in America.
But of course, what I’m saying is all just BS right? I’ve swallowed the PC culture Kool-Aid. None of this has anything to do with racism, you just want "those damn [Black] players to shut up, be grateful for what they have, and play.”
Sounds nothing like, “Shut up (racial slur), and entertain me.”